Saturday, January 5, 2013

IRT - 2013 California Open - Waselenchuk & Carson to meet in final

Kane Waselenchuk and Rocky Carson will meet Sunday in the final of the Coast to Coast California Open in Reseda, California, as they won their respective semi-finals Saturday. Waselenchuk - the International Racquetball Tour's (IRT's) #1 player - defeated Alex Landa, 11-2, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, and Carson, the IRT's #2, beat IRT #3 Alvaro Beltran in five games, 5-11, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5.

Waselenchuk won the first game against Landa easily, but in game two he and Landa were back and forth early on. Then Waselenchuk pulled ahead to lead 7-4 and extended his lead to 10-5.

But Landa dug in and scored three points to make it 10-8 before Waselenchuk finished off it off at 11-8.

Landa used that momentum in game four, as he took an early lead at 3-1. But Waselenchuk drew level at 6-6. However, Landa continued to battle going out to an 8-7 lead and then winning it 11-7. Landa was full measure for the win, although game point was off a Waselenchuk backhand skip at about 6' from the front wall. An uncharacteristic unforced error.

But in game four, Waselenchuk returned to form and won it going away, 11-3.

The loss ended Landa's fine run through the draw. Many have speculated who the successor to Waselenchuk will be - though everyone acknowledges that successor will have some time to wait before any such succession happens.

Two names mentioned as potential successors are Jose Rojas and Daniel De La Rosa. Landa beat them both on Friday, which suggests that he could be one of the players to watch and maybe even take over the top spot when the time comes.

In the other semi-final, Carson dropped two of the first three games against Beltran, so his back was against the wall in game four. The players were neck and neck in that game, tied at 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10.

Carson got to 10 first, leading 10-8. But he was not able to finish it before Beltran scored two points to tie it up and put himself two points away from the first final of 2013.

However, Carson held Beltran at 10 and scored two of his own to force the deciding fifth game tie-breaker. Carson was in control through that game, getting a 4-2 lead and then adding three points to make it 7-2. Beltran tried to come back and did make it 7-5. But that was a much as he could get as the former #1 finished off the game and match at 11-5.

The IRT Network will web-cast the California Open final at noon PST on Sunday.

2013 California Open - Reseda, California


Kane Waselenchuk d. Alex Landa, 11-2, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3
Rocky Carson d. Alvaro Beltran, 5-11, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5


Kane Waselenchuk v. Rocky Carson - Noon Sunday PST

Follow the bouncing ball....

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