Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Waselenchuk at the US Open

Kane Waselenchuk turned 33 on Sunday, but he's shown no signs of slowing down. He did have a recurrence of his inner-ear condition, which kept him out of the last two International Racquetball Tour (IRT) events, but the IRT has announced that Waselenchuk will play in this weekend's 24th Annual Turkey Shoot in Garden City, Kansas, which is certainly good news.

Last month, Waselenchuk won his 10th US Open title, which was his 10th consecutive title (though not ten US Opens in a row, as he didn't compete in 2006 and 2007), and we've got a review of Waselenchuk's US Open streak.

Prior to the streak

Waselenchuk's first US Open was 2000, when he reached the quarterfinals, losing to then World Champion Alvaro Beltran in five games. Significantly, Waselenchuk knocked off then defending champion Jason Mannino in the Round of 32, and did so in four games.

In the next two years, Cliff Swain ended Waselenchuk's US Open run. Swain defeated Waselenchuk in five games in the quarters in 2001 and in four games in the semi-finals in 2002.

Wins begin

Waselenchuk's winning streak began in 2003. He's won 55 straight US Open matches since then. Rocky Carson has been Waselenchuk's most frequent opponent (6 times), followed by Beltran (4) and Huczek (4). Waselenchuk's also played Swain and Alejandro Landa three times.

In his 10 title years, Waselenchuk's only lost 10 games. Three to Carson and Beltran, two to Huczek and one each to Mitch Williams and Tony Carson.

In terms of most average points against Waselenchuk, Beltran has the highest average with 23.5, followed by Huczek (22.0), Williams (21.5) and R. Carson (20). (note: this is for players who've played Waselenchuk more than once).

Waselenchuk's handed out donuts ten times during his title years, including one to Swain in the 2004 final, which is the only 11-0 game ever in a US Open final.

The streak began in Memphis and continues in Minneapolis. It's been played on two different show courts. But the outcome has been the same: Waselenchuk wins.

Barring major injury, it's difficult to imagine other outcomes for at least the next few years.

Follow the bouncing ball….

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