Saturday, May 24, 2014

One versus two at Canadian Racquetball Championships

Vincent Gagnon, the #1 seed, and #2 seed Tim Landeryou will meet in the Men's Open final at the 2014 Canadian National Racquetball Championships in Brossard, Que., while #1 women's seed Frédérique Lambert and #2 seed Jennifer Saunders will face off in the Women's Open final on Saturday, as all four players won their respective semi-finals on Friday.

Gagnon and Saunders had the most trouble advancing Friday, as both needed tie-breakers to win their finals. Gagnon won the first game against 5th seed Coby Iwaasa, the current Canadian Boy's U18 Champion, 15-10, but Iwaasa came back and squeaked out game two, 17-15, to force the tie-breaker.

In the breaker, they were close early on, but Gagnon opened up an 8-4 lead and held on to win 11-6.

Landeryou defeated 3rd seed Samuel Murray in the other semi-final, 15-12, 15-12.

In the last four years, Gagnon and Landeryou have each been finalists twice, and they lost to Mike Green on both occasions. Green's missing from this event due to injury, so Gagnon or Landeryou will become National Champion for the first time in their careers Saturday.

In women's play, Saunders won game one against her doubles partner, 3rd seed Josée Grand'Maître, 15-8, but in the second game Grand'Maître's drive serve was very effective, which led to her winning game two, 15-8.

But in the tie-breaker, Saunders led from start to finish, although Grand'Maître made it close late, when she got the score to 10-8. However, Saunders called a timeout, and when play resumed she got the serve back and won it, 11-9, taking the match, 15-8, 8-15, 11-8.

In the other women's semi, Lambert defeated 5th seed Christine Richardson of Regina in two straight games, 15-6, 15-5.

Saunders is the five time defending Women's Champion, but Lambert beat her on both of their meetings this season. Thus, there will be history made Saturday by either Lambert winning her 1st National Championship or Saunders winning her 8th, which would be the most ever for a woman and break her tie with Heather Stupp, who also won the title seven times.

Nationals is the last opportunity for players to earn points that will qualify them to be on the Canadian National Team that will compete at the IRF World Championships next month in Burlington, Ont.

Racquetball Canada National Championships
Nautilus Plus, Brossard, Québec

Men's Open Singles

Semi-finals - Friday

Vincent Gagnon d. Coby Iwaasa, 15-10, 15-17, 11-6
Tim Landeryou d. Samuel Murray, 15-12, 15-12

Final - Saturday

Vincent Gagnon v. Tim Landeryou - 3 PM

Women's Open Singles

Semi-finals - Friday

Frédérique Lambert d. Christine Richardson, 15-6, 15-5
Jennifer Saunders d. Josée Grand'Maître, 15-8, 8-15, 11-8

Final - Saturday

Frédérique Lambert v. Jennifer Saunders - 2 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…

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