Sunday, March 11, 2012

IRT - Waselenchuk defeats Beltran to win in Florida

Kane Waselenchuk finished off a successful return to action on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) by defeating Alvaro Beltran in the final of the Florida Spring Break Pro-Am tournament in Tampa, winning 5-11, 11-9, 11-1, 11-5. But the win wasn't without some controversy.

In game one, Waselenchuk seemed to be laboring with some residual effects from his nagging back injury. Afterwards, Waselenchuk said "I felt great in warm up," but it was the shots that he had to really stretch for that gave him some trouble.

The controversy came in Beltran's reaction to Waselenchuk's difficulties, as Waselenchuk felt Beltran was "mocking me." Beltran did say afterwards that if Waselenchuk "was hurt he wouldn't beat me," suggesting that Beltran didn't believe Waselenchuk's injury was very severe.

Waselenchuk said Beltran's behavior "pissed me off," and "showed a lack of respect." Waselenchuk said he never did anything like that to Beltran when he was injured. Beltran said his knee injury kept him out for two years. Waselenchuk's injury has caused him to miss the last two tournaments.

Despite the physical difficulty, Waselenchuk said the match was mentally more taxing as he knew he had "to put the balls away," because long rallies would not be in his favor given his injury.

But "there's a reason I'm the greatest," Waselenchuk said, and "hopefully this reminded people" of that after the last two tournaments were won by other players in his absence.

Certainly the outcome suggests that a laboring Waselenchuk is better than many, if not all, of the competition.

The next IRT event is this coming weekend as the scene shifts to St Louis for the Party with the Pros event beginning March 15. Note that the final will be Saturday night, rather than Sunday. The IRT Network will be web-casting the action beginning on Thursday evening with qualifying matches.

2012 Florida Spring Break Pro-Am - Tampa, Florida


Kane Waselenchuk d. Alvaro Beltran, 5-11, 11-9, 11-1, 11-5

Follow the bouncing ball....

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