Tuesday, July 23, 2024

US OPEN: Ace King is Queen…and Nicol trumps Mad



Kiwi Joelle King earned herself a surprise second successive semi-final appearance in the Women’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open Championship after pulling off an upset win over England’s No4 seed Alison Waters in the quarter-finals  last night,

Londoner Waters, ranked four in the world, went into the match 3-1 ahead in previous Tour meetings – with a straight games win over the world No5 from Cambridge in their most recent clash in the KL Open in March.

Waters duly took a 6-2 lead in the opening game – but King worked her way back, taking five points in a row from 5-8 down to reach game ball as a let given to Waters was turned into a no let on video review.

Waters saved those game balls, but a stroke later put the New Zealander ahead.

King (pictured above, right, in US Open action with Waters) dominated the next two games, dropping just five points as she stormed to a 12-10, 11-2, 11-3 victory in 37 minutes.

“Quite often when you sneak a game, like I did the first, you can get on a roll like I did tonight,” said the 25-year-old New Zealand champion.

“Alison probably wasn’t at her best but I’m pleased with how I played and really happy to be in the semi-finals again. It’s been a long break so it’s good to be back plying tournaments again, and this is such a great one to do well in.”

King will face defending champion Nicol David for a place in the final. The world number one from Malaysia defeated Irish rival Madeline Perry 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 in 34 minutes.

“I knew I had to be on from the start,” said David (pictured above in action with Perry), bidding to become the first player for more than 20 years to successfully defend the title. “Madeline is so strong from the middle and she had me on the run a lot of times so I had to work hard to stay in front.”

Perry, the world No9 from Belfast who went into the match with only one win over David in 22 meetings, was not unhappy with her performance: “I thought I played pretty well there, but it’s pretty warm on there and she was getting everything back.

“I thought I’d won some of the rallies three times over, but when she’s playing like that there’s not a lot you can do!”

Quarter-finals (top half of draw):
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [8] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (34m)
[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt [4] Alison Waters (ENG) 12-10, 11-2, 11-3 (37m)



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