16 June 2012


I am sure a lot else could be said - for example about movement - but I would like to point out only two shots in this rally. The first really perfect shot is played at 0:30 by Ramy, a basic backhand drive that is fading slowly towards the sidewall, bouncing deep, almost in the sidewall nick, with the ball hardly rebouncing off the backwall - this is what you are training for, to hit the backhand like this.
For the opponent, there was no space for backswing, hence a boast would have been tough - and probably also suicidal - to play. Playing straight would have been possible, but Ramy was anticipating it, and at the slightest looseness Shabana knew that Ramy would have gone for the cross-court backhand volley into the nick - and he rarely misses it when the opponent is stuck so far back behind him.
Given all these calculations, Shabana chose to shorten his grip - stop the video at 0:32 to see how high he holds the racket - and played a beautiful cross-court lob; it wasn't a winner, it didn't even create him an opening, but it gave him plenty of time to recuperate to the 'T', and under the circumstances you couldn't have asked for more.