Saturday, September 13, 2008

One versus Two on Sunday

Rhonda Rajsich and Cheryl Gudinas Holmes - the first and second seed, respectively, will meet on Sunday in the final of the Outback Steakhouse Blast It! racquetball tournament, the first event on the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) 2008-09 calendar.

Rajsich will be looking to make it five WPRO tournaments in a row - going back to last season, and it'll be Gudinas Holmes's job to prevent that. Gudinas Holmes was the most recent WPRO Tier I event winner prior to Rajsich's streak.

Rajsich reached the final by defeating Angela Grisar in the semi-finals, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7. Grisar was up 10-7 in game 1, but Rajsich showed her mettle and battled back to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The other games were also close until the end. Rajsich led by 8-7 in both games three and four, before she found a way to finish off them off.

Grisar was getting ahead by drive serving to the right side (Rajsich's forehand) in the first two games, but then went away from that strategy in games three and four. Rajsich had a good mix of serves, but mostly lobs or half lobs to both the left and right sides.

Gudinas Holmes defeated Kerri Wachtel in the other semi-final.

Rajsich had a tough match in the round of 16, when Jennifer Saunders took the first two games of their match before succumbing to the top seed, and reigning World Champion, in five games, 2-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-1.

It's the second time that Saunders has taken one of the top 4 WPRO players to five games in less than a year, as she also went five with Wachtel last October in Burlington, Ontario.

Saunders plans to play the first five WPRO events this season in a concerted effort to move up the rankings.

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