Chorley squash star Laura Massaro has been tipped for glory at the National Squash Championshipsby England coach David Campion.
The Manchester competition starts today and will end on Sunday with three-time winner Massaro, 33, the favourite to retain her crown. World No.5 Massaro returns in fine form, having reached the final of the Tournament of Champions where she lost to Camille Serme, of France, 13-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7.
Campion believes she is the favourite to win the trophy for a fourth time but he also singled out Sarah-Jane Perry and second seed Alison Waters as potential winners.
He said: “The women’s draw just looks a bit more open this year than it has done previously.
“In terms of results against top 10 players, Sarah-Jane has really improved and brought herself into the world top eight for the first time.
“Having beaten players such as Nicol David, Raneem El Welily and Camille Serme, she’s had four or five results against the world’s best.
“Alison Waters has got huge experience – she’s a four-time winner at this event.
“If she gets the opportunity she knows how to take her chances. They’re obviously the top three favourites and based on current form, I imagine the winner is going to come from one of those three.“
“But closely behind that you’ve got World No.15 Emily Whitlock, who is capable of an upset, Tesni Evans and Victoria Lust and Jenny Duncalf has won the event twice. These are all top 16 players and they’re capable of getting a result.”