RESULTS: Penang CIMB Women's World
Squash Championship, Penang, Malaysia
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9 (68m)
England's Laura Massaro Wins Women's World
World number two Laura Massaro
fought off a courageous attack by teenage Egyptian giant-killer
Nour El Sherbini in today's final of the Penang CIMB
Women's World Squash Championship in Malaysia to become the
first Englishwoman to win the world title for 15 years.
The 30-year-old from Preston's place in
squash history is also assured as the first Englishwoman to hold
both the British Open and World Championship
titles simultaneously. Furthermore, following compatriot Nick
Matthew's triumph in the men's championship in November,
England can now boast both men's and women's world squash
champions for the first time.
Massaro came into the climax of the
Women's Squash Association (WSA) event at the SPICE Arena
in Penang as the strong favourite after unseeded El
Sherbini stunned Malaysian superstar Nicol David, the
world No1 from Penang, in the semi-finals.
But the Lancashire lass (pictured above
in action with El Sherbini) had to work extra hard before
overcoming a resilient El Sherbini 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9,
with the final point coming from a stroke.
Both players started on a nervous note,
testing the court - but it was Massaro who managed to steal
ahead to put herself in a comfortable position.
El Sherbini, the three-time world junior
champion from Alexandria and the youngest player ever to reach
the world final, bounced back to take the second game in style.
Massaro then went on to take the third,
only for Sherbini to come back firing in the fourth, including
taking seven straight points as the match went to a fifth game
The young Egyptian had the early advantage
in the decider, holding 4-0 and 6-2 leads - but the experienced
Massaro demonstrated her fighting spirit and determination to
pull level at eight-all.
She then had the advantage at 10-9, before
finally earning the championship point as El Sherbini conceded a
The triumph makes Massaro only the third
Englishwoman to lift the world title - since Martine le
Moignan in 1989 and Cassie Jackman in 1999.
"To be honest I was really nervous,"
admitted the jubilant champion after the match. "I've never
really felt this nervous even though I made the final of the
2012 worlds. It was probably because I didn't want the
opportunity to slip away.
"I think knowing that I had to play
Sherbini instead of Nicol in the final threw me off my game and
it made me a lot more nervous because it was a really good
opportunity for me.
"But it's been a really amazing win - and
it's massive to have both the World and British Open titles.
"As for celebrations, unfortunately I have
an early flight out so it'll just be dinner with the team and
probably a few days off when I get back home," added Massaro.
Meanwhile El Sherbini, who was thrilled
just to be in the final, admitted that she was just as nervous
and had too many things running through her mind before the
"It's just so close isn't it? But I was
just too nervous. I was thinking a lot before the match and I
just didn't have that focus," said the teenager who missed out
on the opportunity to become the only player in history to hold
both the junior and senior world titles simultaneously.
WSA President Kasey Brown was
delighted with the first staging of the Association's premier
championship in Penang: "The final was a fitting climax to the
event," said the world No14 from Australia. "High-quality and
entertaining squash in front of a packed and vocal crowd, which
entirely reflects the work of the organizing committee.
"With only a couple of months to prepare,
Thomas Chan and his team have done an amazing job. Not only did
they do Penang and Malaysia proud, they also left an impression
on all the players that will not be forgotten anytime soon."
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