World No.4 Laura Massaro put on a masterclass of squash to book a place in the semi-finals of 2017 US Open in Philadelphia.
The Chorley star’s victory ensure her hopes of winning the first major PSA World Series title of the 2017/18 season remain intact.
Two-time champion Massaro made it five US Open semi-finals in seven years as she came from a game down to beat Annie Au, setting up a last-four encounter with Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb .
After suffering an injury scare in her first-round match, Massaro has gone from strength to strength. And she was in control as she defeated Hong Kong’s Au 3-1 in 38 minutes, winning 9-11, 11-6, 11-8.
“Today the key was keeping my intensity and my body language up,” said Massaro, who suffered an injury scare during her first-round victory over Millie Tomlinson when a collision left her requiring treatment to an ankle problem.
She then saw off Emily Whitlock 3-0 in the second round to set up her last-eight meeting with Au.
“Annie is a frustrating player to play against so you really have to stay positive and stick to your game plan,” added the 33-year-old Preston-based ace.
“I just had to do what I do best, which is fight and scrap and try and get the ball back.
“I think I got it right for the majority of the match tonight and I’m looking forward to the semi-finals.”
Meanwhile fellow Brit Nick Matthew, the 2007 US title winner appearing in his last ever US Open, is also in the men’s semi-finals.
Matthew showed the kind of mental grit and resilience that has epitomised his career as he fought his way through a bruising 26-minute 15-13 opening game with compatriot Daryl Selby.
The Sheffield ace was impressive in beating the Essex man 3-0, a win that takes him into the last four without dropping a game. “Tonight that first game was crucial,” said Matthew, who will face Mohamed Elshorbagy – the man he lost to in last year’s final – in the semi-final.
“I knew that it was a hard first game and that the work was in his legs so I tried to push on in the second.
“Psychologically I’m happy with how I finished it off in three.
“And I’m pleased to be back in the semi-finals again.
“I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve reached the semi-finals of an event without dropping a game.”