Michelle Martin

Michelle Susan Martin, OAM[2] (born 29 April 1967) is an Australian former professional squash player who was one of the game's leading players in the 1990s. She was ranked number one in the world from 1993 to 1996 and again in 1998 and 1999, and won three World Open titles and six British Open titles.

Michelle Martin
Michelle Martin.jpg
Martin (left) during the World Masters 2012
Full nameMichelle Susan Martin
Born (1967-04-29) 29 April 1967 (age 54)
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Women's singles
Highest rankingNo. 1 (March 1993)
World OpenW (1993, 1994, 1995)
Last updated: 6 March 2010.

Biography and careerEdit

Martin was born on 29 April 1967 in Sydney, as the fourth of six children.[3][4] Her older brothers Brett and Rodney also went on to be top professional players.[5] Her parents, who had built the Engadine Squash Centre below their family home, introduced her to the game when she was three years old.[4][6] She would often play squash with her family after school, and at the age of eight, she came second in the state under-13s championship.[4] She moved with her family to Brisbane In 1980, and attended Everton Park State High School.[4][7]

She joined the Australian Institute of Sport's squash unit shortly after its establishment in 1985, and was part of the program for the rest of the 1980s; her coaches there included squash champions Geoff Hunt and Heather McKay.[4][5] After working in a bank, she began her professional squash career in 1987, competing in her first of six World Team Squash Championships in that year; she went on to participate in all of them during her career except the 1989 championship.[5][8]

In early 1990, she was considering giving up the sport due to lack of progress (her world ranking had been steady at No. 6 for some years), until her uncle Lionel Robberds began coaching her, providing her with a rigorous training program of running, gym work and physical drills. Her confidence in her game and world ranking began to increase. In late 1990, she met Phil Harte, who was to be her manager from then until 1992. Harte suggested that, rather than wearing the traditional shirt and skirt during squash games, she should wear a two-piece lycra suit because it was "something sexy" that would "shake up the squash world" and gain publicity for her in the process. She agreed to do so, which caused much controversy.[4] Her brother Rodney became her coach in 1998.[1]

She spent 44 months as the best women's squash player in the world from March 1993 to October 1996 before Cassie Jackman of England broke her dominance; she was also ranked number one in the world in 1998 and 1999.[1][6][9] She won three consecutive World Open championships from 1993 to 1995, and was a finalist in all the World Opens from 1992 to 1999 except 1996; she also won six consecutive British Opens from 1993 to 1998. She represented her country at the 1996 and 1999 Squash World Cups, and won gold medals in the sport at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in the women's singles and mixed doubles. She also won the Australian Open in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 1999. At the end of 1999 she announced her retirement, saying she had achieved all her goals in the sport.[5] She worked as a manager and coach of the Australian women's junior and senior teams from 2003 to 2010.[10]

World OpenEdit

Finals: 7 (3 titles, 4 runners-up)Edit

Outcome Year Location Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1992 Women's World Open Squash Championship Vancouver, Canada   Susan Devoy 9–4, 9–6, 9–4
Winner 1993 Women's World Open Squash Championship Johannesburg, South Africa   Liz Irving 9–2, 9–2, 9–1
Winner 1994 Women's World Open Squash Championship Saint Peter Port, Guernsey   Cassie Jackman 9–1, 9–0, 9–6
Winner 1995 Women's World Open Squash Championship Hong Kong   Sarah Fitz-Gerald 8–10, 9–2, 9–6, 9–3
Runner-up 1997 Women's World Open Squash Championship Sydney, Australia   Sarah Fitz-Gerald 9–5, 5–9, 6–9, 9–2, 9–3
Runner-up 1998 Women's World Open Squash Championship Stuttgart, Germany   Sarah Fitz-Gerald 10–8, 9–7, 2–9, 3–9, 10–9
Runner-up 1999 Women's World Open Squash Championship Seattle, United States   Cassie Campion 9–6, 9–7, 9–7

World Team ChampionshipsEdit

Finals: 6 (4 title, 2 runner-up)Edit

Outcome Year Location Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1987 Women's World Team Squash Championships Auckland, New Zealand   England 2-1
Runner-up 1990 Women's World Team Squash Championships Sydney, Australia   England 2-1
Winner 1992 Women's World Team Squash Championships Vancouver, Canada   New Zealand 2-1
Winner 1994 Women's World Team Squash Championships Saint Peter Port, Guernsey   England 3-0
Winner 1996 Women's World Team Squash Championships Petaling Jaya, Malaysia   England 2-1
Winner 1998 Women's World Team Squash Championships Stuttgart, Germany   England 3-0


Martin was inducted into the Australian Squash Hall of Fame in 1995 and was upgraded to Legend status in 2011; she was also inducted into the New South Wales Sports Hall of Champions in 1998, the Women's Squash Hall of Fame in 2000, and the Queensland Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.[5][10] She received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2013.[2][11] She was inducted into the World Squash Hall of Fame, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, and the Australian Institute of Sport "Best of the Best" in 2001.[5][10][12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Huxley, John (11 November 1998). "Our dynamic duopoly grinds out another year unchallenged". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 45. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Martin, Michelle Susan, OAM". It's an Honour. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Michelle Martin". Squash Australia. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f FitzSimons, Peter (14 November 1994). "There's no time for losing in Martin's place". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 43. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Michelle Martin". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b Berry, Eliot (9 December 1996). "Aussie Rules: For three years Sydney's Michelle Martin has been the queen of the court". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  7. ^ "School History". Everton Park State High School. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  8. ^ Lampp, Peter (11 March 1999). "Life low-key for squash No.1". Manawatu Standard. p. 20.
  9. ^ Gilmour, Rod (2 July 2009). "Malaysia's Nicol David unmatched as world's best squash player for third year". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  10. ^ a b c "Michelle Martin awarded an OAM". Squash Australia. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Martin, Michelle: Australian Sports Medal". It's an Honour. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  12. ^ "Best of the Best". Australian Institute of Sport. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Susan Devoy
Sarah Fitz-Gerald
World No. 1
May 1993 – October 1996
November 1998 – December 1999
Succeeded by
Sarah Fitz-Gerald
Cassie Jackman