Sunday, April 14, 2024

Four National titles for Laura Massaro

Laura Massaro celebrates her victory in Manchester

Now she wants to overtake Cassie’s record of six

Laura Massaro won her fourth National Squash Championship title to further establish her dominance at the top of women’s squash in England.

The World No.5 from Preston defeated Sarah-Jane Perry in a repeat of the final from two years ago in Manchester.

World No.8 Perry emerged victorious on that occasion but there was no stopping former world champion Massaro this time on the all-glass show court.

Now, she has her sights set on Cassie Jackman’s record of six women’s titles. She said: “I was really gunning to get my fourth title today. Cassie was an amazing player and I would love to carry on and try to emulate what she has done.”

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The match proved relatively straightforward for Massaro, who won 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 in 42 minutes in front of a packed audience at the National Squash Centre. Perry [3/4] suffered an injury during the last point of the first game and called for a time-out. But to the delight of the packed audience she was able to continue and they played out two more topsy turvy games.

“To win the title for a fourth time is so exciting, I’m really proud of my work,” Massaro, 33, of Lancashire, said. “I was feeling a bit nervous before the final today so I just tried to play fast and take the nerves out of the match.”

The former World No.1 did not always have things her way in the tournament and had to fight off some stern challenges en-route to the final, after comfortably winning her first round match against Deon Saffery 11-2, 11-6, 11-3.

An early scare against Fiona Moverley [5/8] followed but the reigning champion emerged unscathed 9-11, 11-7, 11-1, 11-3 before beating 3/4 seed Emily Whitlock 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 in the semi-final.

And she had to withstand a tough test from the in-form Perry [3/4] in the final, who battled her way through some tough matches to get her chance at claiming the trophy.

Laura Massaro honours:
World champion: 2013.
British Open champion: 2013.
Commonwealth silver medallist: Delhi 2010 (Women’s Doubles), Glasgow 2014 (Women’s Doubles and Women’s Singles).
Current world ranking: 5.
Highest ranking: 1.

Pictures courtesy of England Squash


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