World No.1 Laura Massaro flirted with elimination in the opening round of the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship after she overcame a one-game deficit against experienced Mexican Samantha Teran in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Massaro, who was returning to the country where she won the 2013 World Championship, looked off the pace in the early exchanges and went a game down after a tenacious display from Teran saw her overrun the tournament top seed. After falling 9-7 behind in game two, Massaro dug in and called on all of her mental strength to launch a spirited comeback to level things up and she followed that up by taking two further games to record a 9-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 triumph.
“In practice over the last few days, the court felt really bouncy but, when we got on there, it just seemed to be dead,” said Massaro, who will face Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa in the second round.
“In the first two games I was struggling with my length and leaving the ball short and she was picking me off. It was quite dead at the front so I wasn’t getting there quick enough. Maybe I was a little bit flat emotionally, in the first game particularly.
“In the second game, I had to get my body language up a little bit. I tried to use a bit more height on the front wall. I felt like I found my range, but I thought the ball also went a bit dead in the second game. It’s definitely something to learn from.”
Elsewhere, Egyptian shot-making sensation Raneem El Welily will join Massaro in round two courtesy of a devastating display against Tesni Evans which saw the World No.3 advance in straight games.
El Welily showcased some of her best squash against her Welsh opponent, who began well in the opening two games but ultimately succumbed to El Welily’s craft and even saw a strong serve punished with a sumptuous drop from the back of the court from El Welily in the second.
The World No.3 maintained an inch-perfect weight of shot throughout the encounter and forced Evans into a number of defensive positions to claim an 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 win in just 27-minutes to ensure that she will take on Joelle King in the last eight.
“It was tough mentally as it was the first match of the tournament,” said El Welily.
“I was very excited and very nervous at the same time. I’m happy that I managed to stay calm. I’m happy with the way I played today and I hope I can stay as focused in the next match.”
Malaysia’s Delia Arnold ensured that the home crowd went home happy after she saw off the challenge of Egyptian teenager Mariam Metwally to set up a second round showdown with Omneya Abdel Kawy.
Arnold took the lead in a closely contested match and, despite conceding the second game to her 19-year-old opponent, held firm to close out the win and seal a place in the second round of a World Championship for the first time in her career.
“This was the first time I have played her so I expected a tough match,” said Arnold.
“I think that I played well but I lost focus and she caught up. It’s good I won in four, though I can do better than getting through to the second round.”
Kawy dispatched England’s Emily Whitlock in three to advance, while United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy and Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb will line up against each other in the second round after respective wins over Megan Craig and Liu Tsz-Ling.
Results – First Round (Top Half): Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX) 3-1: 9-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)
Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 (27m)
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 (59m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (27m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [Q] Megan Craig (NZL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (23m)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [Q] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (24m)
Joelle King (NZL) bt [WC] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (38m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 (27m)
Draw – First Round (Bottom Half)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v [Q] Joey Chan (HKG)
[Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [Q] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
[Q] Coline Aumard (FRA) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
Dipika Pallikal (IND) v Annie Au (HKG)
Alison Waters (ENG) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) v  Nicol David (MAS)
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