Monday, August 3, 2015
Best of the Best in Squash
It's been awhile since I've posted anything. I've been concentrating on other projects. But the other day was thinking about how much I like the "best" lists, as in best squash players, best squash book and the best rally. I started thinking how much fun it was to do the best players of all time and started to compile the best of specific "best" categories. Here goes. Best of the Best ============== Forehand drop volley: without question, Nick Matthew. This is a devastating shot from Matthew, probably one of the best shots ever in the history of the game. Backhand drop volley: have to go with Ramy here, straight or cross a thing of beauty, his hands are the best ever. Forehand kill shot: can anyone dispute David Palmer's forehand kill shot delivered like a gunshot into the front forehand nick? Backhand kill shot: I want to say Shabana has a great one, Ramy too not too sure about this one. Most creative shot: No contest here, Hisham Ashour's the "Mazuki" a hundred time I have tried and still can't do it. Against Anjema hits it and applauds his own shot afterwards. Best footwork: there are some players with great footwork past and present. But Jansher keeps coming to mind; Perfect balance, patience strength and anticipation all are part of being best on your feet. Best racquet skills: Ramy Ashour, literally a magician -- the racquet is his wand. Please stay healthy. The best drop shot: Punishment, punishment and more punishment from Jansher Khan; tightens the srew even more as the match goes on. The best lob: Peter Nicol turned this defensive shot into an offensive shot; I think it was Power who compelled him to develop this short. The best fitness: I'm sure a lot of old timers would argue for Jonah Barrington, Geof hunt or Jahangir Khan, but the nod goes to Nick Matthew, the pace of the game so much faster than in the past requiring explosive quickness, soft hands as well as endurance and sheer determination along with super human training. Training is so much more advanced now than in the past. Deception: toss up between Ramy and Jonathan Power, another wizard with the racquet. Taking the ball early: 5 years ago I would say Peter Nicol, but there's a host of others including Matthew, Shorbagy, Gaultier. Question would any of these players have this success at anytime? Shorbagy and Gaultier would dominate as Nicol did. I'm convinced that Nicol would without a doubt be in the top eschelons if he were coming onto the scene now. Dictating pace: Mohamed El Shorbagy seems to me in this category by himself. Imposing, imposing and just plain imposing -- he will just pound you into submission. Bonus Pick: Best rally - Probably most would consider The John White Greg Gaultier rally from a few years back at the NY TOC, however, go and watch the 110 shot rally between Diego Elias and Alan Clyne recently, game 1 at 6-4. (youtube.com Clyne vs Elias). Best new face on the horizon - Diego Elias, soon he and Shorbagy will be battling it out for top spot. Watch this recently crowned world junior champion, he is the next best.