England International Laura Massaro has come of age. At 27 years old it seems that she has found the extra gear that will take her near the top of the rankings.
Massaro has been a permanent member of the top ten since the summer of 2008. She had a solid year in 2010, although for the first half there were no stand out results.
In January she got on the wrong end of matches with Raneem El Weleily, at the Greenwich Open and the Burning River Classic. Not the start to the year she would have been hoping for.
In Malaysia at the KL Open in March, Massaro had another set back to her 2010 ambitions. After gaining revenge over El Weleily in the first round, she led compatriot Jenny Duncalf two games to one and was up match ball in the fourth when she rolled her ankle. She couldn't continue and would be out of the game for four months.
Massaro returned to the tour in July, although again lost an epic to El Weleily back in Malaysia.
She followed this with quarter final appearances at both the Australian and Hong Kong Open.
October saw Massaro make her first appearance in the Commonwealth Games, the most important tournament in the squash calendar. She reached the quarter final in the singles, losing to eventual champion Nicol David. The doubles proved to be a great success, as she achieved a silver medal with partner Duncalf, eventually losing to Kiwi pair Joelle King and Jaclyn Hawkes in the final.
Her first tour final of the year came later in the month at the Carol Weymuller Open in New York. Once again she played El Weleily in the quarter final and gaining revenge for a second time. The semi final marked her first big win of the year, overcoming Rachel Grinham, coming from two games down. Duncalf was her conqueror in the final.
Massaro was again part of the England team for the World Team Championships in New Zealand. She pulled out a come from behind win in the deciding rubber against Joelle King to help England reach the final. Australia proved too much in the end, Massaro unable to stop a red hot Kasey Brown.
December saw Massaro pick up her seventh career title in Egypt. She justified her top billing at the Sharm El Sheikh Open, getting the better of El Weleily in the final, their sixth meeting of 2010.
She ended the year on a high and this got the ball rolling for what has been an incredible start to 2011.
Her biggest tournament win came in January at the Cleveland Open. She beat El Waleily, Duncalf and Perry to reach the final before scoring her biggest win of all time and ending Nicol David's 14 month unbeaten run in the climax. Her eight tour title.
Massaro continued this form back over the pond at the British National Championships. Riding on a wave of confidence, she held her nerve in the decider to beat Duncalf for her first National title.
If she can continue this form in 2011 then she may become the one to beat.
2010 tour win-loss record: 20-11
Career titles: 8