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Question & Answer with David and Peter Yik

Peter Yik is the senior No.1 for the men's squash team. David Yik is the freshman No.2 for men's squash. They recently sat down with senior writer Clark Thiemann.

Prince: When did you guys start playing squash? It doesn't seem like the kind of sport that many young people get into.

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Peter Yik: I think both of us started playing tennis when we were younger. I know I was eight and that would make David five. We probably started seriously playing squash when I was 12.

David Yik: I just started playing since my big brother was doing it. It seemed like the thing to do.

P: Was there a rivalry between the two of you when you were young, even though Peter was older?

PY: At the beginning there was the physical strength difference so I could always beat him, but now since we're a little bit older we've evened out a little bit. He's actually bigger than I am now.

P: David, did Peter have a lot to do with your coming to Princeton?

DY: Definitely, the opportunity to play with my brother on the same team was an exciting chance for me. Since squash is such an individual sport, it isn't often you get the chance to play on a team with someone.

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PY: He visited a bunch to see me here too. I think he had a good time coming to see me.

P: When was the first time you beat him, David?

DY: He doesn't like to admit it, but the first time I've beat him in a serious match was earlier this year. It was a tough five games, but I actually did beat him.

P: David, what was this about you having to ref your brother's match at the Ivy League Championships this year?

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DY: Well, you get paired up on courts, so when my match was over my opponent and I stayed on to ref my brother's match [which would decide the overall winner]. I just remember the last couple points being really tense and then my brother won the last point. I was in the second row, where the refs sit, and I just jumped over a couple rows to get to the court and started celebrating. It was a great feeling to see my brother break the tie.

P: How was winning the individual national tournament last year, Peter?

PY: That was a thrill. I'd have to say it was one of the biggest wins of my life. Coming into college and playing for my first two years I knew I was one of the top players in college squash, but to actually get your name on that trophy — I mean you look at the other names on the rest of the trophy — and it's some high quality players. It was just a phenomenal feeling to win that event.

P: Are you looking forward to going back there this year?

PY: Definitely. I think it's even going to be tougher this year. My class is very strong, but in addition we have an incredible freshman class. Freshmen are four of our top six players including David playing at No. 2. I think any given day he can upset any of the top players at that tournament.

P: Would you guys like to meet each other in the individual championships?

PY: That would be a great situation.

DY: That would be fun.

PY: I don't know if we're in the same half of the draw, but it would be great to play him since for David to meet me he'll have to pull off some big wins against some good players. Since he's relatively unknown he won't be ranked as high, so if David and I end up playing it means that he really has pulled off a couple of great wins.

DY: I'm really looking forward to this individual championship. Playing at No. 2 this year, now I get to try my game out with some of the best players in the country.

P: Peter, what are you thinking of doing with your squash career after the season is over?

PY: I've been thinking about that starting around the beginning of my senior year, and I know that Tim Wyant from Harvard and a guy from Dartmouth are going pro, and I know that I'm as good, if not better than those two — so there's been a lot of pressure from the squash community for me to go pro, just try it for a year and a half or two and see how I do playing professionally in North America. I've decided not to go that route, though. I'll be working in New York next year at Lehman Brothers, Sales and Trading. It's a very good job that's nice to have set up already. I definitely intend to still play. There's a lot of good players in New York, and I want to play three or four times a week. I'm also looking forward to coming back to Princeton to hit with the boys some.

P: Last week, we did a Q&A with Julia Beaver, and she talked about practicing with you, now it's your turn. What's it like playing with Julia?

PY: I love the girls team and think that they're great, and have no problems hitting with any of them. Especially somebody who's as talented as Julia. She plays No. 1 on the girls team and is a tremendous athlete. She has the ability to be the best in the country, not just in college squash, but at the professional level as well. She's a very good player.

DY: She was talking about how she got a game off you a couple weeks ago. She seemed very happy.

PY: Yeah, I heard she was saying that. She's just an awesome player.

P: David, are you looking forward to playing the next couple years here and bringing the team to new levels?

DY: I'm looking forward to it. It's sad that we're losing a few great guys in the seniors that are leaving this year, but we have a good young team with the four freshmen that came in this year, and we should be able to keep the team going.

PY: I'm only one player leaving and out of the top nine who make up the varsity, I'm going to be the only one gone. With four freshmen and a sophomore in the top six, we're a very young — but very talented — team. I think they're only going to get better. All the talent and ingredients are there. They just need the experience.

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