‘I am so excited to be part of it’ says New Zealand’s golden girl
By ELLIE MAWSON
New Zealand’s World No.4 Joelle King is looking forward to competing in her first ever ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals when the tournament takes place at Dubai’s Emirates Golf Club from June 5-9.
The Kiwi has enjoyed her best season to date on the PSA World Tour, recapturing her career-high World No.4 ranking after suffering from a career-threatening achilles injury in 2014.
The 2018 Cleveland Classic winner also reached her maiden World Series final at the Windy City Open in February – where she narrowly lost out to Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb in a five-game thriller – and is relishing the opportunity to compete in Dubai.
“I’m excited, I’ve never really been to Dubai before let alone play in a World Series Finals,” said the 29-year-old. “It was one of my aims at the start of the season to make Dubai and I was definitely happy that after Chicago I was guaranteed a place there.
“I guess you can sort of relax a little knowing you are going to be there but every match I play, I just want to play the best I can. Win or lose I just want to come off knowing that I have left everything out there.
“I have a lot of people from back home that are living there and working there so it will be nice to enjoy Dubai and catch up with some old faces.”
The World Series Finals features a unique best of three format in the group stage before reverting to the traditional best of five for the semi-finals and final and King is excited to play the different format after seeing the high-quality squash at last year’s tournament held at Dubai Opera.
“I’m interested to see what the best-of-three format is like, I’ve never played it before and obviously in the earlier rounds that’s how it is.
“It’s a different game and I’m excited to just give that a go and also, the squash I watched last year, men’s and women’s, was quality and great viewing. I’m just excited to be a part of that.”
New Zealand’s golden girl at the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, King has been drawn in Group A in Dubai. She is the only non-Egyptian in her group and will be up against a powerful trio of World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, World No.3 Nour El Tayeb and World No.5 Nouran Gohar.
“It’s been a long season and I think it will be a nice way to finish. Obviously, it’s the top eight players in the world, it’s literally straight into a quarter-final but I’m not going to change anything about the way I’ve approached the entire season.
“It’s basically been me trying to play the best squash that I can play and enjoying every moment so I’m not going to change that now, I’m just going to try and enjoy it even more.”
King will face El Sherbini on day one at 20:00. All times are local GMT +4. The semi-finals will take place from 20:00 on June 8, while the finals will commence at 20:00 on June 9.
Every fixture will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while the semi-finals and final will be broadcast on live mainstream channels across the globe, including BT sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
Tickets for the World Series Finals can be purchased here
Tournament website: worldseriesfinals.com
Article by ELLIE MAWSON (PSA Media Team). Edited by ALAN THATCHER
Pictures by PSA and from Squash Mad archive