14 Oct 2017

King trips at US Open final hurdle

3:36 pm on 14 October 2017

New Zealand's top woman squash player Joelle King's run at the US Open in Philadelphia is over.

NZ squash player Joelle King

NZ squash player Joelle King Photo: PHOTOSPORT

King was beaten in the semi-final by the tournament's second seed Raneem El Welily of Egypt .

The Egyptian took the first game, 11-8, before King came back in the second to level the scores. However, the Egyptian kept her composure to see out the contest 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6 in 40 minutes and reach her second US Open final.

El Welily will take on 10th seed Nour El Tayeb, also of Egypt, for the title.

King had built up a reputation as a 'giant killer' at the tournament after knocking out the defending champion and world No 2 Camille Serme, along with eighth seed Alison Waters on her way to the semi.

El Welily praised the Waikato professional who has had a good run in recent tournaments coming runner-up at the Macau Open and reaching the semi-finals of the China Open.

"She has had a great season and has beaten everyone in the top five. I just tried to keep pushing and digging as much as I could, she was playing really well in the third game and she really had me running all over the court and I thought there was no way out but I just kept digging and I think I broke her mentally and that was key," said El Welily.

King will now remain in the United States, to play next week's PSA 50 Carol Weymuller Open in New York, where she's seeded fifth in a 16-player draw.