LAURA Massaro’s World Championship bid ended in the third round after she suffered a surprise defeat to Hong Kong’s Annie Au.

The East Lancashire squash star, who won the title in 2013, was beaten 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 in 33 minutes in Chicago.

The two players had met 13 times on the PSA Tour previously, with Massaro taking nine of those victories, including the last four.

However, 12th seed Au came out firing to reverse her fortunes against the Englishwoman and secure her place in the quarter-finals for the first time in her career.

The Hong Kong player started strongly and utilised her game plan to full effect to trouble former World No.1 Massaro. Au held six game balls in the first game, before Massaro fought back, however, Au maintained her composure to close out the first game.

From then on, 30-year-old Au continued to remain in control to claim the win.

She said: “Laura is a really experienced and determined player, so I needed to stay concentrated throughout the whole match. If I lost my concentration, then I knew that she would fight back and give me a hard time.”

Massaro, who was seeded seventh for the tournament, had recorded comfortable victories in the opening two rounds.

She defeated New Zealand’s Amanda Landers-Murphy 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 in the opening round before sweeping aside France’s Coline Aumard in round two, winning 11-6, 11-2, 11-9.