27 July 2012


First of all: don't you think that this a great camera angle? Psasquashtv has got cameras just behind the backwalls in the left and right corners, but they are set up lower and are static. This one is just about the eye-heights of the players and is also following slightly the ball throughout the rally - these two factors increase the feeling of being involved in the game, almost as if we were to play "Playstation Squash". I am sure a good bunch of the readers of this blog are also watchers and likers of psasquashtv. If you think a similar camera angle would make sense in the official live squashtv transmissions, we could make a petition on their facebook site for example.
Concerning the below rally: shots like the one behind the back from Mohamed El Shorbagy at 0:21, or the over-head top-spin backhand volley-drop at 0:23 are salt and pepper to squash, but let's also try to distinguish those shots that are less fancy but very efficient in order to set up an opportunity to finish the rally. 
In this rally the most important shot was played by El Shorbagy at 0:34; it was a backhand cross-court volley hit extremely early with perfect width, length and weight of shot. Albeit having been hit very early, it was also very deceptive. Stop the rally exactly at 0:34 and you will see how far right Willstrop's position was at the moment of impact. And funnily, El Shorbagy played the ball exactly back there where Willstrop was stuck and from where he urged back towards the 'T'. Because Willstrop was so far off the 'T' and because his opponent was preparing for the volley so early and dynamically, Willstrop thought that El Shorbagy would go for a straight kill and this is why he urged to turn left in order to cover the side left open. I find that this is a very clever version of wrongfooting.
Willstrop himself often wrongfoots his opponents by holding his racket-preparation exaggeratedly long - El Shorbagy does it this time by hitting the ball extremely early. Willstrop's tactics work generally when your opponent is on or near to the 'T'. Shorbagy's version works when the opponent is stuck in a corner. 
The finishing drop shot then was just the signature on a well written contract.