Tennis/Squash

Palmer not taking anything for granted

  • Palmer begins his title defence against Kneipp (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

David Palmer will begin his title defence against long-time friend and sparring partner Joe Kneipp during tonight’s opening round of the Legends of Squash at the Bermuda Squash Rackets Association in Devonshire.

The Australian is the firm favourite going into the contest but is not taking anything for granted against his opponent.

“Joe will be tough,” Palmer, the multiple world champion and former Bermuda resident, said.

“He is a really good shot player who goes through a lot of shots, so I will be on my toes early.

“Joe is an old friend and we used to train a lot together when we were based in Europe.

“As far as exhibition and league squash, he was one of the best out there, and this tournament is a little bit of a mix.

“It’s pretty serious but it’s got a bit of an entertainment value as well and he’s always done well in these relaxed environments.

“Best of three makes it tough, so you’ve got to be ready to go. If you get off to a slow start it’s tough to come back.

“Normally I struggle the first night and get better as the event goes on.

“If I can sneak through a couple of wins early, then I seem to get better every match I play here and I think probably tonight will be the hardest one for me.”

Palmer, who beat John White in last year’s final to secure a second Legend title in three years, is in the same round robin group as Micah Franklin, the three-times Bermuda national squash champion.

“It makes it fun having a local kid in there, and I think he will do OK,” Palmer said.

“We used to have Nick Kyme mixed in with us, which is always great for the local interests.

“Now Micah has really stepped it up and is playing PSA, and it’s a great opportunity for him to get some good hits and experience being on court with us.”

Tournament play starts at 6pm.

For further information on the event visit http://bermudasquash.com/legends/.