"Hopefully we will be a part of Olympics at some point" says German squash player Raphael Kandra
Raphael Kandra is a German squash player. He's currently ranked in the 22nd position in the PSA World Rankings. His first title was the New South Wales Open in 2011 and from then he has been making his country proud in several occasions.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Kandra talks about his entire squash career and also about the upcoming season.
What inspired you to choose squash as your career?
Kandra: I started early, as my dad used to have his own Squash Club until I was 11. Later on, I competed on the European tour and was quite successful. So I kept going and decided to go professional
You have been considered as the star of German squash. How do you look at these comments?
Kandra: *laughs* Interesting. I would consider myself as the star of German squash. I mean I am always trying my best and at the end of the day, it’s your choice to go through training like hell or only train as much as you feel comfortable. You need to get out of your comfort zone in order to be successful. So everyone can be a star in different ways.
How would you like to describe the squash culture in Germany?
Kandra: Not an easy question to be honest. I guess the German squash federation is trying hard to consider kids joining Squash in the early stages. But unfortunately, it’s not that easy at all. I think it’s not just squash. All the other sports except for soccer are struggling to increase the kids' population in general. Computer games and a lazy lifestyle causes that. But we are getting there and hopefully, we will be part of the Olympics at some point. This will help the squash sport in the whole world.
The squash season is set to begin from August. What are you aiming at in this season?
Kandra: I am really looking forward to the upcoming season. I played really well at the end of last season and want to continue my run beginning with the Europeans individuals at the end of August. Overall I want to reach the top 10 in the world for the first time and stay healthy as much as I can.
Squash has become a lovable sport in the recent years. Do you see squash in the 2024 Olympics?
Kandra: As I already stated before, I really hope to get in! It’s been a few hard years with squash not getting in the Olympics. But I do have a positive feeling to reach that goal this time!
Which particular match/tournament would you like to call as the turning point of your career?
Kandra: Definitely the Allam British open in May this year, where I reached the semifinals. I believed in myself as never before and realized that I can be part of the best players in the world.
There are various kids who have started developing an interest in squash. What message would you like to give to them?
Kandra: Keep going and you will see the improvement. And the most important thing of all: have fun and enjoy what you are doing! Start with small goals and go bigger with little steps.