All posts by SDA Pro Tour

johnnie-O Ups Their Game Going Into 2nd Season with SDA Pro Tour

East Coast meets West Coast lifestyle apparel brand, johnnie-O, enters their 2nd season as official lifestyle apparel sponsor of the Squash Doubles Association Pro Tour.

“We are thrilled to renew our partnership with johnnie-O for a second season,” said Kevin Luzak, Chairman of the Squash Doubles Association Board of Directors. “The johnnie-O brand embodies an active, sports-oriented lifestyle that matches up perfectly with the DNA of the SDA and of squash doubles. johnnie-O’s newest SDA pieces are terrific additions to an already stellar collection of offerings.”

Shared Quinn Veysey, SVP Business Development at johnnie-O, “We had a great first season with the SDA Pro Tour. Working with the Tour to expand awareness of both our brands has had a natural feel that works well for both entities. We’re offering co-branded pieces specifically curated for the SDA, elevated premium options for the patron gifts, and outfitting the top 50 players has been fun and terrific exposure for johnnie-O.”

As johnnie-O enters the 2nd season, the SDA collection by johnnie-O will be expanded to include a deeper offering from their PREP-FORMANCE® line featuring the top selling Bunker and Fairway polos, more quarter-zip pull-over styles and the new lightweight Natural Performance® piece called the Collier.  Items from johnnie-O’s SDA Pro Tour collection can be viewed and purchased here.

About johnnie-O – Started by John O’Donnell in 2005, johnnie-O is a branded lifestyle apparel company, founded in Santa Monica, CA, that fuses a Southern California vibe with East Coast classics. With headquarters based in Los Angeles and offices throughout the Midwest and East Coast of the United States, johnnie-O boasts a national presence and licensing agreements with Major League Baseball, NCAA Universities and Colleges and now the SDA Pro Tour. www.johnnie-o.com.

About the SDA Pro Tour – Entering its seventh season, the SDA Pro Tour supports a schedule of more than twenty events across the United States, Canada and Mexico with an aggregate purse of more than $500,000. Featuring players from twenty different countries, the SDA is the home for the world’s best hardball doubles action.

For more info, contact Kim Rohm – kim@johnnie-O.com  or Graham Bassett – grahambassett@sdaprotour.com

Mathur & Callis Clinch Season-Opener at Expanded Maryland Club

Manek Mathur & Chris Callis opened the 2018-2019 SDA season with a dominant display in Baltimore, clinching the SDA Diamond Maryland Club Open title Monday night.

Mathur, world No. 1, had been forced to shuffle partners this season due to an injury keeping Damien Mudge off court—his partner for the past two seasons. Mathur rekindled his 2015 Big Apple Open finalist partnership with Chris Callis, Princeton graduate and 2016 SDA rookie of the year. Callis stepped into Mudge’s role on the right wall as Mathur & Callis led the draw as top seeds.

Mathur & Callis blew past Peter Kelly & Joshua Schwartz 15-5, 15-8, 15-7 in the first round, and put in another strong performance in the quarterfinals against Mike Ferreira & Whitten Morris, 15-9, 15-3, 15-3.

Commonwealth Games doubles gold medalist Zac Alexander & Robin Clark upset the seedings in the quarterfinals, defeating England’s Clive Leach & James Bamber 15-14, 15-4, 15-5 to set up a semifinal against the top seeds. Mathur & Callis proved to be too much for Alexander & Clarke in the semis with the top seeds once again progressing to the final in three games.

2018 Buffalo Pro Doubles champions James Stout & Greg McArthur claimed the biggest upset in the bottom half of the draw. Two seeds John Russell & Yvain Badan had come back from 2-0 down to win their quarterfinal match up in five games against Raj Nanda & Greg Park. The two seeds found themselves 2-0 down once again in the semis against Stout & McArthur and appeared to be on the brink of another come back by winning the third and holding a simultaneous game/match ball at 14-all in the fourth. Stout & McArthur claimed the pivotal point to take the match 15-14 in the fourth.

Mathur & Callis continued their strong form into the final against Stout & McArthur, dropping just five points in the first and third games to claim the title in three. The title marks the largest of Callis’ SDA career and Mathur’s first at the Maryland Club.

“It was a treat to be out there with Chris,” Mathur said. “We go so far back that our friendship and understanding showed through with our on court communication, which was a massive plus. When you have someone new to play doubles with, no matter who they are or how good, the meshing aspect can be tricky. I think we understood each other’s strengths and weaknesses to a T.”

The Maryland Club Open event returns to the SDA Tour with its highest prize money to date following a brief hiatus last season. The club underwent renovations that added a third hardball doubles court—the only club in the United States with three courts.

“The Maryland Club is a special place,” Mathur said. “They’ve got some of the best members and now the best squash doubles facility in the world. It was a treat to be a part of their event and history and I am already counting down the days to their next event. Andrew Cordova is a class act. What he does for the game and the sport is unparalleled and consistently pushes us pros to raise the bar at our home clubs. Can’t thank the club, membership and the staff enough for treating us like family all through the weekend.”

Jamie Bentley on Outside the Glass

Check out Jim Zug’s interview with squash doubles legend Jamie Bentley on the Outside the Glass podcast.

An injury on the ice brought a Canadian junior hockey player into the squash court, and the game of doubles was never the same. Jamie Bentley, three-time World Doubles champion, speaks about the game of cutthroat, the thrill of doubles and the day, up match ball, he lost seventeen points in a row.

July 2018 Rankings

1-Jul Name Country Tournaments Average 1-Jun
1 Damien Mudge Australia 7 4387.500 1
1 Manek Mathur India 7 4387.500 1
3 Scott Arnold Australia 7 3420.000 3
4 John Russell England 5 3020.000 4
5 Yvain Badan Switzerland 9 2968.750 5
6 Mike Ferreira England 9 2750.000 6
7 Chris Callis USA 7 2432.500 7
8 Jonny Smith England 7 2370.000 8
9 Bernardo Samper Colombia 8 2327.083 9
10 Clive Leach England 11 2108.929 10
11 James Stout Bermuda 5 1847.500 11
12 Greg Park USA 9 1754.167 12
13 Greg McArthur Scotland 4 1685.000 13
14 Raj Nanda Australia 8 1658.333 14
15 Adam Bews Scotland 9 1633.333 15
16 Will Mariani Canada 7 1630.000 16
17 James Bamber England 7 1546.250 17
18 Thomas Brinkman Canada 4 1430.000 18
19 Viktor Berg Canada 4 1365.000 19
20 Omar El Kashef Egypt 8 1342.708 20

 

Complete Ranking List

Second SDA Combine Primes Two Dozen Prospects

The second SDA Pro Tour Combine drew two dozen prospects to the doubles courts on Sunday, June 3, at Apawamis in Rye, New York.

The combine aims to expose experienced singles players to professional-level hardball doubles in hopes of attracting competitors to the SDA Pro Tour.

The twenty-four players included current and recent college graduates, current and former PSA players and teaching professionals. The coaching staff consisted of world No. 1 Manek Mathur, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Zac Alexander, veterans Steve Scharff and Travis Judson, and SDA Tour Director Graham Bassett.

“Having twenty-four young doubles players make the trip to Rye from locales ranging from Toronto to South Carolina was really a neat thing to experience,” Scharff said. “All the participants showed a passion and enthusiasm for doubles that made the day fly by. While everyone had a strong squash background, the amount of doubles that each player had experienced varied. Everyone took advantage of having the coaches there and you could see remarkable improvement in the strategies and tactics being utilized by the end of the day.”

The players were divided into four teams consisting of three pairs with a coach leading each team. At the end of the day, the Grey team topped the standings thanks to Chris Fernandez & Alexander Ma, Ryan Mullaney & Greg Crane and Dane Sharp & Freddy Hernandez, each earning SDA rankings points as a result.

“I took a lot away from the combine, it was great to be able to get coaching in between games and matches from some very good and established doubles players,” said Fernandez, a recent graduate of St. Lawrence. “They definitely see the game from a completely different perspective and to have them share their knowledge and wisdom with us was something I don’t take from granted. I will definitely look Into playing more events next year.”

The top two teams with the best records, Tim Lasusa & Elroy Leong and Fernandez & Ma, also received bonus rankings points for the best games won record.

“The main take away for me from the combine for me was just having the opportunity to meet other great doubles players who are also interested in joining the tour,” said Ma, a recent graduate of Harvard. “Getting on court with such high-quality players, combined with the advice of the coaches, really helped me understand the areas where I need to improve my game in order to win matches on the doubles tour. It was a great experience that will me develop further as a player and more importantly, expand my network in the doubles scene.”

In addition to exposure to elite coaching, the participants were provided with the full network of SDA professionals in hopes of securing future partnerships.

Overall it was a very inspiring day and I will definitely be playing some more events this coming season as a result,” said Tim Lasusa, a recent St. Lawrence graduate and PSA player. “Hopefully we can get more young guys playing after they graduate. It’s an amazing game and it’s a great time to join. Eventually the top guys are going to retire and it’s up to us to step up and create a great product.”

Watch match replays below. View images in the SDA SmugMug gallery.