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Can You Hit Aces In Squash?

Absolutely! But it's much harder than in tennis for two reasons: firstly tennis players get two serves and secondly they are whimps! Just joking

15 December 2022 / 3-Min Read

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Let's start by defining an ace. It's a winning serve that is not touched by the receiver. that definition should immediately make it clear that hitting an ace in squash is almost impossible. The only way I know of doing it, is by hitting a high lob serve and the opponent swinging and missing the ball. Of course, at lower levels of squash, swinging the racket and missing the ball is not unusual, so in that sense, yes, hitting aces against beginners is not too difficult.

Perhaps it would be more helpful to think of aces in squash as simply "winning serves". Serves that win you the point without the server having to hit a second shot. That seems much more doable and realistic to most club players.

Making Conscious Effort To Hit An Ace

The better you get at squash, the less important the serve becomes. Why? Because better players are able to volley those "great serves" and the advantage you might gained weighed against the risk of hitting your serve out is just not worth it.

Professional squash players simply try to stop their opponent from hitting great service returns rather than trying to win the point outright.

"Ah, but Phillip, I'm not a pro!" That's right, you are not, so you should definitely try to improve your lob serve and win points on your serve. Just remember that you will need to dedicate some practice time to serving. Oh, and I suggest using a red dot ball as it's more or less the same bounciness as a warm double yellow, meaning you hit 25 serves each side without worry about heating up the ball.'

You should also practice other types of serve, so that yours doesn't become too predictable. They include, hitting the side wall just after the service box, at the opponent; head or feet, down the middle, hard and slow - anything that causes problems for your opponents.

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Hashim Khan

I remember reading, and of course I can't find it now, that Hashim Khan could win matches with his serve. In fact, I distinctly remember reading that in a British Open match, he actually hit 9 winning serves in a row to win the game 9-0. How true that is, I don't know, how well I am remembering the story, I can't say, but the idea seems preposterous to modern squash players today.

you only need to look through any squash book from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s to see that their concept of squash was very different from ours.

Unhelpful Advice

I generally don't like to criticise squash players or coaches trying to help squash players, but I read this today and wanted offer my point of view.

If I miss a serve in squash, do I get a second try?: In the casual game of squash where you would play against someone you know or usually spare against, it would be fine to ask for a let and retake your serve.

Quora Responder

No, it's not okay to ask for a let and retake your serve. That gives new player the wrong impression of squash and only complicates things for them later on. The moment you start serving and playing points, follow the proper rules. Yes, lets should be played when in doubt or if it was dangerous, but not because you made a mistake.

The Meaning Behind The Word "Ace"

It is often explained that an ace comes from the French playing cards, which as you probably know is the "best" card in the pack and therefore the "best" shot in racket sports. It's also been mentioned that the word was used about fighter pilots in World War One, who were vry good at shooting down enemy planes, which then came to mean a person who is good at something.

Both explanation sound plausible, but I believe it to be even older simpler. The word "ace" comes from the Old French word as (from Latin 'as') meaning 'a unit'. It was used to describe the one on a die, before it became used in playing cards. It seems to me that the idea of "One" shot winning the point fits perfectly here, although you may disagree.

When it became important that the receiver didn't touch the ball with their racket is unclear, but the line between hitting a bad return and simply touching the ball with the racket is vague, but touching and not touching the ball is clear. So perhaps, it was the natural way to use it.

Final Thoughts

If you consider an ace in squash as a serve that immediately wins you the point, then yes, you should be practicing and trying to hit aces in squash matches. If you are trying to hit a serve that the opponent can't even hit, then no, I don't recommend that as you might hit the ball out too often.

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