Squash: Jansher nears the big prize

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The Independent Online
JANSHER KHAN moved closer to completing the best year of his career with one of the best pay days of his life when he beat Rodney Martin to reach the final of the Qatar International here yesterday, Richard Eaton writes from Doha.

The world champion from Pakistan beat the former world champion from Australia 13-15, 15-12, 15-5, 15-3 and will earn dollars 21,325 ( pounds 13,700), the richest first prize outside the World Open, if he wins a repeat of the world final against Chris Dittmar today.

Jansher, who has secured the World and British Open titles and the World No 1 ranking in 1992, nevertheless begins the new year knowing that a half-fit Martin may still have the ability to beat him. For half an hour the third seed attacked brilliantly and was not far from a two-game lead.

'He thinks that by keeping you on court he will win,' Martin said. 'I think I showed that if you attack and get on top of him he is vulnerable.' Martin, who went into a depression after losing his world title in September, hopes to recoup the lost training before the British Open in April. His compatriot, Dittmar, ended the sensational run of the qualifier Julien Bonetat, the first Frenchman to reach a major semi-final.

Meanwhile a last-ditch attempt to avoid a boycott of the English National Championships by the top 20 men was being discussed with the Squash Rackets Association in London yesterday. A compromise solution is possible today.