(L-R): Mike Ferreira, Jonny Smith, ILEX Construction’s Dirck Barlett, Johan Detter, Ned Marks.
Jonny Smith, inaugural Harrow UVA Challenger co-champion with Raj Nanda, added his second UVA Challenger title this weekend in the tournament’s second iteration with first-time partner and fellow Trinity alum Mike Ferreira.
Ferreira & Smith—playing on the right wall for the first time—encountered three Bantams on their final run, first both Shaun Johnstone & Jacques Swanepoel in Saturday’s semifinal, where Johnstone & Swanepoel handed their opponents their only lost game of the tournament on a simultaneous game-ball to gain a 1-0 lead. Ferreira & Smith recovered to win the next three games and match 14-15, 15-10, 15-8, 15-12.
As in the PSA draw, an SDA qualifying run ended with a final appearance in the case of Johan Detter & Ned Marks who reached the final on the back of two, five-game matches. After defeating locals Francis Johnson & Peter Winzeler in five, Detter—a Trinity alum—& Marks—a Denison alum—advanced to the final on a simultaneous match-ball against brothers John & Dan Roberts 13-15, 15-14, 15-4, 7-15, 15-14. As they had in their opening upset against brothers Asad & Imran Khan, Roberts Dan & John switched walls when 2-1 down in games and nearly pulled off a second victory because of it.
Ferreira & Smith clinically won Sunday’s final against Detter & Marks, despite a close second game 15-7, 15-12, 15-6.
Their Harrow UVA Challenger title marks world No. 13 Ferreira’s second straight Challenger title having ended last season with the R & T Challenger title—his first on the SDA tour.
Ferreira & Smith were teammates on three Trinity National Championship teams from 2000-2003, and now share a court.
“We have been practicing a lot together with myself on the right to try and make the transition smoother.” Smith said. “This was the perfect start and I am excited about the new adventure and season ahead!”
“It was great to play with Jonny and I hope the partnership will keep going for the rest of the season,” Ferreira said.
“For us it was a good start to the season and it was awesome to play down at Boar’s Head—without doubt one of the most impressive squash facilities around the and squash clearly has a strong and growing following in Charllottesville so great fun to play down there as well!”