18 November 2011


For once nothing extreme - except that little horizontal clearing at 0:03 - from the lovely Miguel Angel Rodriguez, just some very smart squash. First a good, wide, greatly pounded backhand cross-court at 0:14 that bounced off hardly from the backwall, forcing the loose length from Lincou. Secondly, a perfect faded kill into the sidewall. The faded kill is a subtle weapon. I for example have not seen, not understood the existence of it until Professor Marcus Berrett has once pointed it out to me. This shot has been one of the main weapons of Jonathon Power, he has been initiating a large part of his attacks with this shot. What's the point? What's the difference compared to the 'real' kill? You hit it less hard (70-80%), slightly higher, less riskier over the tin, with emphasising the slice, and instead of looking for a quick second bounce you want to make sure that the ball fades into the sidewall with not leaving your opponent a chance to take the ball before it bounces on the wall (as the ball is still too quick for it) or to hit it after the bounce off the sidewall (as the ball is already on a down-course close to the floor). This shot does not have to be a straight winner, the goal is rather to make your opponent scrap off the ball the sidewall loosely. Well, JP or Rodriguez might both be magicians, but they employ also less fancy stuff in order to create situations where they can exploit their creativity. This is squash: a subtle mixture of intellectual engineering and instinctive magic.