Squash: Le Moignan courts revival: English challenge for British Open

MARTINE Le Moignan has a chance to make up for the humiliations of her traumatic season by winning the Hi- Tec British Open, which starts at Lambs Club in London today continues tomorrow, and moves to Wembley for the last four days.

Le Moignan was blamed for the defeat that ended England's world title defence in Vancouver in October, and then deleted from the English rankings for declining to play in the national championships. Yet she has responded by recovering the world No 2 position and making herself one of the front-runners for the circuit's most famous title. 'I have some points to prove. If I could win this or the World Open and retire this year, it would be a great way to finish,' the 30-year-old Guernsey left-hander said.

Le Moignan or Cassie Jackman, the third-seeded English national champion, or even the former national champion, Sue Wright, could become the second home women's winner in 30 years. But the slight favourites must be the two Australians, Michelle Martin, the world No 1, and the fourth-seeded Liz Irving. Another English player, Peter Marshall, could cause a ripple in the men's event. The Leicestershire double-hander may give problems to his projected quarter-final opponent, Chris Dittmar, the Australian world No 2, who has courageously continued despite being second best for much of the past 10 years. He would probably be the most popular winner, but as firm a favourite as ever will be Jansher Khan, who has decided to defend the title even though he temporarily returned home to be with his mother, who was seriously ill.

Perhaps more likely to cause a surprise is another Australian, Rodney Martin, the former world champion. If he does, he and his sister, Michelle, could create a unique family double.

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