World number one Peter Nicol pulled off one of the greatest escapes of his career last night, saving six match points to defeat Englishman Paul Johnson in a marathon Cathay Pacific Squash Open quarter-final battle. The 25-year-old Scot appeared to be dead and buried after trailing Johnson 14-10 in the fifth game of an absorbing tussle. But he displayed the mental resilience and doggedness that is quickly becoming his trademark to claw his way back from the brink and win 15-13, 11-15, 9-15, 15-6, 17-16. 'It was a frustrating game,' Nicol said. 'In the end, I just relaxed and ran around a bit and it seemed to work. 'I wasn't seeing the ball very well again ... maybe I need to go to the opticians to have my eyes checked. 'When it was 7-9 in the fifth, I thought I could take him, but he always seemed to come up with a couple of winners. 'I never really thought I was going to win ... I wasn't nearly positive enough.' Johnson was able to remain positive despite the cruel nature of his defeat. The difference between winning and losing, he said, was all mental. 'His mental toughness is incredible. When I was up in the last game he really made me win every point . . . his defence is very difficult to break down. Maybe I saw the finishing post too early,' Johnson said. 'But I can't get too downhearted about tonight. He's the world number one and I'm the world number eight . . . there are a lot of positives I can take from this performance. Nicol now plays reigning World Open champion and fourth seed Rodney Eyles, who defeated Welsh fifth seed Alex Gough 15-8, 15-11, 14-15, 15-12, to move into the semi-finals. In other matches, Canadian third seed Jonathon Power, who was runner-up in last year's Open, was a surprisingly easy winner against Egypt's Ahmed Barada. Power turned in an imperious performance against his seventh-seeded opponent, taking just 30 minutes to win 15-3, 15-12, 15-8. After being swept aside in the opening game, Barada rallied hard in the second to take a 12-10 lead. But Power was able to raise his game another level, and stormed back to take the game and a commanding 2-0 lead. 'He was getting a bit of momentum in that second game, but I played a few solid points to get back in the match . . . that was crucial,' said Power, who has not been on court longer than 30 minutes in this year's tournament. Power will face England's Simon Parke in the semi-finals. 'I saw most of his match and he was pretty impressive,' Power said of his opponent today. 'My record against him has been pretty successful over the past couple of years, so I'm going in there confident.' Parke, who is seeded sixth for the tournament, won through to the last four after a hard-fought tussle against compatriot Mark Cairns, winning 10-15, 15-5, 15-7, 15-8.