September 14 , 1998 19:02PM

SQUASH - AUSTRALIA AND ENGLAND BATTLE IN SEMIFINALS
 
By Zaiful Mohd Ariffin & Zabidi Osman

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- The women's singles semifinals of the 16th Commonwealth Games squash competition here tomorrow are expected to be a thrilling affair involving the world's top four players.

It also will be a battle between Australia and England, who will have players represented in both matches.World number one Sarah Fitz-Gerald of Australia will meet third seeded Cassie Jackman of England in the first semifinal while world number two Michelle Martin of Australia has a date with England's Sue Wright, the world number four, in the other match.

"It would be a great match. I played Michelle (Martin) many times before and the last time we met, I lost 2-3 in the British Open semifinals," said Wright after her quarterfinal victory today against Leilani Joyce of New Zealand.

Wright, who won 9-2, 9-6, 4-9, 1-9, 9-0, said she is looking forward to play against Martin in the semis and she hopes she will be victorious this time.

Martin qualified for the semis after easily beating another England player Linda Charman 9-1, 9-1, 9-4. "I like playing against Michelle (Martin). As I'm already assured of a medal, there'll be less pressure on me," Martin said.

Wright also said the Commonwealth Games will be a different challenge from the international circuit tournaments. Two time world champion Fitz-Gerald booked her place in the semis after beating fifth seed Suzanne Horner of England 9-3, 9-1, 9-4 while world number three Jackman thrashed sixth seed Carol Owens of Australia 10-8, 9-2, 9-1.

Jackman beat Fitz-Gerald 3-0 in the Seattle Open in United States in June this year. "The victory may give her a slight advantage to play me, but I am ready to take her on," said the 31-year-old Australian. -- BERNAMA

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