U.S. Open Celebrates Doubles Community

2016-2017 U.S. doubles national champions.

Doubles came to singles, as a new tradition at the 2017 United States Open Squash Championship started today.

Doubles Day celebrated the game of doubles. A hugely popular and growing game in the U.S., squash doubles was originally created in 1907 at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia, less than twenty blocks from the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

Doubles Day included a look at the future of the game, with the U.S. Intercollegiate Squash Doubles Championships in full swing at Germantown Cricket Club.

The SDA, the men’s pro doubles association with a continent-wide, twenty-event tour, celebrated their 2016-17 awards at Doubles Day. They included the team of the year Manek Mathur & Damien Mudge; player of the year Manek Mathur; most improved player Bobby Burns and James Bamber; sportsmanship honoree Chris Callis; and rookie of the year Clinton Leeuw.

Doubles Day also honored all the national champions from last season. Honorees in attendance included Barry Abelson (men’s 80+), Jed Burde (junior boys U17) Ed Chilton (men’s 50+), Ed Garno and Narelle Krizek (mixed open), Rachel Mashek (junior girls U19), Andrew and Maxwell Orr (father & son 15 and under) and Emily and Abigail Schuster (junior girls U15).

Watch the 2016-2017 SDA Awards presentation below:

It’s An England Double At World Hardball Doubles Championships In St Louis

RESULTS: Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships, St Louis, Missouri, USA

Men’s Final:
[4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG) bt Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN) 15-10, 15-10, 3-15, 7-15, 15-14

Women’s Final:
[2] Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt [1] Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (AUS) 12-15, 15-11, 15-3, 15-7

Mixed Semi-finals:
[6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA) bt [7] Tina Rix & John Russell (ENG) 15-8, 15-8, 15-4
[3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN) bt [5] Suzie Pierrepont & James Stout (ENG) 11-15, 7-11, 15-11, 15-14, 15-13
Final:
[6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA) bt [3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN) 15-9, 10-15, 11-15, 15-14, 15-7

It’s An England Double At World Hardball Doubles Championships In St Louis

England claimed two of the three titles on offer – for the second time in a row – when Clive Leach & John Russell and Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker struck gold in the Men’s and Women’s events, respectively, in the Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships in St Louis in the US state of Missouri.

There was home success earlier in the day when sixth-seeded US pairing Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis triumphed in the Mixed championship.

Despite being the title-holders, Leach & Russell were the fourth seeds – but made their breakthrough in the semi-finals where they despatched No.1 seeds Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith

The established English duo – appearing in the final for the fourth time in five years – took a two-game lead against their younger Canadian opponents Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke. The unseeded pair (pictured below in final action, in white shorts) soon drew level to force a decider – but it was the seasoned English pair, aged 43 and 38, who reached match-ball first at 14-12.

After two match-balls were saved, it was sudden death at 14-all. With Leach pressuring Brinkman to hit the ball back to himself and give away a stroke, it was the English duo who retained their title 15-10, 15-10, 3-15, 7-15, 15-14.

“I got sucked into hitting aimlessly across court and lost the battle with Thomas in the middle but then got back to the plan of mixing height with width and some down the middle to try and force an error,” said Russell later. “It worked but it was close!”

Women’s favourites Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny, the Australian sisters formerly known as Narelle and Natarsha Tippett, duly reached the final – but the title remained in English hands.

It was a joyful climax for second seeds Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker who competed in the 2015 final – on opposite sides of the court. After dropping the first game, the England pair stormed back to take the title 12-15, 15-11, 15-3, 15-7 – marking a successful defence for 2015 champion Pierrepont.

“I lost to Suzie in the final two years ago in the final,” said Stoker (pictured above at the trophy presentations). “So it was really great to have won with her this time. I was so nervous for the first game and could hardly hit it he ball, but after we won the second I settled in and we came out firing in the third and fourth.”

Seasoned hardball doubles campaigner Natalie Grainger, the 40-year-old former world No.1, was partnered by 28-year-old Christopher Callis in the Mixed final. The USA pair had already accounted for the No.4 seeds in the first round and now faced third-seeded Canadians Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg.

After taking the opening game, Grainger and Callis fell 2/1 behind – then had to save three match-balls in the fourth to force a decider. But experience shone through as the home duo marched on to win 15-9, 10-15, 11-15, 15-14, 15-7.

“We knew we had to be on high alert with Viktor on the court as he is so dangerous,” said Grainger (pictured above at the presentations). “We had to up the pace and add variety – we are so pleased to have got the win.”

For more details, visit www.worlddoubles.com/live/

Giant-Killer Russell Marches On At World Hardball Doubles Championships In St Louis

RESULTS: Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships, St Louis, Missouri, USA

Men’s semi-finals:
[4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG) bt [1] Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith (ENG) 15-5, 15-8, 15-11
Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN) bt James Bamber & Alex Stait (ENG) 15-13, 12-15, 6-15, 15-8, 15-14

Women’s semi-finals:
[1] Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (AUS) bt [3] Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating (CAN) 15-11, 15-12, 15-11
[2] Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt [4] Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds (ENG) 15-11, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12

Mixed quarter-finals:
[7] Tina Rix & John Russell (ENG) bt [1] Natarsha McElhinny & Scott Arnold (AUS) 15-6, 15-13, 5-15, 15-14
[6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA) bt [4] Victoria Simmonds & Michael Ferreira (ENG) 14-15, 15-9, 15-9, 15-5
[3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN) bt Georgina Stoker & Alex Stait (ENG) 15-8, 15-3, 15-11
[5] Suzie Pierrepont & James Stout (ENG) bt [2] Narelle Krizek & Matt Jenson (AUS) 15-10, 12-15, 15-12, 15-13

Giant-Killer Russell Marches On At World Hardball Doubles Championships In St Louis

England’s John Russell twice defied the seedings on day three of the Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships by contributing towards the downfall of two sets of top seeds in the biennial event in St Louis in the US state of Missouri.

Partnered with Tina Rix in the Mixed quarter-finals in the morning, the No.7 seeds despatched Australian favourites Natarsha McElhinny & Scott Arnold 15-6, 15-13, 5-15, 15-14.

The English pair will now face USA’s Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis who also claimed an upset after beating fourth seeds Victoria Simmonds & Michael Ferreira 14-15, 15-9, 15-9, 15-5.

Despite being title-holders in the Men’s championship, Russell and Clive Leach are the No.4 seeds. But in an all-English semi-final, the dynamic duo brushed aside No.1 seeds Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith 15-5, 15-8, 15-11 to celebrate a fourth appearance in five finals since 2009.

Leach & Russell will face Canadians Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke for the title. In a dramatic semi in the lower half of the draw, Brinkman & Clarke edged out fellow non-seeds James Bamber & Alex Stait 15-13, 12-15, 6-15, 15-8, 15-14 to put paid to an all-English climax.

Order was restored in the Women’s event when the top two seeded pairings set up the anticipated final. Australian favourites, sisters Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (pictured above), defeated Canadians Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating 15-11, 15-12, 15-11, while Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker, the second seeds from England, beat compatriots Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds 15-11, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12.

Men’s Final line-up:
[4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG) v Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN)

Women’s Final line-up:
[1] Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (AUS) v [2] Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker (ENG)

Mixed Semi-final line-up:
[7] Tina Rix & John Russell (ENG) v [6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA)
[5] Suzie Pierrepont & James Stout (ENG) v [3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN)

For live coverage and streaming, visit www.worlddoubles.com/live/

Stait Leads England Day At World Hardball Doubles In St Louis

RESULTS: Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships, St Louis, Missouri, USA

Men’s quarter-finals:
[1] Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith (ENG) bt [5] Viktor Berg & Justin Todd (CAN) 15-5, 15-12, 15-7
[4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG) bt Hamed Anvari & Julian Illingworth (USA) 15-4, 15-11, 15-13
Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN) bt [3] Christopher Callis & Greg Park (USA) 15-5, 14-15, 15-14, 8-15, 15-11
James Bamber & Alex Stait (ENG) bt [2] Scott Arnold & Matt Jenson (AUS) 15-13, 10-15, 15-6, 15-9

Women’s 1st round:
[3] Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating (CAN) bt Alexia Echeverria & Andrea Echeverria (ESA) 15-11, 15-7, 15-7
[4] Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds (ENG) bt Elani Landman & Lume Landman (RSA) 15-12, 15-6, 15-8
[2] Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt Natalie Grainger & Kayley Leonard (USA) 11-15, 15-14, 14-15, 15-12, 15-9

Mixed 1st round:
[7] Tina Rix & John Russell (ENG) bt Elani Landman & Jacques Swanepoel (RSA) 15-12, 15-4, 15-8
[6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA) bt Lume Landman & Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 15-13, 15-7, 15-10
[4] Victoria Simmonds & Michael Ferreira (ENG) bt Constanza Navarrine Gonzalez & Julian Illingworth (USA) 15-7, 15-9, 15-6
[3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN) bt Wendy Maitland Jones & Adam Bews (SCO) 15-9, 15-11, 15-10
Georgina Stoker & Alex Stait (ENG) bt [8] Seanna Keating & Thomas Brinkman (CAN) 15-10, 12-15, 15-9, 15-14
[5] Suzie Pierrepont & James Stout (ENG) bt Kayley Leonard & Greg Park (USA) 15-11, 12-15, 15-5, 15-3

Stait Leads England Day At World Hardball Doubles In St Louis

Former world No.53 Alex Stait put England in a commanding position on day two of the Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships after claiming unexpected berths in both the Men’s semi-finals and the Mixed quarter-finals in St Louis in the US state of Missouri.

The 37-year-old from Gloucester, now based in Philadelphia, partnered James Bamber to a shock 15-13, 10-15, 15-6, 15-9 upset of second-seeded Australians Scott Arnold & Matt Jenson in the men’s quarter-finals.

The unseeded pair will now face fellow non-seeds Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke for a place in the final after the unheralded Canadian duo despatched No.3 seeds Christopher Callis & Greg Park 15-5, 14-15, 15-14, 8-15, 15-11.

England are already sure of a place in the men’s final after both top seeds Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith and title-holders Clive Leach & John Russell prevailed against North American opposition in quarter-finals in the top half of the draw.

Also unseeded in the mixed championship, Stait paired up with Philadelphia-based Merseysider Georgina Stoker to overcome Seanna Keating & Thomas Brinkman, the No.8 seeds from Canada, 15-10, 12-15, 15-9, 15-14. The pair will now face a second Canadian pair Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg, the third seeds, in the quarter-finals.

Stoker was also in action in the opening round of the Women’s event where the 31-year-old, partnered with Suzie Pierrepont, twice had to come from behind to beat US pair Natalie Grainger & Kayley Leonard 11-15, 15-14, 14-15, 15-12, 15-9.

The second seeds – both of whom featured in the 2015 final, in opposing pairings – will now line up against fellow countrywomen Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds, the fourth seeds, for a place in the women’s final.

Men’s semi-final line-up:
[1] Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith (ENG) v [4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG)
James Bamber & Alex Stait (ENG) v Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN)

Women’s semi-final line-up:
[1] Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (AUS) v [3] Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating (CAN)
[2] Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker (ENG) v [4] Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds (ENG)

Mixed quarter-final line-up:
[1] Natarsha McElhinny & Scott Arnold (AUS) v [7] Tina Rix & John Russell (ENG)
[4] Victoria Simmonds & Michael Ferreira (ENG) v [6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA)
[3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN) v Georgina Stoker & Alex Stait (ENG)
[2] Narelle Krizek & Matt Jenson (AUS) v [5] Suzie Pierrepont & James Stout (ENG)

For live coverage and streaming, visit www.worlddoubles.com/live/

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