07 February 2012


Joey Barrington said whilst commentating the final of the 2012 Case Swedish Open that we are experiencing a specially intriguing period in squash as all the top players are peaking at the same time. Unfortunately this is not totally the case. Nick Matthew and James Willstrop might be better than ever, Gregory Gaultier seems to achieve or probably even exceed his own 2008 level, but you can't say that Amr Shabana is peaking; he was outstanding at the PSA World Series Finals in the Queens Club, but his results in the past 6 months are way to fluctuating for a former 33 months-long world #1. Karim Darwish is stellar years away from his 2008-2010 peak period (a good sample to demonstrate this is the video below, showing him somewhat slow and conservative); in that 2 year span he beat everybody outside the top6 mostly within half an hour and beat regularly all the other top guys (except maybe Willstrop, his dark horse, but they have hardly met those years). And what to say about Ramy Ashour? Is he peaking now? Unfortunately not, he is hassling with his injuries more than ever. However it is true, whilst he has been healthy, he was peaking indeed; many talk about how Nick Matthew dominates James Willstrop (13:0 since the 2009 British Open) but few have realized that in fact Ramy has had a 10:0 record against Gaultier from the 2009 Sky Open until the 2011 PSA World Open when Ramy had to retire due to injury. So my point is, to see who is really peaking these days, we first should see Ramy come back in full shape to the tour and then see if all the other top guys can invent anything against him. I am sure, they will be keen to do so.