Massaro Boasts Biggest Final of Career in Cleveland

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Semi-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Annie Au (HKG) 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (28m)
[8] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [4] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5 (52m)

A second upset in 24 hours in the Women’s Cleveland WISPA Classic has taken England’s Laura Massaro into the biggest Tour final of her career in the first WISPA World Tour Gold squash event of the year at Cleveland Racquet Club in Cleveland in the US state of Ohio.

The eighth seed from Preston made her breakthrough in the quarter-finals where she despatched world No2 Jenny Duncalf in straight games in the first win over her England team-mate in almost five years.

In the semi-finals, Massaro faced Madeline Perry, the No4 seed from Ireland who won their two most recent encounters in 2010.

“Massaro appeared full of confidence as she looked to beat a second higher ranked opponent in two days,” reported Cleveland Racquet Club Squash Director Nathan Dugan. “Massaro played with great patience and accuracy up the left wall, which prevented Madeline Perry from using her trade mark backhand volleys to any real effect.”

Perry took the third game to reduce the deficit – but the 27-year-old English woman reclaimed the upper hand to forge an 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5 victory after 52 minutes.

Massaro will now face firm favourite Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia playing in her first Tour event of the New Year after completing 2010 unbeaten.

David overpowered Asian rival Annie Au, a qualifier from Hong Kong, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 in 28 minutes.

Nicol David had been a little subdued as the tournament started but tonight she certainly came out with the eye of the tiger,” explained Dugan. “She raced into a 10-2 lead in the first game with opponent, Annie Au, unable to penetrate David’s defences.”

While Massaro is celebrating the 15th WISPA Tour final of her career. 27-year-old David is marking her 66th.

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