National Doubles Finds a New Home in Philadelphia

By Chris McClintick

Eighty-two years ago, the second U.S. Squash Doubles Championships were hosted on the court that invented the game at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia. Philadelphia has long been the American beacon of squash doubles, and today boasts the most north American hardball courts in the U.S., only second to Toronto in the world.
Joyce Davenport Trophy

Both Natalie Grainger (top/bottom, left) and Joyce Davenport (top/bottom, far left) added more silverware to their ever-expanding trophy cabinets. Adding to her mixed doubles title this season, Grainger won her third national doubles title, and first since 2009. Davenport, a Hall of Famer, won a remarkable thirty-second national doubles title.

Both Natalie Grainger (top/bottom, left) and Joyce Davenport (top/bottom, far left) added more silverware to their ever-expanding trophy cabinets. Adding to her mixed doubles title this season, Grainger won her third national doubles title, and first since 2009. Davenport, a Hall of Famer, won a remarkable thirty-second national doubles title.

Despite the many iterations of the nation’s best doubles teams converging on the city of brotherly love, the national doubles had never been headquartered at the Philadelphia Country Club. That is, until the eightieth edition in 2015.

PCC is a pillar of squash in Philadelphia and the U.S. In 1903, PCC was one of seven clubs in Philadelphia to found the world’s first inter-club squash league, and was the first to add electric lights to their courts. In the doubles sphere, the club has had doubles for decades, and headquartered numerous high profile tournaments such as the U.S. Open doubles and mixed doubles championships in recent years.

Sisters Berkeley Revenaugh (center, left) & Mary Belknap Mckee (center, right), pictured with their sons and finalists Dawn Gray (right) & Amy Milanek (left) continued the Belknap reign in the women’s 40+ division with their second consecutive title. In 2013, Revenaugh won the 40+ title with their other sister, Lee Belknap.

Sisters Berkeley Revenaugh (center, left) & Mary Belknap Mckee (center, right), pictured with their sons and finalists Dawn Gray (right) & Amy Milanek (left) continued the Belknap reign in the women’s 40+ division with their second consecutive title. In 2013, Revenaugh won the 40+ title with their other sister, Lee Belknap.

When the PCC built a new squash building with three singles and the two doubles courts in 2007, the club added another (unconfirmed) first for squash—the closest squash courts to bowling lanes, which are housed in the same building. The rounds of bowling won’t make it into the record books, but the same cannot be said for the squash doubles.

Nigel Thain (right), the head pro at the Philadelphia Country Club, and Leo Pierce extolled the many virtues of the honorary chair of the 2015 National Doubles, Erik Hendricks, a longtime squash player and PSRA president who died a few weeks before the tournament.

Nigel Thain (right), the head pro at the Philadelphia Country Club, and Leo Pierce extolled the many virtues of the honorary chair of the 2015 National Doubles, Erik Hendricks, a longtime squash player and PSRA president who died a few weeks before the tournament.

The PCC gallery filled to the brim for the men’s 50+ final. The men in blue, Ed Chilton (center, right) & Andrew Slater (center, left) went on to win their first 50+ title against defending champions Dominic Hughes (far right) Rich Sheppard.

The PCC gallery filled to the brim for the men’s 50+ final. The men in blue, Ed Chilton (center, right) & Andrew Slater (center, left) went on to win their first 50+ title against defending champions Dominic Hughes (far right) Rich Sheppard.

Playing on the same court on which they reached the 2013 U.S. Open Doubles final as qualifiers, Philadelphia’s Amy Gross (center) and Alexandra Clark (far left) reached another final at PCC. The PCC logo visible in back court bears a Horse’s head, which originated with the club being founded with a Polo field in 1890.

Playing on the same court on which they reached the 2013 U.S. Open Doubles final as qualifiers, Philadelphia’s Amy Gross (center) and Alexandra Clark (far left) reached another final at PCC. The PCC logo visible in back court bears a Horse’s head, which originated with the club being founded with a Polo field in 1890.

The men’s open final was cut short after Graham Bassett (right) suffered a back injury that forced him to concede the match with partner Steve Scharff (left) to Jacques Swanepoel & Greg McArthur.

The men’s open final was cut short after Graham Bassett (right) suffered a back injury that forced him to concede the match with partner Steve Scharff (left) to Jacques Swanepoel & Greg McArthur.

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