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Laura Massaro

Defending Champion Massaro Hungry for More British Open Glory

Defending Allam British Open women’s champion Laura Massaro is hungry for more success on home soil when the tournament takes place May 15-20 at Hull’s Airco Arena.

Massaro defeated compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry in last year’s final to become the first Englishwoman since Janet Morgan in 1951 to lift the iconic title twice and the 34-year-old is eager to show that she can still compete with the world’s best at next week’s tournament.

“It would mean the world to win the title again,” said the two-time tournament winner, who faces a qualifier in round one.

“It means you are still there competing with the best in the world. There are only a handful of players on tour who have won a British Open and it’s a special thing to have achieved. I would love to lift the trophy at home again!”

Former World No.1 Massaro has a strong affiliation with the British Open having won it in 2012 for the first time in her career when she defeated Malaysian icon Nicol David and the Lancastrian said that the tournament holds special memories for her.

“It’s up there for me with the World Champs. Especially for the British players, it’s so prestigious and it was an honour to win it.

“I remember being so proud in 2012. Especially beating Nicol in the final. To win a huge event like that at home with family and friends there makes it even more special.

“It made it more special because she very rarely lost back then. No one thought I would win but I knew I believed in myself. It was a huge win and even bigger to do it in a final as well.”

Last year was a triumphant one for England squash as a whole with two English female players battling it out for the title – the first time that had happened since 1991 – and Massaro was pleased to see her compatriots performing well on home turf.

“It was actually really hard to play SJ in the final. Normally I’ve been used to having the whole crowd behind me but with two English players in the final it had a different feel to it.

“Obviously, I wanted to win for me, but it was a huge achievement for England squash to have two of us in the final.”

Massaro will face a qualifier in round one at Hull’s Airco Arena in a tantalizing line-up of English talent on Tuesday May 15 with Nick Matthew and James Willstrop also in action during the evening session.

Qualifying for the tournament takes place from May 13-14 at the University of Hull Sports and Fitness Centre, while the main draw will take place at the Airco Arena between May 15-20, with the exception of 23 of the 32 first round matches on May 15, which will be staged at the university.

Matches held on the glass court at the Airco Arena will be shown on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only) while the semi-finals and finals will be shown live on mainstream broadcast channels around the world, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.

Follow the 2018 British Open at www.allambritishopen.com and on Twitter: @BritOpenSquash

Tickets for the tournament can be purchased via Ticketmaster

Draw – Allam British Open Women’s Round One
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[Qualifier] v [16] Salma Hany (EGY)
[9] Alison Waters (ENG) v Joey Chan (HKG)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [13] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
[12] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v Amanda Sobhy (USA)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [11] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[15] Donna Urquhart (AUS) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Qualifier] v [6] Camille Serme (FRA)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
[Qualifier] v [10] Annie Au (HKG)
[14] Victoria Lust (ENG) v [WC] Fiona Moverley (ENG)
[Qualifier] v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)