Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Trails Mitch Williams!

Former US National Singles champion Mitch Williams has announced his retirement from the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) due to his left shoulder injury. He's the reigning two time World Champion in doubles, winning last year with Ben Croft and in 2008 with Jason Thoerner. The press release on the IRT website indicated that Williams would play "a limited schedule of amateur and satellite events once his shoulder is healed." Thus, he may still play for the US in the future.

In 75 IRT events, Williams reached the finals once and semi-finals three times, including twice this season. However, at last year's US Open Williams injured himself when he was diving for a ball during his quarter final match with Croft. At the time, Williams was up 9-4 in the fourth game and ahead two games to one. It looked like he was going to reach his first US Open semi.

But the dive resulted in a dislocated left shoulder, and although Williams tried to continue, he wasn't able to go on. Williams played two events in January, but was not 100%. Thus, his decision to retire.

Williams won the US National Singles Championship in 2007, defeating Shane Vanderson in the final and Rocky Carson in the semis. He also won the US National Doubles Championship in 2007 and 2010 both times with Croft as his partner, and was runner up in 2008 with Jason Thoerner and 2009 with Croft.

Williams finished in the top 10 on the IRT in each of the last five seasons with his highest ranking being 6th at the end of both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.

Originally from North Carolina but now residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Williams's game style was very aggressive. A left hander, he almost exclusively used drive serves and then hit the ball all out during rallies. He was sponsored by Wilson Racquet Sports and will continue to work with them doing clinics around the US.

The Racquetball Blog staff always found Williams easy to talk to and enjoyed doing so. We wish him the best in his retirement and the next part of his life.

Follow the bouncing ball....

1 comment:

adam said...

loved watching mitch play, such a tribute to the game!