Squash: Happy Horner

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(First Edition)

SUZANNE HORNER, runner-up in the last three British national championships, firmly signalled her intention to go one better in the English national championships in the next three days when she overwhelmed Senga Macfie, one of the surprises of the World Championships this season, with dramatic suddenness at Manchester yesterday, writes Richard Eaton.

Macfie survived only 18 minutes against Horner, twice a former member of English world title-winning squads. Horner, who missed much of last season after a knee operation, was told by those close to her that she might never be the same player again. However there looked little wrong with her mobility and motivation as she reached the quarter-finals.

Macfie, seeded in the nine-16 category, ran spiritedly and tried to urge herself to higher levels of performance by slapping herself in the face, butting her head on the wall and using her racket like an axe on the floor. But the outcome was a 9-2, 9-1, 9-0 defeat.

Lucy Soutter, who was three times a member of English world title-winning sides, was beaten. This was not a surprise, for the 25-year-old former British national champion now spends most of her time coaching at the Roehampton club, and has not played a tournament for nine months. She lost 9-5, 9-4, 9-7 defeat to Rebecca Macree.

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