New Zealand squash player Joelle King beat Belgian Nele Gilis a feisty semifinal of the Manchester Open.
New Zealander Joelle King has taken another step towards the Manchester Open squash title after she beat Belgian Nele Gilis in a pulsating semifinal on Monday morning (NZT).
“That was class from Nele, I think the first game she just got into my lungs,” said King after the 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 15-13 win.
King had to scrap for every point during a feisty encounter that lasted 86 minutes.
The Belgian also looked to capitalise on a slight injury that had plagued King throughout the event.
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“Before this tournament, my preparation wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to be,’’ King admitted.
“It’s been a while since the lungs were open and as you can see, she (Gilis) just fights and gets everything back and makes you play that extra shot.
“After the first, I thought ‘I’m in trouble here’, I’ve got to find a way to try and keep myself out of the corners and put her in them.’’
King admitted Gilis dominated her for large chunks of the match: “Nele came here to beat me today and I could see it in her face from the very first point. She came off another tournament where she lost in the final and class players come back and they play better, all credit to her.’’
The match had a few decisions where both players called for officials to intervene, which created plenty of tension going into the tight last game.
Joelle King beat Nele Gilis inside 29 minutes to reach the quarterfinals of the CIB Black Ball Open in Cairo in March.
“In the heat of the battle things get said and you’re asking for lets at pressure moments and I questioned her trying to play the ball and she was a bit disappointed I questioned it, which is only fair,’’ King, who won the title in …….