05 April 2012


As you know from some of our previous posts, I believe that one of the most intriguing players currently on the tour is Tarek Momen. I wouldn't suggest to take him as a technical role model for club players (because of his exaggerated backswing), but I think most of the pros could learn from him a few things (mostly about not fearing to go short and also how to use the rather understated cross-drop), but on the other hand he omits a few things that other pros would do as standard. 
Everybody agrees that his drop shots are very special. He can play them from anywhere and anyhow - in the current video just blocking it at his feet. Great quality in the execution, but the choice itself was probably even more special and unorthodox as we can deduct from the very late reactions of world #1 James Willstrop. (Very few pro players consider the "no-backswing-block-drop" as an option of how to hit the ball. Ramy Ashour is probably the only other player who uses it on a constant basis and you can also see it at times by Gregory Gaultier, but in his case mostly only against lower ranked opponents).
But we have also understood that Momen's main source of confidence to go short comes - beside his wonderful natural talent - from his very steady and reliable drives which almost always land behind the back of the service box - and which make his opponents stand further back on the 'T'. At the same time it is interesting to observe that Momen himself has a rather regressed T-position which is even more evident when receiving the serve - hardly anybody else in the pro field would wait for the ball a full step behind the back of the service box.
Another fact that distinguishes him from the rest of the field is the almost total lack of lobs in his games. Even when extremely stretched in a font corner - when 99% of the players would go for a lob - he still comes up with a counter-drop or a passing-shot temptation. I do believe that if he integrates the lob into his game, it could create (even) more uncertainty in the head of his opponents.