Sunday, October 24, 2010

2010 US Open - Waselenchuk makes it a half dozen

Kane Waselenchuk won his 6th US Open Championship Sunday at the 2010 US Open Racquetball Championships at the Lifetime Fitness - Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as he defeated Mexican Alvaro Beltran, 10-12, 11-2, 11-2, 11-6, in the first US Open men's final to not have an American.

But in game one, it looked like Beltran might end Waselenchuk's match winning streak that began after Beltran defeated him in January 2009, as the Mexican took the first game 12-10.

Beltran started well, taking a 4-0 lead and holding it to 9-5. But the champ switched to lob serving and tied the game at 10-10, before Beltran was able to finish it off.

Waselenchuk said afterwards that he switched serves, because he "wanted to slow the game down." He didn't feel like he was in a groove with drive serving and thought lobbing would help him get there.

In game two, it was Waselenchuk who came out strong, going up 5-0 before Beltran was able to get on the board. He made it 6-2, but then Waselenchuk ran it out to win 11-2.

They were tied 1-1 in game three, but again Waselenchuk went on a run. He got it up to 5-1. After Beltran got another point, Waselenchuk ran it out to 11-2, serving an ace for the game winning point.

In the fourth game, Beltran showed signs of life and the possibility of the first five game US Open men's final loomed. But only briefly.

Beltran was ahead 3-2 before Waselenchuk got back in his groove and made it 6-3. He got his 7th point by flicking down Beltran's ceiling ball serve return. His 9th point was a pinch winner to the left corner that he hit while falling backwards. Not something to try at home, but Waselenchuk rolled it out.

Beltran closed it to 9-6, and fought off the first match point with a flat roll out serve return but it seemed only a matter of time.

And it was, as on the next opportunity Waselenchuk hit a pinch winner to take the game 11-6 and the match in four games.

It's the first time that Waselenchuk has had to play four games in a US Open final, and only the 5th time in US Open history that more than three games were played in the men's pro final.

Next up on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) is the Chihuahua Open November 4th to 7th in Chihuahua, Mexico.

2010 US Open, Minneapolis, Minnesota
IRT Final

Kane Waselenchuk d. Alvaro Beltran, 10-12, 11-2, 11-2, 11-6

Follow the bouncing ball....

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