New York City’s R&TC Challenger saw home hero James Stout & Scott Arnold storm through a competitive draw, dropping only one game on their way to the title, April 26 – May 1.
The first round saw three major upsets right off the bat. Qualifiers Jeff Osborne & David Letourneau overcame Sam Khalifa & Greg McArthur in four close games, and their opponents from the second qualifying draw, Ashley Davies & David Yacobucci entered the main draw in a lucky loser spot and defeated Ricardo Lopez Valdivia & Thijs Van der Pluijm. Qualifiers Lockie Munro & Sanjay Jeeva also surprised Hameed Ahmed & Christopher Sachvie with a four-game win, while Kyle Martino & John Russell overpowered Tor Christoffersen & Randy Lim in three.
Top seeds Stout & Arnold opened their tournament against surprise quarterfinalists Davies & Yacobucci, prevailing in three close games despite a strong challenge from Davies & Yacobucci. An hour and a half battle between Martino & Russell and four-seeds Jaymie Haycocks & Clinton Leeuw came down to the wire, with Martino & Russell ultimately coming out on top, upsetting Haycocks & Leeuw 15-13 in the fifth. In the semifinal, Stout & Arnold asserted their seeding, dispatching Martino & Russell 11-9, 11-7, 11-5.
In the bottom half of the draw, three-seeds Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley put an end to Munro & Jeeva’s winning streak with a three-game victory. Osborne & Letourneau put up strong resistance against Christopher Callis & Michael Ferreira but were ultimately unable to overthrow the two-seeds, who progressed to the semifinals after winning the five-game challenge. The semifinals saw Callis & Ferreira come out on top after an hour of play, defeating Cuskelly & Pilley 11-5, 12-10, 12-14, 11-5.
Both teams opened the hour-long final with impressive play, with Callis, world No. 1, & Ferreira, world No. 12, edging the first game 11-9 to take an early lead. However, Stout, world No. 2, and Arnold, world No. 3, regrouped in the second, taking the next three games 11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, to secure the title.
“I am thrilled to have won the R&TC Open in front of the home crowd,” Stout said. “This ranks up there as one of my most meaningful wins, and it’s even more special to share it with Scott. It has been a long season, full of excitement, so to finish with a victory at the Racquet Club is pretty great!”
“I wasn’t originally planning to play the R&T, so Boston was going to be our final event together for the season, but I knew how much effort James had put into elevating the event—plus it’s at his home club, and we’d get the chance to end on a slightly brighter note,” Arnold added. “Very glad we decided to end up playing, as it was a really enjoyable event and of course even better to cap it off with a win. One of the main goals this season was to try and get Jimbo to World No.1, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if that was enough!”