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Netball - 24. January 2014.

Top Seeds David & Massaro Make Tournament of Champions Final


RESULTS: Women's JP Morgan Tournament of Champions, New York, USA


[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [4] Alison Waters (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 (45m)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [5] Camille Serme (FRA) 11-5, 3-11, 11-6, 11-9 (63m)

Top Seeds David & Massaro Make Tournament of Champions Final

The top two seeds will contest the final of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after Malaysian favourite Nicol David and England's world No2 Laura Massaro survived testing women's semi-finals of the Women's Squash Association (WSA) Gold event at Grand Central Terminal in New York.

There may have been sub-zero temperatures on the sidewalks of New York City but inside Grand Central Terminal in New York City the heat was on - in the all-glass squash court in Vanderbilt Hall, where four of the five top-ranking WSA players battled for the privilege of competing for the coveted ToC title.

First match was Massaro against fifth seed Camille Serme. Going into the match, Massaro said she actually felt like the underdog: despite being ranked higher than her opponent, Massaro had lost to the French player three of the last four times they had played. And, after her quarter-final 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 shots and good depth, the 30-year-old from Preston in Lancashire 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 England 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.

It was Serme that was on fire in the second game, jumping out to 6-0 lead before winning the game 11-3. The 24-year-old from Creteil, near Paris, 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 was up for grabs. Serme took the early lead at 4-0, and maintained it through to 7-5. Massaro reasserted herself to regain the lead. At nine-all, Serme hit a tin and then Massaro delivered a serve at match-ball that died in the nick 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, now in the 27th WSA Tour final of her career. "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 No1 Nicol David defeated Alison Waters, the fourth seed from England, in three hard-fought and closely-contested games.

"It was pretty close all the way," said David after the 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 victory which takes the 30-year-old from Penang into her seventh WSA World Tour final in a row - and the 91st of her career.

"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."

The final will mark David and Massaro's 25th WSA Tour meeting since their first in 2005 - and their second in a row on US soil. Massaro is the only player to boast five wins over the Malaysian superstar - the most recent famously being in last year's British Open final in May.

Official event website: www.tocsquash.com

For all the latest WSA Tour news: wsaworldtour.com
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