07-Apr: Massaro looking forward to World
World #1 Laura Massaro is gearing up for a return to the
country where she won her biggest ever title as she heads to
Malaysia for the upcoming PSA Womenís World Championship which
takes place in Kuala Lumpur, when she will look to recapture the
crown she won in stunning fashion two years ago in Penang.
Massaro has been one of the dominant forces on the Womenís Tour
so far this season, with back-to-back World Series wins at the
Delaware Investments U.S. Open and Qatar Classic
towards the end of last year laying the groundwork for her rise
to world#1 spot in the January 2016 world rankings.
By her own admission, the Englishwomanís form hasnít quite
followed along the same vein since usurping Egyptian Raneem El
Welily at the summit of the world rankings, but she is relishing
the chance to take to the court in a country that saw her defeat
current World #2 Nour El Sherbini - who had defeatedhome favourite Nicol David in the semis -
to lift the sportís biggest prize back in 2014.
"I normally do quite well in Malaysia so Iím
looking forward to going back there.
"I had a really good week in Penang when I won the World
Championship, but it didnít all go my way. Itís easy to look
back and think that it was all plain-sailing and I pulled
everything together but I think I saved three or four match
balls in the quarter-finals and managed to come through and win
before winning the semi-final.
By the time I got to the final, I was extremely nervous because
I didnít expect to be in the World Championship final with an
opportunity to play it without Nicol being there because she had
been in the last five.
"There were quite a lot of nerves around it but I had a real
determination to take the opportunity with both hands and it was
an opportunity that you donít know how many times you will have
with it being the World Championship final so I was very excited
to do my best there and really fight hard all the way through.
I donít think it was probably the best match from either of us,
but I think you get that sometimes in major finals where youíre
both on there, things are edgy and thereís a lot at stake so I
was happy overall with how I handled myself on the day to
finally take the title."
first half of this season and the run up to Christmas was
brilliant, winning two World Series tournaments and making the
final of the third one [Hong Kong], and the fact that it
culminated in becoming World No.1 was obviously a massive high
and an achievement that Iím really proud of.
Since Christmas I havenít been as happy with my form and with
how the events have gone. I havenít won a title apart from the
British Nationals but I donít feel like Iíve been playing too
badly, particularly in Windy City Open in Chicago.
thought I had played well all week and Nour was just really good
in the semi-final so I came out of that feeling pretty positive.
Unfortunately, I got a little bit sick between Chicago and the
British Open so it just goes to show that, if youíre a little
bit off your game, everyone is too strong to be able to win.
Iím excited by the fact that Iíve got some time now after the
British Open and before the World Championship where I can try
and get back to some of the form that I had pre-Christmas."
Massaro has the advantage of being one of just
three previous winners to take part in the tournament but faces
a great deal of resistance with the likes of El Sherbini, who
last month became the first female Egyptian to win the British
Open, Camille Serme, the Frenchwoman who eliminated
Massaro in Hull, and El Welily all looking to launch serious
assaults on the coveted title, in addition to eight-time winner
This is the first time the 32-year-old has come into a World
Championship as the number one seed but she insists that the
experience of winning the prestigious title before has helped to
take the pressure off as she looks to become the first
Englishwoman to win more than one World Championship crown and
take part of the lucrative $185,000 purse that is on offer.
won the World Championship when I wasnít the top seed so that
billing doesnít really mean anything, you donít get anything for
that, but itís really nice."
"Itís a privilege to be able to see my name at the very top of
the draw when the best female squash players are there as well.
Aside from that, I know that itís going to be a really tough
"It would mean a lot to win. Itís amazing to have my name on
that trophy already and I guess apart from myself, Nicol and
Rachael [Grinham], no one else has got a World Championship
title so, in some ways, it takes the pressure off when youíve
already got your name on there.
It would be an amazing bonus to have it on there a second time
and a two-time World Champion sounds a heck of a lot better than
a one-time World Champion.
"Iím really excited for the tournament and Iím going to try and
put in some good work now so I can give myself the best possible
chance to do well in Malaysia in a few weeks."