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26th June:
He's been on the scene for a while, but Joe Kneipp is one of those players who seem to improve with age, and as he broke into the top ten for the first time, at the age of 30, Framboise caught up with Joe at the Broadgate Arena ...

                                  from May 2004

Joe KNEIPP:
THE AUSTRALIANS ARE LIKE THEIR WINE,
THEY MATURE WELLÖ

They do, donít they? John White became world number one at 30, and look at Joe Kneipp.

A huge film fan (his favourite film is ďAmelieĒ, the French film, bless his little Australian heart), a party lover who had to cut it down to further his career, he has been on the circuit for 10 years, worked hard, trained hard, and finally at 30 reaches top 10, and the Super Series Finals. And I donít think he is thinking about retirement eitherÖ

When did you start establishing
yourself at the top of the game?

In 2000, I went from top 30 to top 20. For about 18 months, Iíd been sitting at 12 or 13, and in 2004, I got into the top 10.

What is your principal fault?
I always have good wins, bad losses. I will lose against somebody way below my ranking, and then beat somebody way above me. Apart from Peter, Iíve beaten everybody else. But I donít hold the result day after day, match after match.

Why?
Because Iím not Ö because I should be in a funny farm.

Maybe you donít have
enough support on the tour?

Funny you say that. Just before you arrived on the scene (glad to know that even in Amsterdam, squash players are connecting to our website), my brother spent two years travelling on tour with me, and actually deferred his university studies to do so. But last year, he had to go back and finish his diploma. For two years he was with me every day, travelling with me everywhere, and that was great. But now, Iím back by myself again.

Do you miss him?
Yes, a lot. I was always trying to win for me and for him, not just for myself, because he was putting so much effort into me, helping me. Iím used to lose quite a lot, but I always wanted to win for him, to thank him for his presence and his help. So I was playing for two.

Do you have a coach?
No, because in Amsterdam, I donít have anybody who I would like to have as a coach. But in the summer, Iím back in Australia, and Iím about to start with the Australian Institute of Sport for the first time.

What is your goal at this point of your career?
A huge achievement for me was to get to the top 10. That for me was an indication of being a success as a squash player, and that was massive. Now, my goal is to get to the top 4 or 5, and to win a 32 draw tournament with everybody in it, with all the best playing.

Why do you put yourself through
all the pain, and the training?

Well, for me, 90% nowadays is hard work, and 10% is when you manage to have a good day, and everything goes together, and then it seems that the enjoyment level is 90% and the hard work is 10%.

Today for example [against Lee Beachill], was the best squash I've played for a long time (and it won Joe the award of Player of the Day from the press).

Itís very hard to play at your best, but when you succeed, it makes the rest look so much more worthwhileÖ
  

 "Joe"

from May 2004

 

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