19 February 2013


A few months back we've aready had a "carousel" rally with Gregory Gaultier and Simon Rosner.and another one with Alister Walker and Chris Simpson. "Carousel rallies" are similar to what we call "Four Corner Squash", when every corner of the court is employed/explored/visited, with the slight difference that in a "carousel" rally we've got also looser balls and not always perfect shot-selections; albeit the lower quality of some of the shots the athletic ability of the players allow them to stay in the rally and shift the momentum again with some unexpected solutions and so on. 
This time it's two of my favourite "outside the top10" players, Jonathan Kemp and Miguel Angel Rodriguez who show us some furious volleying and attacking. You might remember me praising Rodriguez a couple of times (The Man Who Likes To Go The Wrong Way, Probably The Most Outrageous Shot Of All Times, Squash Going Crazy Again) this time let's concentrate on his opponent.
Even though I hardly ever had the opportunity to talk about him, I am an absolute fan of Jonathan Kemp; it's "agressive squash" at its purest, such a high "T"-position, chasing always the volley. It's also funny if you have ever met Jonathan in the flesh, as his personality is in total opposition with the aggressiveness of his squash; he is one of the nicest and most modest persons you will ever meet (reminding me Stewart Boswell in this respect).
He is about to retire as far as I know so please make sure to remember one of the great under-achievers of the modern times (his highest ranking having been #20).
If you ask me why he has under-achieved I would guess that it was partially due to the very demanding nature of the type of squash that he has chosen for himself; to be that hight on the 'T' and chasing the volley even more than Nick Matthew or Ramy Ashour requires an extreme physical talent and preparation. Kemp might probably have gone higher in the rankings with a slightly more conservative aptitude, but we squash-watchers would have definitely lost some of the unique blend that he has created throughout his carrier with this relentless attacking style. Luckily, Kempy will keep working in squash circuits and we wish him success for his future coaching carrier. We look forward to see some young Egyptian-type English players coming out of his hands...