Massaro moves into San Francisco last eight

Chorley squash ace Laura Massaro in action in San Francisco  (photo: PSA)
Chorley squash ace Laura Massaro in action in San Francisco (photo: PSA)

Defending champion Laura Massaro moved through to the last eight of the Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco.

The Chorley world No.4, who is the top seed for the event, defeated tournament wildcard Aisling Blake in just 25 minutes in the opening round.

The 36-year-old American was making her first main draw appearance at Tour level in two years after initially retiring from the sport.

And she was always 
going to be up against it, 
having failed to beat the former world No.1 in five 
previous attempts.

The 33-year-old claimed a comfortable 11-5 11-9 11-2 
victory that will see her take on Egypt’s Salma Hany 
Ibrahim in the next round.

“I thought Aisling played well considering she’s been retired for two years,” said Massaro.

“I’m excited to be back in San Francisco. 
Being over here is really relaxing, so I feel at home.”

Massaro defeated American Amanda Sobhy in last year’s final and is hopeful that she can replicate the same sort of form at this year’s tournament.

She is also looking for an improvement from her last outing, which saw her lose in the opening round of the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions to New Zealander Joelle King.

“In China things didn’t go according to plan but I’ve put in a few changes in training since then, so hopefully I can do well here ahead of going to the US Open next month.

Massaro’s next opponent Ibrahim moved through to the quarter-finals with a comprehensive 11-8 11-5 11-9 
victory over Canada’s Nikki Todd.

“I enjoyed how I played and I’m looking forward to the next round,” said 
Ibrahim.