LAURA Massaro has competed at some impressive venues across the world but they do not come much grander than the setting for the Tournament of Champions.
Under the chandeliers of the Vanderbilt Hall and in front of thousands of passing commuters, Massaro will be in action at the unusual setting of Grand Central Station in New York.
The world number two from Chorley begins her campaign at one of the world’s busiest train stations later today against a qualifier - and she’ll be hoping not to hit the buffers.
While the competitions - the first world series event of the season - has been a major part of the men’s calendar, it is the first time it has been a WSA Gold event.
It means the top women’s players have turned up including world number Nicole David, a player Massaro is seeded to meet in the final.
As usual, the British Open champion is looking to take each game at time - while also taking in the plush surroundings.
“As venues go it is one of the more unusual but it is fantastic opportunity to showcase squash as so many people will get to watch it,” said the former Albany High School pupil.
“I have competed in this event before but not for a while as it has never been one of the top events on the women’s circuit. But now it is a Gold event it is great to be back.”
Victory for Massaro would see her set up a second round clash with either Australian Kasey Brown of Austalia or sixth seed Joelle King from New Zealand on Wednesday.
“It is the first event of the season so anything can happen,” added Massaro, who will also compete in the Cleveland Classic while in America. “But I will be just taking it one round at a time and try and get as far as I can in the tournament.”