Laura Massaro suffers shock defeat in squash World Championships in Chicago

Laura Massaro pictured in third-round action against Hong Kong's Annie Au (photo: PSA)
Laura Massaro pictured in third-round action against Hong Kong's Annie Au (photo: PSA)

Chorley squash ace Laura Massaro suffered a surprise defeat to Hong Kong’s Annie Au in the third round of the 2018-19 PSA World Championships, presented by the Walter Family, in Chicago

The two players had met 13 times on the PSA Tour previously, with 2013 
world champion Massaro taking nine of those 
victories, including the last four.

However, Au came out firing to reverse her fortunes against the Englishwoman and secure her place in the quarter-finals at the PSA World Championships for the first time in her career.

The Hong Kong player started strongly and utilised her game-plan to telling effect to trouble former world No.1 Massaro.

Au held six game balls in the first game, before Massaro – who is known for her tough mental resilience – fought back.

However, Au maintained her composure to close out the first game.

From then on, 30-year-old Au continued to remain in control throughout the 33-minute battle to run out an 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 winner.

“I’m feeling really good after today’s performance,” said Au following her big win.

“Laura is a really experienced and determined player, so I needed to stay concentrated throughout the whole match. If I lost my concentration, then I knew that she would fight back and give me a hard time.”

Elsewhere, defending champion Raneem El Welily and world No.8 Nouran Gohar will go head-to-head for a third successive tournament after respective wins against English duo Alison Waters and Victoria Lust.

El Welily, the current world No.1, overcame Waters by an 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 scoreline.