Massaro fights back to topple Kiwi King

Laura Massaro
Laura Massaro

Chorley’s Laura Massaro survived a huge scare before reaching the quarter-finals of the Tournament of Champions.

The 31-year-old appeared to be on her way out of the prestigious event which is staged at the iconic Grand Central Station, in New York.

A former finalist in 2014, Massaro was 2-1 down against New Zealand’s world No.10 Joelle King but fought back to win.

Despite being far from her best Massaro ground out a 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3 win in just over an hour, showing impressive resilience and mental fortitude, wearing King down physically in the end.

“That’s probably the best she has ever played against me so I have to be pleased to have come through,” Massaro said. “I’m proud of myself for that but my performance was poor,” said Massaro, who is now ranked at No.4 in the world.

“I was frantic. But at 2-1 down I tried to relax and make sure that if I lost I did so playing the way I wanted to and I think I relaxed a little.

“At that same time I think she started to feel it physically because I made her do a lot of work.

“So there’s definitely a lot of relief there.

“I played very well in the first round and I maybe took my foot off the gas subconsciously and lost a little edge and intensity – which you can’t do against anyone. But to get a win in that situation will give me a little kick to approach the quarters differently. I have no (ranking) points to lose here so I can go out there tomorrow to genuinely try and enjoy it and relax and hopefully I’ll play better.”

Meanwhile, reigning champion and current world No.1 Nour El Sherbini progressed after beating Salma Hany Ibrahim, while Nicol David brushed aside Annie Au.