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Home Win For Massaro After Historic British Open Win
WSA Reports...

Home Win For Massaro After Historic British Open Win

 

Laura Massaro has become the first Englishwoman to win the Allam British Open title in 22 years after a superb performance to defeat top seed Nicol David

The 29-year-old from Preston saw the perfect start to British Open campaign, beating unseeded Joey Chan in the opening round, followed by a tricky four-game tie against Dipika Pallikal of India.  Massaro needed to another good performance to see off the challenge of Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy in the quarter-finals, before recovering from a game down to beat close rival Raneem El Weleily in yesterday’s semi. 

All the signs were pointing to another title win for Nicol David, as the world champion from Malaysia looked strong in her early round matches against Joshana Chinappa and Sarah Kippax.  In the quarters she dismissed Joelle King in straight games, and Alison Waters faired no better in the semi-final round as the seven-time world champion moved into the final yet to drop a game. 

Massaro, who defeated the world No.1 on her home-turf in the KL Open in March, got off to the best possible start in the final of this $90,000 World Series event.  She stormed to a five-point lead before David could register a response, and had her opponent retrieving into all four corners of the court.  

Volleying well and picking her moment to attack short, the Englishwoman closed out the first game, but David game back in the second with all guns blazing.  Her length extended, she caused problems for Massaro for the first time in the match, who struggled to gain time on the tee, pinned to the back of the court.  A 7-1 lead was soon converted by the Malaysian to draw level, which set up a nail-biting third game. 

Both players battled for the middle of court, hunting the volley to deny the other time.  The scores remained close throughout the game until David snuck ahead in the last few points.  Massaro salvaged three game balls however, and served to win the third game before winning the crucial point on a video review stroke. 

With the home favourite back in front, David refocused but was unable to launch a similar counter attack as she had in the second game.  Massaro, tactically astute all match, stayed with the higher seed during the early points, before pulling ahead to 7-3 with the crowd roaring their support.  David’s error count increased uncharacteristically as she searched for the winning points, and wasted a vital point by serving out to gift Massaro championship ball. 

The four-time British Open winner salvaged two points, but this was not to be her year as the packed audience celebrated witnessing the first home winner of the British Open since Lisa Opie in 1991.  An excellent tactical effort from Massaro sees the Englishwoman clinch the third World Series title and the twelfth of her career

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