England's Peter Nicol will go in search of
a fairytale ending to his phenomenal 11-year run at the Brit Insurance Super
Series Squash Finals when the 2006 event gets underway at London's Broadgate
Arena on May 8th.
The 32-year-old world No7, who claimed a remarkable men's singles gold over
local favourite David Palmer at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne last
week, has hinted that this may be his last year on the PSA Tour. Victory in
what is likely to be his farewell appearance at Broadgate would see him
equal the great Jansher Khan's record of four Super Series Finals crowns - a
fitting end to one of the most remarkable careers in the history of the
Nicol has qualified for the prestigious Super Series Finals on a staggering
11 consecutive occasions since 1996. Only Jansher and Canada's Jonathon
Power, who retired from the game last month, come close to Nicol's record
with five and six appearances, respectively, apiece.
Nicol's first title coincided with the event's move to Broadgate in 1999
where he defeated Egyptian star Ahmed Barada in four games. England's Simon
Parke was his victim the following year before David Palmer, making his
debut in the event, became the third finalist to fall to the Englishman in
as many years.
It was Jonathon Power, back in 2003, who broke Nicol's 100% record of never
having lost a final at the event when, in a classic encounter between the
two adversaries, Power famously called set-1 with the scores level at
2-games all, 14-points all. The match went down as one of the finest of the
43 encounters played between the pair.
Nicol, who on Sunday added Commonwealth doubles gold to his remarkable
singles victory, is one of five medallists from the Melbourne Games to
feature in the line-up at this year's Finals. James Willstrop and Lee
Beachill both claimed medals for England - silver in the mixed doubles for
Willstrop and doubles gold and singles bronze for Beachill - whilst
Australians David Palmer and Anthony Ricketts gave the home crowd plenty to
cheer about with Ricketts claiming silver in the men's doubles and Palmer
taking silver in the singles and bronze in the men's doubles and mixed
England's Nick Matthew, who earned his place in the 2006 Brit Insurance
Super Series Finals following Power's sudden retirement last month, narrowly
missed out on a medal after falling to compatriot Lee Beachill in the
play-off for singles bronze.
The 2006 Commonwealth Games squash event was dominated by England and the
host nation, between them taking 13 of the 15 medals on offer.
The Brit Insurance Super Series Finals will take place in a
specially-constructed all-glass court at London's Broadgate Arena from 8th -
12th May. One of the richest events on the PSA calendar, the tournament
brings together the top eight point scorers from the 2005 PSA Super Series
Tour to compete in a grand final.
Also contesting this year's event will be France's Thierry Lincou, the world
No4, and Egyptian World Champion Amr Shabana, the world No3.