Chorley’s world No.3 squash ace Laura Massaro made it a happy 32nd birthday as she reached the quarter-finals of the 2015 Qatar Classic in Doha.
She had to come through a tough 50-minute battle with compatriot Fiona Moverely.
After qualifying for the main draw at the expense of higher ranked Mariam Metwally, the 28-year-old Moverley, from Hull, got off to an impressive start as she displayed a potent blend of delicate hands and court craft to trouble Massaro from the off.
But Massaro, winner of the recent Delaware Investments US Open winner, managed to find enough in her tank to hang in and see out the match in a victory that significantly boosts her hopes of winning back-to-back PSA World Series tournaments.
“I thought Fiona played really well,” said Massaro. “The glass court and the lower tin really suited her game and she used height and attacked and mixed it up to make it really tough.
“I didn’t play 100 per cent at my best and when you do that against someone as dangerous as her you can get hurt but I felt like I worked her game out as the match went on. Every game was tight so I’m pleased to get off in four games.
“My first-round match was quick and then I had a rest day, so I feel like I’ll be better for the remainder of the tournament after having a tough test today.
“It was tough to regroup after winning the US Open and get back into training ahead of Qatar was hard but I’m happy to win today and I’ll enjoy my birthday now.”