Fresh from lifting the silverware at last week’s NetSuite Open in San Francisco England’s Laura Massaro says she is ready to return to Philadelphia and defend her Delaware Investments U.S. Open crown when the second PSA World Series tournament of the season gets underway at Drexel University.
Massaro stormed to the title in 2015 – beating Nicol David and Nour El Tayeb in memorable encounters on the way to a victory that set up her charge towards the World #1 ranking, which she claimed for the first time in January 2016. Fresh from taking down crowd-favourite Amanda Sobhy to take the spoils in San Francisco the 32-year-old is hoping to keep her momentum going into one of her favourite events.
“I love going back to Drexel University each year and I have some really good memories there. I’ve won it a couple of times now, which has been special, and I always feel really welcome there in the city.
“My brother is also now living in Philadelphia, so it feels like a home away from home because I can stay with him for a few days as well so I’m really looking forward to it.”
With Egyptian trio Nouran Gohar, Nour El Sherbini and Raneem El Welily all having claimed major PSA World Series titles inside the past six months along with Massaro – and players like Sobhy and Nicol David in the mix in major finals – the Englishwoman knows she will have to be at her best in order to keep the trophy in her hands – but she admits her focus will only now shift to Philadelphia after a sterling week at the NetSuite Open which was capped off with a 3-1 victory over Sobhy to claim the W50 title.
“Apart from booking my flight and knowing that it was coming up, I hadn’t given it too much thought but I will prepare myself for the tournament now.
“The Tour on the Women’s side is perhaps the strongest it’s ever been. I think it’s really exciting right now for the game and I’m really pleased to be part of it. I think all of us have such different games, every single one of us steps on court with a different style of play.
“It’s keeping all of us on our toes and hopefully it is entertaining the fans as well and hopefully I can play well this week in Philadelphia.”
Massaro will begin her title defence against a qualifier on October 9th and if all goes to seeding her route to a fourth U.S. Open final in six years would involve meetings with India’s Joshna Chinappa, France’s Camille Serme and Egyptian Nouran Gohar.
Story courtesy PSA
Laura Massaro at the U.S. Open
|2015||Champion||Epic comeback from 0-2 v Nicol David in quarters then 3-2 over Nour El Tayeb in the final|
|2014||Quarter-Finals||lost in five to El Sherbini in quarters|
|2013||Runner-up||two five-game marathons – in semis over WW Low and Final against Nicol David|
|2012||Semi-Finals||lost in five in semis to Welily|
|2011||Champion||a first World Series title with a 3-1 win over Kasey Brown in final|
|2009||Quarter-Finals||lost in five to compatriot Alison Waters|