Massaro reaches last eight

Chorley star Laura Massaro
Chorley star Laura Massaro
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In the second round of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, world squash No.2 Laura Massaro extended her current unbeaten streak on the PSA World Tour to 12 matches.

It was plain sailing for the Chorley ace as she dispatched Egyptian challenger Heba El Torky 3-0.

Massaro has so far claimed back-to-back PSA World Series titles during the 2015/16 season, winning at the US. Open and Qatar Classic, and will be hoping to complete an impressive hat-trick this week during the 30th staging of the Hong Kong Open.

But she will face a stern challenge from her main title rivals Raneem El Welily, the world No.1, and Nicol David, the world No.3.

“I felt like the match was a bit scrappy at times today,” said Massaro, who took 34 minutes to complete the 11-9 11-5 14-12 win.

“The rallies were short and there was not much rhythm. It was tough to get through it but I’m really happy to have got a 3-0 win in the end.

“Coming home after winning in Qatar I had a few days off but then my mind was back on training and it wasn’t difficult to refocus on coming here to Hong Kong.

“I had a good two weeks at home which gave me plenty of time to get some good training in and I’m feeling good.

“This is a World Series event and as such carries a lot of emphasis – it’s very important and I’m fully focused on doing as well here as I can and performing to my best.

“It’s great to be in the quarters of another World Series tournament so hopefully I can perform well again.”

Massaro was facing Nouran Gohar in the last eight, while El Welily made her way into the quarter-finals after commanding against Low Wee Wern, with the Malaysian conceding the match at the end of the second game.

El Welily was up against sharpshooting American Amanda Sobhy for a place in the semi-finals, where she could line up against Massaro.

That could be a crucial match in the context of the world rankings with the victor of that potential bout almost guaranteed to hold the No.1 status come January 1.