Joelle King captures bronze in women's singles
IAN ANDERSON IN GLASGOW
Joelle King completed a pleasing set of Commonwealth Games medals today with a bronze in the women's singles.
King dominated throughout a three-set victory over England's Alison Waters in Glasgow today to collect her third Games medal in as many different disciplines after winning gold and silver in the women's doubles and mixed doubles respectively at Delhi four years ago.
"Obviously it would have been great to have a gold, but I'm just happy to have a medal," King said following her 11-7 11-7 11-5 win at Scotstoun.
"All week I've actually played some pretty good squash."
The only dissatisfaction she had was initially with her three-set semifinal defeat to top seed Nicol David the previous day.
"Straight away I was really disappointed.
"But reflecting later on, Nicol played a pretty solid match and didn't give me much to work with. It was really a case of 'that's done, it's time to move on' and prepare for this game today."
The tournament third seed and world No 4 felt she may have over-thought things against David.
"Today I really just enjoyed myself out there and just let it all go."
She was also aware Waters, the world's sixth-ranked player, had lost in the semifinals to fellow English star Laura Massaro in a 65-minute four-set battle following King's defeat.
"Alison had a really tough match yesterday ... and I knew that was going to be the case; that I needed to come out and make her work hard for every point," King said.
"Really make her feel my presence on the court and keep the pedal to the metal for the whole three sets and stay focused.
"I'm just really pleased with my performance."
Not so a distraught Waters, who turned away to hide her tears before temporarily taking refuge from the waiting media.
In front of a crowd that included Prince Edward and wife Sophie - along with King's mother and the Cambridge player's husband Ryan Shutte - King walked out to AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" then put Waters through said inferno.
Some excellent backhand shots had Waters scrambling and lunging while King was recovering well when Waters tried to force her around the back of the court.
King brought up the first set game-ball at 10-5 with a lovely backhand boast and while Waters pulled two points back, a deep backhand out of the reach of the red-clad Englishwoman sealed the first set in New Zealand's favour after 10 minutes.
King looked to be running away with the second set at 4-0 before a determined Waters drew back to 4-3 as the match turned physical, with a number of lets and strokes awarded. Waters went barrelling into King's back at one stage, almost knocking her into the wall, before King again pulled away.
A delicate forehand drop shot set up the second-set game ball at 10-5, but as she did in the first, Waters drew back to within three points before King moved to within one set of the podium with a backhand drop shot.
The Kiwi raced out to a 4-0 advantage in the third set but a missed opportunity on the forehand with Waters struggling drew a wry smile from King.
She also handed away a free point with a fault to keep Waters' hopes alive when trailing 5-2 but they were just minor hiccups as she wrapped up the win in 42 minutes.
King will be back in action tomorrow as she still has women's and mixed doubles duties, with her and Martin Knight among the favourites in the mixed event.
"No days off - no rest for the wicked," she grinned.
"I'm really looking forward to the doubles - my team have been awesome; they've been in the front row every day cheering for me."