Massaro In Half Century British Open Bid
3 April 2014
World No2 Laura Massaro bids to become the first
Englishwoman for more than 50 years to defend the world's most
prestigious squash title when she takes on Hong Kong's Joey
Chan in the first round of the Allam British Open in
Hull next month.
The Women's Squash Association World Series Platinum
championship will take place at The Sports Arena in the
East Yorkshire city of Hull from 13-18, following qualifying and
first round action at the University of Hull Sports and
"The strength and depth in the women's draw is really tough,"
said Massaro after Wednesday's draw at the University of Hull.
"I've actually got the same first round draw that I had last
year - so I don't know if that's a good or a bad omen," added
the No2 seed who aims to become the first English player since
Janet Morgan in 1959 to retain the title.
It was in the final in Hull last year that the Lancashire lass
produced one of the biggest wins of her career to depose
defending champion Nicol David, the world No1 from
Malaysia, to become the first English winner of the title since
Massaro went on to ensure a place in squash history last month
when she won the WSA World Championship in Malaysia -
becoming the first Englishwoman to hold both the British Open
and World titles.
"It's a really prestigious event and for all the British players
it's a great opportunity to play in front of a home crowd, which
is something we don't get to do very often," explained the
30-year-old from Preston at the British Open draw.
"I guess now I need to stop celebrating my World Open win and
start focusing on this, now it's become real!"
Second seed Massaro will be making her 11th successive
appearance in the main draw of the championship when she takes
on world No25 Chan in the opening round. The Hong Kong number
one Annie Au is her likely second round opponent, before
a predicted clash with Irish champion Madeline Perry in
A repeat of her World Championship semi against Egypt's world
No3 Raneem El Welily is the anticipated semi-final in the
lower half of the draw, before a showdown with top seed David in
a repeat of the 2013 final.
seeded to win the title for a fifth time since 2005, begins her
12th successive British Open campaign against a qualifier before
an anticipated second round meeting with rapidly-rising English
player Sarah-Jane Perry.
After a possible clash with French number one Camille Serme,
the No6 seed, in the quarter-finals, it is fourth seed Joelle
King - the new world No4 from New Zealand - who is David's
predicted opponent in the semi-finals.
This will be the third year that the British Open has been
supported by title sponsor Dr Allam who, in a bid to
ultimately offer equal prize money for men and women, has
increased the prize fund for the 2014 women's draw to $100,000.
am very pleased to be able to support women's squash," said Dr
Allam (pictured on the right with Massaro and compatriot
James Willstrop at the draw). "I am committed to
ensuring the increase of the women's prize money in both
practical and financial terms. After all, female squash players
play the best of five games the same as their male counterparts.
"I am very happy to be bringing this important event back to
East Yorkshire and I look forward to seeing some great squash on
display in May."
1st round draw:
For all the latest WSA Tour news:
 Nicol David (MAS) v Qualifier
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Line Hansen (DEN)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v Qualifier
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) v Qualifier
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Joshana Chinappa (IND)
 Joelle King (NZL) v Qualifier
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Qualifier
 Kasey Brown (AUS) v [WC] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Emma Beddoes (ENG)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Qualifier
 Madeline Perry (IRL) v Nicolette Fernandes
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Sarah Kippax (ENG)
 Annie Au (HKG) v Qualifier
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v Joey Chan (HKG)