90 Seconds With Laurens Anjema

(image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)
Laurens Anjema, thirty-one-years-old, born in The Hague, Netherlands, joined the PSA world tour in 1999 and became a full-time professional in 2002. Since then, LJ has won twelve PSA titles, reached a career-high world ranking of No. 9 in December 2010, and is a winner of nine Dutch national championships. (image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)

Squash Magazine: Describe the first time you played squash.

Laurens Anjema: I loved the sound the ball made on the front wall. It was in the Hague in Holland. My dad was twelve-time national champion and he took me to the court just for fun. And I sort of got addicted to the sound the ball made on the front wall. My dad was the only one who could do it because he could hit the ball hard. As a kid I couldn’t and it took me about ten years to emulate that.

SM: If you weren’t a squash player you would be.

LJ: I would walk people’s dogs.

SM: When you retire, you will.

LJ: Import women’s lingerie.

SM: If you could change one thing in the squash world, what would it be?

LJ: Exposure to the public.

SM: Most embarrassing moment?

LJ: There are a lot of times when you’re on court and a lot of people are watching and you feel like a fish in water where you’re comfortable. And then other days you don’t feel comfortable at all for some reason.

SM: What’s one thing you didn’t know when you turned professional that you wish you had known?

LJ: More is not always more. Sometimes less is more.

SM: Worst travel experience?

LJ: Ages ago when I played a tournament in Cairo. I had booked by flight to Holland before heading to St. Louis. I kept winning so I was on the phone with Austrian Airways everyday pushing back my flight. When I finally got back to Amsterdam, I had a few hours to go back home, throw my clothes in the washing machine, dry them, put them back in my bag, go to the airport and twelve hours later I was in St. Louis.

SM: Pregame suspicions or rituals?

LJ: Because I’m a very serious guy, it relaxes me if I talk smack with a stranger. Preferably someone I don’t know.

SM: Favorite movies.

LJ: Fight Club, the Motorcycle Diaries, I recently saw Rush and it was really good. Let’s keep it at three otherwise I’ll keep going.