My favourite shot in squash is a high soft cross court lob that catches the side wall and then dies in the opponents back hand corner. I prefer this over a flat nick in the front court, over a clinging drop and over a dying hard straight length. I find it extremely satisfying to win a point this way. I also like this shot because as long as it is hit relatively well I get time to get back to the ‘T’ and get in position to attack my opponents next shot. It is said that golf is a sport of misses and you need to minimize the trouble you get yourself in to and I believe this is true of squash as well.
So what are the misses with this shot? Lets take it being out of court out of the equation and look at the other possibilities. The most likely scenario is you don’t get the shot quite high enough and your opponent can volley it. They should be looking for that option. One of the weakest spots of almost every squash player is the high backhand volley. It is a technically difficult shot. Most often I see a drop being played in this situation. As you have hit it soft you have had time to get the ‘T’ so you should be ready and watching for this and be ready to pounce. Most often the drop will not be that great because you should have them fairly stretched trying to reach the ball so you should get a chance to attack from the front.
The other option that is commonly played from a high backhand is a pushed straight length where your opponent is trying to get the ball to the back of the court. This is a shot where you should be looking to volley the ball. You have given yourself time to get to the ‘T’ so you are in position to attack your opponents hopefully weak shot.
What we are really hoping for though with this shot is that your opponent lets the ball pass and does not volley as that allows us to get in front of them and we have sent them to the back corner. The lack of pace on the shot should keep it from coming out of the back corner. There is also a real possibility that after it catches the side wall it will just simply die in the back. Even if it does not die in the back there is the real possibility that we will force our opponent in to a defensive boast which we can attack from the front.
One warning with this shot though is to make absolutely sure to get this really high against Ramy Ashour though as if you don’t he will use his Prince Airstick 130 and it will get slammed in to the cross court nick! Unlike most of us that is one of his best shots.