Trinity graduates Bernardo Samper & Baset Chaudhry won their partnership’s first SDA title this weekend in their fourth tournament of the season together—the $20,000 Missouri Athletic Club Open.
Samper & Chaudhry entered the draw seeded second, with MAC pro Adam Bews & world No. 7 Matt Jenson leading the draw as the top seeds. The top two seeds both reached the final courtesy of two, three-game victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals. The only major upset in the main draw came in the form of Ned Marks & Aaron Luque taking out four seeds Graham Bassett & Fred Reid in the first round.
In close final, the St. Louis crowd saw local hero Bews & Jenson fall in four games, 15-14, 15-10, 11-15, 15-14.
The title marks Samper’s first SDA title and Chaudhry’s third and largest. Samper, a Colombian international, revealed there were multiple forms of motivation for the partnership entering the tournament.
“I think Baset and I understand each other well on court, and our games compensate each other,” Samper said. “Since we first partnered up, we both wanted to win an SDA event together. He is going back to Pakistan next month, so our goal was to win this tournament. It meant a lot for us for two reason, first to win a bronze level SDA event and second it was Baset’s birthday last weekend so there were a few things in play.”
“I believe Bernie and I gel really well together and also compliment each other’s game,” Chaudhry said. “I try to create openings with my pace and Berny is more of the shot-maker. This strategy has worked out quite well for us so far this season. Having said that, we both were itching to clinch a title, so really relieved to finally get that out of the way, especially since I’m moving to Pakistan for a few months and won’t be able to participate in the SDA events after January this season.”
Samper said the home crowd didn’t faze the champions in the final.
“Adam is improving a lot and played amazing in the final,” Samper said. “Having the crowd on your side can be good and bad. Good because you have the all the support and bad because you have a lot of pressure to perform. However, Adam definitely didn’t feel the pressure and played amazing. I have to say that is was a very respectful crowd and I am looking forward to be back next year. I would also like to mention the amazing job Adam is doing at the club and organizing this event.”
“This the best I have seen Adam Bews play,” Chaudhry added. “We thought we would be able to break him down but he hung in strong so we really had to make it long and hard and wait for the openings. He did an amazing job both organizing and competing in the tourney which is not easy since there are so many moving pieces, so kudos to him.”
Samper & Chaudhry are set to compete in the Chilton Investments North American Open this weekend.
“The MAC was incredible,” Samper said of the hosts. “It was my first time and people could have not been nicer, from the staff to the membership. I would like to thank the sponsors of the event because without them the event would not be possible.”
View images from the tournament on the SDA smugmug.
Watch replays of the live stream below and on the SDA Youtube channel.