Harris battles into final

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The Independent Online

Del Harris has become the second Englishman in succession to reach the World Open final. He beat the unseeded Australian Craig Rowland 10-15 15-13 15-4 15-8 in the semi-final last night and will face Jansher Khan, the defending champion, today.

Harris, 26, took 77 minutes to overcome Rowland at the Eleftheria Arena in Nicosia. Jansher beat Anthony Hill, the eighth seed, 15-7 15-12 15- 6 in 44 minutes.

Harris made a confident start but then suffered from a combination of sharp rallying and accurate dropping by his opponent and erratic calls on the penalty stroke by the referee. From 10-10 he lost the advantage in a single hand to stand a game down in his first World Open semi-final.

A rally for 12-10 in the second game, which lasted 50 strokes or more and ended with a perfect forehand drop for Harris, seemed to turn the match. Harris won the game in two hands from there and took the third game in less than 15 minutes, relinquishing service only three times and forcing the young Australian into a series of errors.

In the fourth game, Harris breezed to a 6-0 lead and produced a series of incisive shots into spaces left by an increasingly dispirited opponent.

Harris admitted that although he felt rested from his 87-minute quarter- final victory over Brett Martin, he lacked real leg power at the start of last night's match. "The ball seemed a bit heavy too. I couldn't find a proper length with my drives," he said.