The 2015-2016 SDA kicks off this weekend with the $40,000 Maryland Club Open in Baltimore with a rematch of the World Doubles final predicted in the main draw’s seeding.
Five-time defending champions and world No. 1’s Damien Mudge & Ben Gould enter as the top seeds, and are predicted to meet two seeds John Russell & Clive Leach who defeated the Australians in May’s World Doubles Final.
Colombian Bernardo Samper joins his fellow Trinity graduate and Swiss international Yvain Badan as the four seeds, while Jonny Smith & Greg Park weigh in as the three seeds in the bottom half of the draw.
The first of two qualifying rounds took place Thursday evening, and the two qualifying finals will complete the main draw Thursday morning at 10am ET. All matches are streaming and scoring live on SDA Live.
Joint world No. 1’s Damien Mudge & Ben Gould claimed their second full-ranking and largest prize money title of the season in the eleventh Maryland Club Open this weekend in a repeat final of the Denver Club Invitational.
The Australian duo dropped their only game of the tournament in their first match against new partners and Harrow UVA Challenger Champions Mike Ferreira & Jonny Smith, a partnership that both Mudge & Gould tipped to be a rising force on the tour this year.
“Ferreira and Smith will be a solid partnership once Jonny starts to feel comfortable on his switch to the right wall,” Gould said. “I anticipate them upsetting a few top teams as the season progresses.”
Mudge & Gould raised their game in their semifinal match against Matt Jenson & Greg Park, who they dismissed in three games 15-11, 15-8, 15-7 to set up a rematch of the Denver Invitational final against second seeds and world No. 5 and 4 Manek Mathur & Yvain Badan.
In both of their matches leading up to the final, Mathur & Badan recovered from dropping the first game 15-14 to win including winning their match against second-seeded John Russell & Clive Leach on simultaneous game-ball in the fourth game.
What ensued was a more fluid final compared to the four-game Denver Invitational with longer rallies, but the same result with the favorites emerging victors.
“The final was better quality than Denver,” Mudge said. “With it being the second tourney and using a regular ball everyone had more ball control and the quality of the rallies were better.”
“The rallies were longer and more accurate, perhaps given that both teams had their first tournament of the season under their belt,” Gould continued.
“Mathur & Badan relentlessly held to a game plan of keeping Mudge deep and high on his backhand throughout the match. Fortunately for us, Mudge played an incredible defensive game and was extremely patient, waiting as long as it took to create openings before attacking.”
Mudge & Gould’s title marked their fifth consecutive at the Maryland Club as partners. Gould won two with Paul Price in 2006 and 2008, and Mudge won three straight titles with Gary Waite in 2003, 2004, and 2005.
“The Maryland Club and Andrew Cordova run a great event from start to finish; very professional and a fun time,” Mudge reflected.
“Andrew has consistently organized one of the best tournaments on the pro doubles tour calendar year since day one,” Gould added. “His event is one we use as a model for other clubs to duplicate. Congrats to him and his team for once again pulling off a flawlessly organized event.”
2013 World Doubles champions Damien Mudge & Ben Gould have won the 2013 Maryland Club Open at the Maryland Club in Baltimore on the tournament’s tenth anniversary—their first title of the 2013-2014 Squash Doubles Association season in the first full ranking tournament of the season.
The Australian, joint-SDA world No. 1s did not drop a game on their way to the Maryland Open title, which included the world’s top eight squash doubles players.
Although the top half of the twelve-team draw went according to seeding with Mudge & Gould meeting four seeds Manek Mathur & Yvain Badan in the semifinals, the bottom half of the draw did not with both the two and three seeds exiting the tournament in the quarterfinals.
Picking up where they left off at the end of last season, top seeds Damien Mudge and Ben Gould christened the brand-new Squash Doubles Association (SDA) tour in style by charging to victory this past weekend in the eighth annual $20,000 Maryland Club Open. In so doing, Mudge and Gould won their 20th tournament in 21 attempts over the last two-plus seasons, though the stern challenge they received in a sensational route-going (12-15 15-13 15-13 12-15 15-7) Sunday morning final from second seeds Manek Mathur and Yvain Badan constitutes a compelling augury of a rivalry that well may define the entire upcoming 2012-13 campaign. Continue reading →
The brand-new Squash Doubles Association (SDA) will launch its inaugural 2012-13 Tour in style with all the big guns heading to Baltimore on the second weekend of October for the $20,000 Maryland Club Open. Two-time defending champions Damien Mudge and Ben Gould will be the top seeds, with Manek Mathur and Yvain Badan, who gave Mudge/Gould their only defeat last season en route to winning the Briggs Cup, seeded second. Continue reading →