Laura Massaro ‘proud to be British’ and looking to defend her PSA Dubai World Series Finals title
DUBAI // Returning to Dubai as the defending World Series Finals champion, Laura Massaro has not had the greatest of starts to her trip, waking up on Sunday morning to news of the terrorist attacks in London.
Two weeks earlier, she was at home in Preston when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Manchester, less than 30 miles away, killing 23 people.
Those two attacks have certainly come as a jolt for the 33-year-old Englishwoman, but Massaro is proud of how her country has come together in these difficult times, rejecting hate and spreading the message of love through memorials like Sunday night’s One Love Manchester music concert.
■ Laura Massaro: Defending champ prepared for ‘high quality’ contest in Dubai
“I was home when the Manchester attacks happened and then obviously woke up to the news yesterday [Sunday] morning,” said Massaro. “It’s just really sad, but at the same time I also feel proud of the way that everyone at home is pulling together, particularly Manchester. It’s just 30 miles from my home.
“It’s sad times with what’s going on around the world generally, but to see that so close to home, in Manchester and London, it’s really hard. But it makes me proud to be British to see how everyone is coming together and staying strong.
“The One Love Manchester musical festival that was on last night, all my social media feeds were just filled with how amazing it was and how everyone came together to show love instead of hate at this time.”
Proud of her compatriots back home, Massaro is also proud of her success here in Dubai 12 months ago, when she defeated Egyptian Raneem El Welily in the final to win the women’s title. The world No 4, who will start her defence against Malaysian superstar Nicole David at the Dubai Opera, is now hoping she can get her name inscribed on the trophy for a second year running.
“I can’t actually believe how quickly a year has gone from this time last year,” said Massaro, who comes here as the reigning British Open champion, having defeated compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry in the final in March.
“Last year, obviously, I hadn’t won this title before, so it’s was really nice to get your name on the trophy. If I can do that two years, two times, put my name on the trophy, then brilliant. Will be really special to add it again for another year.
“I can’t get too far ahead though. I will just go into the group matches trying to play my best and see where it takes me because this year has been the most unique season I’ve ever played in.
“It’s really competitive, the women’s tour at the moment. All the World Series events were split between different winners [four different winners in five events] and different finalist almost. So, yeah, it’s just gonna be who puts it together for the week and who can perform the most consistently will be the one that gets the trophy at the end.”
■ 3pm: Raneem el Welily (EGY) vs Nouran Gohar (EGY)
■ 3.45m: Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) vs Nick Matthew (ENG)
■ 4.45m: Camille Serme (FRA) vs Alison Waters (ENG)
■ 5.30m: Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) vs Simon Rosner (GER)
■ 9.30m: Laura Massaro (ENG) vs Nicol David (MAS)
■ 10.15m: Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) vs James Willstrop (ENG)
■ 11.15m: Nour El Sherbini (EGY) vs Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
■ Midnight: Gregory Gaultier (FRA) vs Ali Farag (EGY)
For tickets visit https://worldseriesfinals.com/
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport
Updated: June 5, 2017 04:00 AM