US SQUASH

Bassett & Bews Break Through in SDA Pittsburgh Golf Club Open

(l-r) Adam Bews, Omar El Kashef, Clinton Leeuw, Graham Bassett

After competing on the SDA Pro Tour since its formation in 2012, world No. 17 Adam Bews and world No. 21 Graham Bassett made their first title break through at the 2018 Pittsburgh Golf Club Challenger this weekend in western Pennsylvania.

Bassett & Bews entered the eight-team draw as the top seeds, and fulfilled their seeding without dropping a game on their way to a maiden title.

Elsewhere in the draw, there were a number of five-gamers. In an all-Canadian quarterfinal, Tyler Hamilton & Robert Nigro outlasted Strachan Jarvis & Mark Porter, 15-9, 9-15, 15-14, 12-15, 15-12.

Two seeds Clinton Leeuw & Omar El Kashef endured two five-gamers on their way to the final, first against Kyle Martino & Adam Perkiomaki, followed by coming back from 2-1 down against Travis Judson & Aaron Luque in the semis.

In the final, it was Bassett & Bews who came out on top in a close three games 15-14, 15-11, 15-12.

“I think we were fortunate to win the final in three games,” Bassett said. “Clinton and Omar are tremendous athletes and were working me into the ground. I’m not sure how much gas I had left in the tank had it gone more than three games.”

The Pittsburgh Golf Club Challenger was only Bassett & Bews’ second appearance together this season following the Westchester Country Club Pro Doubles in November.

“Being the top seed in the event was a different experience for us but I think it gave us more confidence,” Bews said. “It was one of those weekends where we were both seeing the ball really well and felt very comfortable on court. We played good steady doubles and didn’t make many errors all weekend.”

Last month, Bews reached the semifinals of the Briggs Cup with Will Hartigan. Bassett enjoyed a semifinal run last weekend in Delaware with Jordan Greenberg.

“We played really well together in the Westchester event earlier this season, and I feel like we continued that good chemistry in Pittsburgh,” Bassett said. “I think we were fortunate to face three teams that called for a similar game plan. Adam is a tough competitor, and has been having a great season on tour. He was steady the whole time and delivered some big winners at crucial times.”

Both players celebrate their first career SDA Tour title.

(l-r) Graham Bassett, Adam Bews, Jim Shields, Omar El Kashef, Clinton Leeuw

 

“It’s a great feeling,” Bews said. “It’s an awesome way to start 2018 and helps continue a good season for me personally, I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.”

“I have been working in some capacity with the SDA since we transitioned from the ISDA in 2012,” said Bassett, the SDA Tour Director. “I think my role as a player has always taken a backseat to the administrator role, and it’s been a struggle to balance the two. After attending so many events and working hard behind the scenes, it’s really special to finally win one. With the big Eagles win last night, I couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday. I live in Boston, so I’ll be happily spending the next two weeks behind enemy lines.”

The Pittsburgh Golf Club Challenger is in its fifth year since its founding in 2014.

“Pittsburgh is a phenomenal little event,” Bassett said. “It is a very warm and welcoming squash community. The players are looked after very well, and they pack the stands to the rafters. I’d like to thank Jim Shields, David Hillman and all the sponsors and patrons from the Pittsburgh Golf Club for their generous support year after year.”

“I always love going to Pittsburgh to play,” Bews said. “That was my third year in a row. The members are very welcoming, Jim does such a great job looking after the pros and organizing the event. Every year the crowd continues to grow and the pro am gets better and better. I am looking forward to coming back next season.”

The SDA Tour heats back up this weekend in Greenwich, Connecticut, with the final Diamond event of the season—the Chilton Investments North American Open, January 26-29.

View images on the SDA SmugMug page. Watch match replays below.

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