King wins first Platinum PSA title

By Regan Paranihi

Joelle King has been crowned the Women’s Hong Kong Open champion after defeating Raneem El Welily in a thrilling final last night.

The win marks the Ngāti Porou descendants first Platinum PSA title and also means she has automatically qualified for the season-ending PSA World Tour finals.

King got off to a strong start by dominating the first two rounds, however, El Welily didn’t go down without a fight.

“I just kept thinking that it’s the last match of the tournament – just leave it all out there,”

King also said, “Raneem is such a tough competitor and she showed in the third why she is No.1. She just kept coming back at me and never let it go until the end.”

This was not the first time King has defeated reigning World Champion El Welily.

“I guess if you’ve beaten a player before then it gives you a bit of confidence, but every day is a new day and she’s not No.1 for no reason, so I knew she was never going to let it go. I’m just extremely happy to win my first platinum event ever.”

King has become the first Kiwi PSA Platinum winner since 2003 when Carol Owens won the Tournament of Champions.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but to be on a stage like this, with such great fans means a lot. I just want to go on from here and keep playing good squash.”

The victory means King becomes the fourth New Zealand woman to win the prestigious title in Hong Kong. She joins Dame Susan Devoy, Leilani Rorani and Owens as winners.