6 Feb 2018

NZ squash star downs world champion

6:29 pm on 6 February 2018

New Zealand squash professional Joelle King has hit her stride ahead of the looming Commonwealth Games.

NZ squash player Joelle King

NZ squash player Joelle King Photo: PHOTOSPORT

World No 9 King beat reigning world champion and No 2 ranked Raneem El Welily of Egypt to win the title at the Cleveland Classic in the US on Tuesday (NZ time).

King prevailed in three straight games,11-8 11-8 11-8, at the US$50,000 (NZ$68,600) tournament and was justifiably happy with her win.

The 29-year-old from Cambridge said it was satisfying given El Welily had been playing very well lately.

"I had felt a little flat in my last couple of tournaments and I just wanted to play my best squash and see where it took me and it gave me a three love win today.

"If the last match we had is anything to go by it was 16-14 in the last set or something like that. It was brutal.

"She is someone I've idolised even though we're the same age, she's been someone I've looked up to as she was always so good, to come away with a win over someone of that calibre is a great feeling.

"The worst I'd done this year is finishing out to my seeding and losing to Nicol David this year, it's nice to finish off a block of three tournaments," said

King's next tournament is the US$250,000 Windy City Open in Chicago from February 22-28.

The New Zealand squash team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be named on Wednesday.