18 January 2012


This post has been written for two reasons. First: as indicated in the title, the 2012 Tournament of Champions is about to start (qualifications today, main draw first round: January 20, that's when squashtv starts to transmit it live). Generally it's one of the best events of the year. The beautiful and vibrating settings of Grand Central Terminal in New York seem to inspire the players to come out with some of the most spectacular squash. You surely remember when last year 'squash went crazy' with Shabana and Matthew, the shot of the century by David Palmer or the Ramy Ahsour masterpiece - it all happend at the TOC. Unfortunately no Ramy this year, but a revitalized Shabana, a newly crowned world #1 Willstrop, an again-on-fire Gaultier and a back-from-injury Matthew shall make it more than intriguing to follow the event. The latter one will be also eager for some additional reasons: Nick has been a former three-time finalist without having ever won the event. In addition, if he wins this year, he is warrantied to get back his world #1 ranking in February (for the same reason, James will be keen on doing well too in order to keep his new crown). So get yourself a ticket to New York, or if that's impossible, follow the event live with squashtv. The second reason of this post is that No Let! is having a bad debt towards Tarek Momen. We have mentioned him as the most promising up-and-coming player of 2011, but unfortunately there is hardly anything to be found on youtube about him. Not that this clip shows him from his best side (in fact, he is losing 11 points in a row and hardly hits any decent tight ball), but it still shows the style of this unique genius: strange, exaggerated racket preparation (not recommended) no lobs at all (not recommended), drops from anywhere of the court without waiting for the appropriate opening (not recommended), and he can also clear all the drops he is playing (unlike Wael El Hindi for example). Momen was 19 when he played this match against Hisham Ashour, he is now 23 and last year he has added also a bit of patience to his game (did you see when he beat Nick Matthew in Qatar? The only man apart from Ramy to beat Nick 3:0 in the last couple of years). Before omitting it, there is also a third reason to this post: Ramy Ashour is co-commentating and it's always fun to listen to this quick-speaking buddy.