LAURA Massaro is not interested in records or revenge missions as she begins her National Squash Championship campaign today.
The world number two from Chorley was denied an historic three wins in a row last year after losing in an epic final against Alison Waters at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.
The pair are scheduled to meet in Sunday’s final but Massaro’s mantra has always been to take one game at a time – starting against qualifier Carrie Ramsey this evening.
“I’m not really interested in revenge missions as such but I do want to win a third national title,” said the two-time champion.
“You always want to win as many titles as possible but my aim is to try and get as far as I can in the championships.
“I am seeded one but it is a tough draw because there are so many good British girls.
“But as I have always said, I just take each game at a time and will treat Carrie with the respect she deserves.”
Massaro’s hopes of becoming the first person since Cassie Campion to win three in a row were denied by Waters who won a thrilling 78-minute five game marathon.
While she was disappointed not to join Campion in the record books, Massaro was happy to have just reached the final.
“You never like to lose but I went in to the nationals suffering from injury and illness,” she said. “So I was pleased to get to the final and push Alison all the way.”
Massaro goes into the championship having played back-to-back tournaments in America – including the Tournament of Champions at the iconic Grand Central Station in New York.
“That is probably the best venue I have played at,” said the 30-year-old. “It was amazing. It is such an iconic building and to play there in front of thousands of people was an honour and a privilege.”
Massaro reached the final, losing out to world number one Nicol David before suffering a surprise defeat to Annie Au in the Cleveland Classic.
“The defeat to Annie was down to a clash of styles rather than a lack of form and that is something I will address if and when we meet again,” said Massaro.
“But I was happy with my performance in New York all the way up to final.”
It's not just Laura Massaro who is competing in Manchester this week, her brother Chris Lengthorn, right, and husband and coach Danny Massaro are also in action.
The latter lost in the third qualifying round in the main event yesterday but will be in action again today in the Over 35s Veterans.
Lengthorn, head coach at the National Squash Centre, lost his first round qualifier.