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Gould Returns to the SDA Tour in Cleveland to Form New Partnership with Mathur

The 2015 Tavern Club semifinals l-r: Ben Gould, Scott Arnold, Robin Clarke, Damien Mudge.
The 2015 Tavern Club semifinals l-r: Ben Gould, Scott Arnold, Robin Clarke, Damien Mudge.

Tavern Club Invitational Draw

SDA Live

It came with little surprise last year when the then world No. 1’s Damien Mudge & Ben Gould earned their fifth-consecutive Tavern Club Invitational title without dropping a game in the tournament’s ten-year anniversary. In February, the Australians graced the cover of Squash Magazine with Gould announcing his retirement from the full-time tour after the partnership won its first Briggs Cup title in December on top of five other tournament wins in the fall. Thus ended the most dominant partnership of the last five years with a 189-7 record and fifty-five titles, which included each major title on the tour, the 2013 World Doubles title and the $100,000 Briggs to cap it off.

Mudge continued full-time on tour with former partner Viktor Berg, who won the inaugural Tavern Club Invitational in 2006 with Chris Walker and the 2008 and 2009 Tavern Club titles with Mudge. Mudge & Berg’s rekindled partnership reached five finals, winning two of them since January.

When the Tavern Club draw was released last month, the tour was in for a shock expecting Mudge & Berg to head the draw, but instead seeing a new top seed and first-time partnership in the form of Gould on the right wall and world No. 3 Manek Mathur on the left wall. The draw predicts the first match in which Gould and Mudge would face off since the 2010 Kellner Cup in the final.

The top two sides must get through a difficult draw first before relishing the Mudge & Gould reunion. The top seeds are predicted to meet Trinity tandem Jacques Swanepoel, who won the Hashim Khan title last month, & Shaun Johnstone. The top half of the draw involves a family affair with the three Roberts brothers facing off in the same match against each other in the first round. The eldest of three state-side brothers (the eldest of four remains in England), Dan pairs with SDA veteran Greg McArthur against his younger brothers and Yale graduates, John & Joseph. In the bottom half of the draw 2012 Tavern Club finalists Jonny Smith & Greg park weigh in as three seeds with a semifinal predicted against Mudge & Berg.

The Tavern Club Invitational’s draw is set to be one of the most unpredictable of the season, with the only certainty being the spectacle of world-class squash doubles.

Qualifying begins Thursday afternoon at 12pm local time. Watch main draw matches on SDA Live.

Clarke & Arnold End Second SDA Season With Second SDA Title in Toronto

clarke and arnold crop
l-r: Scott Arnold, Robin Clarke.

Cricket Club Open Draw

Three-time Canadian doubles champions Robin Clarke & Scott Arnold ended their second full season on the SDA tour with their second career title in the inaugural Ridley Windows and Doors Cricket Club Open at Toronto Cricket Club.

The two seeds advanced to the final through a first-win over Carl Baglio & Jordan Greenberg and a four-game semifinal against Andres Vargas & Thomas Brinkman.

Clarke & Arnold appeared to be on course to face top seeds Jonny Smith & Greg Park, but the tournament concluded in an unfortunate fashion after Park was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury.

Clarke, who serves as the TCC squash professional, & Arnold end their second season on tour with their highest-career world rankings of twelve.

The 2015 SDA rookies of the year reached three consecutive full ranking semifinals in the Jim Bentley Cup, Briggs Cup and Putnam Pro-Am.

Ferreira Wins Second Title in Two Weeks; Callis Marks Maiden Title at Home Club Germantown

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 7.06.16 PM
l-r: James Stout, Jacques Swanepoel, tournament chair Doug Veasey, Chris Callis, Mike Ferreira.

Graham Company Cup Draw

Mike Ferreira won his second SDA title in just as many weeks at the Graham Company Cup, but with a different partner this weekend—Chris Callis—who celebrated his maiden SDA title on the court where he first played doubles at Germantown Cricket Club.

Ferreira & Callis have enjoyed a successful season together, reaching the Maryland and Baltimore semifinals, Johnson final and now claiming their maiden title together in Philadelphia.

The Graham Company Cup enjoyed elevated prize money offering $20,000 to a draw with plenty of Philadelphia flavor.

Two qualifying draws saw Philly sides Ed Garno & Alex Stait and Matt Domenick & Gilly Lane move to the main draw, as well as Trinity grads Johan Detter & Parth Sharma—another Philly local—who moved to the main draw as lucky losers due to an injury to top seed John Russell.

After defeating Detter & Sharma in a five-game qualifying final, Garno & Stait drew them again in the first round, this time advancing in three games.

Finalists James Stout & Jacques Swanepoel survived a difficult first round, coming back from 2-0 down in games to defeat Graham Bassett & Fred Reid. Stout & Swanepoel then advanced to the final in three games over Garno & Stait.

In the bottom half of the draw, two seeds Ferreira & Callis advanced to the final with two, three-game victories over Randy Lim & Antionio Diaz in the quarterfinals and Andres Vargas & John Roberts in the semifinals.

The final pitted last weekend’s Hashim Khan champions, Ferreira & Swanepoel, against one another. A marathon five-gamer ensued with Ferreira & Callis coming back from 2-1 down to win 13-15, 15-12, 10-15, 15-11, 15-11.

“It was a really tough final,” Ferreira said. “The court was hot so the ball was moving around and they are a strong team and played well.”

“Chris and I had a couple of close 15-14 in the fifth losses in Wilmington and the Briggs earlier this season, which was tough, so it feels great to finish our season on a strong note.”

Watch the Graham Company Cup final replay here.

The 2015-2016 SDA season has just three stops left with the inaugural $20,000 Ridley Windows and Doors Cricket Club Open in Toronto up next, April 8-10.