Saturday, October 6, 2012

2012 US Open - Carson defeats Crowther in 1st semi-final

Kane Waselenchuk will have a chance for US Open title #8 as he's once again reached the final, as he beat Alvaro Beltran, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8, in the semi-finals of the 2012 United Healthcare US Open in Minneapolis on Saturday. Waselenchuk, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), has played in 11 US Opens and reached the final eight times, winning the first seven. Sunday could be number eight.

Waselenchuk's opponent will be Rocky Carson, who defeated Chris Crowther, 11-1, 11-4, 11-4, in the first semi-final to reach the final for a second year running. Sunday's US Open final will be the fifth of Carson's career.

Waselenchuk drove serve almost exclusively against Beltran, but varied which side he hit to though most went to the left, which is Beltran's backhand side.

Game one wasn't close as Waselenchuk went up 4-0 and 9-1. But Beltran clawed a few points back at the end before Waselenchuk won it 11-5.

Beltran used some of that momentum to keep it close in game two. Although he fell behind 7-4, Beltran came back to tie it at 8-8. That came after they were at 7-6 in Waselenchuk's favour for several rallies, going back and forth with side-outs.

But Waselenchuk got the score up to 10-8, and although Beltran fought off four game points, Waselenchuk finished it off at 11-9.

With a stranglehold on the match, Waselenchuk began game three with a 7-0 run and looked to be runaway winner. Yet again Beltran dug in and using strong drive serves to the right side, which was to the left-handed Waselenchuk's backhand, fought his way back into the game by tying the score at 8-8.

Then Waselenchuk got the serve back and won three straight points with the winner coming off a jam drive serve that forced a weak return from Beltran that was in the middle and came off the back wall, which Waselenchuk turned into a winning pass shot down the left side.

Carson, the IRT's #2 player, was dominant against Crowther. He drove serve primarily and most often to the left - Crowther's backhand side. But Carson also mixed it up with some off speed serves from the same service set up.

Games one and two were lop-sided, but in game three Carson and Crowther were close early, as they were tied at 3-3 and 5-4 in Carson's favour.

But four points were as many as Crowther could get, as Carson put together six unanswered points to win the game and match. The end came on a drive serve ace to right side.

The IRT Network is streaming the US Open live, and it's also being recorded for broadcast on the Tennis Channel in the USA on Thanksgiving weekend, November 24 and 25.

2012 United Healthcare US Open
Minneapolis, Minnesota



(1) Kane Waselenchuk d. (4) Alvaro Beltran, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8
(2) Rocky Carson d. (6) Chris Crowther, 11-1, 11-4, 11-4


(1) Kane Waselenchuk v. (2) Rocky Carson

Follow the bouncing ball….

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