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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Nicol escapes upset at World Open
Peter Nicol in action
Nicol's extraordinary athleticism helped him progress
Peter Nicol, playing his final ever pro tournament, was within one point of defeat in his first round match at the World Open in Egypt on Friday.

The former world champion was 4-9 down in the final game and match point down at 9-10 before winning 11-4 5-11 11-9 9-11 12-10 against Graham Ryding.

Nicol said: "He played better than I did and I was often just hanging on. He played very well throughout."

Fourth seed James Willstrop pulled out before his first-round match.

Willstrop was due to face unseeded Egyptian Ramy Ashour in Cairo but was forced to withdraw from the event.

But fellow Englishmen Nick Matthew and Lee Beachill progressed with wins over Alex Gough and Borja Golan.

Third seed Thierry Lincou of France beat Alister Walker.

Anthony Ricketts, the British Open and Super Series champion from Australia, survived to beat the Egyptian wild card player, Omar Mosaad by 11-7 11-5 10-11 11-3, though he did get a penalty point awarded against him for a gesture to the referee.

Ricketts claimed he was merely blowing a kiss to spectators in the front row.

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