The 2013 World Doubles champions Damien Mudge and 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 title, which included the world’s top eight squash doubles players.
Although the top half of the 12-team draw went according to seeding with Mudge and Gould meeting four seeds Manek Mathur and 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.
Raj Nanda, fresh off his season-opening UVA Challenger victory with then partner Jonny Smith, teamed with Chris Walker in Baltimore to reach the semifinals in two five-game matches toppling three seeds Matt Jenson and Jacques Swanepoel along the way.
Nanda and Walker were forced into five games again in the semifinals in the tournament’s sixth five-game match, but this time on the losing end as a part of Imran Khan and Mark Chaloner’s run to the final.
After defeating qualifiers Graham Bassett & Ian Power in three games in the first round, Khan & Chaloner pulled off the upset of the tournament knocking out two seeds and world No. 4 and 3 Paul Price and Clive Leach in a quarterfinal match that stretched into five games.
A Maryland Open title eluded Khan & Chaloner, as Mudge & Gould predictably dispatched their opponents in three games 15-11, 15-5, 15-8 in an otherwise unpredictable tournament.
“The final started off at a super-fast pace with short rallies and was tight until around 11-11.” Gould said.
“We were able to steady and control the play from there on in. Mudgie played fantastic and countered everything they threw at him. For me, my movement is always key and this weekend, thankfully, I was covering everything front right which makes it tough for teams to find any holes on the court against us.”
“I am a very strong believer in team chemistry,” Mudge said.
“I find there are a good players on the tour individually and play as individuals rather than a team. With this sport no matter how good you are you are you are only as good as your partner.
“Myself and Gouldie are very fortunate, we have spent a lot of time on and off the court and have the upmost respect for one another and have an unspoken direction on court that you can’t create it’s just there.”