Squash: Nicol wins World Open

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The Independent Online
PETER NICOL became the first Briton to win the World Open yesterday, when he beat the Egyptian Ahmed Barada, 15-9, 15-13, 15-11, in the final in Cairo.

The 26-year-old second seed took 65 minutes to dispatch Barada, seeded third, in front of 5,000 fanatical supporters at the open-air Al Ahram court.

The Scot, who lost in the 1997 final in Kuala Lumpur to Australia's Rodney Eyles and a year later in Qatar to Canadian Jonathon Power, thrived in the heat as his 22-year-old opponent, a former world junior champion, struggled from the start.

Barada's normally reliable forehand drop failed him and his feared midcourt volleying was defused by the straight, wide driving of the Scottish left- hander. Barada fought back from 1-4 to 11-7 in the second game but Nicol launched a devastating front-court counter-attack to get back to 14-11 in a single hand.

Nicol's coach, Neil Harvey, said: "He just loves to play Barada. He can prevent him from picking off volleys by playing everything close to the walls."

Michelle Martin beat Carol Owens, 9-5, 9-0, 10-9, in the all-Australian women's final.

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