Chorley’s England No.1 Laura Massaro has reached the semi-finals of the 2018 Women’s JP Morgan Tournament of Champions semi-finals.
Massaro, 34, turned in a superb display to defeat World No.5 Nouran Gohar at the PSA World Series tournament held inside New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.
She was far from at her best against compatriots Fiona Moverley and Victoria Lust in her first and second round fixtures, coming from behind to beat both players in battling displays that showcased her mental resilience and grit, if not her skills with the racket.
But it was a different story for the experienced World No.4 yesterday in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall as she absorbed Gohar’s famed power-hitting before springing forward to attack, completing an 11-6 11-8 11-8 victory in 39 minutes to set up a last-four clash with Egypt’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini.
“Although I was never really close to losing either of my first two rounds, I felt lucky to still be in the draw,” said Preston-based Massaro.
“Nouran is an unbelievable competitor, you can see the force she hits the ball with, so I knew I had to be better today. That’s no disrespect to my first two opponents, but I’ve not been good against Nouran before and then been slightly embarrassed after.
“I wanted to put on a good show today and to be proud of myself when I finished the match.”
Massaro’s compatriot, World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry, was also in action but lost out to El Sherbini in straight games.
“I’m extremely happy to be through 3-0 today,” said El Sherbini. “SJ has been playing very well from the start of the season.”