Kiwi squash pro Joelle King has been defeated in her first match at the PSA World Series tournament in Dubai.
The 29-year-old Commonwealth medallist from Ngāti Pourou was beaten in two straight games by world champion Nour El Sherbini from Egypt.
The match was initially a tight battle before the Egyptian put the pressure on to take the win.
King tried her best to play positive, attacking shots throughout the match but El Sherbini counterattacked to take a 12-10 tie-break victory in game one.
The Egyptian pulled away to an 11-7 triumph in the second in a match time of 22 minutes after dominating key points.
El Sherbini says, “Joelle’s been playing so well and she has come back after the [achilles] injury so well and has beaten a lot of top players.”
“It’s the first match and you could play Joelle in the final of a World Series event, so it’s hard to play her in the first round. I’m glad I fired myself up and won the first game.”
Tonight King will go up against world number seven Nouran Gohar from Egypt.
The tournament features the top eight female players in the world, with King ranked number four.