6:57 am
22 Jul 2024

ElShorbagy & King Crowned New Zealand Open Champions

13 Nov 2022

Top women's seed Joelle King and No.2 men's seed Mohamed ElShorbagy are the 2022 New Zealand Open champions after they beat No.6 seed Tesni Evans and men's favourite Paul Coll in the PSA World Tour Silver event finals at the Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga.

World No.5 King has captured the 15th PSA title of her career - and her first on home soil since 2008 - after a dominant 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 victory over world No.14 Evans in the women's final.

It's King's first PSA title since April's Manchester Open and her first of the 2022-23 season. King becomes the first women's New Zealand Open champion since 2009 and the first Kiwi to take the title since the legendary four-time World Champion Dame Susan Devoy in 1993.

"We get asked a lot, what's your favourite tournament to play, and I haven't had the chance to say New Zealand because we haven't had a tournament for so long, but it's 100 per cent playing here at home," said King afterwards.

"I've been sort of nervous during the day all week, but once I arrive and I see the court and I see everyone here who I know and they're supporting me, it just kind of goes away as soon as I step on the court. It hasn't kind of sunk in yet. Obviously, a bit later on I'll be able to enjoy it.

"I'm super pleased with how I've played all week."

In the men's event, world No.4 ElShorbagy won the 47th PSA title of his career as he came back from a game behind to end Coll's hopes of lifting the trophy in front of his home crowd.

Greymouth-born Coll made a fabulous start to the match as he fed on the energy from the crowd to sneak the opening game, but a fired-up ElShorbagy came out all guns blazing in the second game. The Englishman won the next three games without reply to become the first men's New Zealand Open champion since Paul Steel in 1993.

ElShorbagy's victory also sees him become the youngest man ever to reach 500 PSA wins at the age of 31 years and 10 months, while he is only the third man to achieve that milestone after his coach Gregory Gaultier (587) and Nick Matthew (518).

"Paul is a great rival and we've had amazing matches over the years," said ElShorbagy.

"When it comes to rivals, you don't win every time and you don't lose every time, we're going to play probably next week and the week after, he's probably going to get another win over me and I'll get another win over him, that's how it is between rivals.

"Both families [Coll's and King's], you have raised two great human beings. We love having them on the tour."