Continuing their momentum from an impressive run to the David C. Johnson Memorial final last month, Chris Callis & Bernardo Samper went one better at the 2018 Graham Company Cup, claiming their first title of the season this weekend at the Germantown Cricket Club.
The twelve-team draw played out according to seeding with the top four seeds advancing to the semifinals.
The weekend saw the return of John Russell following an injury spell that kept the Englishman off tour since December’s Briggs Cup.
Russell & Scott Arnold slotted into the draw as the top seeds, progressing to the final courtesy of a four-game victory against four seeds Clive Leach & Jonny Smith in the semis.
Callis & Samper moved through the bottom half of the draw with two clinical 3-0 wins against Bobby Burns & Hamed Anvari in the quarters and three seeds Matt Jenson & Greg Park in the semifinals.
In the final, Callis & Samper controlled the match to claim their first title of the season against Russell & Arnold 15-9, 13-15, 15-9, 15-10.
“I think our success in the Johnson was a gradual progression we were working towards all year,” Callis said. “We had played well in a few spots early in the season, but it took us a while to figure out the pace we needed to play at and to build confidence moving the ball to all four corners at that pace. We had a lot of confidence coming off of the Johnson, so we put extra effort into imposing our own game this weekend.”
The final was the first match up of the season between Russell & Arnold and Callis & Samper.
“JR and Scott are two of the best players out there, so we knew we would have to play really well to get by them,” Callis said. “We were disciplined with our game plan and Bernardo played really well up and down the left wall. It’s great it have JR back from injury and I look forward to playing those guys once JR is back to the top of his game.”
Callis & Samper have enjoyed their SDA tournaments in Philadelphia, with the Graham Company Cup following up their most recent title–the 2017 Tompkins Cup at Racquet Club of Philadelphia last April.
“Chris and I came this week with more confidence after having a great week in Brooklyn,” Samper said. “As the season went on we manage to improve little things in our games that lead us to winning our first tournament this season. As a team we did great at backing each other all season. If I had a flat day on the court, I knew I could count on Chris to perform, and vise versa. Scott and JR are great players and it’s really nice to see JR back. They’ve had a great season so far and I am looking forward playing more matches against them.”
View images in the SDA SmugMug Gallery. Watch full match replays below.