Chorley’s Massaro into Hong Kong quarter-final

Laura Massaro on her way to victory (photo: PSA)
Laura Massaro on her way to victory (photo: PSA)

Squash world No.4 Laura Massaro came through a tricky tie with USA No.1 Olivia Blatchford to book her place in the last eight of the 2017 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, PSA World Series event.

The 34-year-old Chorley star had only dropped a solitary game against Blatchford in their four previous meetings.

But she was under the cosh for large periods of the match as the American attacked well and made life difficult for the former word No.1.

Massaro eventually triumphed 3-1, winning 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 in 42 
minutes.

With the scores tied at one game apiece, Blatchford held a game ball in the third.

But, on the next point, Massaro got a fortunate nick off the side wall when returning serve to level the scores.

And that point proved crucial as she moved on to take that game and the fourth to reach an eighth quarter-final in Hong Kong.

“The third game was really tight the whole way and then she had that game ball at 10-9,” said Preston-based 
Massaro.

“I was happy to be able to come off with that game. It was probably a little bit lucky if nothing else and I really tried to capitalise on that in the fourth game.

“We changed the ball after the second game and it was a little bit fast, so I tried to use that to my advantage a little bit more and use my 
power.

“I’ve been here a heck of a lot over the years, there have been some really good highs, such as getting to World No.1 here, but there have been some lows as well.

“Some of my best and worst memories are here, but it’s good to be back in the quarter-finals.”

Massaro will take on Welsh world No.16 Tesni Evans for a place in the semi-finals after Evans overcame Massaro’s compatriot Alison Waters.