Massaro is back in the groove

Laura Massaro on her way to victory over Omneya Abdel Kawy

Laura Massaro on her way to victory over Omneya Abdel Kawy

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Chorley’s Laura Massaro was back to her best as she moved through to the semi-finals of the Tournament of Champions in New York thanks to victory over Omneya Abdel Kawy.

The 33-year-old appeared to be on her way out of the event, which is held at the iconic Grand Central Station, in the previous round when she trailed New Zealander Joelle King by two games to one.

However, she fought back to win that one and was in no mood to make the same mistake against the Egyptian world No.9.

Massaro took just 35 minutes to sweep into the last four, which will have worked wonders for her confidence and she will be confident of reaching her first major final since losing the 2016 World Championship in March.

The former world No.1 wasted no time in taking the opening game 11-4. Her opponent put up more of fight in the second, but Massaro eventually prevailed 12-10.

That virtually sealed the match as the current world No.4 wrapped up victory by winning the third 11-6.

“I was pleased just to get through against Joelle – it wasn’t a good performance but it made me ultra wary for the match against Omneya and extra focused,” said Massaro.

“I needed that intensity against a dangerous player like Omneya – if you drop off she has the ability to punish you. So I feel much happier with how that went. It’s not been an easy event for any of the top seeds.

“The girls below the top eight in the rankings have all stepped up and made it super competitive, which just shows how much the game is growing and how the level is rising.

“But for me, to get through those matches and reach a semi-final is really pleasing.

“I lost in the quarters last two times out and I’m very motivated – this is a title I haven’t won and I’d love to do so.”

Massaro faces countrywoman Sarah-Jane Perry in the last four.