World No.1 Laura Massaro negotiated a tricky second-round encounter at the 2016 JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in York to book a place in the last eight of the prestigious PSA World Series tournament in New York.
Chorley star Massaro was forced to call on all her mental strength to come through a difficult match at the iconic Grand Central Terminal with Frenchwoman Coline Aumard, during which she struggled to find her best form.
Massaro looked on course to seal a straightforward victory after she dominated the first game, taking it 11-3.
But she found herself embroiled in a tense battle from there on in and had to use her big-match experience to save game ball in the fourth and progress after a hard-earned 3-1 win.
“I didn’t feel at my best on court but I’m very happy to come through because winning is the important aspect,” said Massaro. “I’m relieved and honestly just happy to still be in tournament.
“I have a rest day now to work on the things and come back better in next match because I know I need to raise my level.”
Meanwhile, Nick Matthew moved into the last eight with a cool straight-games victory over Karim Abdel Gawad.
The 35-year-old Englishman established a strong advantage early on in the first game playing at a pace and style not normally associated with his trademark physical and attritional approach.
And he continued to enjoy the better of the exchanged during the second game, although Gawad was left to rue a few missed opportunities that could have swung the momentum in his favour and altered the path of the match.
But the young Egyptian was left deflated early on in the third when an innocuous looking movement seemed to cause him difficulty.
While he saw the game out his play was hindered and it was a routine victory in the end for Matthew. “It’s never nice to win a match against an opponent when they’re injured,” said Matthew.
“But I had to be focused and keep my concentration because even though I could see he was struggling, he’s the kind of player who can just reel off four of five points quickly.
“It was a close match-up until then and the second game especially really opened my lungs up.”