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  • Writer's pictureDetroit Racquet Club DRC

2024 Canadian Amateur Results

This year the Canadian Amateur Championships returned for its 125th edition and boy was it a good one!

With 68 teams participating across the singles and doubles draws, the club was buzzing from the first ball to the last. Deserving a special shout out are the newly coined Ma-Juniors, who made up a significant part of the UK touring contingent. For many it was their first overseas Rackets tour, if this is a sign of things to come, the game is in safe hands both on and off the court!

The Montreal Racket Club's infamous Thursday night stag saw around 100 guys sit for a lively dinner filled with stories, jokes and of course Ronnie Kaulbach's late night card game. With so many good players in the draw, Friday's matches ran late with the final ball being struck around 2:45am.

After a big Thursday night, you might have thought that most spectators would have been in bed but, at this late hour there was not a spare spot left in a very well-oiled gallery. The atmosphere on court resembled that of a soccer match more than a Rackets game, with chants, heckling and songs being sung by a raucous band of patrons well into the early hours. With not an inch of room to spare in the stands, many had to settle for crowding around one of the club tv's just to get a look at the action that was happening on the court. It truly was one of the great CanAm Friday's and I dare say, George Acherson-Gray and Magnus Garson's victory over Theo Taylor and Tom Price (son of the late Tim Price) may have been one of the loudest Rackets galleries in existence. 

With the tournament now into the business end of the draws, all of Saturdays matches were hard fought. The two singles semifinals were particularly of note. Both matches went against the seedings with, Julius Manton-Jones coming from behind twice, to finally flip the script on Rackets rival Rory Giddins. He won a hard hitting and exceptional match 5-15, 15-10, 8-15, 15-10, 18-16.

Not to be outdone, Ben Stevens took on defending champion Will Annetts. Ben's big hitting approach and some lazer guided shot making saw him race into an early first game lead. Clawing his way back, Will forced extra points and was brave, electing for an important 14-14 'no set' call in both of the first two games.. he lost them both!!! With the scores tie at 12-12 the 3rd game was just as tight but, after Annetts was forced to take a brief concussion time out for a nasty headbutt on the wall - Ben was able to close the match winning the contest 3-0 (15-14, 15-14, 15-12).

Wondering how our finalists could possibly follow up their semifinal performances, the final was an equally impressive affair. Julius came out hot, racing out of the blocks to a 2-0 (15-5, 15-5) lead. Showing signs of what was to come in the doubles final, Ben dug deep and took the 3rd game 14-15. After some back and forth in the 4th game, Jules was able to get the run he needed to secure his first Canadian Amateur Silverware, winning the final game 15-7.

Ben did not have long to wait for his shot at revenge as, after an exceptional brunch was enjoyed by the crowd, both of our singles finalist were quickly back in action in the doubles. Jules, now alongside partner John Beam and Ben now accompanied by defending doubles champion Steve Chamandy. In truth, both B players started out a little flat, but once he stopped faulting John 'foul cut' Beam got the better of Steve Chamandy with some tricky serves from the left box. At 2-0, 11-4 up, Manton-Jones and Beam were in the driving seat and looked to be on course for a quick 3-0 win - but the Chamandy/ Stevens pair weren't done yet! In an almost carbon copy of last year's final, Steve Chamandy had by now played himself into the game, starting to find a rhythm on both his serve and forehand. Now brimming with confidence and overruling his partner with a best of 3 set call, Steve and Ben managed to sneak the 3rd game and half the deficit. With the tie back in the balance the final two games were a coin toss. The relenting 'never let die' attitude of the Chamandy/ Stevens pair was however enough to clinch the title in extra points in the 5th. It truly was a phenomenal comeback and a fantastic performance from all 4 competitors. Chamandy/Stevens beat Manton-Jones/ Beam 3-2 (10-15, 16-17, 18-15, 15-12, 17-14).

A big thank you and well done to all those involved in putting together such a monumental weekend, it really was one for the books!

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