Chris Callis & Manek Mathur bolstered their end of season rankings with their fourth title in as many tournaments over the last two months, defeating top seeds James Stout & Scott Arnold in the North American Open final Monday, May 16, at the Field Club of Greenwich.
An SDA fixture perennially held across three venues in Greenwich, Connecticut–the Round Hill Club, Field Club of Greenwich and Greenwich Country Club–the North American Open fielded a full draw of sixteen teams and four qualifying draws over the five-day event.
Two qualifiers enjoyed first-round success as Osama Khalifa & Jamie Haycocks took out Khalifa’s Tavern Club-finalist partner Kyle Martino & Bernardo Samper in three games, and Trinity grads Elroy Leong & Tor Christofferson upset Travis Judson & David Letourneau in four.
Leong & Christofferson nearly knocked out four seeds Mike Ferreira & James Bamber in the quarterfinals, but the Englishmen escaped in five games 14-15, 15-13, 15-11, 11-15, 15-13.
Top seeds Stout & Arnold also cleared a major hurdle in the quarterfinals against Aussies Cameron Pilley & Ryan Cuskelly, fighting off a 2-1 deficit 15-9, 10-15, 7-15, 15-8, 15-8. Stout & Arnold had to dig deep and come back from 2-1 down again in the semis, defeating Ferreira & Bamber 13-15, 15-9, 9-15, 15-8, 15-10.
In contrast to Stout & Arnold’s thirteen games on court leading into the final, Callis & Mathur only needed six, although in two cases in unfortunate circumstances as Clinton Leeuw & William Hartigan were forced to concede in the second game due to injury, and three seed Zac Alexander & Greg McArthur were forced to default their semifinal after Alexander sustained an off-court injury.
Despite the disparity in court time, Stout & Arnold pushed Callis & Mathur in the final, taking the first game 15-13, and narrowly dropping the next two 15-12, 15-14, before the two seeds ran away with the title 15-8 in the fourth.
Mathur Celebrates his third career NAO title, while Callis celebrates his first. Mathur & Callis end their season with five titles to their name, including October’s Big Apple Open, April’s Boston Pro-Am and Tavern Club Invitational, and May’s Kellner Cup and NAO.
“Thanks to the pros, sponsors everyone at the three clubs,” Callis said after the final. “These are Three of the most active squash clubs in the U.S. if not north America. You bring so much energy to the sport we love both on the doubles and singles sides, thanks for everything that you do. James and Scott, you guys push us, and myself more than I would like, but it’s so much fun and you’re such good players and sportsman above all. Looking forward to a nice off season where we don’t have to deal with you for a while. Manek, it’s been an unbelievable season. There have been times where my body has been so close to breaking down and you show up just at the right time. It’s been an amazing a year.”