Squash: Nicol wakes up from his early nightmare

PETER NICOL, the world No 1 from Scotland, struggled to defeat Amr Shabana of Egypt in four games in the first round of the Hong Kong Open yesterday.

Nicol lost the first game before adopting a "safety first" stance and advancing 14-15, 15-12, 15-12, 15-7.

The Scotsman, who won the British Open in April before squash shut down for four months, is a notoriously slow starter and always has trouble against fellow left-handers like the unseeded Shabana.

"I dodged a bullet out there," he said. "I find it hard playing against left-handers and had difficulty seeing the ball on that court. It was an absolute nightmare.

"I have been trying to be more aggressive, but I had to play it safe because I could not see the ball properly."

The world champion Rodney Eyles, of Australia, seeded fourth, also stuttered at the start before finding his rhythm against the qualifier Nicholas Taylor of England.

Eyles reached the second round with a 15-17, 15-11, 15-11, 15-7 win. Kent's Paul Johnson beat the Welsh champion, David Evans, 15-11, 15-12, 16-17, 15-13 to set up a second-round showdown with the Scotsman, Martin Heath, while Wales' Alex Gough beat Belgium's Stefan Casteleyn 15-13, 15-12, 15-5.

The sport's most successful player this decade, Pakistan's Jansher Khan, will be bidding for a century of titles when he begins his defence of the title today with a match against his namesake Faheem Khan of Hong Kong.

Jansher, who has won the title a record eight times, will be playing his first tournament since undergoing operations on both knees in April.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'