Laura Lands Monte Carlo Jackpot
20 Dec 2008
England's Laura Lengthorn-Massaro recorded the best win of her career when she upset Australia's world No3 Rachael Grinham in the final of the Women's Monte Carlo Classic to clinch - for the first time - the $25,300 WISPA World Tour squash event in its 13th year at Stade Louis II in Monte Carlo in Monaco.
Despite leading in both games, top seed Grinham soon found herself 2/0 down as Lengthorn-Massaro, the second seed from Preston in Lancashire, looked set to cause a swift upset.
But the packed crowd at the Stade Louis II sports centre - including guest of honour His Serene Highness Prince Albert, a long-time squash enthusiast - were delighted as Grinham powered back to level the match, then move forward to seven-all in the decider.
However, Lengthorn-Massaro maintained her composure to win 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9 after 66 minutes, thus ending a seven-match losing streak to the Queenslander since their first clash in 2004.
Prince Albert, one of the International Olympic Committee members who will be evaluating the squash bid for a place on the Olympic Games programme in 2016, entered to present the Classic trophy, and commented how much he had enjoyed the match.
Runner-up Grinham was surprisingly upbeat: "When it finished I wasn't actually disappointed as I did play well. It wasn't that I could have played better. I was hitting well and getting a lot back. It was just a shame that I couldn't take at least one of the first two games as I was leading in both.
"I don't think that we could have had a better match for Prince Albert," added the former world number one.
The new champion was understandably all smiles: "I just wanted to play similarly to the way I did yesterday. It's easier said than done, but I just tried to play the best I could. I knew I would have to run as much as I could to get close to Rachael.
"This was a big win for me as I hadn't beaten any of the top three. I am now really looking forward to January!"
 Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (ENG) bt  Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9 (66m)