Thursday, October 15, 2009

Disappointing absences

The US Open - less than a week away now - has always been a place of surprise and disappointment. The surprises are usually collective (Derek Robinson made the finals? Brenda Kyzer beat Rhonda Rajsich?) and the disappointments personal. But this year there's already some collective disappointment, as there are several players who are not going to be in Memphis.

On the men's side, the two players who took games off Kane Waselencuk, last year's champion, will not be playing. Alvaro Beltran suffered a knee injury prior to the start of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) season, and Mitch Williams injured his shoulder in the second event of the season. Both injuries will prevent them from playing in Memphis.

Last year, Williams took Waselenchuk to four games in the Round of 16, and Beltran had an epic five game battle with Waselenchuk in the quarter finals.

On the plus side, Ben Croft is in the field as he's served his three tournament suspension received for inappropriate behavior related to his match with Chris Crowther in May at the Pro Nationals event.

In women's play, three time champion Christie Van Hees will not be playing in Memphis. Van Hees, a former #1 player, has only played a few tournaments in the last two seasons.

However, Jackie Paraiso, another former #1, will be in the Memphis field. She's the current World Champion in doubles with Aimee Ruiz, who will not be in Memphis. That despite the fact Ruiz is the current US National Champion in singles.

Yes, there will some familiar faces missing Memphis, but that could mean more surprises. Surprises like Jason Mannino's win in Kentucky last weekend, and Kerri Wachtel's finals appearance in Texas last month.

And it's surprises like that that make the US Open special.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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