08 December 2011


Ramy Ashour and Nick Matthew can produce some heavy metal squash as we could see it in earlier examples. But there is no way to be the best players in the world if you are not good in mixing it up; squash is not a straight line but a streaming thing. In this rally the most outstanding tactical element is obviously the lob. Not necessarily the one that you play in the front out of necessity, but rather the one from mid- or back-court, chosing it instead of a drive. Observe the one at 0:16, Ramy's length was very good, hence the most common solution would have been to reply with a tight drive, but Matthew chose to make an ultra high cross-court lob that almost stuck in the backwall nick and created him a great opening. Then at 0:28, a Ramy special, the cross-court volley lob instead of the more conventional straight long volley. And again, it forced an opening as Matthew could only keep the rally going with a high loose boast. The good thing in the lob is that it is a low percentage shot, even if it is not perfect, you at least gain time to get back to the 'T' without rush (of course if you completely fail it it gives a total opening to your opponent, but that's true for every type of shot). Another note can be made on Matthew's drop shots at 0:21 and 1:00. He went in both cases for the low-risk version by playing them high over the tin, faded into the sidewall. Being the most skillful player in the world, Ramy managed to scrap them off decently, but if you hit them as accurately as Nick did, your opponent will rather end up hitting the ball back to himself or, on lower club levels, even break his racket ;) If I were James Willstrop's coach, I would show him every morning this rally in order to demonstrate how to try to play against Nick. You don't beat Nick Matthew with heavy metal squash, do you?