Sunday, March 24, 2013

IRT - Carson defeats Waselenchuk to win Mile High Pro-Am

Rocky Carson defeated Kane Waselenchuk for only the second time in their last 21 meetings in the final of an International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event winning the Mile High Pro-Am at the Denver Athletic Club, although like Carson's other victory it was a match that Waselenchuk was unable to finish, as he hurt his right knee in the third game and did not come out to play the fourth, which made the final score line 5-11, 11-6, 11-7, injury forfeit.

Waselenchuk started the match well, going up 5-1 in game one using drive serves that in Denver's mile high altitude were flying across the court. But Carson came back and tied it at 5-5.

Waselenchuk held Carson at 5 and scored six unanswered points to take the game 11-5, as Carson skipped a shot at the end of a long rally to give Waselenchuk the game.

Momentum shifted in game two, as Carson jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Waselenchuk stopped Carson there, and cut the lead to 8-4. But Carson then got two points off drive serves to the left - Waselenchuk's forehand. Waselenchuk was able to score two more points before Carson finished off the game at 11-6.

In game three, Carson was again ahead early at 5-2, when during a long rally Waselenchuk threw himself to the back wall to keep the ball in play. It didn't seem like the ball would make the front wall, but it did, and Carson covered it, hitting a winner cross court to the right only to find that Waselenchuk had stayed down from his get at the back wall.

He stayed down for a few minutes, and then limped off the court without putting any pressure on his right leg. Waselenchuk took several minutes of injury time before continuing the match.

However, it was clear that he wasn't fully fit. Yet Waselenchuk still scored points on Carson and got within three at 7-10. But Carson stopped him with a diving kill shot off a Waselenchuk pinch to the front left corner, and then won the game on the next rally as Waselenchuk made an error on a touch shot.

Waselenchuk made the decision to forfeit the match before game four began. An injury to his right knee kept Waselenchuk out of tournaments earlier this season.

A sad ending to the match, but when Carson was asked afterwards if people can finally say that he has beaten Waselenchuk, Carson said "I don't care what you say." He added "some wins feel better than others."

"Kane is great at being great," said Carson, "so it's my job to make him be great for five games." Sadly for Waselenchuk, he wasn't able to do that on Sunday.

Asked whether his drive serve was stronger in this tournament, Carson attributed it to the altitude, and said Waselenchuk's also seemed to be moving faster. Carson seemed to add a jam serve into the left wall to his game, and said he was just trying to keep his opponents off balance and keep the ball moving. "If you can't kill the ball, then you're playing my game," said Carson.

"It's not always the prettiest racquetball," said Carson.

But as the saying goes, they don't ask how, they only ask how many, and on Sunday Carson's not pretty racquetball style was able to outlast Waselenchuk's more creative style.

The next IRT event is the St Louis Party with the Pros April 11-14.

2013 Mile High Pro/Am - Denver, Colorado


Rocky Carson d. Kane Waselenchuk, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7, injury forfeit

Follow the bouncing ball....

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