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Massaro willing the ball into the nick

WSF: Massaro Motors Into Final Of World Series Finals

England’s Laura Massaro gained revenge for her defeat at the hands of Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in the final of last month’s World Championship by downing the 20-year-old 2-0 to move into the final of the PSA Dubai World Series Finals earlier today.

The opening game of the encounter treated the capacity crowd inside the purpose built structure adjacent to the Burj Khalifa to 17 minutes of high quality squash between the pair, who are each at the very top of their game’s right now. Predictably they matched each other point-for-point throughout a series of intense rallies, going all the way to 8-8 before Massaro opened up a gap to hold two games balls.

Massaro, a World Series Finals runner-up in 2012, looked to have squandered it as El Sherbini came back to force a tie-break but a tentative forehand error, with the court begging, gave the initiative back to Massaro and she pushed through to seal it with a sweetly struck backhand kill.

In the second El Sherbini dropped off the pace in the early stages and Massaro pounced, upping her intensity level and really driving the match to the Egyptian and she stood firm to come through 11-6 after 31 minutes to move into the title-decider.

“I’m feeling pretty good. It was a tough battle through the middle of both games, and after the World Championship, where I was 2-0 up, it was quite heartbreaking, but on the plus side in the best-of-three I knew I could go 2-0 up again,” said Massaro.

“I’m happy with the way I played, I feel like I put some really good work in since the World Championship and it’s always nice to turn the result over.

“I know what it’s like to win a World Championship so I’m sure Nour hasn’t been hitting many squash balls over the last couple of weeks, so I was just happy with the performance today.

“After the European Championships I had a couple of tough weeks of training to try and come here and do well and it’s another final this season which is great. It’s always good to be playing for a major title and I’m really pleased with my performance.

“I just tried to keep the intensity high and put some pressure on her and I think physically it paid dividends in the end.

“It’s a truly world-class event and, for the women to have equal prize money to the men is phenomenal and really setting the bar for squash and the rest of the world to follow. It’s a real privilege to play here.”

[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-0: 12-10, 11-6 (31m)

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