Stout secures doubles in New York

  • Career-high ranking: James Stout has success at the inaugural Sleepy Hollow Country Club tournament in New York

Bermuda’s James Stout and his squash doubles partner Greg McArthur have won the inaugural Sleepy Hollow Country Club tournament in Scarborough-on-Hudson in Briarcliff Manor in New York.

For McArthur, the victory was extra as special as he is the resident professional at the club.

The number two seeds started off with a difficult draw against Canada’s Robin Clarke and Australia’s Zac Alexander, who won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April.

Stout and McArthur lost the first game 15-5 before a narrow 15-14 defeat in the second but they then took the next three games 15-4, 15-7, 15-4.

In the semi-finals, Stout and McArthur beat the third seeds Raj Nanda and Greg Park 15-5, 15-3, 13-15, 15-9 to secure their place in the final, where they met Yvain Badan, of Switzerland, and Bernado Samper, of Colombia.

Stout and McArthur started slowly, losing the first game 15-9, but recovered well to take the second 15-6.

They took the third game 15-14, which lasted 26 minutes, on a sudden-death play-off after Badan and Samper had levelled the game 14-all.

Leading by two games to one, the second seeds fell behind 12-7 in a fast and furious fourth game. They recovered to 13-13, fell behind 14-13, levelled the game at 14-14 on a cross-court volley nick by McArthur, and then lost 15-14 on a cross-court backhand winner by Samper.

Throughout the match, the main players were Samper on the left wall exchanging cross-courts with McArthur, while Stout and Badan saw comparatively little of the ball.

With the match tied at 2-2, McArthur and Stout adopted a disciplined and unrelenting approach and turned a 6-4 lead into 10-5, then 12-7, eventually winning the game 15-7 on the back of two winners by McArthur.

The match had lasted 1hr 40min. Stout and McArthur were happy to avenge their loss to Badan and Samper in five games in the quarter-finals of the Big Apple Open in October.

Coincidentally, Badan and Stout had partnered each other to win the Westchester Country Club Pro Doubles Tournament last month, the biggest doubles win of Stout’s career.

The ranking points Stout gained from that tournament moved him up to a career-high No 6 Squash Doubles Association A ranking.