Saturday, May 25, 2013

Top men's and women's seeds to face off for Canadian titles

Mike Green will have a chance to win his 9th Canadian Men's Open title on Saturday at the 2013 Canadian Racquetball Championships in Langley, B.C., although he was hard pressed to get there by the junior phenom Coby Iwaasa, who forced Green to tie-breaker before Green won, 15-3, 13-15, 11-2.

Green's opponent will be 2nd seed Tim Landeryou, who defeated Green at the last Canadian National Team Selection Event in February, as Landeryou beat Nathanial Husulak of Saskatoon, 15-10, 15-8.

Green was dominant in the first game against Iwaasa, going out to a 12-0 lead with his powerful drive serve. Iwaasa eked out a few points before the game ended, but it was never close.

Game two was a different story, as Iwaasa, who at 16 is the U18 and U16 Canadian Junior Champion as well as U16 World Junior Champion, took a 6-1 lead on Green. But the veteran worked his way into the game, and held the lead late at 13-11.

They went back and forth at that point before Iwaasa scored three straight points to win it 15-13. The last point came on a backhand kill shot that Iwaasa hit at about 3/4 speed.

In the tie-breaker, the Champion reasserted himself and like game one took a big lead going up 4-0, when Iwaasa called a time-out. But Green scored two more points before Iwaasa got his first, making the score 6-1.

Green again scored two points to make the score 8-1, and then Iwaasa got his second and final point of the match as Green went on to win it 11-2, making the final point on a down the line pass on the left side of the court that Iwaasa dived for by didn't reach. He appealed for a hinder, but the lines people agreed with the referee that it was no hinder, and Green was through to the final.

Women's Division

Defending Champion and #1 seed Jennifer Saunders took one more step towards successfully defending her title Friday, as she defeated 4th seed Linda Ellerington, 15-4, 15-2.

In the final on Saturday, Saunders's opponent will be her doubles partner Josée Grand'Maître, who had to come back from one game down to beat 3rd seed Christine Richardson, 3-15, 15-10, 11-3. Saunders and Grand'Maître won their 9th doubles title together earlier in the week.

Saunders had a solid match against Ellerington, as she hit both lob serves and drive serves, and followed those up with solid shots that Ellerington - a former National Team player - had few answers for.

The Grand'Maître-Richardson match was a different story as Richardson began on fire winning game one with ease. But as the match wore on her powerful shots that were winners early started to be hit higher allowing Grand'Maître opportunities to play them off the back wall.

Grand'Maître found her rhythm and used a variety of serves to keep Richardson off balance. By the middle of game two, Grand'Maître clearly had the momentum and the veteran didn't let it go as she forced a tie-breaking game and won that going away.

The 2013 Canadian National Racquetball Championships concludes Saturday May 25 in Langley, B.C. at Newlands Golf and Country Club.

You can watch the final live via the web at

2013 Canadian Racquetball Championships
Langley, B.C.

Men's Open Singles

Semi-finals - Friday

(1) Mike Green d. (4) Coby Iwaasa, 15-3, 13-15, 11-2
(2) Tim Landeryou d. (3) Nathaniel Husulak, 15-10, 15-8

Final - Saturday

(1) Mike Green v. (2) Tim Landeryou - 2 PM PDT

Women's Open Singles

Semi-finals - Friday

(1) Jennifer Saunders d. (4) Linda Ellerington, 15-4, 15-2
(2) Josée Grand'Maître d. (3) Christine Richardson, 3-15, 15-10, 11-3

Final - Saturday

(1) Jennifer Saunders v. (2) Josée Grand'Maître - 1 PM PDT

Follow the bouncing ball….

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