He may have reached the pinnacle of the game, but world number one Jonathon Power is keeping his feet firmly on the ground as he prepares to defend his Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open crown. For the first time, all the world's top 24 players have made it to the SAR for the event and Power knows all too well that the tough draw means seeds - and reputations - are bound to fall. 'The draw is so deep that all the players are equally good now. You have a bad day and you can lose to anybody,' said the Toronto-born top seed ahead of today's opening matches. 'There were not many upsets last year. But for sure, not all the seeds will go through this year,' said Power, who will defend his World Open title in four weeks. While Power is set for a tough second-round clash with 1996 Open champion Rodney Eyles, he refused to look further than his first-round match against England's Nicholas Taylor tomorrow. 'It will be exciting playing against Rodney and we were just talking about that. But I'm not thinking about that before winning my first match,' he said. Former world number one and second seed Peter Nicol said the event - the first major tournament after the summer break - was far too important to be considered merely a warmup for the World Open. 'It's a huge event in its own right. The most important thing for me here is not to prepare for the worlds, but to win this event,' said Nicol, who will take on Frenchman Thierry Lincou in his first-round match today. He admitted there were no easy first-round matches. 'I beat him 3-1 recently but he is hard to beat as he has good pace and is physically strong,' the Scotsman said. The tournament here is crucial for Nicol as he attempts to close the gap on Power in the world rankings. 'I lost to Jonathon three times in the past year. I must win, otherwise I won't deserve to be there [the top ranking],' Nicol said. The Super Series Final champion also hopes to end his title drought in Hong Kong, having been a two-time losing finalist and three-time semi-finalist in the past six years. Other title contenders include Australian Eyles, world number three Ahmed Barada of Egypt and world number four Paul Johnson of England. The eight qualifiers who booked their places yesterday in the main draw were Australians Stewart Boswell, Billy Haddrell, David Palmer, Craig Rowland and Joseph Kneipp, England's Stephen Mead, Juha Raumolin of Finland and Egyptian Amr Shabana.