R2: Joelle 3-1 Zeina

[6] Joelle King (Nzl) 3-1 [19] Zeina Mickawy (Egy) 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 (41m)

Zeina has been struggling with her right leg which was heavily strapped and played too often too short too early, probably trying to avoid the long rallies and pushing too hard on the leg.

Joelle was very solid, although made her trademark errors once in a while but still seemed in control most of the match. Well, in the first one she was, from 5/5 to 10/5 then 11/7 in 7m but less in control in the second when she went up 7/2, only to let her opponent claw back with her lovely attacking game, 9/7, 11/9, again in 7m…

Third, we had a few lovely winners return of serve from the Egyptian and close up to 6/6, but a little drop in energy from Zeina, the wrong shot at the wrong time, and Joelle, clinical, 11/6 in 7m yet again!

The fourth seems to lead to a 5 setter when the Egyptian cruises at 8/3. But Joelle feels the danger, and finds her best squash, no error from Zeina, just perfect length and lovely volleying from the NZ. 8/8, 9/9, and it’s the Kiwi that finally closes it down, 11/9. Oh well, at least a Kiwi victory today (England beat the All Blacks in rugby in the world cup this morning, and we are in mourning…)

It’s not a secret I’ve been struggling with my squash for the past three tournaments, so I tried to come here with nothing to lose. I’m playing my best squash when I’m relaxed, so it was nice to see a bit of my squash coming through tonight.

I went a bit short at times, although I had a good first game, solid at the back. She went firing in the second, and I’m happy to get off in four!

The conditions are a bit windy, not easy to control the ball at times, but no better place to try than in front of the Pyramids….