A successful start for the two New Zealanders at the El Gouna PSA Platinum squash tournament in Egypt with straight-game victories for both Joelle King and Paul Coll.
Seventh seed King put in a good performance in her opening match against Egyptian Jana Shiba wining 11-7, 11-7, 111-5 in 24 minutes executing her shots well against a new opponent.
“To be honest, I haven’t seen much of Jana especially of late, but I came on expecting something really good.
“She’s got incredible hands, she believes in her game, and she has very attacking squash. I tried to use my age and use my brain a bit more to make her play the extra shot. Sometimes with the young ones, with the transition from junior to senior, patience can be a factor we can use.
“But her constant attacking, even her drives, they’ve got their bite on them. You really have got to be prepared that you are going to have to move, and it comes back with interest really,” said the 32-year-old from the Waikato.
“To be honest, it was a great match for me, she got me moving, I had to keep my balls in the corners otherwise she would put it away with some lovely kills. It was a very clean match, there were hardly any lets really.
“I’m happy with today. There has been a little time between Black Ball (Open) and today and I’ve been working on some stuff, so it’s good to test those things when you come to a tournament because it’s a different thing to do it in practice,” said King.
Things get more difficult for King in the third round on Monday when she takes on 20-year-old world No 14 ranked Rowan Elaraby who is one of the rising stars of the world circuit.
While King eased through her match, fellow Kiwi and third seed Coll spent a bit more time on court as he defeated Egyptian Youssef Soliman 11-3, 11-8, 11-8 in a match which still took 54 minutes to complete as the tenacious Soliman stayed in every rally.
Coll now plays Frenchman, Victor Crouin ranked 41st in the third round on Monday morning NZT.