England's World No.2 Laura Massaro sent out a strong message to her title rivals at the PSA Dubai World Series Finals as she saw off the challenge of powerful young Egyptian Nouran Gohar in just 30 minutes in her opening encounter at the lucrative season-ending tournament.
At 32, 14 years Gohar's senior, Massaro utilised all of her experience and steely determination as she countered Gohar's relentless hard-hitting style, playing with fluidity and control that will give her a confidence boost after a series of disappointing results in recent months.
After winning the U.S. Open and Qatar Classic, prior to becoming World No.1 in January, Massaro has failed to capture another title but with a lucrative $160,000 purse up for grabs, she'll be hoping to end the campaign on a high and her performance against Gohar, which included withstanding a tense fightback and tie-break in the second, will serve to bolster her confidence.
“If it wasn't for Nour El Sherbini, she [Gohar] would be breaking records all over the place – to be that mature at that age is really special,” said Massaro.
“I was breathing a sigh of relief when she hit the out line during the closing stages of the second game. She's so lethal if you give her too much space but we've played each other a lot over the past year so I know her game quite well and was able to read her a little better because of that.
“I love it here. As a squash player, your life revolves around training and food and, if I'm on holiday, the only thing I'm bothered about is the food, so it's brilliant to come here and experience everything in Dubai. It's great.”
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt  Nouran Gohar (EGY) 2-0: 11-7, 13-11 (33m)