Massaro progresses in Hong Kong

Laura Massaro (right) on her way to victory against qualifier Hania El Hammamy (photo: PSA)
Laura Massaro (right) on her way to victory against qualifier Hania El Hammamy (photo: PSA)

Chorley’s world No.4 Laura Massaro defeated Egyptian qualifier Hania El Hammamy to reach the second round of the 2017 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open, PSA World Series tournament.

Massaro and El Hammamy had met just once before on the PSA World Tour, 
with that meeting coming in the opening round of last year’s Hong Kong Open.

On that occasion, Massaro was forced all the way to five games by the world No.25, who at the time was just 15 years of age.

But the 34-year-old Preston-based star was in more control this time around as she rose to an 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 victory in 34 minutes.

The victory has set up a second-round encounter with United States No.1 Olivia Blatchford.

“I watched the match back this morning from last year and I think she took me by surprise,” said Massaro.

“I was one-nil up and quite far ahead in the second game when I watched it back, so it was a case of keeping my intensity really high when I did get a little bit of a lead and that’s what happened.

“Especially on that court, with it being so dead, if you go flat and your intensity drops then you can caught on your heels a little bit.

“One of my first coaches said to me when I was Hania’s age that the first time you play a top pro on the Tour, you can sometimes take them by surprise and a true reflection of your level is how well you do the second time.

“Youngsters can catch you out and play well and they deserve it, but you get the full respect of the player for the second time and I think that’s what Hania got today.

“She deserves my respect because of how well she played last time.”