US SQUASH

Mathur & Mudge Roll On to Win Inaugural Westchester Country Club Title

l-r: Mike Ferreira, Yvain Badan, Manek Mathur, Damien Mudge.

A brand new SDA Tour Platinum event—the Westchester Country Club Pro Doubles Squash Tournament—yielded familiar champions in the form of world No. 1’s Manek Mathur & Damien Mudge, who continued their momentum from last weekend’s Big Apple Open triumph.

After a couple of narrow matches in the season opener last weekend, Mathur & Mudge returned to the tour more refined and clinical in Rye, New York.

The top seeds comfortably dispatched Graham Bassett & Adam Bews in the quarters and Fred Reid & Clive Leach in the semis—both in three games—to reach the finals.

Elsewhere in the top half of the draw, new Australian partnership Raj Nanda & Zac Alexander reached a second consecutive quarterfinal but fell short of the semis at the hands of Reid & Leach.

After two, two-hour long qualifying finals Friday night, three of the four qualifiers progressed to the main draw thanks to a lucky loser position opening up following a last-minute Russell & Arnold withdraw.

The withdrawal paved the way a surprise quarterfinal run by Omar El Kashef & Clinton Leeuw, who pushed three seeds Bernardo Samper & Chris Callis to five games in the final eight.

Two seeds Mike Ferreira & Yvain Badan avenged their Big Apple Open four-game loss against Samper & Callis with a four-game victory to reach their first final of the season.

In the final, Mathur & Mudge sped ahead 15-7, 15-5, but Ferreira & Badan earned new life the third 15-11. Mathur & Mudge emphatically closed out the inaugural tournament 15-5 in the fourth.

Mudge said he was pleased with their improved their performance from last weekend. Mathur & Mudge’s winning streak now spans eleven tournament titles and thirty-six matches.

“I feel we executed our a games well individually and as a team this weekend,” Mudge said. “We sorted through the kinks we had last weekend and that gave us confidence moving into this event. Big thank you to my partner, Manek, he played great throughout the entire weekend.”

The pros warmly received the new location on tour, which joins the Rye-area’s epicenter of squash doubles in addition to the $60,000 Briggs Cup at Apawamis and $40,000 North American Open in Greenwich.

“Being first time hosts Westchester did an amazing job,” Mudge said. “The large bottles of champagne were a great touch as well! The galleries were always packed with high energy throughout all the matches. It was great to see.”

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