England’s Laura Massaro has been named the PSA Women’s Player of the Month for June after her victory at last month’s PSA Dubai World Series Finals, while Scotland’s Greg Lobban made it a British double after coming back from injury to take two titles on the Men’s Tour.
Massaro, the World No.4 from Preston, became only the second woman after Malaysian superstar Nicol David to capture two World Series Finals crowns after she beat reigning World Champion Nour El Sherbini with a dominant final display.
The 33-year-old qualified top of Group B after wins over David and compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry, with a defeat to El Sherbini in a best-of-three games format on day three of the tournament the only blot on a successful group stage for the Englishwoman
In the semi-final stage, Massaro was forced to overturn two match balls against World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar to earn her place in a third successive final, where she was pitted against El Sherbini once more.
The final reverted back to the usual best-of-five format used in all other tournaments on the PSA World Tour, but Massaro only needed three games to achieve an impressive victory over the World No.1 to prevail in Dubai yet again.
Men’s World Series Finals winner Mohamed ElShorbagy was narrowly pipped to the Men’s Player of the Month award by Lobban after the Edinburgh-based 24-year-old claimed his first Tour titles since his seven-month injury break.
A torn hamstring had kept Lobban out of action from October 2016 to May this year and, after lifting the Stortford Classic crown shortly after his return, Lobban went one better in June after claiming two titles at the NZ International Classic and Invercargill Open.
Lobban played some scintillating squash to take the NZ International Classic crown without dropping a single game, beating India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar in the final, before keeping his red hot form going in Invercargill as he felled top seed Ivan Yuen to capture the title.
Lobban’s run came to an end in the final of the XL Open less than two weeks ago after a defeat to home favourite Campbell Grayson, but his impressive month saw his World Ranking increase by 23 places up to World No.44 – marking the first time he has been ranked inside the world’s top 50 since February.