11 POINTS WITH LAURA MASSARO
She’s looking forward to a successful week at the O2 Arena, and is also hoping to catch a glimpse of the darts on Thursday night!
Interview by ALAN THATCHER
1: Big week building up to the British Open. How did it feel going on the London Eye and then being on BBC TV on Saturday morning?
2: Is that a new squash dress you are wearing? If so, which company designed it? Any fashion surprises planned for the Open?
Yes, it’s a dress designed by Samurai Sports who are my clothing sponsors. They have done the design as a take on the St Georges flag.
3: How important is it for the players to have the British Open back on the calendar?
It’s huge! With such big names on that trophy it would be such an honour to win the title and everyone will be fighting for it. It’s a shame it’s not been on for the last couple of years but it’s great it’s back.
4: You beat Nicol David twice last year, in Singapore and Cleveland Classic. What do you remember most about the way you played on those occasions?
I know I played well and solid for most of the match. I moved well and I felt calm through the match. I executed my game plan as well as I could and I know I have to do that every time I play Nicol.
I think it’s the longest for point a rally. I did have a 102-minute match with Tania Bailey before we changed to PAR.
6: How much time do you spend with your coach, Phil Whitlock ?
When I’m at home I try to get to Colwyn Bay once a week and we speak on the phone regularly during events and while I;m at home.
It’s feeling much better. All my training and hard work has been done in the lead-up to the event and I’ve had to look after it for a few days but I’m hopeful it will be perfect for the tournament!
8: The women’s game is certainly looking strong at the moment. Who do you see as the up and coming players most likely to emerge and put pressure on the leading pack?
Yes, the tour is strong and there are some really talented young Egyptian players coming through. Nour El Tayeb and Nour El Sherbini are both great players, along with Amanda Sobhy from the U.S. The strength in depth is amazing at the moment and it’s also great to see them coming from all over the world. Like Dipika Pallikal from India and numerous girls from Hong Kong.
Obviously, Nicol David is strong favourite with her accuracy and speed. She’s always tough to beat but with my recent record against her I’m hoping to play well and see where that leads. I’ll take it one round at a time!
10: What do you see as your main strengths as a player?
I feel my strengths are in being an all-round solid player. I’m feeling fit and strong and so I’m hoping I can play to my potential.
I’m hoping I might be around the event still for the Premier league darts semi-final which is on at the O2 on Thursday night. I’d love to go! However, my husband will be with me and what ever we do it’ll be relaxing and enjoyable. London is an amazing city and I’m looking forward to spending some time there!