One of the longest running rivalries on the Women’s Tour was re-ignited in thrilling fashion during the second day of the PSA Dubai World Series Finals as Chorley’s Laura Massaro saw off Nicol David 11-7 8-11 11-7.
Under the shadow of the Burj Khalifa, the duo produced a performance that more than lived up to the ferocity of their rivalry.
David’s speed and athleticism battled for supremacy with Massaro’s unrelenting mental strength and ever-improving court craft through 49 minutes of top-class action.
Massaro enjoyed the better of proceedings in the opening game.
But she was forced on to the back foot in the second as David battled back from 4-6 down to take five straight points en route to levelling the match.
The third then saw both players increase the intensity further, with the knowledge that victory would almost assure them a place in the semi-finals.
And it was David who took the first exchanges to open up a 6-3 lead.
But in a complete reversal of the second game, it was Massaro who mounted the charge to take six straight points before taking the match 11-7 8-11 11-7.
“Anyone who thinks best-of-threes aren’t hard should come out here and play with one of us, because that was really tough,” said Massaro.
“Because you know there only are three games I think the intensity is higher and every rally counts, so mentally you are a little different.
“In the third game all I was thinking was that I didn’t want to have to play tomorrow knowing that I needed to do something ridiculous to go through the pool.
“So I’m really happy with the end result and to come through.”
The PSA Dubai World Series Finals is the season-ending climax to the both the men’s and women’s PSA World Series tours.
It features the world’s best eight qualified players as they battle it out for the last title of the season.
Players compete for Road To Dubai ranking points at each PSA World Series tournament in a bid to earn one of the coveted eight berths and a chance to compete in one of the sport’s most lucrative events.
The PSA Dubai World Series Finals brings eight players together in two groups of four, with players playing a round-robin, best-of-three series, for a place in the knockout semi-finals and beyond.
Top seed Massaro plays eighth seed Amanda Sobhy of the USA on Friday in her final round-robin match.