01 November 2012


I feel Ramy Ashour's racket technique is sometimes slightly mystified. I think it's not as unorthodox as that, he just reads his opponents so much quicker than anybody else that he gets his racket back into position without any rush and that makes some commentators think that he's got no backswing. It is this extremely early racket preparation that allows him then to go for shots that others (even other professionals) can only dream about. 
The below video is, however, contradicting my thesis. This crazy back-foot top-spin drop is indeed a shot that doesn't exist (unfortunately the rally has been recorded a bit far from the court. You can push the 'fullscreen' button on the bottom right of the video player to see it better).
Playing a drop-shot on the back-foot is anyway forbidden according to conventional coaching textbooks. Sure enough, as in so many aspects, the Egyptians have slightly modified this thesis.
Wael El Hindi was the first one to go for drop shots on the back-foot on a constant basis (you probably remember the most outrageous one), and currently, besides Ramy Ashour, Tarek Momen is confident and talented enough to employ it with succes. And it might make sense on this (pro) level as it is a position where the ball is hidden from your opponent's eye-sight; add to this that he can also only see your back, so at the end of the day he can't really read/anticipate your intentions.
But it's not something for everybody as it requires extreme strength all around: leg, hip and wrist. Club-players just better lift the ball in similar situations, or assume an approx. one-to-ten success-ratio by going for it; the choice is yours.