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Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK

Nicol in Power play

By Clive Lindsay
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

Peter Nicol and Jonathon Power will do battle once more after the McEnroe and Borg of world squash reached the Commonwealth Games singles final.

Power, of Canada, had to dig deep into his reserves to defeat Australian Stewart Boswell 7-9 9-2 9-1 5-9 9-0.

Nicol, meanwhile, avenged his June reverse at the hands of another Aussie, David Palmer, to march impressively into Wednesday's shootout for gold.

"If I'm fresh I should have a good chance"
Peter Nicol

The Scot now representing England had to battle back from behind in the first game before coming out on top 9-7 9-1 9-5.

Power had to recover from an even more serious situation after losing a first game in which he showed several bursts of temper against let calls from the judges.

He composed himself to swiftly reel off the next two games as world number four Boswell visibly wilted in the stifling heat of the National Squash Centre.

The Australian summoned his reserves to level at 2-2, but Power showed he had the edge in class to easily kill the game.

It was Power's fourth victory in a row over the Australian and came a day after Boswell's 24th birthday.

Power will now aim to make it three tournament wins in a row against Nicol, although England's world number one convincingly won their last meeting.

That came in a league match in France after which Power realized he had to train harder if he was to stop Nicol retaining the Commonwealth Games title he won four years ago for Scotland.

Power is seen as the more naturally talented but more volatile of the two, the comparisons with former tennis star John McEnroe not simply being down to the towelling headbands.

Nicol's 15-14 career lead over Power is down to an efficient approach more akin to Bjorn Borg and includes the five-game victory in Kuala Lumpur that won him the gold medal.

Nicol had dismissed his recent defeat by world number three Palmer as the result of his Games preparations.

Normal service was resumed on Tuesday.

"I knew I had to frustrate him," said Nicol. "He is a big guy and it is really hot out there, so I think he began to tire."


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