World No.1 Laura Massaro flirted with elimination in the opening round of the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship after she overcame a one-game deficit against experienced Mexican Samantha Teran in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Massaro, who was returning to the country where she won the 2013 World Championship, looked off the pace in the early exchanges and fell a game behind after a tenacious display from Teran saw her overrun the tournament top seed.
Teran began the second game where she left off and surged into a 6-2 lead and maintained a slender advantage at 9-7 up. However, Massaro called on all of her fighting spirit to claw the game back and her momentum continued into a comfortable third game as the Lancastrian took the lead for the first time in the encounter.
Having finally round her range, Massaro dominated the court in game four to claim a hard-fought 9-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 triumph and set up a meeting with Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa in the next stage.
“In practice over the last few days, the court felt really bouncy but, when we got on there, it just seemed to be dead,” said Massaro.
“In the first two games I was struggling with my length and leaving the ball short and she was picking me off. It was quite dead at the front so I wasn’t getting there quick enough. Maybe I was a little bit flat emotionally, in the first game particularly.
“In the second game, I had to get my body language up a little bit. I tried to use a bit more height on the front wall. I felt like I found my range, but I thought the ball also went a bit dead in the second game. It’s definitely something to learn from.
“I did think if I went 2-0 down then I would still back myself to win but it would have been an absolute mountain in the first round of a World Championship. Maybe it helped me relax a bit because I was still confident in myself and maybe the thought that I could win if I went 2-0 down took a bit of pressure off me. I just tried to dig in and make it hard for her.
“I think we [her and Chinappa] played around this time last year at the British Open. I won 3-1 and she’s obviously playing well. I will have to start how I finished today if I want to keep on progressing in this tournament. Samantha played really well but that level is not going to get me far in this event so I will have to be better next time.”
Result – First Round: Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX) 3-1: 9-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)
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