World number one Peter Nicol will be taking a leap into the unknown when he faces Egypt's Amr Shabana at the start of his quest for the Cathay Pacific Squash Open title tonight. Top-seed Nicol, searching for his first Hong Kong Open victory this week, has never faced Shabana and will therefore be taking nothing for granted when he faces his skilful North African opponent tonight. 'Egypt has produced a whole bunch of very good players in the past few years so you can't be too careful,' the talented Scot said. 'They've got a good junior development programme and some good players coming through.' Nicol's centre-court clash with Shabana at the Hong Kong Squash Centre is one of several highlights of the first-round action. Australian fourth seed and world champion Rodney Eyles today faces qualifier Nicholas Taylor of England. Defending champion Jansher Khan, playing in his first tournament since knee surgery, takes on Hong Kong's Faheem Khan tomorrow.