Top seeds Kyle Martino & Sam Khalifa claimed their first professional doubles title in their second season as a pair on the SDA Pro Tour at the RC Pro, October 27-29, at the Racquet Club of St. Louis in Missouri.
Martino & Khalifa opened up their campaign in the quarterfinals of the 10-team Silver draw by defeating newcomers Karim Ibrahim & Lucas Rousselet 15-14, 15-9, 15-14. A close battle between Canadians Matthew Henderson & Justin Todd and three seeds Elroy Leong & Tor Christofferson saw the Canadians come out victorious over the Trinity alums 15-10, 14-15, 15-13, 14-15, 15-11 to set up the first semifinal of the event.
The semifinal brought another tough five-game match for Martino & Khalifa, who found themselves down 2-1 against Henderson & Todd, before mounting a comeback to take the match 15-8, 8-15, 11-15, 15-12, 15-6 and secure their spot in the final.
In the bottom half of the draw, another fiercely competitive quarterfinal was fought between John Roberts & Josh Hughes and Englishmen Jaymie Haycocks & Chris Walker, with Haycocks & Walker pulling through 15-8, 15-13, 14-15, 14-15, 15-11. Two seeds Adam Bews & Will Hartigan proceeded through to the semifinal with a three-game win over Henrik Mustonen & Alex Ingham, 15-7, 15-11, 15-9.
After dropping the first game in the semis against four seeds Haycocks & Walker, Bews & Hartigan rebounded to reach the final 8-15, 15-11, 15-13, 15-8.
In the final, Martino & Khalifa were up 2-0 with match ball in hand, when Bews & Hartigan staged a comeback to force a fourth game on simultaneous game ball. In the fourth, Martino & Khalifa came through to clinch their first career title 15-9, 15-8, 14-15, 15-10.
“Very pleased to win my first SDA title with Kyle in St. Louis,” said Khalifa. “We’ve been putting in the work and knew we had to stay disciplined throughout the tournament if we wanted to go all the way. Big shout out to our coaches, James Stout and Suzie Pierrepont for pushing us, and look forward to the remainder of the season.”