Squash: Jansher makes it three in a row: Defeat for one Martin but success for another at British Open

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The Independent Online
JANSHER KHAN continued his campaign to become considered as one of the legends of the game by winning his third successive British Open title with a 9-1, 9-0, 9-10, 9-1 victory over Brett Martin, the second- seeded Australian, in a final of extraordinary contrasts here last night.

For two and a half games and almost half an hour, this looked like being one of the most embarrassingly one-sided finals the British Open has seen. Jansher, already five times the World Open champion and the hot favourite, overwhelmed Martin, playing in his first British Open final, with his relentless driving, meticulous accuracy, and often incredible retrieving.

It was not until 1-4 in the fourth game that Martin began to enter the fray, first of all with some splendid retrieving of his own, but then with his characteristic short backswing flicked drives and disguised volleys produced with the same preparation. For 15 minutes he had Jansher on the run and saved four match points.

In this vein, Martin is perhaps the most exciting player in the world. But it did not, perhaps could not, last. Martin's stamina ran out in the fourth game, and that lasted only five minutes. Jansher had completed his hat-trick of titles in the tournament which he once wondered whether he would ever win, but in which it is now hard to see him being beaten.

Earlier, Brett's younger sister, Michelle Martin, won the women's title, making it the first time a brother and sister had appeared in British Open finals. She triumphed 9-1, 9-5, 9-3 against her Australian compatriot, Liz Irving, thus completing the second successive British Open in which she had not dropped a game.

As in the World Open final in Johannesburg in September, Martin whenever possible tried to prevent the ball from crossing the short service line, taking it enterprisingly early, volleying forcefully and hurtling Irving around. Also, as at the World Open, Irving failed to do herself justice - the encounter lasted less than half an hour.

(Photograph omitted)

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