Australian joint world No. 1’s Damien Mudge & Ben Gould won their fifth Squash Doubles Association title of the season in the form of the Piedmont Driving Club Cup and their second consecutive final victory against joint world No. 5’s Manek Mathur & Yvain Badan.
The second iteration of the Piedmont Driving Club Cup in Atlanta, Georgia—offering increased prize money of $30,000 from last spring’s inaugural $20,000—saw two notable upsets as unseeded Jonny Smith & Greg Park knocked out four seeds Matt Jenson & Preston Quick, and for the second semifinal in a row, three seeds Mathur & Badan eliminated two seeds and world No. 4 and 3 Paul Price & Clive Leach in a twelve-team main draw that otherwise played out according to seeding.
After losing their first game of the season in last weekend’s Big Apple Open, Mudge & Gould reverted to their 3-0 winning ways, not dropping a game on their way to their fifth title in five tournaments played in the 2013-2014 season.
The defending PDC Cup champions brushed aside their first opponents Shaun Johnstone & Jacques Swanepoel conceding the most points in any match of their tournament 15-9, 15-11, 15-8.
Unexpected semifinalists Smith & Park collected their second major seeded scalp of the season adding four seeds Jenson & Quick to their St. Louis Open upset over two seeds Price & Leach. Smith & Park edged out the first 15-14, and continued their momentum to win in three 15-8, 15-10. Unsurprisingly, Smith & Park were no match for Mudge & Gould as the Australians dispatched their semifinal opponents 15-6, 15-8, 15-9.
The bottom half of the draw saw a rematch of the Big Apple Open semifinal between three seeds Mathur & Badan and two seeds Price & Leach in the second match of the season in which the world No. 3 , 4, and 5’s were pitted against each other. Unlike the Big Apple Open semi that saw Price & Leach squander a 2-0 lead in five games, it only took three games for Mathur & Badan to advance to the pairing’s second final of the season 15-9, 15-12, 15-10.
Mudge & Gould continued their flawless form into the final—contested on Gould’s thirty-eighth birthday—collecting their second PDC Cup title in three games 15-10, 15-10, 15-5, although Mathur & Badan were able to manage six more points than their Big Apple Open attempt.
The SDA Pro Tour’s next stop is the Philadelphia Country Club where a Mudge & Gould-less field will contest for the $25,000 U.S. Open Squash Doubles Championships. For more information and to support the U.S. Open Doubles, visit www.ussquash.com/usopensquashdoubles.