Friday, April 8, 2011

IRT - 2011 Mexico Open Quarter finals

Jose Rojas upset 3rd ranked Jack Huczek, 11-7, 11-13, 1-11, 11-9, 12-10, in the quarter finals of the 2011 Mexico Open in Tijuana part of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT). It's the first time Rojas has defeated Huczek in a completed match. Huczek did withdraw from their match last year in Florida due to injury.

Afterwards Rojas called it his "biggest win ever" but he was already looking ahead to tomorrow when he'll be "going for another one."

That match will be against Rocky Carson, who defeated Chris Crowther, 11-4, 11-3, 11-1, earlier on Friday.

Rojas got a good start against Huczek by winning game one. Game two was close all the way, but it looked like it was going Huczek's way as he led 10-9. However, Huczek couldn't convert on four opportunities and eventually Rojas got a couple of points for his own game point opportunity at 11-10.

But Rojas let Huczek off the hook, and the former #1 player was successful on his fifth game point chance, and took game two 13-11.

Huczek used the momentum from wining game two to easily win game three, 11-1. Huczek had the early lead in game four also at 5-3 and late in that game also at 8-6.

However, Rojas dug in and came back to tie the game at 8-8 and 9-9, and then won it on his first game point opportunity diving to hit a pinch shot to the front left corner for the game winner.

In game five, Rojas was on a roll early as he went out to a 5-2 lead. But he stalled there, as Huczek - in his typical relentless style - won the next seven point to lead 9-5. Rojas's comeback began with a drive serve ace to the right side that made it 9-6.

At 9-7 Huczek took a timeout, but that didn't stop Rojas. Rojas's 9th point might have been the difference, as he should have lost that rally three times only to be let off the hook by Huczek, who played several loose shots that Rojas was able to keep in play.

Yet Huczek did get to 10 first, and Rojas had to fight off match point three times before he tied the game at 10-10. Rojas then got the next two points as well and won the match on his first match point opportunity with a solid backhand cross court shot as Huczek was trapped on the left wall.

The #1 IRT's player Kane Waselenchuk also won his quarter final match, beating Charlie Pratt, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4.

In the last quarter final match of the night, Ben Croft defeated Andy Hawthorne in four games, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8.

The quarter finals are in progress and are being streamed live over the internet via the IRT Network. The semi-finals will begin at 4:00 PM PDT Saturday.

2011 Mexico Open - Tijuana, Mexico

Quarter finals

Kane Waselenchuk d. Charlie Pratt, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4
Ben Croft d. Andy Hawthorne, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8

Jose Rojas d. Jack Huczek, 11-7, 11-13, 1-11, 11-9, 12-10
Rocky Carson d. Chris Crowther, 11-4, 11-3, 11-1


Kane Waselenchuk v. Ben Croft
Rocky Carson v. Jose Rojas

Follow the bouncing ball....

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