Playing in just their second tournament together over the span of three years, Matt Jenson & Jacques Swanepoel dropped only one game on their way to the $15,000 2016 Pittsburgh Golf Club Challenger title this weekend at the Pittsburgh Golf Club in western Pennsylvania.
Leading up to this weekend, Jenson, world No. 21, and Swanepoel, world No. 35, played in just one match together—a five-game first-round loss in the 2013 Maryland Club Open.
Their fortunes were much different in their second run together beginning with their opening three-game victory over Adam Bews & Jordan Greenberg.
Their only game lost came in the first against Canadians Fred Reid & Justin Todd, to which they responded by winning the match in four to reach the final.
Finalists and top seeds Graham Bassett & John Roberts had defeated locals David Edwards & Alex Reynolds in three games, but had to recover from 2-1 down in the semifinals to defeat Carl Baglio & Travis Judson in five games to reach the final.
Their five-game semifinal perhaps played a part in the final result, as Jenson & Swanepoel prevailed 15-12, 15-10, 15-10.
“Our teamwork, angles and communication helped us through the event,” Jenson said. “It’s a fast court out there, but it plays very true.”
The title is Jenson’s first since the 2014 Hashim Khan in his home base of Denver, and Swanepoel’ss first career full ranking title.
“Jacques is a quality squash player and a quality person so it makes for good team chemistry,” Jenson said of his partner. “I really thought we played as a strong, well-balanced team.”
Pittsburgh played host to the tournament for the third year, enjoying support from a growing base of doubles enthusiasts.
“The Pittsburgh Golf Club is very keen, they watched eagerly and asked a lot of question,” Jenson said of the hosts. “They’re a fun group of members. I would also like to say thanks and congratulations to Kristy and Jim for all their efforts. I know all the pros felt very welcomed and the club’s hospitality was second to none.”
Watch the final replay below.