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The 2001 British Open
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Open 2002 - Men's Top Guns
By Ron Beck © 2002 last updated on: April 11, 2002 14:40
The 2002 Edition of the British
Open, being played next week in London and Manchester is shaping up to
be a landmark event but for whose career?
There are four
one time titleholders in the draw: Jonathon Power, Peter Nicol, David
Palmer, and David Evans of these only David Evans is not viewed
as having a realistic chance to take the crown. Then there are three hot
players who have high ambitions here: Lee Beachill, Stewart Boswell, and
Chris Walker (last year's finalist).
Here are the top
Power (#3): Power, the Canadian virtuoso with a racket, has
been the hottest player on tour since mid January. Power, who
game seems to fluctuate and evolve in unpredictable patterns,
is currently on an impressive positive upswing. On the aging plastic
USA show court in New York, he dismembered his opposition, totally
outpointing Nicol there. He then followed that up with an even
more impressive showing in Pakistan last week. He has all the
momentum coming into the British. He only needs to fight against
his own demons he had an unexplainable early exit against
Del Harris in last year's edition of this event.
Nicol (#2): Nicol, the earnest hardworking Scotsman, has displayed
large chinks in his armor of invincibility in recent months. After
successive wins over Power in Toronto in November (in an exciting
five games) and in Boston (in a dominatingly quick three games)
Nicol was crowned by the media. But he proceeded to fall short
against Lee Beachill in the British Nationals and then to Power
at both New York in January and Pakistan in March. On each of
these three occasions, Nicol appeared to tire and seemed unwilling
or unable to sustain his necessary approach of consistency.
Profile and stats
Palmer (#2):David Palmer, who held the World #1 position for
last winter and spring, continues to bring his brash and highly
confident game on court. Palmer has enjoyed strong success against
most of the top players in recent months, except Power and Nicol.
Peter Nicol, in fact, immedately sent Palmer the message that
his tenure at the top would be contested, after Nicol spanked
Palmer in Egypt soon after Palmer had ascended to the top. Palmer
potential matches up with Power in this year's semi final. The
clashes between these two big men have been punctuated by physical
contact, usually initiated by Palmer.
Boswell (#5): Boswell, the rapidly emerging Australian star,
has given strong signals in recent months that he is ready to
fulfill his predicted potential of pushing toward the top of the
charts. Boswell has given every top player fits in recent encounters;
and reached the finals in the Nov 2001 YMG Classic in Toronto.
Boswell however sits in the "Killer Eighth" of the draw,
with both highly talented Joe Kneipp and experienced Scotsman
Martin Heath potentially standing in his way of reaching the quarters.
Boswell brings an exciting, brash attacking style of play onto
the court but meshes that with a mature calm demeanor.
Beachill (#10): Beachill, the heralded squasher from the north
of England, in February staked an impressive claim to the elite
top five by shocking Peter Nicol in the British Nationals that
Nicol had confidently announced he would be taking away from Beachill.
Beachill continues to display uneven tournament performances,
and consequently only enjoys a #10 world ranking, well below his
talent levels. Beachill presents a potentially large obstacle
to Power on his route to the semi-finals. If Beachill should get
past Power, we predict that Beachill would take Palmer in the
White (#6): Playing under the Scottish Flag, John White has
skirted the edge of the top for the past three years. His best
win was in Antwerp over a year ago, and he reached a career best
#3 that he briefly held in January of this year. White makes excellent
use of his height,volleying frequently to keep his opponents under
pressure. His impressive quickness and agility make his opponents
think before moving him up front once they have done so,
White counters with an excellent short game and an unreadable