The eighty-fifth National Doubles produced three first-time champions in twin sisters Elani & Lume Landman and James Stout, while Dylan Patterson celebrated his first National Doubles title in a decade Sunday, March 8, at Boast Squash, the Commodore Club and Minneapolis Club in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The National Doubles returned to the twin cities for the first time since 1993 with more than 200 players on 102 teams competing across fifteen divisions. Twelve national champions were crowned in the men’s and women’s open divisions, men’s 40+-75+, and women’s 40+ and 55+.
The most historic result of the weekend was produced by seventy-eight-year-old Joyce Davenport, who was the only participant to have won a national title in both the 1993 and 2020 tournaments. Nearly three decades ago, Davenport won the 40+ title with Sharon Schwarze. Davenport augmented her unparalleled doubles title record in Minnesota with her eleventh title with long-time partner Sara Luther in the 55+ division. The five-team round-robin division was narrowly decided by Davenport & Luther having lost just one game less than Virginia Schmidt & Tracy Greer, who also finished with a 3-1 record. The title marked Davenport’s thirty-fifth career National Doubles title.
The men’s open division saw 2019 finalist Stout team up with 2010 champion Dylan Patterson for the first time and enter the five-team round robin as the two seeds. Stout & Patterson recorded crucial wins over top seeds Adam Bews & William Hartigan and runners up Eric Bedell & Bobby Burns to clinch the title.
“It was thrilling to win the U.S. Nationals ten years after my first one,” Patterson said. “Of all the prestigious amateur events on the calendar–Gold Racquet, Silver Racquet, William White–the National Doubles is the most important one to me. I would encourage all the young up-and-comers to prioritize this event. I’d like to thank my good friend James who I immensely respect & appreciate. I learned more about partnership, strategy, patience & humility in three days with James than I can ever properly convey. I would like to thank Graham, Preston, US Squash and everyone involved in organizing a seamless event. In particular I would like to thank Ivan Martinez–it was great to meet you and thanks for all of your hard work, it was noticed and appreciated!”
Patterson first won the National Doubles with Steve Scharff. Last year, Stout lost in the finals against Whitten Morris & Mike Ferreira.
“It feels incredible to have lifted the National Doubles,” Stout said. “Having played in this event a half dozen times, and coming up short last year, I am really happy to have finally won this prestigious tournament. To win with such a good friend in Dylan, is just icing on the cake. We knew going into the tournament that every team had a good chance of winning and that we would have to play our best to be victorious. The level of excitement in Minnesota surrounding the weekend was great to see. There were so many enthusiastic and knowledgeable supporters watching all of the matches.
“I think a highlight for me was watching the final match of the tournament which was between the local junior team Dasani & Thompson against the experienced team Winter & Cox in the final of the ‘B’ Doubles. The match was won by the experienced duo, 15/14 in the fifth, but the atmosphere surrounding the players and spectators was electrifying! We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at US Squash and the organizers in Minnesota for running such an amazing event.”
The women’s open winners list will have two new names on it in the form of the Elani & Lume Landman, who became the first team of sisters to win the National Doubles since Narelle Krizek & Tarsh McElhinney in 2011. The Landmans topped the four-team round robin, dropping just two games on their way to the title, edging Phoebe Trubowitz & Rachel Scherman who finished as runners up.
“Lume and I are extremely happy to have won our first national title,” Elani Landman said. “It makes it even more special to be able to share the title together. As hosts, Minneapolis & St. Paul exceeded our expectations, if not more! They were great and looked after the players very well. We had a great first experience in Minneapolis and thank you to US Squash for running such a smooth tournament.”
Nathan Dugan captured his second National Doubles title with first-time champion Mark Heather in the men’s 40+ division. Dugan & Heather dethroned two-time defending champions Mark Price & Shane Coleman in a dramatic five-game final comeback 13-15, 10-15, 15-11, 15-12, 15-13.
Thomas Harrity, who won the open division in 1992, won his third career National Doubles title in the 45+ with two-time champion Clive Leach, defeating Harrison Mullin & Ryan O’Connell in a four-game final.
Mary Belknapp McKee earned her fourth career National Doubles with first-time champion Shirin Kaufman. Belknapp McKee & Kaufman topped the five-team group with Hope Crosier & Emily Lungstrum placing second.
In the men’s 55+ final, two seeds Rick Wahlstedt & Todd Binns dethroned top seeds and two-time defending champions Ed Chilton & Andrew Slater 15-13, 10-15, 15-13, 15-11. Binns celebrates his third National Doubles title while Wahlstedt earns his first.
Peter DeRose won his first National Doubles title since the 1997 Open title with Alan Hunt in the 60+ division. DeRose & Hunt fought off a match ball in their quarterfinal, and edged a five-game final against Thomas & John Boldt 15-12, 14-15, 15-13, 9-15, 15-13. Hunt collects his fifth National Doubles title and first since the 45+ in 2008.
Men’s 65+ top seeds Sandy Tierney & Sean McDonough successfully defending their title without dropping a game as Michael Letourneau & James Marver placed second. Tierney & McDonough have now won eight National Doubles titles together.
Men’s 70+ three seeds Brian Murray & Stephen McIntyre pulled off a surprise title run. After the top two seeds bowed out in the semifinals, Murray & McIntyre defeated first-time finalists Orlando Springs & Charles Fenwick 15-13, 15-3, 15-10 to claim their maiden National Doubles title.
Men’s 75+ top seeds Molson Robertson & Tony Swift earned their sixth National Doubles title together without dropping a game in the four-team round robin. The title marks their first in the 75+ division with Tom Poor & Richard Rice placing second.