QF:  Joelle King (Nzl) 3-0  Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (47m)
A superb performance form Kiwi Joelle King as she controls 2020 Platinum Champion Hania El Hammamy through three games …
cannot say I’m surprised by the result. After having a little chat with Joelle yesterday, as I have been following her closely for a few years, I thought she had a different light in the eyes in this event.
And it shows on the court. If for about two years as she said herself after the match, things hadn’t been too good, this week, she’s been impressive of calm, composure, focus, shot selection, determination on court.
On the other hand, Hania was, like she was in her first match, not the player she has been those past months. Let’s remember that the Gazelle is 20. Twenty years old. And world number 5. She was bound to hit a plateau at some point, if only realising now that the pressure is on her. She is not the upcoming junior anymore. She is one of the top girls, that others study and want to beat.
She will learn from this, work on it, and get back stronger I’m sure….
Back to the match, first game, 11m, from 3/3, it was Joelle in front, dispatching the shots and making the Gazelle cover a lot of ground, 7/3, 8/5, 10/6, 11/7.
The second looked to start well for the Egyptian 2/0, 3/1, but close again in mid game, 3/3, 5/5, 6/6 and again, Joelle finding perfect shot selection, 9/6. A big push from Hania, some lovely winners from her backhand, and we were level 9/9.
A stroke overturning a let and an error from the Egyptian, and Joelle was up 2/0, 11/9 in 15m.
The third, a superb start from Joelle, 4/1, Hania again playing catch up, levelling at 6/6, but in the previous games, Joelle finding the answers, and it’s 10/6 match ball. The Gazelle will save two of those to finally bow in 18 very long minute game, 11/8.
report to follow
Joelle: “Hania is class, there’s no doubt she’s a class player,”
“I’m ecstatic with that performance and to beat a player like her in three but the job’s not done, so I don’t want to relax too much and get too excited when I’ve got another match to play. It’s a good feeling but I just feel like it’s not done yet.
“I’m going to go and get some treatment, go back and relax. Talk to my team because they’re the people that are behind all of this for the last two years and have been picking me up when things haven’t been so good. I’m proud of the courage I had tonight to come out and express myself on court and fight until the last point. It’s a pretty good win.
“There’s been so many people that have been messaging me as I’ve been playing better and better and have kept the faith. Thank you to everyone back home that have stuck with me and hopefully there’s more to come.”
🗣 "It's a good feeling but it's not finished yet!"
Fighting talk from @Joelle_King after a BIG win over @HaniaaElHammamy at the @BlackBallSquash 👊#BlackBallOpen pic.twitter.com/HAyugwVko6
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 16, 2021