Semi final action in the Chilton North American Open at the GCC saw defending champions – Ben Gould and Damien Mudge take on Johnny Smith and Preston Quick. The Aussie duo who are the defending NAO Champions were composed and calculated in their attack early in the match injecting the necessary pace at the right time to close the important points.
Despite Quick’s clever angles and Smith’s tenacity to stay in the points, the result was never in doubt as World No.1 pairing Gould/Mudge cruised to a 15/10, 15/8, 15/9 victory and book their place in tonight’s final.
The second semi-final pitted four players who recently split and reformed with opposite playing partners. The familiar pairings of Leach/Jenson v Badan/Mathur were flipped upside down recently with Leach/Mathur now playing against Jenson/Badan.
The atmosphere was tense and the crowd intrigued as to who would come out on top with these newly formed pairings.
From the first point Jenson/Badan made their intentions very clear by keeping EVERY ball on the right wall to Leach. Mathur was completely shut out of the points helplessly looking on as Leach battled against an onslaught of high sweeping lobs mixed with power crosscourts from the opposition. This tactic bred success as Jenson/Badan took a 2-0 lead with Mathur only able to poach occasionally with deadly effect.
The third game saw Leech and Mathur control the points much better as the tournament drawcard Mathur finessed his way with a mix of power and clever angles to help his team to a 15-3 score. The forth game was a nail biter with the two teams going point for point until they were eventually tied 14-14. The final point was a series of drawn out tense, patient let calls until finally Mathur gave up an uncharacteristic error with a drop in the tin – perhaps the lack of action on the left wall contributing to his untimely error.
Jenson/Badan will need to be at their best tonight to trouble the top seeds of Mudge/Gould, but their impressive form should provide patrons with a fantastic spectacle tonight at the GCC.
Summary of Results
NAO SEMI FINALS
Mudge/Gould def Quick/Smith 15-10, 15-8, 15-9
Jenson/Badan def Leach/Mathur 15-6, 15-9, 2-15, 15-14
PRO AM RESULTS
GREER/BADAN def MUDGE/GEORGE
ROBBIN/RUSSELL def HAYDEN/MATHUR
HOPKINS/WYANT def BARRETT/BASSETT
Article courtesy of Liam Kenny at the Field Club of Greenwich