Friday, September 19, 2008

Then there were four

Has it really been two years? That's the question spectators at the 2008 Motorola Racquetball World Championships in Denver may be asking themselves, because Kane Waselenchuk isn't playing like he's been away from the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) for two years, as he won again on Friday, defeating the second seed Jack Huczek, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-2, in the quarter finals.

Waselenchuk's win breaks Huczek's streak of 13 consecutive appearances in the finals of IRT Tier I or Grand Slam events. The last time Huczek wasn't in a final was last year's Motorola Racquetball World Championships.

In the semi-finals on Saturday, Waselenchuk will play Alvaro Beltran. Beltran advanced to the semis by defeating Mitch Williams in three straight games, 13-11, 11-8, 11-7.

On the other side of the draw, Rocky Carson continues to play like the World Champion he is. The IRT's number 1 player beat Jason Thoerner in convincing fashion, 11-6, 11-2, 11-0, in the quarter finals.

Carson's next opponent will be Jason Mannino, who defeated Shane Vanderson in five tough games, 9-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7. Vanderson had the advantage going into game 4, but wasn't able to close it out.

So, there are two Americans on one side of the draw in Carson and Mannino - two California residents, in fact, and a Mexican-Canadian match up on the other with Beltran and Waselenchuk. It's Carson and Waselenchuk who seem to be most on form.

The Racquetball Blog readers in the USA may have an opportunity to watch the semi-finals and finals from Denver, as they will be broadcast over the web via ESPN 360.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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