Squash: Marshall takes Jansher to limit: Champion needs four games to equal record for World Open titles

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The Independent Online
PETER MARSHALL became the first British man to reach a World Open final, but Jansher Khan equalled the record of six World Open titles by beating Marshall in four absorbing games yesterday. Khan beat Marshall 10-15, 15-11, 15-8, 15-5, but he needed an hour and 25 minutes to do it. Marshall gained much credit and renewed the belief that, with a little improvement, the final step may not be beyond him.

Marshall's ability to attack at the front with drops and good disguises was outstanding. It revealed a new dimension developing in his game and helped create doubt in Jansher's mind. 'I began to wonder what would happen if I lost the match,' said the title holder, who often says that while his family understands him, his country expects him to perform like a machine.

Had Marshall been able to sneak the second game a sensation would have been possible. In addition to the tension which Jansher was experiencing, he was also concerned about an ankle injury, which was firmly strapped and which caused him to announce to his entourage last Monday that he was going to pull out of the World Open.

'That was how I felt just two hours before we got on the plane to come here,' Jansher said. 'But my cousin Mehboob made me change my mind. He said I wouldn't get the record if I didn't play. I owe it partly to him.'

By the third game the ankle showed no signs of troubling him, and although Jansher was tiring Marshall was also slowing a little. This gave the champion opportunities to find openings and to start to trample all over his opponent.

'I didn't slow much but after that I couldn't stay with him,' Marshall said. 'I'll try to earn another chance and hope I can beat him then.'

Marshall gained this chance of glory by beating Scotland's Peter Nicol on Saturday. The score was 15-7, 13-15, 15-5, 15-3 and the encounter lasted more than an hour and a half. Marshall again showed much of his newly-created enterprise, developed from much practice during the summer. However, Nicol tired early, giving the impression that his sickness earlier in the week might have drained his resources.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 37