Laura chases New York prize

Laura Massaro won the US Open recently

Laura Massaro won the US Open recently

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Chorley squash ace Laura Massaro will headline a stellar cast including reigning Women’s world champion and current world No.1 Raneem El Welily at the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions next month.

The competition – which is the first PSA World Series event of the year – is one of the Tour’s most popular events due to it being staged at the iconic Grand Central Station in New York.

Massaro will be the red-hot favourite to take the title after a remarkable start to the new squash season.

She has won three tournaments so far, including the prestigious US Open, in Philadephia, and will go to the top of the women’s world rankings – for the first time in her career – when the next list is compiled next month.

Defending champion El Welily’s victory on the spectacular all-glass NetSuite Challenge Court 12 months ago laid the foundation for her surge towards dethroning long-time No.1 Nicol David at the top of the world rankings this year.

And she will be eager to regain her place at the 
summit.

The re-shuffling at the top of the women’s rankings this past year, after David’s stranglehold on the top spot for more than nine years, has fans anticipating some great drama in New York.

David – who at No.3 is at her lowest ranking in 10 years, returned to form earlier this month with a decisive victory at the 2015 Hong Kong Open where she defeated Massaro.

With the likes of British Open winner Camille Serme, the Egyptian top six duo Nour El Sherbini and Omneya Abdel Kawy, and the home crowd favorite 10th seed Amanda Sobhy, also included in the line-up, 2016 promises to be one of the most competitive women’s championships in Tournament of Champions in history.