The 2019 U.S. Squash Doubles Championships presented by Hospital for Special Surgery saw three out of four men’s and women’s Open champions augment their title records, and six new age division national champions crowned in Rye, New York, and Connecticut.
More than 250 players competed across fifteen divisions at tournament headquarters, the Apawamis Club, and the Round Hill Club, Field Club of Greenwich, Greenwich Country Club, Westchester Country Club, Chelsea Piers Connecticut, Sleepy Hollow Country Club and New Canaan Country Club.
The twenty-team men’s Open division saw all four top seeds progress to the semifinals. Top seeds James Stout & Eric Bedell endured a five-game semifinal against four seeds Travis Judson & Alex Domenick to reach the final, while two seeds Mike Ferreira & Whitten Morris overcame three seeds Adam Bews & Colin West in four games. In the final, it was Ferreira & Morris who pulled off the upset over the top seeds 15-12, 15-12, 15-11.
“It means a lot to Michael and I because we have worked really hard this year and yet have come up a bit short in the big matches,” Morris said. “We stayed confident and to ultimately play our best match of the season in the finals of the nationals feels wonderful. James is a phenomenal player and Eric has has become a force out there so Michael and I really had to play an aggressive and disciplined game in order to prevail.”
The national title marks Ferreira’s first, while Morris celebrates his first in a decade and third overall, adding to his back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009 with Trevor McGuiness.
“When I won my second title ten years ago I never thought I would make it back into the winners circle,” Morris said. “I was getting older, life was getting busier, and the competition kept getting stronger. Plus the last time the nationals were held at Apawamis Trevor McGuiness and I lost in the finals 3-0 to Preston Quick and Greg Park–each game by one point! I clearly recall being on the court after the loss thinking I won’t have this shot again. So to come back with Michael, a great friend and one of my earliest partners, and win the 2019 nationals is something I’ll always remember. Thanks to all the members at Apawamis for throwing such a fantastic event.”
The women’s Open division saw 2018 champions Georgina Stoker & Stephanie Hewitt enter the 2019 tournament with new partners, Meredeth Quick & Victoria Simmonds, respectively. Both Stoker & Quick and Hewitt & Simmonds advanced to the final dropping just one game in pool play. In the final, Stoker & Quick prevailed 15-8, 9-15, 15-6, 15-8. Stoker lifts her second national title with her successful title defense, while Quick collects her third title since her first in 2012 with Hewitt.
“While it’s always hard playing against friends and former partners, I really enjoyed playing with Gina for the first time and her impressive shot-making helped us to capture the tough win in the final,” Quick said. “It was a great event and a special thanks to the tournament committee and Apawamis for making it a fantastic weekend of squash.”
The age divisions yielded five new champions and four repeat or past champions adding on to their title history.
The men’s 40+ division saw Shane Coleman & Mark Price claim their second consecutive national title, edging past Open champions Steve Scharff & Preston Quick in the final 15-10 in the fifth. The women’s 40+ division produced a three-peat in the form of Lissen Tutrone & Kathryn Grant. Tutrone & Grant also needed five-games to clinch the title against runners up Libby Welch & Loren Dinger.
After falling short in the 2018 men’s 50+ final, Ed Chilton & Andrew Slater got back to their title-winning ways, defeating Thomas Clayton & John McAtee in the final 15-11 in the fifth. Chilton & Slater have now won titles in the 40+ and 45+ divisions, and four out of the past five 50+ titles before aging up to the 55+ next year.
Dominic Hughes & Richard Sheppard made it two men’s 55+ titles in a row without dropping a game. Hughes & Sheppard defeated three seeds Joseph Purrazzella & Charles Parkhurst in a three game final.
Dawn Gray & Amy Milanek won their second women’s 50+ title with a perfect record of four, 3-0 victories. Gray & Milanek previously won their first 50+ and national title together in 2017.
Patrick Miller & Peter Bostwick won their second career national title together and their first in the 60+ division. The three seeds dropped just one game in the tournament on their way to the title and won the final in three games against Robert Bolling and Scott Simonton.
Sandy Tierney & Sean McDonough won their seventh national title together and ninth and eighth total, respectively, in the 65+ division. Their first title in the new age group, Tierney & McDonough dethroned two-time defending champions Palmer Page & Joeseph McKee in three games.
In the women’s 60+ division, long-time partners Sara Luther & Joyce Davenport captured their tenth career national doubles title together, and their first in the 60+ division, without dropping a game. Davenport augments her incredible record as the all-time women’s national doubles title holder with nine Open titles, nineteen 40+ titles, five 50+ titles and now her first 60+ title—a total of thirty-four titles.
Clark Amos & John Brazilian earned their first national title together and second titles overall in the men’s 70+ division. Amos & Brazilian defeated past 70+ champions Tony Swift & Molson Robertson in a four-game final.
Thomas Poor & Richard Rice dethroned two-time defending men’s 75+ champions Bartlett McGuire & Leonard Bernheimer in a three-game final. Poor, a long-time partner of Bernheimer, has now won thirteen titles spanning all age divisions from 50+ up to 75+, while Rice celebrates his first.
The 75+ division also included two 80+ teams, Peter Holland & Trevor Bishop and Jerome Cortellesi & A.R. Vandoren. Holland & Bishop won their pool play match up in three games.
The 2019 National Doubles welcomed the return of title sponsor support of the New York Westchester/Stamford Hospital for Special Surgery. The National Doubles is one of the longest-running national championships dating back to 1933. Tournament proceeds benefitted Squash Haven, the urban squash program based in New Haven, CT.