Saturday, October 24, 2009

US OPEN - IRT Semi-finals

Kane Waselenchuk will have a chance to break the record for most US Open titles on Sunday, as he's reached the final of the 14th US Open Racquetball Championship by defeating Jason Mannino in the semi-finals on Saturday, 11-2, 11-5, 11-3. Waselenchuk is currently tied with Sudsy Monchik at four US Open titles. If he wins on Sunday, it'll be number five.

Mannino had a lead in game two at 3-0 and 5-3, but didn't score another point, as Waselenchuk came back to win it 11-5.

Game one and three weren't even that close. Afterwards, Mannino said he "got outplayed," and "shot and served off the court" by Waselenchuk.

Mannino spectulated that it might be his last US Open, so he gave away two racquets - one to a towel boy and another he threw to the fans in appreciation of all the fan support he's received in Memphis over the years.

Waselenchuk said he "took advantage of some opportunities" against Mannino. He's "excited for tomorrow," and said "let's make history."

History will be made one way or the other on Sunday, as Waselenchuk will win his 5th title or Jack Huczek will win his first. Huczek ended the US Open dream of Ben Croft by beating him 11-4, 11-4, 11-1 in the semi-finals in Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday. Huczek advances to only his second career US Open final in eight semi-finals.

Huczek led all the way in the match using lob serves to both left and right sides. Croft used a variety of serves, and did keep the first two games close early on. But as they wore on Huczek asserted himself and managed to pull away to win them confortably.

Croft was called for a technical in game one for hitting the ball out of the court at 8-4, which made the score 8-3. Then two rallies later Croft was attempting to dive for a ball and collided with Huczek from behind in play that was similar to one during Croft's semi-final against Rocky Carson.

Huczek took more offense to the incident than Carson, who'd only glared questioningly at Croft (and Croft helped Carson up). Huczek pushed Croft back, and after they both got their feet words were exchanged for several seconds. When they didn't stop after being warned by the referee, he entered the court and got between the players. Calm was restored.

14th US Open, Memphis, Tennessee

Kane Waselenchuk d. Jason Mannino, 11-2, 11-5, 11-3
Jack Huczek d. Ben Croft, 11-4, 11-4, 11-1

Finals - Sunday

Kane Waselenchuk vs. Jack Huczek

Follow the bouncing ball....

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