Australia's Best and Brightest
DAN JENSON, 23, was born in Brisbane, Australia, and now splits his time between Adelaide and Reading in the UK. One of the most exciting new talents on the squash circuit, Dan became Australian No. 1 after reaching a career-best No. 5 in the Dunlop PSA world rankings in January 1999.
Dan turned pro in 1993,
fresh from the squash department of the South Australian Sports
Institute (SASI). It was in 1996 that he first made his mark amongst
the world's elite - his most notable early achieve-ment being a
3-1 victory over fellow Australian and world top 5 player Brett
Martin in the second round of the Hong Kong Open.
He came of age in 1997, carving his way through the field of the Austrian Open, beating No8 seed Derek Ryan, then circuit 'veteran' Pakistani Zarak Jahan Khan, and finally world No2 Rodney Eyles - to reach the final unseeded.
The British Open audience in Wales were the next to be mesmerised by the young Aussie: Again unseeded, Jenson first removed the fourth seed Simon Parke in straight games, and then contributed towards one of the event's greatest competitive encoun-ters of all-time - a titanic 108-minute battle against England top ten player Del Harris, in which he fought back from 2-1 down and saved two match-balls, before winning in five games.
Misfortune struck the amiable Jenson in the summer when a broken bone in his foot caused him to with-draw from the PSA Tour in July.
He made his comeback at the World Open in Malaysia in Novem-ber, but rounded off the year in style - partnering Liz Irving to win the Mixed event in the inaugural World Doubles Championships in Hong Kong, and with Craig Rowland reached the final of the Men's event.
In 1998 Jenson reached the last four of the British Open - in only his third appearance in the prestigious event. After beating Canada's Graham Ryding and Welshman David Evans, he lost a close-fought semi-final 15/9 15/8 10/15 15/10 to defending cham-pion Jansher Khan.
Injury again struck a cruel blow shortly after the British Open, when Dan celebrated his 23rd birthday in hospital in Adelaide, undergoing surgery on his left foot. The setback ruled him out of the Australian squad for the Commonwealth Games, where medals would surely have been in prospect.
He returned to the PSA Tour in late September, when he reached the last eight of the Al-Ahram Interna-tional in Egypt. A month later, he reached the quarter-finals of the US Open, where he fell to fellow Dunlop star Jonathon Power.
In March 1999, Jenson
joined Dunlop world champions Jonathon Power and Sarah Fitz-Gerald
in the 'Rest of the World' team which trounced England 3-0 in the
three-day Dunlop SRA Test series.