2020 MFS Boston Pro Am
New pairing Nikki Todd and Georgina Stoker captured the 2020 MFS Boston Pro Am this weekend, beating top seeds Latasha Khan and Madeline Perry in a fairly one-sided final.
In a tournament filled with upsets and 5 game battles, it was Todd and Stoker who showed the most consistency and willingness to chase down every ball that lead to their eventual win. This was Todd’s second title of the season, having captured the NBCC LA Open in October with Sabrina Sobhy and Stoker’s first title in 4 years. Stoker, the current Women’s World Champion, has been notably absent from WSDA Pro Tour in the last year with demanding work commitments at the Cynwyd Club, where she is the Head Squash Professional.
The young team of University Club of Boston members Fagan and Corey Schafer, produced a strong match against former collegiate players Meredith Schmidt-Fellner [Brown] and Tara Harrington [Princeton] thereby qualifying for the Main Draw. Life-long friends and perpetual squash dueling partners, this team’s inter-personal experience and fine squash doubles play put itself in to the thick of competition, although dropping the Quarter-Final match in four solid games to Team Rix-Stout/Engman.
The first round saw two highly anticipated matches with Suzie Pierrepont and Kayley Leonard taking on Meredeth Quick and local favorite Fernanda Rocha. A back and forth match, played out largely down the left wall, saw some excellent shot making from Quick throughout the match, including an error free 4th and 5th game which proved crucial as Quick/Rocha came back from 2-1 down to win in 5. In the bottom half of the draw, 2nd seeds Lume and Elani Landman battled eventual winners Todd/Stoker for 4 games before Stoker stepped forward to dominate the 5th game.
The semi-finals were equally exciting with both matches proving close contests. In the top half of the draw, top seeds Khan/Perry came up against a misfiring Quick/Rocha. Khan/Perry always looked in control of a match that went to 5 games, with Khan’s sharp shooting making the difference in the end, as she kept her opponents guessing with creative front court work. This win not only put Khan/Perry into the final but will elevate Khan to World #1 on February 1st. It will be Khan’s first time at the top of the rankings.
In the bottom half, first-time Philadelphia partners Kelsey Engman and Tina Rix Stout, whose husband James Stout was competing well in the Men’s Division, started strong, winning the first game before a number of errors, particularly from the back of the court, let Todd/Stoker into the match. A close 2nd game saw Todd/Stoker take control of the match and didn’t ever look like they were going to relinquish it, something the pair continued to do in the Finals.
Team Todd/Stoker launched a quick start in the Championship Match, going up 2-0 before Team Khan/Perry were able to establish itself in the match increasing the pace with Khan able to initiate some sharp shooting to claim the third game. However, Todd/Stoker regrouped to take a comfortable 4th game and their first title together.
This year’s WSDA component to the event included well-attended Women’s Clinics on Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon, both featuring an enlivened social component among the amateurs and the WSDA Members.
The Women’s Division and related activities of the event took place at the Harvard Club of Boston, hosted by Squash Professional Sharon Bradey and former WISPA World No. 5, the Nation’s longest serving female club Head Professional.
The men’s event took place at the University Club and was won by Manek Mathur and Chris Callis, defeating James Stout and Greg McArthur in the final.