Saturday, April 7, 2012

Green means Go(ld) - Green wins 2012 Pan American Championships

Thirteen years after he won his first Pan American Championship, Canadian Mike Green won a second Pan Am Championship as he defeated Fernando Rios of Ecuador, 15-12, 15-6, in the final of the XXV Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile. Green won the title in 1999.

Green began game one with his powerful drive serves, but quickly changed to lob serves to the left side and used that throughout the match. He seemed to be in control for the most part in game one, although his shot making wasn't his best and Rios threw himself all over the court to keep rallies going. They were close throughout game one with the biggest advantage coming late, when Green led 13-9.

But Rios continued to make shots and it got nervy for Green late as Rios closed it to 13-12. Green though got the last two points, winning it on a flat kill shot down the right side.

Game two was also close early, and Rios had a slight lead at 5-3. But Green held Rios at 5 as he slowly added up the points, making it 7-5, then 9-5, and 11-5. At 13-5, the end was in sight and a few rallies later it was over as Green hit a winning pinch shot to the front left corner.

The win makes Green the fifth man with multiple Pan Am Championship singles titles, joining fellow Canadian Sherman Greenfeld (1990, 1994, 1998), Mexican Alvaro Beltran (2007-2009) and Americans Jack Huczek (2003, 2005) and Chris Cole (1992, 1993).

Rios was undefeated in the tournament prior to the final. He began the event seeded 9th but won his preliminary group, which earned him the 6th seed for the elimination round. Rios then proceeded to upset the 3rd seed Luis Perez (Dominican Republic) in the quarter finals and the 2nd seed Vincent Gagnon (Canada) in the semi-final.

Those wins made Rios the first Ecuador man to reach the final of an international racquetball event.

XXV Pan American Championships
April 2012 - Temuco, Chile

Men's Singles - Final

Mike Green (Canada) d. Fernando Rios (Ecuador), 15-12, 15-6

Follow the bouncing ball....

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