squash and tennis: complementary?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by yellowoctopus, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    I think there isn't a thread on this topic already, but apologies if I'm wrong.

    Just wanted to know if there are players who have played or currently play both Squash and tennis. More importantly, if they have any input on whether the two sports are complementary or not.

    For a few of you, I'm referring to the so-called 'Squash Tennis' and 'Lawn Tennis'.

    Thanks

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Squash and rball use flat shots and slices and no topspin
     
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  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    and the very good squash players I've known have struggled with topspin, but been pretty good a doubles due to slice and volley skills.
     
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  4. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    quite different yes, but volleys are somewhat similar... but squash, with the flat, slized, hard and wristy strokes could ruin your tennis strokes... Just be aware of it. Also squash is more long strides footwork vs smaller steps,for tennis, so even if squash will make you very fit, it could make you lazy at the same time for tennis..(hard to explain) I was a nationally ranked squash and tennisplayer untill i injured my back 5 years ago...
     
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  5. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    They are kinda complementary.

    The strokes are quite a bit different. It goes beyond just slice vs. topspin. The shoulders are different - at least according to the coach I had.. I was counciled to NOT turn my shoulders and torso (like you do for tennis).

    I do think that squash will make you quicker and more athletic on the court - and will preserve very high levels of coordination. So for a rec tennis player its not bad..

    But for high level players it WILL screw up your stroke, IMHO. The subtle differences actually matter at the high levels.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Any activity is better than sitting at home typing on this site.
    Squash, racketball, pingpong, all work your wind and force you to move and adapt, which is better than giving useless answers on the internet.
    You can race motocross to help your tennis! Motocross does not allow for any errors whatsoever. The penalty is rather high. It forces you to have a pregame plan, maintainance of equipement, forces you to get into better shape than for most any other sport, and teaches you quick recognition and reinforces quick reaction times.
    It even forces you to scout the opponent (walk the track), get up on time (most races start around 7AM), actually show up and register too!
     
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  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But they hit the ball darn hard .........
     
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  8. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    They also seem to want to stand in no mans land.

    I used to play with a National champ squash player, who would say, "I can play here, But just not good enough yet."

    I punished him regularly for it by taking advantage of it with my shots, and tried to explain that he would never be good enough to play well there.
     
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  9. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Tennis players who start to play squash traditionally made all sorts of trouble for squash players with their style - cutting off balls with volleys instead of letting it go past which squash players did a lot more often. That early 90s trend of volleying has stuck and squash players have become more and more adept at volleying (short and long).

    I do agree with the poster above about spin. I played squash to a relatively high level for many years and when I played tennis with the odd squash buddy they invariably were flat hitters or slicers. In some ways this made them good chip'n'charge players for doubles but at the higher levels they were mincemeat for competent tennis players.
     
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  10. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    delete please. post in error
     
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  11. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    well, it is in their head, 'get to the 'T'!!!'

    Trouble is, you can't cover that much width and the ball fails to come back from the back wall if you can't reach it on the volley!

    I was half decent at squash for a while some years ago but I had to give up tennis completely in order for this to happen.

    Skills are just too incompatible, even the volley is really a bit different, and the groundstrokes are planets apart.

    Squash might have helped my tennis a little with racquet head speed on my BH, but probably not, and it messed up everything else for a couple of weeks when I went back to tennis!
     
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  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Squash and Tennis are complimentary to an extent. I was a tennis player first, and when I transferred schools to one that had a squash team I tried out for it so I had something to do in the winter.

    Squash was easy for me to pick up. I learned it quickly enough to get on the team. However, becoming truly competitive in it was another story. I'd say it's about the same correlation as Racquetball and Table Tennis.
     
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  13. Tebow

    Tebow New User

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    Here is my experience...I can say I have very sound tennis shots and not too long ago I tried to play some squash. After 1 week playing squash I went for a tennis session and man I COULD NOT PLAY. Because in squash you only "arm" the ball I was having a hard time to get my mind set up to swing. Even when I swung I was doing very unbalanced. Another thing, in squash you use only continental grip and I was very slow to change grips on different shots (and everyone knows how important that is). To top everything off, the grip size of the squash racquet is way smaller than the tennis racquet and I was NOT feeling the ball at all on tennis. The result, I loved playing squash, it is very fun and a great exercise, but I knew right there that I would have to pick one of them. Of course it was tennis.
     
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  14. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    My father was a very good squash player and tennis player. They were complementary. However, he played squash pretty much only in the winter when there was no tennis, so I don't know about switching back and forth during the tennis season.
     
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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am afraid of getting hurt, so I have stayed away from squash and rball.
     
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  16. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

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    I play both squash and tennis. Very different sports. What do you want to know exactly? (not sure what you mean by complementary...)
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Complementary.
    Both sports need hand eye to connect a racketface to a moving ball.
    Both need good vision and quick pickup of the moving ball.
    Both need somewhat good physical conditioning.
    Both play against a little known variable, the other player.
     
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  18. GuyClinch

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    Meh. All the kids on the squash and tennis team in my university said that squash would mess up your strokes. Most pro players won't touch the game for the same reason..

    I haven't played a ton of squash like those guys but I agree with that. It takes a while to 'unlearn' the squash stuff each year.

    OTOH I had squash pro that was better then the 4.5 guys IMHO. Though granted he was at one time #19 in the world at squash. So was a very good athlete.

    For most rec players - I would say play basketball in the offseason - it will improve your footwork, speed and quickness but not interfere with your strokes.

    Yes if you become very proficient at squash it can help you but if you kinda go halfway I don't forsee much of an improvement. The university guys thought it hurt their tennis game..
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You can't play another sport that takes time away from your time on the tennis court, if tennis is your goal.
    Sure, even running and some weight lifting can help some, but if it takes away time on the tennis court, it will hurt your tennis.
    That said, if you don't play tennis for an extended period of time, then any sport is better than giving advice on this column.
     
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  20. vitas77remembered

    vitas77remembered New User

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    when I tried squash it was a great physical activity. I loved it. However, stroke wise I felt stupid watching these guys with awful wristy swings punish the ball so fast while I wound up with my shoulder turns and watched the balls whiz by. IMHO, you need to leave your tennis strokes outside the door when you play squash.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Your brain needs to separate tennis strokes from squash strokes.
    You don't mix up shovelling snow with eating with a spoon, do you?
     
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  22. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    So far I'm leaning toward LeeD's logic, that they are complementary.

    Perhaps using continental/eastern forehand grip makes it less confusing? I find squash to be quite refreshing as you are constantly digging for balls that are barely within reach. This translates well to my ability to quickly react on the tennis court. Another observation is that I am not trying to line up balls and hit powerful groundstrokes in Squash--there isn't time to do that.

    Perhaps I might encounter issues as I progress in Squash? perhaps not, we shall see.

    Thanks to all for you opinion.

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I would not follow the advise of "those kids". While other racquet sports such as badminton and squash might have some detrimental effects at the very beginning, in the long run, they should have some positive, complementary effects. Your body/mind learns to transfer some skills from one sport to another. It is a matter of developing muscle memory so that they help each other rather than interfere with each other.

    I've only played squash a couple of times. However, I have played badminton for more than 30 years and tennis more than 38 years. I was advised to stay away from badminton -- it will destroy your tennis game, they said. For the first 2 months it was a little tricky switching between the 2 sports. I found that my tennis hand-eye coordination helped me to pick up badminton quite quickly.

    However, as I started playing with intermediate badminton players, I found that I could no longer get away with my tennis strokes. After a while, after learning some real badminton mechanics, I started to find that badminton was starting to help my tennis -- especially with overhead/serves, volleys, touch shots and reflexes.

    I am sure that squash play would develop some elements/skills that would be an asset to your tennis (and vice versa). Just give your brain and muscle memory a chance to figure out the similarities and differences.
     
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  24. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Ever heard of Rackelton? It combines the four most popular racquet sports in a single match -- table tennis, badminton, squash and (court) tennis.

    I recall a televised (CBS?) forerunner to this in the early '80s (or late 70s). It may have consisted of 5 sports rather than the 4 found in rackelton -- the 5th sport was racketball. It featured elite players from the 5 sports who competed in all events except their own sport. For instance, Bjorn Borg played in all the events except for tennis. As I recall the competition also included Marty Hogan (racketball), Morten Frost (badminton), Chris Kinard (badminton) and members of the Khan family (a squash dynasty).

    I believe that this particular competition was held twice. From what I understand the squash players (the Khan's) won it twice. Apparently, their squash skills proved very useful in tennis, racketball and badminton (don't know if it helped as much in table tennis tho'). Here is a link that references a post on a badminton web site that I made more than 10 years ago:

    http://www.racketlon.com/newborgrack.html

    [​IMG]
    Sharif Khan & Björn Borg competing in table tennis
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
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  25. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    In squash you really arm the ball more don't you.
     
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  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I know someone whose tennis strokes are based on his racquetball strokes and, although it is unconventional, he is very effective at it. He's got excellent speed and court coverage, and among other things, can hit ridiculous low, pinpoint angles, from way off of the court.
     
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  27. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Mostly wrist snap!
     
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  28. 4sound

    4sound Semi-Pro

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    Up to a certain level there is a translation of skills from squash to tennis.

    Tennis uses more core rotation on the ground strokes. Ball tracking is different because of the distance to the baseline. Squash players tend to setup later to the strike.
     
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  29. courtking

    courtking Semi-Pro

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    squash will improve your tennis level 10 fold.. many tennis great playing squash for cross training.. Jim Pugh, Jim Grabb, Alex Obrian.. and many European tennis players use squash for conditioning training.. I believe even the King Federer plays squash to some degree.. he has great slice and squash shots..
    I play 30 years of tennis and about 15 years of squash.. I must say squash is a great game and best compliment sport for tennis.. foot work, hand eyes, quick reflex as well as off balance shots are the best training using squash..
     
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  30. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i play racketlon for a number of years now. i don´t feel that one sport really harms the other as long as you clearly understand that these are different sports which require different technique, tactics, skills. in competition we go from one sport to another and have about 3 minutes of warm-up for each sport. so we have to change very quickly and adapt. that is very difficult at first, and like most things, if you practice them often it gets easy.

    i wouldn´t recommend squash as a means to get better at tennis.
    you have long rallies in squash, so that helps your endurance and also a lot of fast sprints. it´s a good physical training to become fitter and maybe more fun than going to the gym for example.
     
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  31. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    Some friends of mine are rec squash players. Some of them thoughtnthey would do well against me in tennis. They didnt.

    One of them when playing tennis, on his first hit, almost ended up getting injured because we use almost exclusively, his wrist...

    For what I see, squash players are very wristy in tennis
     
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  32. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    correct use of the wrist is paramount in squash:)
    i find that tennis players make the transition to squash much easier than squash players to tennis
     
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  33. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I doubt it. People say the same thing about badminton and it really is not the case. The role of the wrist appears to be grossly exaggerated for squash, badminton and even for tennis. A lot of what people attribute to the wrist is really rotations of the forearm (pronation & supination) and also the shoulder. Sure there are some wrist actions, but to characterize most shots in badminton and squash as very wristy is erroneous.

    Too much reliance on the wrist will lead to errors and excessive wristiness can might be harmful to the wrist joint and forearm. Wristy actions can complicate the timing of the shot -- ok when your timing is impeccable, not so much when it is not.

    http://www.squashgame.info/squashlibrary/8
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
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  34. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Take a gander at the following video. Mike Way, Harvard squash coach, talks about cocking the wrist and forearm rotation. He does say to "wrist" the shot. The shots that he demonstrates employ every little wrist action on the forward swing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uuDRO8SKJ0
    .
     
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  35. mhj202

    mhj202 Rookie

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    I seem to remember a story about Ivan Lendl, during his top playing days, playing a squash exhibition against one of the top-ranked squash players in the world and giving the guy a run for his money.

    Given Ivan's tennis stroke mechanics and grip, it would make sense to me that he would be more suited to be able to transition back and forth between tennis and squash easier than many others-- Agassi for example, i would think would have a harder time translating his tennis game to squash.
     
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  36. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

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    I highly, highly doubt that Lendl could be competitive against a top player. I'm a B squash player, which is a pretty good level (probably the equivalent of NTRP low-5.0 in tennis), and I would probably beat quite easily most pro tennis players, unless they truly practiced regularly for several months at the very least (not so sure about Federer though, supposedly he plays a bit, and with his talent...). I played a couple of times with ex-tennis players that tried squash casually for a few years after international junior tennis "careers" (they both reached and NTRP of about 6.0, which is about 0.5-1.0 above my tennis level), and I barely lost any points. It's just two different sports, and movement, amongst other things, is completely different.

    Now I don't know about Lendl's level, but I'd like to get more details about that exo: who did he play, when? was the match truly competitive? My guess is he would've struggled to win more than 2 or 3 rallies in an entire match against a top guy playing 100%.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  37. Fugazi

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    I looked up that Lendl squash exo on the net, and found that it was against Ned Edwards, the no 2 player in the world, in the early eighties. No way it was competitive in my book, but I'd like to be proven wrong...
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  38. mhj202

    mhj202 Rookie

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    I'm having difficulty finding results on the squash match between Lendl and Edwards but my recollection is that Lendl won the first game but ended up losing a competitive match.

    What you may be missing in your analysis is that, unlike most tennis players, he is reputed to have played squash somewhat regularly as part of (or complementary to) his tennis training. As I said above, I don't think that would work for most but given Lendl's strokes and tennis grip on his forehand/backhand, I could see how he might be one of the rare folks that could do both.
     
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  39. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    the wrist is important both in squash and badminton. but you can´t say it´s ´mostly wrist´. it plays a role in deception/direction more than anything else. that´s just my opinion after playing both sports competitively for a number of years.

    and there is no way lendl could have nearly beaten the no.2 squash player in the world. it´s much more likely that he would beat tiger woods in a round of golf:)
     
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  40. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

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    Beating Tiger Woods is easy. Beating Kim Jong Il, now that would be impressive!
     
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  41. mhj202

    mhj202 Rookie

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    Well, probably not that impressive anymore.
     
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  42. mhj202

    mhj202 Rookie

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    Keep in mind that Lendl had a squash court in each of his houses so he did apparently practice regularly for more than a few months. That having been said, I suspect that being able to beat you is very different from being able to beat the No. 2 player in the world.

    Wish I could find some info online about the result of the exhibition but have come up empty because it was back in the 80's-- at least we were able to show that the exhibition did happen.

    In any case, my recollection is that Lendl either won the first game or at least gave Ned a good run. However, as many point out, we have no idea what the actual result was since we can't find info, we don't know how hard Ned was playing - it could easily have been more of a hit and giggle since it was an exhibition where Ned was taking it very, very easy on Ivan until he lost a few points or a game and then played for real.
     
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  43. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    Stefan Edberg played competitive squash for a number of years and still does for all i know. first division in sweden. and played some exos against
    pros, without success though
     
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  44. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

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    Yeah I heard about Edberg. Do you have a link for a video by any chance?
     
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  45. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    unfortunately no:( he played against joe kreiss in 2003 and there´s an article and picture of that on kreiss´website.
     
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