28 March 2012


In our previous Momen-deconstruction post we noted that his game is based 1) on high quality hard deep drives 2) on going short with volley-drops as soon as the opportunity arises. In point 1 he excels with his consistency whereas in point 2 he acts differently to most of the other players who - on pro level - generally do not go short straight after the first half-loose ball of the opponent. 
This time I would like to talk about Momen's swing. His swing is the opposite of what I have always advertised as ideal: it's not compact. He has in general - and mostly on the forehand from the back - a huge swing with a very high elbow-position. There's nothing wrong with that as long as your only aim is to hit long and hard. As soon as you want to go short, you will find it tough to control your shot with such an exaggerated and high backswing. But not Tarek Momen. Look at this attacking boast at 0:20, James Willstrop had not the slightest idea that this shot could ever come out of such a racket-preparation. I think the effectiveness of this boast has three factors: 1) Momen's general quality length from the back corners that makes his opponents stand further back on the 'T' 2) his huge backswing that again lets his opponent think of a big hard drive 3) there is also a funny little split-jump in Momen's movement and he twists his shoulders extremely backwards whilst preparing the backswing - some body-language deception to make the opponent believe that a hard drive will follow at the end of the swing. It requires extreme talent to control your attacking boasts notwithstanding such exaggerated body and racket-preparation.