Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Since this guy has made significant strides over the past 12 months with his squash, and his name keeps on popping up in the winner’s column, I figured I would lay him on the couch and plummet deep into his inner child. His competitive nature makes him a difficult opponent and he is also a quick study in understanding the game. Recent success has also motivated him to play even harder. How hard? We’ll see.


The Squash Joint (TSJ): When I first met you, you were training for and doing triathlons. Did you take up squash as a way to keep fit, and did you find the fitness level required to play squash competitively harder or easier than you expected?

Anthony Fracchia (AF): I actually started playing squash a few years before I started training for triathlons. I started playing in 2000 when I was on a consulting project in Calgary, Alberta. Our client was wondering why we were playing racquetball and invited us to learn/play squash with them. After one game I was hooked, I never played racquetball again… I played on an off (and by “off” I mean 3 to 4 years) until I joined the DAC. Once I joined the DAC I started playing more consistently.

TSJ: When did the squash ‘bug’ bite you? Immediately? Or only after a while? What do you think is the reason?

AF: I definitely bit me the minute I played my first game. I though I was in great shape at the time and that first game absolutely destroyed me – It was love at first swing 

TSJ: Winning is of course addictive. You won the 3.5 Club Championships in May without dropping a game, and have scored some wins over 4.5 players in box ladder play too. What is your goal with your squash? How far do you believe you can go up the rankings? (Don’t be modest now…!)

AF: I am an extremely competitive person by nature (please reference footage of my demeanor during my tournament matches ). I didn’t really know where I fit in with respect to my level of play until I joined the DAC. I feel that if I can play on a more consistent basis, and with players that are a bit stronger than me, I can compete at the 4.0 and 4.5 level. My goal for right now is to win the 4.0 or 4.5 DAC Championships next year.

TSJ: Who is your ultimate sports hero and why?

AF: I’ve got to go with Steve Yzerman on this one. Stevie Y is, in my opinion, the epitome of what a respectful, classy, and hard working professional sports player should be. In an environment driven by money and greed he stayed with the Detroit Red Wings his entire playing career. I’ve had the chance to meet him on a few occasions and he is a very kind and modest person.

TSJ: You die and land in Hell. (Hypothetically, of course!) Knowing how competitive you are, Satan cuts you a break and decides to let you play a sport for all eternity. However, it’s the one sport and opponent you detest the most. What sport is that and who are you playing against?

AF: I am playing cricket against the Duke men’s basketball team, and they are kicking my ass!

TSJ: Okay, God realizes he made a mistake and instantaneously transports you into heaven. As compensation for your troubles, he resurrects you on Earth but in a different era. To what era do you choose and what job will you have?

AF: I would be resurrected in the 1930’s and I would be a jazz musician during the American birth of improv jazz – I get to play with Charlie Parker, the Dizz, Thelonius Monk, Duke, Miles… the whole gang. I would do my best to not become addicted to heroin 

TSJ: By the way you look after yourself, I am presuming you eat well. Do you have a specific diet that you keep, and is there a particular food or meal you prefer to eat before competition?
AF: I have always eaten well and the “good” food I choose to eat actually tastes good to me now. I have an insatiable appetite which results in me eating 6 to 7 meals per day. Whenever possible, I try to stick to the general rule that if I cannot recognize or pronounce the ingredients in the food, I do not eat it. I do not have any special meal that I eat before a match but my “go to” meal before a big race is pizza and micro brews!

TSJ: Along that theme, you are dying of starvation. Your only choice to eat is at a fast food chain restaurant. Which restaurant do you choose and what do you order?

AF: That’s easy, KFC chicken strips with ranch dressing

TSJ: What is the one shot on the squash court you love to play? What is the one you hate to play? What is the one shot you dislike your opponents playing?

AF: The one shot I love to play is the mid-court boast after hitting rails for most of the match. My opponent usually (or “hopefully”) cheats a little bit and if I can pull it off - it’s usually a guaranteed point. The one shot I hate to play is the lob when I am running up to get a drop – I can never hit the lob deep enough. The shot I dislike my opponents playing is the same shot I love to play – the mid-court boast. I am usually out of position and don’t even try to get it.

TSJ: We are at a night club. What song motivates you to get you on the dance floor and bust-a-move? Do you need a few drinks in you before that happens? What are you drinking?

AF: Another easy one, “Give it to me” by Jay-Z and Pharrell. I am on my third single malt scotch and am convinced that I am the funniest person in the bar

TSJ: What motto do you live your life by?

AF: You can accomplish any goal you set if you are willing to put in the necessary work and make the necessary sacrifices

TSJ: For the last question, I like to ask the most crucial one and get you to man up… Do you cry at movies, and if so which movie(s) made you cry? Be honest now!

AF: I will man up for TSJ on this one and speak the truth on this one… Years ago I was at home, by myself, and there was nothing on TV. I came across a movie called “Dad” with Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson which is about a successful, self-indulgent son who has to watch after his estranged and aging father after his mother suffers a heart-attack. There were a few scenes where I got a little misty… I haven’t watched it since.

Even though he has insulted Australia’s national sport of cricket, I would like to pass on a big ‘thank you’ to Anthony for opening himself candidly up to us! I know he expects great things from himself so those upper level players should start taking notice – he’ll be gunning for you! If you ever find yourself on court with him, be prepared to run hard and try not to set him up for his mid-court boast… easier said than done of course. Otherwise you could hand him a trumpet and maybe he’ll get distracted….

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