08 November 2011


Another spectacular rally from the fantastic venue of the 2011 World Open held at the Luxor Theathre in Rotterdam. A clearly injured Ramy Ashour played the always entertaining Alister Walker. You might remember Walker from another rally where he was flying around the court with another great entertainer, Wael El Hindi. Well, Ashour normally estinguishes Walker almost in a humiliating way. I remember, last January I saw them playing in the flesh in the World Series Finals in London, Ashour once again was just recovering from his usual harmstring injury (the same one that he was carrying in this tournament) and he gave there Alister a pretty incredible beating notwithstanding literally playing on one leg. At the post-match interview when the presenter Jake Humphrey asked Alister how it felt to get beaten like this, he was not reacting in a funny way at all I can tell you. This time however Walker seamed to be more aware of what he is supposed to do against a physically restricted genius, in the first two games he held his shots longer and made Ashour twist and turn which resulted in Ashour being constantly late on the ball (which also means that he either had to make a bigger last lounge and risk to worsen the injury or to accept to hit the ball out of position/balance). So Walker went 2:0 up, but somehow Ashour started to anticipate better and the result was really exciting, both of them flying and diving around the court several times as it can be seen in the below rally. In fact, spectacular squash often results from lacks; Miguel Angel Rodriguez's extreme speed and extravagant solutions is aided by the fact that his reading of the game is not at the heights of the top players; and in Alister Walker's case it's the quality and the reliability of the basic strokes that opens up the court slightly more for his opponents - but then, due to the fine mix of lightness and athleticism, he often recovers from the resulting attacks and the rallies become crazy - just funny and crazy.