Squash: Jackman brought to earth

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The Independent Online
MARTINE Le Moignan's hopes of ending her career at the top of the women's game improved when she reached the final of the Leekes Classic on the same day that the new world No 1, Michelle Martin, was beaten at the Welsh National Sports Centre in Cardiff.

The former world champion from Guernsey overcame the world junior champion from Norfolk, Cassie Jackman, 17-15, 8-15, 15-13, 15-9 after saving three game balls in the first game and recovering from 7-11 in the third.

Le Moignan should now close in on the top position after Martin's defeat. Martin, in her first tournament as No 1 since the end of the eight-year unbroken run of the New Zealander Susan Devoy, lost the other semi-final in five games to her fellow Australian and practice partner, Liz Irving.

Le Moignan pinned Jackman to the back with fierce drives and volleys, and tried to make quick winners at the front on those vital points in the third game. Jackman responded to those big points a little sluggishly, but there was a suspicion she was still hampered by the Achilles injury that almost saw her eliminated on the opening day.

Michelle Martin's older brother, Rodney Martin, the former world champion, also lost, in straight games to his fellow Australian, Chris Dittmar, the world No 2 who plays the world No 1, Jansher Khan, in today's final. Her eldest brother, Brett, was also beaten - but that was expected. He was defeated in straight games by Jansher, whose 15-11, 15-8, 15-5 victory was sufficiently comfortable for him to feel he could admit that at the age of 24 he was now 'too old' to train for seven hours a day as he once did.

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