Denver natives and siblings Preston & Meredeth Quick won their sixth and fourth National Doubles open titles this weekend with respective partners Graham Bassett, a first-time champion who was born in Denver, and Denver-transplant Suzie Pierrepont, who celebrated her second title Sunday at the Denver Athletic Club in Colorado.
The tournament marked the largest National Doubles ever held west of the Mississippi with 123 teams and matches also contested at the University Club of Denver and Denver Club. For the first time, national doubles included a women’s 55+ division with seven teams, while the men’s 40+ and 50+ divisions were the largest draws in recent decades.
After losing the 2016 final on simultaneous match ball in the fifth, Bassett & Quick returned this year as the men’s open top seeds and reached the final with two, three-game wins. Three seeds JP Rothie & Colin West were surprise finalists with a five-game semifinal upset over two seeds Bobby Burns & Steve Scharff. It was deja vu with Bassett & Quick losing the first game on simultaneous game ball in the final, before the US Squash staffers turned the match around to win in four games 14-15, 15-9, 15-7, 15-12. The title marked the second time Quick won a national doubles title in Denver.
For the first time since Philadelphia 2012, both Quick siblings ended on top of the open podium. The women’s final came down to the top seeds and two WSDA partnerships in the form of Pierrepont & Quick and two seeds Stephanie Hewitt, a defending champion, & Natarsha McElhinny. Quick entered the final carrying a shoulder injury and nearly didn’t play, but fought through a narrow three-game final to win her first title with Pierrepont 15-14, 15-14, 15-12.
Overall, Coloradans fared well on home turf with Sara Luther also claiming a title in the first women’s 55+ division and five finalists including Mike Tramutt & Randy Waeshe in the men’s 70+, Rob Hill & Russ Welty in the men’s 55+ and Alicia McConnell in the women’s 50+.
A dramatic men’s 55+ final saw unseeded Charles Parkhurst & Joseph Purrazzella fight off five match balls in the fourth game, and then go on to upset two seeds Hiss & Welty on simultaneous match ball in the fifth.
Colorado governor John Hickenlooper played in the men’s 65+ draw, and generously hosted the Saturday night reception at the governor’s residence.