Massaro Revenge For World Open Final Defeat
was able to extract small vengeance for her World Open final defeat
after beating Nicol David on day two of the World Series
Massaro became the second English player to cause a rankings upset at
Queen’s Club, following Jenny Duncalf’s defeat of world No.2 Raneem El
Weleily yesterday afternoon.
The first rally was a sign of things to come from both Massaro and the
world No.1, as neither player wasted any time in attacking all four
corners of the court. Massaro established a small lead early on, but
was soon pegged back by the Malaysian. The scores stayed level
throughout the first game until Massaro reached game-ball with David
just a point behind. A long, painstaking rally ensued as Massaro waited
patiently for the opportunity to attack. An error never game though and
it was the Englishwoman who made the mistake, allowing David the
tiebreak opportunity. Two winning shots from Massaro made up for this
however, as she closed out the first game.
A similar story unfolded in the second game, with nothing separating the
pair through to the midway point. David started to edge ahead at 8-5,
but a succession of uncharacteristic errors from the seven-time world
champion allowed Massaro back into the contest. A further tin from the
Malaysian offered up an unlikely match-ball for the world No.3 and a
reaction forehand volley drop winner completed the win for Massaro.
A beaming Laura told audiences after the match: “I feel I played well.
You have to play well against Nicol, otherwise you’re off court before
you know it. She’s just won her 7th world title, so she’s playing well
which makes winning today even more special, given our final last week.
She’s a great champion and she’ll definitely be back.
“I was just really focussed on what I needed to do to win the match
today. She’s beaten me quite comfortably in our last few matches. Even
though they’ve been quite hard, they’ve still been 3-0 or 3-1. So it’s
just a case of me trying to execute my game plan. I’ve beaten her
before so its not too much of a surprise when I’m in a winning situation
because I know that I can, but you don’t get yourself into those
situations unless you’re doing the right things.”
The first match of the day saw Natalie Grinham keep her
competition hopes alive by gaining her first win of the World Series
Finals, beating Annie Au of Hong Kong.
The world No.12 claimed a narrow first game on the tie-break, despite
her backhand length often getting her into difficulty. Au fought back
to 8-8 after an early deficit and forced the tiebreak with a more
consistent game-plan. The Dutchwoman’s experience paid off as she
closed out the first game, and seemed to have broken the Hong Kong
international’s resolve in the exchanges that followed.
Grinham’s retrieval was consummate, and she utilised a long backhand
drop that caused Au some serious problems. She proved too clever for
the younger player in the end, and keeps her World Series Finals
campaign alive to face Nicol David tomorrow’s last group stage day.
In Pool B, another surprise result saw 18-year-old Nour El Sherbini
claim another unfancied victory on English soil against compatriot
Raneem El Weleily. The opening exchanges were fairly even but
Sherbini refused to give in against the world No.2, and the familiarity
between the pair seemed to work more in the younger player’s advantage
as she closed out the first game.
The teen’s romp continued as she stormed to a 5-0 lead in the second
game, and all Weleily could do from there was to chip away at the
deficit. Sherbini looked fresh and sprightly around the court, and was
lightning quick in her retrieval of Weleily’s attacking efforts. The
older player, only 24-years-old herself, never settled into the
attacking rhythm for which she’s known, and a sublime backhand
crosscourt volley-drop from Sherbini ended the contest, leaving
Weleily’s chance of progression extremely slim.
Following two unlikely Pool B results yesterday, the two victorious
players Jenny Duncalf and Camille Serme were facing each
other on both the back of a promising end to 2012. Duncalf, who
defeated Weleily on day one, was unable to exert a similar performance
today, and admitted her disappointment at the way the match had gone. Serme’s
attacking play was efficient and precise throughout, crafting her points
well and working Duncalf around the court. Some excellent length
allowed her time on the tee to punish the loose return, and this was a
repeated strategy throughout her two-game win. Serme raced to a 7-0
lead in the second game with the Englishwoman cutting a dejected figure
on court, a stark contrast to her enthusiastic display yesterday
“You can’t leave the ball that loose against Camille,” she explained
afterwards. “She played really well and if you put it on her racket
like that then you’re going to lose. Tomorrow’s another day though and
hopefully a good result can see me through.”
Serme was pleased with the result after her win, but refused to
speculate about her progression to the semi-finals on Saturday. She
said: “I’m pleased with my performance today. I’ve been working on some
new things with my coach at home and it seems to have worked really well
“I’m very pleased, though we have had some other upsets today so I don’t
know yet about the semi-finals. If I make it though, of course I’ll be
Natalie Grinham (NED) bt Annie Au (HKG) 14-12, 11-4
Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Nicol David (MAS) 12-10, 11-9
Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11-8, 11-8
Camille Serme (FRA) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-7, 11-4
13:00 Nicol David (MAS) vs Natalie Grinham (NED)
13:45 Laura Massaro (ENG) vs Annie Au (HKG)
15:00 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) vs Camille Serme (FRA)
15:45 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) vs Jenny Duncalf (ENG)