Questionnaire: Peter Nicol, Squash World Champion

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The Independent Online
You're British and you're a World No 1, which is an unusual combination. What's your secret?

Passion, commitment, hard work, self-belief, willing to learn, strong mentally.

Earlier this year you were awarded the MBE. What did you talk about when you met the Queen?

I've not got round to collecting it yet, but will probably do so in February.

Have you ever had any John McEnroe-style outbursts on court?

Yes, when I was eight. My dad saw it and didn't say anything. The next time I did it, he said: "If you do that again you won't be going to a squash club any more." I cried and haven't done anything like it since.

Having reached the pinnacle of your sport at the age of 27, what are your remaining ambitions?

To be the best possible player I possibly can be, and to win more major championships - Worlds, British Opens, Commonwealth Games. And excel at something completely different.

Would you like to play a sport with a higher profile?

Sometimes I think it might be appealing but 90 per cent of the time I'm happy playing squash because I love the game. I like being me and the sport allows me to do that.

Does the Millennium mean anything to you?


How did you find out that Father Christmas does not exist?

Can't remember.

Do you consider yourself to be Scottish or British?

Scottish, British, European and from the world.

Who or what do you hate?

No one and nothing. I consider hate a bad thing and too negative to waste energy on.

Do you still eat British beef?

Yes, I love it. It hasn't done me any harm. Baa!

What wakes you up at night?

A hotel alarm when I'm playing in a tournament - probably set off by my fellow players. Or maybe by my beautiful girlfriend!