25 May 2011


It's nice to have an opportunity to point out that Ramy is not just all about attacking; he's got amazing defensive skills and he is one of the best if not the best in knowing how much 'weight' to give to the shot to make it die in the back corner. We've already had a similar sample from Ramy, that time on the volley and against El Hindi who got so frustrated after the rally. But let's start from the beginning. At 0:03, Ramy's service return volley-drop was very loose - but this is exactly what I have already pointed out so many times: the top Egyptian guys don't have to worry about the quality of their short balls as their perception/reading of the opponents' shots (when being behind them) has developed to immensely high standards due to incorporating relevant drills into their training regime from the very early junior ages. As weak as Ramy's first drop-attempt was, as incredible was how quickly he got to James Willstrop's excellent counter-drop at 0:05. And then at 0:07 - after James's excellent deep and low cross-court kill-attempt - he made sure to hit his defensive boast in a way that it rebounced around mid-court - (when you are stuck in the back you will always look for the boast that lands high in the middle of the court as this will give you time to get back to the 'T' and less options to your opponent to play a quick drop whist you are still in the back-corner of the court). Then at 0:14, after a few mutually loosish shots, comes the perfect dying backhand length from Ramy: good width (so that the opponent can not volley it) and fantastically controlled speed and height (in one word: weight) of the ball to make sure that second bounce stacks in the back corner. Interesting to note that this shot was played almost exactly from where James himself likes to play his very deceptive deep trickle-boasts'.