The Best Skills of the World's Top PSA Players
If you want to see the best examples of all the skills and aspects of squash, look no further than the pro players in the PSA. These guys & gals are athletic beasts, and get way less recognition than they deserve.
I’ve compiled all the best skills in squash, and which professional player I feel executes them the best. These are just my opinions, and there are definitely other candidates for these winners. Enjoy!
Forehand - Mohamed El Shorbagy
Mohamed El Shorbagy’s forehand is quick and super powerful. The amount of power he generates from a short backswing is incredible. I’ve often seen him dominating rallies against top players like Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, just by pounding his forehand relentlessly around the court. I’ve never seen this raw power forehand with any other player.
He also hits an amazing straight power forehand from the back court. It flies low and hard, and dies in the back court for a winner. His forehand drop has a lot of touch, and he can cut it in with some serious bite.
Watch Mohamed El Shorbagy finish off a critical rally with amazing power and touch on his forehand:
Backhand - Gregory Gaultier
Gregory Gaultier’s backhand is a thing of beauty to watch. He makes it look so effortless, lining up his body perfectly with the shot almost every time. He’s able to hit the ball incredibly hard, and also take the pace off for great drop shots.
I feel Gaultier’s 2 best shots are on his backhand: his counter-drop and low kill.
Watch Gaultier closely in this rally and how effortless his backhand is.
Tight Length - Amr Shabana
Amr Shabana is well known for having the most consistently tight length ever seen in a squash player. Couple that with incredible finishing ability, and it’s no wonder he’s won the World Championship multiple times.
His straight length would almost always fade into the side wall, regardless of where he’d hit it from. You would often hear his opponent’s racket scraping and smacking into the side walls, with no other option.
Watch Amr Shabana dominate with amazing length.
Movement, Speed and Endurance - Paul Coll
I could have easily chosen Gregory Gaultier here, but Paul Coll has recently come on the squash scene with some unbelievable movement and gets. Coming from a gymnastics background, he shows how important flexibility and explosive movement is in squash.
Paul Coll’s endurance is also solid, but it’s his lightning-quick change of directions that lets him win crazy rallies like these.
Drop Shots - Ramy Ashour
Ramy Ashour hits the most delicate drop shots I’ve ever seen, along with hardly any backswing. This makes them very hard to read, and his opponent has no time to react.
Some players like Gregory Gaultier have heavier drop shots that don’t die in the front corners. Ramy, on the other hand, really cuts the ball and takes the pace off, making every drop shot a lethal one.
Watch him finish off a crazy rally with a quick reaction drop shot here.
Crosscourt Nicks - Ramy Ashour
Ramy’s crosscourt nicks are legendary, especially off his backhand. He does them off such a short backswing, his opponent often never knows they’re coming. Ramy also hits these from angles that most players don’t.
Ramy used to attempt these more often earlier in his career, since he could recover easily if he missed them. Nowadays he waits for better opportunities, since his fitness and and body aren’t what they used to be.
You can see some great nicks and other winners in this video.
Boast - Borja Golan
Borja Golan will usually lose against top 10 players, but when he wins, it’s usually on the back of some brutal boasts. Golan hits his boasts with less pace than most other players. This means they need to be accurate to be effective, and when they are, they really die in the front of the court.
I’ve seen Golan take a 2-0 lead against Ramy Ashour with some crazy boasts, when Ramy was in his prime. There’s not many players who can do that to Ramy.
Lob - Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew’s lob is probably what’s allowed him to stay in the top 10 well into his 30’s. He hits it so high that you rarely see his opponent intercepting it. Amazingly he still gets the ball to die in the back court.
With the lob, Nick Matthew is able to nullify attacks and re-start rallies in the driver’s seat.
Here is a great example of an amazing Nick Matthew lob winner