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The most impressive and flashy shot ever seen?

Published: 17 Aug 2007 - 18:14 by Adz

Updated: 26 Sep 2008 - 07:18

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Before I write my opinion on this, I'd like to explain a bit more about what I meant from the title.


I'd like people to describe in the best technical detail possible, the most impressive and show-off shot they have ever seen. We've all seen some of the top pros retrieve an impossible to reach ball off the backwall whilst doing the splits, and no doubt that this type of shot is impressive, but my search if for the type of shot that leaves half the audience mystified as to how someone would even begin to play it!



My best example seen to date came from the master of trickery himself, Mr Jon Power. On his Jon Power: Exposed DVD he shows an attacking shot that he used in a match against John White. For those who already know what I'm talking about, no further explanation is needed, for others:

White played Power into an easy position in the front right hand corner. Power arrives early, turns his whole body left and brings his racquet across to the left sending White, you guessed it, left! Now this at face value would seem nothing extraordinary, but the ball went RIGHT and hit the nick! This shot was so impressive that both White and the Referee thought that the ball was DOWN!

The shot is played with the back face of the racquet, and as you bring your body left, along with the racquet, the rear face points right. The ball is struck with the rear face and the strings make a slicing contact thus sending the ball spinning to the right, whilst the racquet and body spin to the left.

Trust me a description doesn't do it justice and you should find it and watch it!


So what shots have other people got in mind? Perhaps we should gather as many examples as we can and then take a site vote on which one we think was the best based on technicality, flair, puzzlement for the viewer and FUN!




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Please Note: The most recent replies are now at the top!

From rippa rit - 20 Dec 2007 - 22:16

This is not a bad clip either ... and I was focusing on the players watching the ball which was a recent topic.... then I played it again and looked at the racket preparation, though I must say I felt John could get his racket from around his knees....the rest I guess depends what you call's good anyway -
John White v Gaultier

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From rippa rit - 14 Dec 2007 - 07:01

If John White relaxed his wrist any more while he is running and dipping around the court he would drop his racket. He makes it look like a stroll in the park. 

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From SamBWFC - 13 Dec 2007 - 23:04   -   Updated: 14 Dec 2007 - 06:59

Sorry Rita I meant the one at the bottom which Adz posted!

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From rippa rit - 13 Dec 2007 - 20:01

Sam - what happened to the link for this little post? 

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From SamBWFC - 13 Dec 2007 - 07:13

I liked the John White winner in this video, the one where he's at the front of the court and he goes to swing at the ball, delays it, then drills a low crosscourt past Power.

I've seen him play that shot a couple of times, and the amount of strength he must have in his wrist to play that shot... unbelievable

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From gregzilla - 06 Dec 2007 - 19:32

Ok, less talk of "the greatest" more video of ridiculous shots! ;-)

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From Stonehands - 06 Dec 2007 - 06:12

Not to beat a dead horse but I think an important point to make here is that all of these players are the greatest - of "their" time. 

You might be disappointed putting JP against Jansher.  The reason being JP was able to watch Jansher and Janghir, mimick, apply, perfect, shots and strategies he watched invented. 

In every sport there is a bar that is set that players strive to acheive and every so often one or two surpasses that bar.  Now Ramy comes along and has watched JP his whole life - directly and indirectly.  Coached with improved strategies pioneered by JP (and staff), whose strategies were based on strategies pioneered by Jansher, and so on... In otherwords, the sport evolves as much as the players.  We've changed scoring systems as a result.  Would JP have the same quick wrists using a 300g racket? 

It is impossible to match players of differing generations.  Even in Jansher's efforts to "come-back" he will be forced to re-invent his game to match his age.  Will he have the same endurance that he was legendary for?  I don't think so. 

It is fun to think of these match-ups but they seem unrealistic when analyzed.  I think it more appropriate to focus on and promote rivalries, such as JP/Nicol, Amr/Ashour, Federer/Nadal, Woods/Mickelson, etc.  Any one of these players a legend in their own right.

Sorry, a bit wordy, good topic though!

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From Adz - 28 Oct 2007 - 03:51

Oh I've been away far too long from this place due to a rather hectic work life, but I have to say I've enjoyed reading the posts on here. Some are very well thought out (DeadManMac) and others are rather narrow minded (I shan't be naming a name here).


I've had the pleasure of seeing Jansher play in the flesh in his peak and truly was impressed. I've even had the honour of being able to warm up with him on court once. He was a fantastic player and some of his shot play and match play was truly magnificent. Certainly the most successful player to have ever played the game and the number one candidate for the best player of all time. But what does that sentence actually mean? "Best player of all time"? Did you notice he lost recently in a small time tournament to a relative no-body (no disrespect to the guy that beat him, but he's certainly not in the top 20 in the world, let alone top 3).

The world evolves and great heroes become ageless legends and as an old grey haired man I'll be telling my grandchildren (who'll be world champs of course!) about the time I met the great Jansher Khan. And now here comes the strange bit.... I won't be telling them that he was the greatest player who ever lived.


Look back in history and squash is full of true playing greats. The showmen and the grinders. The runners and the hitters. You want to talk about "Greatest Ever" but look to the past. I believe that the greatest player to have ever graced the stage in only now begining to make himself known. I do believe that Ramy Ashour has every tool needed to become the best player of squash's toughest era to date. So who are the greats of squash? Geoff Hunt, Jonah Barrington, Jahangir, Jansher, Peter Nicol, Jon Power. These are the players I mention when someone says the word "Great". Now please define yourself further! Great how? Stamina? Goeff and Johan took the game to new levels and thier epic battles are the stuff of legend! Jahangir and Jansher brought squash an evolution and couldn't be touched in their day. Until a young Scots lad came on the scene and beat the master. If Nicol beat Jansher then couldn't he be argued the best ever? 60 months at world number 1 in the (arguably) toughest era of world squash. That was until another upstart appeared in the guise of Jon Power.


So who gets my vote for "Greatest Ever"? Not the longest at number one. Not the longest unbeaten. Not the pioneers of the sport. Not even the wizard who is Jon Power.


I'm afraid I have to say that I cannot decide on a greatest player of all time. I think that it's like Rocky Balboa in the latest film. A theory people want to test. Could Jon Power on his best day have beaten Jansher on his best day? Could Jansher have beaten Goeff Hunt? Who knows? All I know is that I love watching great matches played by great players. Players who inspire. Players who make people watch in awe. Geoff had it. Jonah had it. Jahangir had it. Jansher had it. Peter had it. And Jon Power certainly had it. Let's hope that we get to see Greg Gaultier and Ramy Ashour have titanic battles over the next 5 years. Now that would be something I'd love to see time and time again.


Until the next time!!

Keep swinging for the nicks!


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From edmpnd1961 - 24 Oct 2007 - 02:50

Well , JP is skillful and delightful to watch , but hv u guys seen the Aussies trio of  Rodney, Bret Martins, Rodney.E. plus Qamar Zaman, the players are equally skillful if not better, just to name a few.





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From nickhitter - 23 Oct 2007 - 19:15

Well it's a bit like saying that Pele was the greatest soccer player ever. In his time for sure, but would he outplay modern players? of course not! They are now all as good as him and the best players are twice as good as that!

ok maybe an exaggeration but you see the point.

That's what happens in sport. If you take a sport where records against the clock are an aim, such as athletics, it is obvious, because records are being broken every year.

In my opinion JP is certainly the greatest stroke player to have ever been born to date (yes including Ramy and Amr too!) and I feel he is the most exciting and inspirational of all time. I suppose that is all we can quantify in such a discussion.

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From DeadManMac - 23 Oct 2007 - 17:46   -   Updated: 23 Oct 2007 - 17:55

Well now, I guess we need to define what we mean by 'best player of all time'.  If we define it as the most dominant player in his/her era then I fully agree with you. If we define it as the most skilled player, then I might disagree. To really find out, you'd have to take JP in his absolute prime and put him up against the JKs in their primes and see who wins.

Squash, like any sport, is constantly evolving.  I wouldn't be surprised if today's number 10 player could consistently beat the number 1 player from 10 years ago. The players are constantly pushing each other to reach unprecedented levels of performance.

Another factor to consider is that the margins separating the top players is constantly decreasing. Where once there was a fairly significant difference in ability between number 1 and number 10, they might be more evenly matched today.

I'm not going to bother trying to argue whether or not JP is the best player ever, but I will tell you that I am awake, my eyes are indeed open, and I do agree that in their days the Khans were more dominant that JP in his. Who would win in a head to head match up? Nobody will ever know for certain, but I would personally put my money on JP.

Just my 2c.

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From edmpnd1961 - 23 Oct 2007 - 12:27

Please..............  J.P is a good player, but fyi, he is never the best squash ever,. Just look at how many major tiles he ever had. Both J.Ks never been beaten by player rank lower than no 5 during their peak, and please....... look at their trophies, Both British and World open and also Jahingir's 5 and a half year unbeaten streak........ wake up and open yr eyes...........



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From nickhitter - 23 Oct 2007 - 08:18   -   Updated: 23 Oct 2007 - 08:18

If ever there was a reason to carry a digital camera with you everywhere. That was it!

That must have been awesome. JP is the ultimate squash inspiration.

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From DeadManMac - 23 Oct 2007 - 06:00   -   Updated: 23 Oct 2007 - 06:01

The guy is amazing. I actually had a chance to meet him a couple of weeks ago and watch him play an exhibition match in Vancouver, BC  (  He played some of the major sponsors of the tournament and did he ever put on a show. He repeated all of those trick shots and then some.  In around an hour and a half of play there were probably 9 or 10 shots that left me wondering what had just happened.  Just incredible.  I wish I had video of the event.

A couple of his comments that I found pretty funny:

When someone mentioned that he was arguably the best player to have ever played the sport JP said: "Well I like to think so. That's what I will be telling my son."

When asked about his rivalry with Peter Nicol he said: "I looked it up on the internet, and found that after all our games I was one or two points ahead of him (Nicol)... that's why I retired!

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From gregzilla - 28 Sep 2007 - 00:34

Adz, I just saw that video today, didn't even realize that he hit it with the back of the racquet.  Even though I watched it about 20 times ;).  Totally insane.  I already thought it was the best shot I've ever seen, but off the back of the racquet?  I vote for that.  I think this might turn into a JP video review.

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From stevo - 17 Aug 2007 - 23:43

OK, I youtubed 'em

The first one is v Heath with a good replay. The second shot is harder to see (lower quality video) and is at 1m08secs or there abouts.

The second is more impressive coz it was a competitive match

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From stevo - 17 Aug 2007 - 22:34   -   Updated: 17 Aug 2007 - 23:36

Yeah, that one is just gold.

If I can be greedy I have two from Power

1. Power v Willstrop, Semi Final Kuwait, 2004 I think.
Willstrop plays a boast (can't recall if is a side or backwall boast) that goes towards front left corner, but comes out lose from the side wall towards the middle. Power goes in with the backhand then lets the ball come across his body to the forehand and holds the forehand for a drop to the front left before flicking a drive to the back forehand corner. I've got it on video tape and I and still not sure how he does it.

2. Power v Heath, 2001 Super Series 3/4 playoff
Similar shot but from the back. A drive comes out from the left wall near the back. Power shapes to play a backhand cross court but swipes under the ball and switches to forehand and plays a drop to the front left. Mesmerising.

I have both on Tape. I'll see if I can youtube 'em.

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From Adz - 17 Aug 2007 - 18:20



Just found the exact shot I was talking about on Youtube!


The time code is about 1.38 and White has just played the ball off the backwall and Power has moved into the front right hand corner. It's from the superseries 2003.




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It is absolutely one of the best in the world bar none

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