Squash: Martin on march

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MICHELE MARTIN, the world No 1, needed to show her powers of recovery before reaching the semi- finals of the Leeks Classic at the Welsh National Sports Centre in Cardiff yesterday, writes Richard Eaton. The Australian was 10-13 down in the third game and 6-10 down in the fourth before winning 15-10, 9-15, 17-16, 15-11 against Suzanne Horner, of England.

Horner, despite having had a knee operation that threatened her career, was almost as effective as ever. She has adapted by being more willing to volley and to play the ball short, and started to turn the match her way half-way through the second game.

That happened after she produced a full-stretch back-wall boast coupled with a disguised forehand winner flicked to a length. It appeared to change the mood of the contest for a while and the Yorkshirewoman marched through the rest of that game and to within a point of the third at 16-16.

On that crucial rally Horner took a bigger chance than usual with a deep backhand drop which clipped the tin. 'I always seem to have hard matches with her and I just knew I had to hang on,' Martin said. Her recovery in the fourth game was helped by Horner's mistakes.

The other world No 1, Jansher Khan, also reached the semi-finals. The Pakistani won 12-15, 15-11,

15-13, 15-10 against the unseeded Australian, Rodney Eyles.