Wednesday, September 27, 2023

WISPA Singapore: Massaro stuns David but loses to Perry in final

Singapore Open Champion Madeleine Perry with her trophy.

Laura Massaro produced the performance of the year so far to stun Nicol David in the semi final of the CIMB Singapore Masters but lost to Ireland’s Madeleine Perry in the final.

Madeline Perry claimed her ninth WISPA title at the CIMB Singapore Masters this week, fighting past giant killer Laura Massaro in the final.

Perry may not have been many people’s favourite for the title at the start of week, coming into the tournament having lost in straight games to Joelle King in the 1st round of the CIMB Malaysian Open the previous week. However, as she has shown time and again in the last few years, at the age of 34 she is still at the top of her game.

The first round threw up few surprises and seven out of the eight seeds progressed comfortably to the quarter finals. The one upset came when qualifier Jaclyn Hawkes fought back from two games to one down to outlast Omneya Abdel Kawy after almost an hour and half on court. The first victory for Hawkes over the Egyptian.

Hawkes’ run came to an end in the quarter final as she was dispatched in straight games by Perry. Perry managed to keep in front of the tall Kiwi, not allowing her to volley and punishing her with her sharp front court game. Perry’s semi final opponent was expected to be second seed Rachael Grinham, but the former world number one was brushed aside in convincing fashion by France’s Camille Serme in just 25 minutes.

In the top half of the draw Massaro battled for over an hour to defeat Kasey Brown, ranked just one place above her. It was revenge for Massaro, having lost to Brown in the first round of the CIMB KL Open in March. World number one Nicol David eased past Hong Kong’s top player Annie Au in straight games to set up a clash with Massaro.

Serme’s high level of play in the quarter final couldn’t be repeated against Perry and the French number one committed numerous unforced errors to let Perry take control and run away to a straight game victory and secure her first final since September 2010.

Four time Champion David was expected to be Perry’s final opponent but Massaro had other ideas. The British Champion, playing error free squash, shocked everyone when she stormed back from two games down to knock out the Queen of Squash. It was David’s second loss to Massaro this year and only her second loss on tour since 2009.

With their head to head tied at two all, the final was going to be a close run thing. With only 19 hours to recover from the previous nights win over David, Massaro was a little off the pace for the first half of the match and Perry opened up a two game lead. Massaro found her game in the third and looked to be forming a comeback for a second day in a row. Perry however was the fresher, having not dropped a game through her first three matches and she stayed ahead in the fourth as Massaro began to tire. After just over an hour of punishing play Madeline Perry grabbed victory and her second Gold level final of her career.

Perry will be pleased she’s hit top form now, as she heads into the Australian Open as defending champion.


[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [5] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11/7 11/8 5/11 11/9 (61m)

Semi Finals:

[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [1] Nicol David (MAS) 9/11 7/11 11/8 11/8 11/5 (85m)

[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [7] Camille Serme (FRA) 11/7 11/7 11/3 (44m)

Quarter Finals:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [8] Annie Au (HKG) 11/5 11/9 11/6 (39m)

[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [4] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11/8 7/11 11/8 11/8 (65m)

[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 11/7 11/7 11/7 (40m)

[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11/5 11/5 11/7 (25m)

1st Round:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11/5 13/11 11/5 (25m)

[8] Annie Au (HKG) bt [Q] Natalie Grinham (NED) w/o

[4] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt w/c Pamela Chua (SIN) 11/4 11/3 11/2 (23m)

[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11/7 11/2 11/6 (27m)

[Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11/9 8/11 10/12 11/7 11/8 (84m)

[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11/6 11/8 11/6 (54m)

[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS) 11/5 11/8 11/2 (24m)

[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Joelle King (NZL) 5/11 11/2 11/9 11/3 (36m)


The British Champion Laura Massaro scored her second win this year over Nicol David, following on from her victory over the world number one in the Cleveland Classic final in January.

David started the better of the two and looked to be on her way to tough straight game win after she stormed into a two game lead. Massaro had her chances in the opening two games and responded brilliantly to edge the next two games and force a decider. Although David started well in the fifth, a series of uncharacteristic errors crept into her play and Massaro surged ahead, keeping her momentum to score a memorable win after almost an hour and a half in front of a stunned crowd at VivoCity.

In 2010 and 2011, Massaro is the only person to have beaten David. Having beaten her twice, Massaro joins compatriotJenny Duncalf as the only person to have beaten David twice in the same year since Vanessa Atkinson back in 2006.

In the final she will face Irish third seed Madeline Perry. The world number four produced a solid display to end the run of France’s Camille Serme, who had yesterday stunned Rachael Grinham in the quarter finals. Serme couldn’t maintain that same level and although she went toe to toe with Perry for most of the match, she committed numerous unforced errors that gave Perry the advantage.

Perry and Massaro line up for tomorrow’s final evenly matched. Both have claimed 8 WISPA titles each and have career head to head of 2-2. Massaro claimed the win in their only meeting this year, at the Cleveland Classic in January. A quality and closely fought final is in prospect as all four of their previous meetings have gone to at least four games.

Whatever the outcome tomorrow Massaro will record a new high in next month’s rankings.

Could we have a threat to David’s number one ranking in our midst?

Semi Finals:

[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [1] Nicol David (MAS) 9/11 7/11 11/8 11/8 11/5 (85m)

[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [7] Camille Serme (FRA) 11/7 11/7 11/3 (44m)


Camille breezes past Rachael to reach the last four

French number one Camille Serme produced the performance of the day on Thursday to send former world number one Rachael Grinham crashing out in the quarter finals of the CIMB Singapore Masters.

Serme, who reached the semi finals last week in Malaysia, continued with her run of good form here. She managed to stay in front of Grinham throughout the match and always keep one step ahead. Even when Grinham started to mix up her game with high lobs and a slower pace, Serme had the answers.

She goes on to face world number four Madeline Perry in the semi final. Perry leads their head to head 3-1, winning their only meeting this year in the first round of the Cleveland Open.

Perry had a fairly straight forward win over New Zealand’s Jaclyn Hawkes coming through in three after 40 minutes. Hawkes had yesterday upset Omneya Abdel Kawy in the first round. Perry has bounced back well after disappointingly losing in the first round in Malaysia last week.

The other semi final will see a clash between number one Nicol David and British Champion Laura Massaro. David eased past Hong Kong’s number one Annie Au in straight games and Massaro caused a minor upset in beating Kasey Brown 3-1 in just over an hour, gaining revenge over the Australian for losing to her by the same score line back in March at the KL Open.

Although Nicol leads the head to heads 9-1 and won their quarter final meeting last week in Malaysia, Massaro will feel she has a good chance to cause an upset. She is the only player since 2009 to have beaten Nicol (the final of Cleveland in January) and she was the only player to take a game off her last week in Malaysia.

Quarter Final:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [8] A Au (HKG) 11/5 11/9 11/6 (39m)

[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [4] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11/8 7/11 11/8 11/8 (65m)

[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 11/7 11/7 11/7 (40m)

[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11/5 11/5 11/7 (25m)


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