05 March 2012


If you have been following and reading this blog for a while, you will for sure have noticed that the author is a firm believer of the compact backswing. In squash you have often little time and a contained amount of free space to execute your shot. Hence the need of a reduced backswing. In fact, I have understood last week, with the return to action of Ramy Ashour at the North American Open, in what his technique is really different to the rest of the field; he has a pretty flowing swing when time and space allow it, but he is the only player to use on a constant base the "no-swing at all". If you hit a loose cross-court kill, most players will still raise their racket to prepare for their shot with a decent backswing; Ramy in opposition will not raise his racket at all, he will just block your shot at his feet, basically hardly moving his racket (no backswing/no swing). Unfortunately there is no video available about his 2012  NAO matches on youtube (except the final where Willstrop neutralized him as nobody ever before), therefore I have picked an old match where his opponent, Nick Matthew demonstrates the no-backswing drop-shot twice: first at 0:29 and lastly at the winning counter-drop at 0:47 in the replay. It's not exactly the one that Ramy does, as he does it mostly to reply to kills, whereas the below two examples show counter-drops whit basically no time even to try to execute a decent traditional backswing. But still, it's two great examples how to get under the ball when you have to go for the "scrape-off" counter-drop: on both sides it's a minimal reverse slice that Matthew employs to navigate the ball just over the tin.