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Nicol progresses into last eight of squash singles


World No 1 and defending Commonwealth Games gold medallist Peter Nicol (ENG) progressed into the last eight of the Menís Singles with victory over world No 11 and ninth seed Anthony Ricketts (AUS).


Peter Nicol makes it to the quarter-final

Nicol strolled through the opening two games 9-5, 9-0, but Ricketts rallied in the third and clawed his way back into contention after taking a three-minute break for a minor hand injury.

Nicol eventually overturned a 5-8 deficit to win the third game 10-8 and head into Mondayís showdown with Canadaís Graham Ryding. The 16th seed and world No 28 came from a game down against world No 8 Oong Beng Hee (MAS) to win 3-9, 9-4, 9-2, 9-0 and register the biggest upset of the tournament so far. It marked a repeat of his second round win against the Malaysian in Kuala Lumpur four years ago.

Former England captain Chris Walker defied his seeding with a marathon 83- minute win over Scotlandís seventh seed Martin Heath. The 35-year-old 10th seed lost the opening game 3-9, but progressed to the quarter-finals 9-6, 7-9, 9-7, 9-1.

On Monday he meets the world No 3 David Palmer (AUS), who overpowered the brave Welshman Alex Gough in just under an hour in the last game of the session on show court one. Palmer won the opening game 9-6 and, despite Goughís valiant efforts, the Australian took the last two games 9-7, 9-6.

Womenís world No 1 Sarah Fitz-Gerald took just 17 minutes to coast into the last eight with a straightforward 9-2, 9-0, 9-2 victory over Malaysiaís 14th seed Sharon Wee.

New Zealandís Leilani Rorani, ranked four in the world, was pushed all the way by the plucky 18-year-old Malaysian Nicol David, but progressed to the quarter-finals with a hard-earned 9-5, 8-10, 9-5, 9-2 success. The result capped a miserable day for Malaysia with the three surviving singles representatives now out of the tournament.

Australiaís eighth seed Rachael Grinham played for the first time, after byes through the opening two rounds, and won through a potentially tricky encounter with Scotlandís Pamela Nimmo 9-4, 9-3, 9-4.

Stephanie Brind (ENG) and Wendy Maitland (SCO) met in the last game of the session, with Bexleyheath-based Brind winning a nail-biter 9-5, 2-9, 7-9, 9-0, 9-0.

Info News Service/ndp/sdb

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