Massaro moves into semi-finals

Laura Massaro
Laura Massaro

Chorley’s world No.2 Laura Massaro will line up against 18-year-old World Junior champion Nouran Gohar in the semi-finals of the 2016 Hong Kong Open today.

The 32-year-old compatriot Emily Whitlock 3-1 in her second round encounter, although it was from the perfect performance.

Massaro had stuttered in her first round match with Egyptian Hania El Hammamy – requiring five games to defeat the 15-year-old – and she mis-fired once again against 22-year-old Whitlock.

She dropped the second game in a performance that she admits saw her far from her best. I think I finished the match well but I was a little tentative at times,” said Massaro.

“I feel like mentally I’m still not really firing on all cylinders but I’m progressing each round.

“I was better than the first round and if I can move forward again for he semi-final then I should be in a good position for that match.

“Emily played well and put me under some good pressure and you have to deal with that. It was a cold court and she used height a lot to break up the rhythm, so it was important to stay calm and work the problem out.”

Massaro will face Gohar while Nicol David, who defeated Massaro in last year’s final, kept her defence alive with a 3-2 win over New Zealand’s Joelle King.