29 November 2012


I am very impressed by the progress that Simon Rosner has been showing in the last two years. Okay, he might still lack that big win - not counting when he beat a disinterested Shabana last year in Kuwait - but he is giving a really hard time to the top guys, extending the likes of Gaultier and Matthew to tie-brakes or even picking games off them. One of his best weapons is definitely the cross-court forehand kill, his is very severe with it form around mid-court but he is capable hitting such winners even from the back-foot from deeper positions as you can see it in the below rally. 
I am happy to have also Peter Barker in this rally, as in my eyes he is the other player who progressed the most this year. Maybe not yet ranking-wise, but his game has acquired so much more variety, so much more accuracy in the middle and in the front of the court. It's still not at the heights of James or Nick, not to mention Shabana, Gaultier or Ramy, but it's getting definitely closer and closer. 
By the way, most people look at me strange when I say this, but I am a really big fan of Barker's movement. It seems to me extremely soft and smooth, economic and balanced. He's got visibly heavy big leg muscles (not like James or Shabana) and still he seems to pop from one foot to the other in a cat-like manner. I would love to learn from him but I am afraid to acquire these qualities you need to invest an awful lot into training, a lot more than any club player could afford. I am also a fan of his racket preparation which is nearly as harmonic as his movement and nearly as compact as Darwish's.  
Rosner has already proved that he is an assiduous student of Egyptian squash; if I were his coach, I would make him sit down and watch and analyse a few Peter Barker matches, to understand how can you become smooth and economical, qualities that will have both mid- and a long-term effects on your carrier, to mention one: reducing the chances of injury, which is always a greater risk for the bigger lads (you might have read a thing or two about this subject in James Willstrop's book).