Sunday, October 11, 2015

Waselenchuk wins 2015 US Open, his 11th title

Kane Waselenchuk won his 11th US Open title Sunday at the 2015 United Healthcare US Open Racquetball Championships in Minneapolis by defeating Daniel De La Rosa, 11-5, 11-8, 11-3. Waselenchuk's been in more US Open finals than any other man, and he's won all of those finals.

The win should propel Waselenchuk back into the top spot on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) rankings ahead of Rocky Carson, who was #1 coming into the US Open.

Although he double faulted at the start of game one, Waselenchuk started the match strong, as he scored seven points before De La Rosa got on the board. However, De La Rosa scored five in a row get within two at 7-5.

But that was all Waselenchuk let De La Rosa have, as he closed out the game at 11-5.

In game two, De La Rosa scored the first point, and they were back and forth for 18 rallies, when the score was 3-3. Waselenchuk then got three points to make it 6-3, and looked to be on his way.

But De La Rosa came back and tied it at 6-6, and they went back and forth again and 14 rallies got them to 9-8 with Waselenchuk ahead. De La Rosa then made an unforced error by skipping a forehand to give Waselenchuk game point at 10-8.

Some controversy on the next rally, when the referee called a hinder as De La Rosa's return hit Waselenchuk. But Waselenchuk thought De La Rosa's serve return skipped before it touched him. When it was clarified that the ball hit Waselenchuk before the floor, De La Rosa questioned why it was a hinder and not a penalty hinder, as Waselenchuk was positioned directly front of De La Rosa as he returned serve.

When play resumed, Waselenchuk hit a drive serve to the left that was an ace: his fourth of the match. Waselenchuk served up seven aces in the match.

In the final, Waselenchuk always drove serve on first serve, and often did so on second serve. He hit no lob serves in the match, although some of his drive serves were Z serves.

In game three, Waselenchuk again started strong, as he took a six point lead before De La Rosa got his first point, so the writing was on the wall. De La Rosa got a few points in game three, and tried to change things up by varying his service return position. But all to no avail, as Waselenchuk won game three, 11-3, as he forced De La Rosa to skip a backhand shot.

And with that Waselenchuk won the 2015 US Open Racquetball Championship, his 11th title.

2015 United Healthcare US Open - IRT Draw
Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 7-11, 2015


2) Kane Waselenchuk d. 4) Daniel De La Rosa, 11-5, 11-8, 11-3

Follow the bouncing ball….

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