Monday, August 6, 2012

Surprise finalists in Women's Doubles at 16th IRF World Championships

It'll be a historic women's doubles final on Tuesday at the 16th International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as the American team of Rhonda Rajsich and Aimee Ruiz failed to make the final. It's the first time that an American team is not in the women's doubles final in IRF World Championship history.

They can't say they didn't have their chance though. But the Chilean team of Angela Grisar and Carla Muñoz defeated the Americans 15-14, 2-15, 11-10. In the tie-breaker, it didn't seem like it would be that close, as the Chileans took a 9-1 lead.

Included in that lead was an incident at 3-1, when Grisar hit Rajsich on the left arm. The contact left a gash that Rajsich had to have taped up. Adding insult to injury, an avoidable was awarded to Chile as Rajsich appeared to be avoidably in the way of the shot. That made the score 4-1, and as play continued after Rajsich's injury time, she seemed to effected by it, missing a few shots that she might normally have made.

But at 9-1, the USA got a side out. And they proceeded to almost run the table. Almost.

But Chile stopped them at 10-9, and then scored the next two points. The first was on a skipped serve return by Rajsich as Muñoz hit a drive Z serve to her on the right side. Then in the next rally, it was Ruiz skipping a backhand shot she took off the back wall.

Game over. Match over. History made.

The win puts Chile in the women's doubles final for the second time ever. Their previous appearance was in 2006, when Grisar and Fabiola Marquez lost to Ruiz and Laura Fenton.

In men's doubles, the top two seeds will playoff on Tuesday, as Americans Jansen Allen and Tony Carson ended the Cinderella ride of the 13th seeded Guatemalans Edwin Galicia and Pedro Manolo Sandoval in the semi-finals, winning 15-8, 15-4. The Guatemalans didn't go down without a fight as they were tied with the Americans at 7-7 in the first game. However, they only got five more points the rest of the way.

Mexicans Alvaro Beltran and Javier Moreno will be Allen and Carson's opponents in the final, as the Mexicans defeated Bolivians Ricardo Monroy and Roland Keller in the semi-finals, 15-2, 15-7.

Beltran and Moreno won the doubles title in 2006, when Worlds was last in Santo Domingo. They beat Americans Rocky Carson and Jack Huczek in that final. For the left handed Moreno, it's his fifth World Championship doubles final.

The women's doubles final is scheduled for Tuesday at 1:00 PM EDT with the men's final to follow with a scheduled time of 2:30 PM EDT. The matches will be live streamed via the IRF website. Wednesday will be an off day, and then the team competition will begin on Thursday and that will conclude Saturday.

16th IRF World Championships
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Women's Doubles - Semi-finals

Angela Grisar & Carla Muñoz (Chile) d. Aimee Ruiz & Rhonda Rajsich (USA), 15-14, 2-15, 11-10
Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas Solis (MEX) d. Josée Grand'Maître & Frédérique Lambert (Canada), 15-13, 15-7

Women's Doubles - Final

Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas Solis (MEX) v. Angela Grisar & Carla Muñoz (Chile)

Men's Doubles - Semi-finals

Jansen Allen & Tony Carson (USA) d. Edwin Galicia & Pedro Manolo Sandoval (Guatemala), 15-8, 15-4
Alvaro Beltran & Javier Moreno (Mexico) d. Ricardo Monroy & Roland Keller (Bolivia), 15-2, 15-7

Men's Doubles - Final

Jansen Allen & Tony Carson (USA) v. Alvaro Beltran & Javier Moreno (Mexico)

Follow the bouncing ball....

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