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Top seeds Nicol David and Laura Massaro To Meet in Finals

Top seeds Nicol David and Laura Massaro will meet in the finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after claiming hard fought victories in their semifinal matches.

There may have been subzero temperatures on the sidewalks of New York City but inside Grand Central Terminal in New York City the heat was on…in the glass squash court in Vanderbilt Hall.  Four of the five top-ranking Women’s Squash Association (WSA) players were on court to fight for the right to compete for the championship title.

First match on was world #2 Laura Massaro of England against fifth seed Camille Serme. Going into the match, Massaro said she actually felt like the underdog; despite being ranker higher than her opponent, Massaro had lost to Serme three of the last four times they had played. After her quarterfinal victory over Madeline Perry, Serme said she was indeed feeling confident going into the semis.

Massaro came out of the starting gates on fire, winning the first game 11-5. Consistently hitting tight rails and good depth, Massaro was able to control the T and attack every opening that came her way.  “A video of that game should be watched by anyone who wants to understand how to construct a winning point,” said former British national coach David Pearson after the match. “That was the single best game I have ever seen Laura play.” The game was closer than the score would indicate as each player retrieved and attacked and was loathe to give even an inch to her opponent.

Serme was on fire in the second game, jumping out to 6-0 lead, winning the game 11-3. This time it was Serme who maintained her position in the front court, using short front corner attacking shots and high lobs to force Massaro to scramble and retrieve.

The third game was an early seesaw battle with the lead exchanging hands several times until Massaro broke it open at 8-6, winning the game 11-6.  The fourth game was up for grabs. Serme took the early lead at 4-0, and maintained it through to 7-5. Massaro reasserted herself by finding the length on the rails and her position at the front of the T. At nine all, Serme hit a tin and then Massaro hit a serve that nicked out at the back of the court.

“I just really wanted to be able to enjoy being on court.  My goal was to be relaxed and use the whole court,” said Massaro of her match mindset. “I am excited to be in the finals; finals day is always a big occasion, but especially here in NYC where the crowds are so great.”

In the evening’s second match, world #1 Nicol David defeated fourth seed Alison Waters in three hard   fought and closely contested games. “It was pretty close all the way,” said David after the match. “I had to put the pressure on with good depth.  I really found the front corners of the court today as well.  After two rounds of play on the glass court, I always see the ball better.”

[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt. [5] Camille Serme (FRA) 11-5,3-11,11-6,11-9  63 mins

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt. [4] Alison Waters (ENG)11-8,11-8, 12-10  45 mins

Schedule of Play, Friday, January 24, 2013

6:00 PM Finals

[1] Nicol David (MAS) v. [2] Laura Massaro (ENG)