World number two Vanessa Atkinson is enjoying a rich vein of
form, having won the Apawamis Open, the KL Open and the Tournament
of Champions in the past few weeks, results which will probably take
her back to world number one at the end of the month.
She's celebrating her 30th birthday today, and with perfect timing
we have a "20 questions" session from Kimberly Tunney, taken on the
day she won in New York.
We also have the usual photo gallery, with the added bonus of some
'growing up' photos courtesy of Vanessa's Grandparents Anne and
Many Happy Returns ...
with Kim Tunney
Where do you live?
In The Hague, Netherlands
Where do you train?
I train mainly in The Hague; sometimes in Amsterdam.
What is your typical training week like?
It depends if it is off season or pre-tournament. I usually train
about six times a week. Two sessions a day. One of those sessions at
least will be squash either with another player playing a match, or
doing routines or having someone give me a feeding session.
How do you train off-season?
If it’s off-season, I’ll train two or three times a week. I have a
fitness trainer I work with twice a week and we do on-court stuff
but without a racquet; plyometrics, sprinting, ghosting, all that
kind of thing. I usually do yoga once or twice a week; spinning
sometimes, a lot of different things.
What’s your favourite clothing
There’s an English shop I love, Karen Millen, which you don’t have
here. I’m an absolute shop-alcoholic.
If I gave you a debit card loaded with $10,000 credit, what
would be the first shop you’d go to here in New York City?
I’d go to SoHo. I don’t know what the shops are called but there’s a
trendy area with little boutiques I always go into that I can never
afford what’s in there. I could probably spend a bit of money in
Where were you born?
Many people probably don’t know you were born in England. When
did you move to the Netherlands?
When I was about 5 I left Newcastle with my family due to my
father’s job. And we ended up staying there.
What’s your fondest childhood memory?
Probably Christmas with my family. Many happy times and memories.
What’s your favourite thing to do on a night out?
I enjoy going out to bars.
What‘s your favourite drink?
Vodka and cranberry.
When did you turn pro?
When I was 19-years-old.
How long do you intend to stay pro?
Another five years or so, I hope.
Tell us what you apartment looks like.
Very bright and colourful with lots of pictures hanging on the
What’s your favourite city in the United States?
There are many places that I haven’t been but I enjoy New York
because I’m familiar with it. I also enjoy San Francisco.
What’s your favourite flower?
What was the last book you read?
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. It was a great book but then
I got caught up in its controversy so now I’m a bit disappointed.
What’s the silliest thing you did as a child?
I was a real tom-boy. Once I swung on a rope on a tree out in the
woods and fell off swinging and really scratched up my face.
Do you think the ladies pro matches should be streamed live?
Yeah, I would be for that.
What has been the highest point in your squash career so far?
Winning the World Open Title in 2004. And tonight’s (winning the
2006 Tournament of Champions) not bad either!