Is 19 too young to win a World Doubles Championship? Is 36 too old? I spent the weekend finding out the answers to these questions at the NetJets World Doubles Squash Championships in NYC, and watching some truly great matches including men’s, women’s, mixed, and pro-am draws. What was really mixed, though, were the partners, as all the pros had to partner with another player from their country. Only I was never totally clear on that rule…as some players seem to come from more than one country. At any rate, it made for some interesting matches. Although I think the next World Championships tournament rule should be no playing with your regular season partner — even if you’re both on the far side of thirty-five. Just sayin’…..
Mixed doubles finals: USA Natalie Grainger & Preston Quick vs. AUS Narelle Krizek & Paul Price:
A number of people had told me how impressive the mixed doubles draw was for this tournament. And it was . . . chock full of players who are at the top of their game in doubles or are heading that way. While watching a particularly dramatic point during a quarter finals match on Thursday between teammates Amanda Sobhy and Steven Scharff and opponents Stephanie Hewitt and Viktor Berg, I turned to a friend and exclaimed, “this could be the finals match!” It was that close and that good. So I was really excited to see who was better than that good to make it to the finals.
On Saturday night, I pull my chair up close to the railing above the NYAC court to see Australian team and number one seeds Narelle Krizek and Paul Price face off against team USA and third seeds Preston Quick and Natalie Grainger. . . .
Continued at: Mixed Doubles Served with a Twist
Women’s doubles finals: CAN Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating vs. USA Amanda Sobhy & Natalie Grainger:
… three days later, Sobhy and Grainger are in the finals for USA. Coincidentally, Stephanie Hewitt is also in the finals with her partner Seanna Keating, representing Canada. She and Keating look like they could be sisters or cousins; they’re both strong but very slim. In their light pink dresses, they remind me of fine-boned flamingos. But looks are often deceiving, especially in sports, and Hewitt, currently a world number one doubles player with the WSDA, is one of the fittest and smartest players I’ve yet to watch.
I can’t help wondering, though, how these women will hold up against the impressive physicality of Sobhy and Grainger. This USA team is all about power, that is until they show you their technique. They may not have the on-doubles-court experience of Hewitt and Keating, but they’re both mentally as well as physically strong. And with every point throughout the weekend, the nineteen-year-old Sobhy looks more and more comfortable on court. . . .
Men’s doubles finals: ENG Jonny Smith & Clive Leach vs. AUS Damien Mudge & Ben Gould :
This weekend Adam Scott became the first Australian to ever win the Green Jacket at the Masters Golf in Augusta, Georgia. There are two other Australian sportsmen who play a highly competitive, yet not entirely dissimilar ball sport who are no strangers to major success. During this same four-day period over which the Masters was contested, Australians Damien Mudge and Ben Gould were playing together as partners in their second consecutive finals of the NetJets World Squash Doubles Championships in New York. . . .