Chorley’s England No.1 Laura Massaro progressed to the quarter-finals of the FS Investments USOpen Squash Championships after she beat eight-time world champion Nicol David at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
Preston-based Massaro and Malaysia’s David have contested an enthralling rivalry over the past 13 years and were meeting for the 34th time on the PSA Tour, with David leading the head-to-head record 23-10 coming into the match.
World No.7 Massaro started the better of the two as she hit her targets well at the front of the court to take a two-game lead.
But a drop in focus from the English player, coupled with an improved showing from David, saw her surrender that lead as her opponent brought the scores back to all square.
But Massaro steadied herself in the fifth game as she nullified David’s attacking prowess and she halted her opponent’s momentum to complete a 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7 victory that will see her take on world champion Raneem El Welily in the last eight.
“I thought I played really well for the first two,” said 34-year-old Massaro.
“I thought Nicol played pretty well too apart from a couple of points here and there. Then I just went off with the fairies.
“She played great and was on the volley, then was putting me long and short and the court just felt really big.
“Before the fifth, three-time world champion Nick Matthew came over to me and said, ‘You need to get your body language up, you’ve got to hit the ball the way you know you can hit it and it comes down to whether you want it or not’.
“It was tight but I’m just happy to get over the line in the end.”
Massaro will take on El Welily on Thursday evening in what will be her ninth successive US Open quarter-final and the match will be shown live on Eurosport Player.