23 February 2012


I have mentioned recently a few Egyptian youngsters who I believe will constitute the new big generation once Shabana and Darwish are retired. Ramy Ashour is part of both generations as already confirmed as one of the best players ever and still young in age (24), Mohamed El Shorbagy is also a confirmed top player notwithstanding his young age (22) with the potential of becoming in the future world #1. His younger brother Marwan (18) shows incredible qualities too and I believe that Karim Abdel Gawad and Mohamed Abouelghar will both make the top10 if not better in the future. But who will come after the current big English generation? There is Tom Richards coming up the rankings but he's not that young anymore (25) and I rather doubt in his abilities of becoming a top5 player (I however expect him in the top10 sooner or later). Chris Simpson shows recently improvement, but the real breakthrough has not happened yet. One of my personal picks would be Eddie Charlton, each time I see him playing in the flesh I feel like he's got the thing, both classy technique and a daring constructive mindset, but then when I check his rankings I keep seeing him stuck around the top90. So the most promising youngsters must be the two who we see in the below rally, Adrian Waller against Olivier Pett. For being the last rally of a championship, they both show impressive quality and commitment. Waller has beaten Olli Tuominen in the 2010 TOC but couldn't come up with any other big win ever since. Olivier Pett might still be lacking a big win to his name (Ong Beng Hee was sick a few weeks ago when Pett beat him in Chicago) but he starts to beat better ranked players regularly and climbs up the rankings massively. I have seen him playing for the first time two days ago against Gregory Gaultier at the 2012 North American Open, and I was very impressed with his performance. Gaultier can easily make someone look ridicules on court - he has both the ability and tendency of playing cat and mouse with weaker opponents, as he did with Tom Richards at the 2012 Case Swedish Open for example - but Olivier did not look ridicules for a second. I also believe that Pett has the right coach in the person of Tim Vail who is probably one of the most talented players ever to have missed a pro carrier. So, to make it short, my current pick for a bright future is Olivier Pett. We'll see.