Massaro gears up to face Egyptians on their home turf in World Champs
By SEAN REUTHE
England’s Laura Massaro has moved back into the world’s top two for the first time since November 2016 after the PSA Women’s World Rankings for April were released today (April 1, 2017).
Massaro became the first Englishwoman since Janet Morgan in 1951 to lift the iconic Allam British Open title for a second time when she triumphed in an all-English final with Sarah-Jane Perry in Hull last weekend.
That victory was enough to propel the 33-year-old Lancastrian to the World No.2 spot, one place behind World Champion Nour El Sherbini, who fell to Massaro in the semi-finals of the sport’s longest-running tournament.
Before flying out on Tuesday to compete in the Women’s World Championships in El Gouna, Massaro spoke to Simon Briggs of the Daily Telegraph about the dominance of Egyptian players in the world rankings.
She said: “They are very proud of their record. Now, they will be all the more motivated to defend it on their home turf. The theory used to be that you couldn’t win major titles until the age of 28.
“But El Sherbini won the world championships at 20, and now it feels like the tour is moving at the speed of light. After I lost to Gohar in Chicago the other week, I had to sit down with my coach for a serious chat about the way forward. These girls are so feisty, so physical, and they have no fear. If you don’t keep raising your own intensity, you get left behind.”
As a result of Massaro’s rise up the rankings, Camille Serme, Raneem El Welily and Nouran Gohar all move down a place to round out the top five, while Nicol David’s first Tour title since 2015 at the Ciudad de Floridablanca sees her rise to No.6.
Amanda Sobhy, who is currently out of action with a ruptured achilles tendon, falls to No.7, while Perry sits at No.8. England’s Alison Waters and Joelle King complete the world’s top 10.
Annie Au, Nour El Tayeb and Emily Whitlock are on the rise to sit at respective rankings of No.11, No.12 and No.13, with Whitlock claiming a career-high ranking after her quarter-final finish in Hull. Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy drops six places to No.15.
Elsewhere, in the top 20, Donna Urquhart and Tesni Evans both move up one place to sit at No.17 and a career-best No.18, respectively, while US No.2 Olivia Blatchford makes her debut in the world’s top 20, rising up eight places to No.19 courtesy of her runner-up berth in Floridablanca.
Hong Kong’s Joey Chan drops three places from No.17 and the 28-year-old rounds out the top 20.
PSA Women’s World Rankings Top 20, April 2017:
Picture and graphic courtesy of PSA