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Just 24 hours after dethroning 2016 tournament champion Laura Massaro in a dominant four-game affair, New Zealand’s Joelle King notched up a second big name scalp at the 2017 J.P. Morgan China Open, defeating eight-time World Champion Nicol David 3-2 to reach the semi-finals of the PSA M100 tournament.
King, who had fallen victim to David in all ten of their past encounters stretching back to 2010, showed impressive resilience as she twice came from behind to out-muscle David after 66-minutes of play in a performance that will have been noted by her title-rivals.
“It’s been a while since I’ve played as well as this so I’m trying to enjoy the moment – to beat two legends of the game back-to-back is a great achievement,” said World No.11 King.
“I had never beaten Nicol before and I was behind twice today. I’m pleased with the way I managed the mental side of the game and stayed tough – and it’s nice to finally get that win over her.
“It’s pleasing to be playing some of my best squash but it’s all well and good to get those two wins – there are two more matches to come if I want to win the tournament. So I need to refocus and make sure I’m at my best again tomorrow.”
She will now face tournament top seed and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini for a place in the title decider where either Camille Serme or Nouran Gohar will await, while in the men’s draw King’s compatriot Paul Coll finds himself surrounded by Egyptian threats.
Coll, who today broke into the World Top 10 for the first time in his career, overcame Fares Dessouky to set up a last four clash with top seed Ali Farag, with second seeded Marwan Elshorbagy is set to face former World No.1, and the man Coll knocked out of the Top 10, Ramy Ashour in the bottom half of the draw.
Ashour, who’s last tournament win came over 12 months ago in Hong Kong, produced a second consecutive performance of intent as he downed England’s Daryl Selby 3-0 in just 36 minutes to earn his place at the stunning glass court situation overlooking Shanghai’s Bund.
“Its been going well for the first two matches of the season, which is good, and hopefully I can keep it up,” said Ashour.
“We’ll see what happens in the next round. It’s all about consistency. Changing courts is always a challenge but whatever the court or the type of match I train to adapt under any circumstance.
“You have to prepare for anything and it’s my first time in Shanghai – the court on the rooftop of the Peninsula Hotel is pretty impressive, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Results – J.P. Morgan China Open: Women’s Quarter-finals
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (27m)
Joelle King (NZL) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 3-2: 8-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7, 11-5 (66m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (29m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (28m)
Draw – Semi-finals:
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Joelle King (NZL)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
photos Janos Schmidt