Defending Champion Massaro Marches On

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Last year’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open Champion Laura Massaro confirmed her place in the semi-final last night with a confident win over Madeline Perry.

In the second half of the split quarter-final draw, Massaro dispatched her British compatriot efficiently after some close mid-game rallies.  Six unanswered points at the midway stage of the first game gave Massaro the lead, but the experienced Irishwoman fought back in the second, challenging right up to the latter stages of the game before some clinical finishing from Massaro doubled her lead.

The contest looked over as the Englishwoman continued to amass a dominant six point lead at the start of the third, but Perry refocused, and with a stronger length and increase in pace she fought back to just a point behind the new World No.2.  She was unable to keep momentum however, as Massaro played some neat finishing touches to take the match and ensure her semi-final place.

“I felt it was really close in the middle of the games,” said Massaro. “I had to try and stay focused and managed to get a run of points at the end of the first two.

“I started the thurd really well, keeping it off her volley, but I think I relaxed a bit thinking it was almost over and she fought back really well. I had to scrap for it in the end so I’m really pleased to come away with a 3-0 win.”

In a rematch of last week’s Carol Weymuller Open final, Massaro will now play Raneem El Weleily who closed out last year’s U.S Open runner-up, Kasey Brown.

In a fast paced contest, El Weleily set about forging a lead with her typical Egyptian shot-playing style, but Brown’s retrieval rate kept her in the contest for much of the opening exchanges.  The Egyptian’s attacking play gave her the lead in after the first game, but a lapse in concentration saw an increased error-rate from the world No.3, with a number of tins allowed Brown to exert herself in a narrow tie-break victory.

Tied at one game all, El Weleily led for most of the game, until the relentless Brown fought from behind to earn game ball.  The Egyptian took the next three points in a row however to win the third, and similarly in fourth as, when it mattered, the Australian just couldn’t finish off the important points.

“That was just so up and down,” said a relieved El Weleily, “I could so easily have won or lost all of those games. She was playing well but I never think about what my opponent is doing, it’s always in my head and I sometimes think I’m fighting myself.

“It’s great to be in the semi-final, but now I need to clear my head and make sure I’m more consistent in the next match and not give away leads like I did tonight.”

 

Semi-finals:

17:00 (GMT-5) – [1] Nicol David (MAS) v [Q] Joelle King (NZL)

following on – [2] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v [4] Laura Massaro (ENG)

 

Quarter-finals:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Alison Waters (ENG)  11-5, 11-7, 11-9 (41m)

[Q] Joelle King (NZL) bt [3] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)  8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 8-11, 11-5 (42m)

[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) vs [5] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (44m)

[2] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) vs Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-8, 11-13, 12-10, 11-9 (47m)

 

Photographs courtesy of Squashsite: https://picasaweb.google.com/ussquashopen/12USOpenDaySEVEN

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Nicol David, Founder
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