Defending champion Massaro close to World Series Finals qualification

Laura Massaro during last week's El Gouna International (photo: PSA)
Laura Massaro during last week's El Gouna International (photo: PSA)
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Chorley’s squash ace Laura Massaro is on the brink of qualification for next month’s ATCO PSA Dubai World Series Finals.

That is after her semi-final finish at last week’s El Gouna International saw her move up to fifth on the PSA World Series standings.

Points for the World Series standings are on offer at all eight World Series tournaments throughout the 2017/18 season, with a top eight finish guaranteeing players a spot at the season-ending PSA World Series Finals, which will take place at Emirates Golf Club between June 5 and 9.

And Massaro, 34, has all but booked her place in Dubai after her semi-final finish in Egypt yielded 40 points.

That saw her move 55 points clear of ninth-placed Alison Waters with just one World Series tournament – the Allam British Open in Hull – left to be played this season.

Massaro, who beat the current leader of the World Series standings – world No.1 Nour El Sherbini – in last year’s final, sits behind the already qualified quartet of El Sherbini, world champion Raneem El Welily, world No.3 Nour El Tayeb and Windy City Open runner-up Joelle King.

A first round win at the British Open would ensure that Massaro qualifies for Dubai, while France’s Camille Serme, Egypt’s Nouran Gohar and Massaro’s compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry take up the final three spots in the top eight heading into the final World Series tournament of the campaign.

Along with Waters, Malaysia’s eight-time world champion Nicol David and Hong Kong’s Annie Au are also in the mix, although they would need to reach the latter stages of the tournament, while hoping that results elsewhere go their way, if they are to have any chance of qualifying.

The final battle for qualification will be shown live on Eurosport Player as players battle for the prestigious British Open title between May 15 and 20, while action from the semi-finals and finals will be broadcast on BT Sport.

Tickets for the season-ending PSA World Series Finals will go on sale soon.