After becoming the U.S. Women’s National Champion and then winning the women’s World Doubles Championship for the United States, Natalie Grainger has continued her monumental winning streak at the U.S. Mixed Doubles Championships, teaming up with partner Steve Scharff to take the Open division final.
Grainger and Scharff began their title run with two 3-0 victories against first-round opponents Adam Bews and Marie Elena Ubina, then Australian duo Mark Price and Women’s Doubles Squash Association Pro Tour No. 2 Narelle Krizek in the semifinals.
The eventual champions were met in the final by WDSA No. 4 Suzie Pierrepont, and Squash Doubles Association Pro Tour No. 9, Greg McArther.
Grainger and Scharff bounced back from losing the first two games 15-14, 15-9 to win the final three games 15-7, 15-8, 15-10.
“Suzie and Greg piled on the pressure and winners and we weren’t tight enough,” said Grainger. “Scharffy and I regrouped in the third and played tougher to work Suzie on the left wall. Scharffy played some superb squash using his lobs and angles so well, plus he covered the court beautifully. I got my feet in better positions and made shots I had been missing.”
Scharff echoed the sentiments of his partner. “Natalie is such a talent that I feel really lucky she agreed to play with me,” he said. “She’s always cool, calm and collected and being down two games to love she didn’t bat an eyelid. It doesn’t hurt having a partner with her shot-making skills either!”
In the 50+, 71 year old Joyce Davenport added her second-straight 50+ Mixed Doubles winners trophy—to her more-than-40 national age-group singles and doubles titles— with partner Charles Parkhurst.
Davenport, a member of the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame class of 2011, and Greenwich local Parkhurst did not lose a game on their way to winning the 50+ title, defeating two seeds Will Carlin and Zerline Goodman in the final.
Eric and Marie Vlcek went undefeated to take the four-team round robin 40+ honors, surviving two tight, five-game matches against both third place finishers William Ullman and Diana Dowling and runners-up David Rosen and Lee Belknap.
As in the Open division, the B-division final was decided in five games with husband and wife duo Cynthia and SDA No. 5 Yvain Badan recovering from 2-0 down in games to complete the turn around against Kendra Raine and Thomas Whelan winning the final three games 15-13, 15-13, 15-10.