Squash: World Open draw sets target for British men

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The Independent Online
THE possibility of the first British man reaching the final of the World Open since it began in 1976 was created by yesterday's draw for the tournament, which starts in Barcelona the week after next, writes Richard Eaton.

Peter Nicol, the Scottish champion who beat the second-seeded Brett Martin in the Portuguese Open in March, has a probable quarter-final with the Australian again - and the winner could play the Englishman, Peter Marshall, who is seeded third.

Nicol, seeded seven, remains the most improved young player on the circuit, despite his first-round British Open defeat in April, and a semi-final meeting with Marshall, to whom he lost a magnificent British National final last season, would attract great attention.

The other British national champion, Suzanne Horner, climbs one place to No 2 in the women's world rankings, the highest place she has occupied.

England's Simon Parke bowed out of the Hong Kong Open in the quarter-finals yesterday after giving the top seed, Jansher Khan, a scare. The world No 14 kept Jansher, chasing a sixth Hong Kong title, on court for 56 minutes before going down 15-7, 15-8, 9-15, 15-7.

It had all looked straightforward for the Pakistani as he took the opening game in 16 minutes and roared 11-1 ahead in the second with some brilliant strokeplay. But, to his credit, Parke refused to concede without a fight.

The Pakistani now meets Marshall, who came through in four games against the unseeded South African, Craig Wapnick.