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22 Jul 2024

Double World Champion Massaro Excited To Defend Title In Cairo

13 Dec 2014

Just days after adding a world team title to the individual world crown she won for the first time in March, England's Laura Massaro is 'excited' to be heading to Egypt this week to defend her title in the Wadi Degla Women's World Squash Championship in Cairo.

Backed by Wadi Degla Holding and boasting a USD $150,000 prize-fund, the premier Women's Squash Association (WSA) event will take place at the Wadi Degla club in Cairo from 15-20 December, following three days' of qualifying. The 30th edition of the tournament will be staged in Egypt for only the second time since the inaugural event in 1979.

Massaro clinched the 2013 title in March this year after beating unseeded Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in the final in Penang, Malaysia. El Sherbini, then aged 18 and ranked 27 in the world, shocked world number one Nicol David in the previous round - denying the home favourite a record eighth title.

Only last week Massaro became a rare holder of two world titles when she led England to success in the SHOP.CA WSF World Team Championship in Canada.

"I'm really looking forward to the event in Cairo," said the world No.2 on the eve of her departure to Egypt. "Not everyone gets to go into a World Championship to defend their title so I am looking forward to having that experience.

"I have some good memories of playing in Egypt and I am excited to head back there.

"We had a great week in Niagara last week and it meant so much to finally get a gold medal in the teams event," added the 31-year-old from Preston. "I hope I can capitalise on my form there and play well this week in Cairo."

Massaro, the second seed, will face a qualifier in the opening round before a predicted clash with top seed Nicol David in the final.

Boasting 48 courts, Wadi Degla is the biggest chain of squash clubs in Egypt - and one of the biggest groups of sporting clubs in the world, with a combined membership worldwide in excess of 500,000.

1st round draw:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v Qualifier
[13] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Qualifier
[16] Emma Beddoes (ENG) v Qualifier
[6] Camille Serme (FRA) v Qualifier
[7] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
[12] Madeline Perry (IRL) v Joshana Chinappa (IND)
[10] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v Sarah Kippax (ENG)
[4] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Habiba Mohamed Ahmed (EGY)
[14] Dipika Pallikal (IND) v Qualifier
[11] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Qualifier
[8] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v Mayar Hany Mohamed (EGY)
[5] Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier
[15] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Joey Chan (HKG)
[9] Annie Au (HKG) v Line Hansen (DEN)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Qualifier