Squash: Massaro joins exclusive English club with British Open success

Laura Massaro became the first English woman in 58 years to win the British Open twice when she beat surprise finalist, Sarah-Jane Perry, her seventh-seeded compatriot, 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6 on Sunday.

It was Perry's first World Series final and by far the biggest final of her career, whereas the 33-year-old Massaro was a former British Open champion, a former world champion, a former world number one, and playing her fourth British Open final in five years.

The fifth-seeded Massaro had also beaten the two top Egyptians, the world number one Nour El Sherbini and the former world number one Raneem El Welily, and was the more consistent player, more often keeping the ball tight, and waiting more patiently before attempting attacking forays.

She was not though quite as comfortable as she looked.

"I tried to relax, or be as relaxed as I could be, but I was never one hundred percent comfortable," she admitted.

"Sarah-Jane has improved a lot this season, and she changes direction (of her shots) so much, so I'm thrilled to have won this again."

The value of Massaro's tighter, more disciplined game began to show half way through the first game, when it started to prevail over Perry's adventurous shot-making, starving the younger woman's dangerous backhand volley.

Perry also found it hard to get the ball past Massaro, who increasingly dominated the centre of the court, and in trying to escape these strictures the younger player sent a side-wall angle, a backhand drop, and a volley drop down, soon going three points down in the second game.

Perry tried to play out the rallies a little longer before attempting attacks, in an attempt to repair the deteriorating situation, but a straight drop from a deep position got Massaro to 9-6 and the second game was soon hers after that.

In the third however, Perry got herself into better positions before making her boldest attacks, and it enabled her to surge to 6-3, and then take three points in a row from 8-5, to extend the match to a fourth game.

These were the bold shots, the volleys, cross court flicks and tight drops which had overcame Nicol David, the legendary nine-year former world number one, in four games, in the semi-finals.

In the fourth game however Massaro also showed her capacity for absorbing pressure.

As the rallies began to lengthen again she had to search harder for ways to prise out the points.

She reached 7-4 with a wall clinger which Perry was unable to scrape successfully off, and 9-4 with a disguised backhand to a good length.

Soon after that she was celebrating her triumph with a little meditation.

Later Nick Matthew, the oldest British Open finalist since Hashim Khan in the 1950s, was trying to make it the first time since 1939 that there had been two British or English winners -- he is taking on Greg Gaultier, the former British Open winner from France.