Saturday, May 26, 2018

Murray & Saunders win Men's & Women's Singles, respectively, at the 2018 Canadian National Racquetball Championships

Samuel Murray and Jennifer Saunders won the Men’s and Women’s, respectively, Singles Championships at the 2018 Canadian National Racquetball Championships in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Saturday. Murray defeated Coby Iwaasa, 15-7, 10-15, 11-2, in the men’s final, while Saunders beat Christine Richardson, 15-3, 15-13, in women’s final. The wins are the first for Murray, and the 10th for Saunders.

Saunders now has 22 titles combined in Women’s Singles and Doubles, which puts her ahead of any other player. She has one more than Mike Green, who has 11 Men’s Singles titles and 10 Men’s Doubles titles.

Murray’s win was his 4th overall, as he had won Men’s Doubles twice before this year: in 2014 with Vincent Gagnon and in 2016 with Pedro Castro, and then won Men’s Doubles earlier this week with Iwaasa.

Saunders looked to be cruising to her 10th singles title after winning game one and being up in game two, 13-2. However, Richardson dug in at that point, and started serving great, scoring nine unanswered points helped by three ace serves - two drives to the left and one to the right.

But at 11 serving 13, Saunders got the serve back with a forehand winner. Her 14th point came as Saunders hit a drive Z serve to the left that Richardson returned around the wall - side, front, side - and Saunders just set up in the middle of the court, and hit a backhand volley pinch winner to get her first match point.

However, Saunders couldn’t finish it. She skipped two match points, while Richardson scored two more points to make it 13 serve 14. Then a long rally ensued that ended when a ball came off the back wall to the left side, and Saunders hit a backhand shot that went off the top of her racquet frame and rolled into the front left corner.

On the next rally, Saunders hit a forehand down the left side to seal the victory.

In the Men’s Singles final, Murray led Iwaasa from 2-2 on in game one, winning it 15-7. But Iwaasa came out strong in game two to go up 7-1. Murray came back to lead 9-8. Then they were tied 10-10, and it was Iwaasa, who had to win the game, who scored the final five points to win it, 15-10, and force a tie-breaker.

In the breaker, Murray jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Iwaasa got on the board. But Murray then ran another five points to lead 10-1, and the writing was on the wall. Iwaasa did fend off three match points, but could only score one of his own before Murray ended the game at 11-2 for his first Canadian Men’s Singles title.

The National Championships is the third event that is used to select Canada’s National Team that will compete at the 2018 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in August. The doubles results will be combined with the singles results from this week, as well as the results from the two National Team Selection Events that happened earlier this season, to select the players for Worlds.

2018 Racquetball Canada National Championships
May 20-26, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Men's Open Singles

FINAL


1) Samuel Murray d. 2) Coby Iwaasa, 15-7, 10-15, 11-2

3rd place

3) Tim Landeryou d. 4) Pedro Castro, default

5th place

6) Nicolas Bousquet d. 5) James Landeryou, 15-17, 15-5, 13-11

7th place

7) Lee Connell d. 8) Kurtis Cullen, injury forfeit

9th place

9) Tommy Murray d. 15) Ian Frattinger, 15-4, 15-8

Women's Open Singles

FINAL


1) Jennifer Saunders d. 2) Christine Richardson, 15-3, 15-13

3rd place

5) Michèle Morissette d. 6) Erin Geeraert, 15-10, 15-7

5th place

3) Alexis Iwaasa d. 4) Danielle Drury, 15-13, 15-13

7th place

9) Cassie Prentice d. 7) Murielle Boivin, 13-15, 15-12, 11-8

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, May 25, 2018

Top seeds face off in singles finals at 2018 Canadian National Championships

Samuel Murray and Coby Iwaasa in Men’s Singles and Jennifer Saunders and Christine Richardson in Women’s Singles will face off in their respective finals on Saturday at the 2018 Canadian National Racquetball Championships in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In the semi-finals, Murray, the top seed in Men’s Singles and the 8th ranked player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) defeated Pedro Castro, 15-0, 15-2, while 2nd seed Iwaasa beat 3rd seed Tim Landeryou, 15-6, 15-13. Women's #1 seed Saunders defeated 5th seed Michèle Morissette, 15-6, 15-3, while 2nd seed Richardson beat 6th seed Erin Geeraert, 15-5, 15-5.

On Saturday, Murray and Richardson will be trying to win their first Canadian Championships in singles, while Iwaasa will try to capture his 2nd Men’s Singles title and Saunders will be trying to get her 10th.

The National Championships is also the third event that is used to select Canada’s National Team that will compete at the 2018 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in August in Cali, Colombia. The doubles results will be combined with the singles results from this week, as well as the results from the two National Team Selection Events that happened earlier this season, to select the players for Cali.

2018 Racquetball Canada National Championships
May 20-26, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Men's Open Singles

FINAL


1) Samuel Murray v. 2) Coby Iwaasa

Semi-finals

1) Samuel Murray d. 4) Pedro Castro, 15-0, 15-2
2) Coby Iwaasa d. 3) Tim Landeryou, 15-6, 15-13

Quarterfinals

1) Samuel Murray d. 8) Kurtis Cullen, 15-3, 15-11
4) Pedro Castro d. 5) James Landeryou, 15-13, 15-13

3) Tim Landeryou d. 6) Nicolas Bousquet, 15-11, 6-15, 11-7
2) Coby Iwaasa d. 7) Lee Connell, 15-5, 15-5

Women's Open Singles

FINAL


1) Jennifer Saunders v. 2) Christine Richardson

Semi-finals

1) Jennifer Saunders d. 5) Michèle Morissette, 15-6, 15-3
2) Christine Richardson d. 6) Erin Geeraert, 15-5, 15-5

Quarterfinals

1) Jennifer Saunders d. 9) Cassie Prentice, 15-0, 15-3
5) Michèle Morissette d. 4) Danielle Drury, 15-7, 15-6

6) Erin Geeraert d. 3) Alexis Iwaasa, 15-11, 2-15, 11-9
2) Christine Richardson d. 7) Murielle Boivin, 15-6, 15-11

Follow the bouncing ball….

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Iwaasa & Murray, Lambert & Saunders are 2018 Canadian Doubles Champions

Coby Iwaasa and Samuel Murray won Men’s Doubles with Frédérique Lambert and Jennifer Saunders winning Women’s Doubles at the 2018 Canadian National Racquetball Championships in Winnipeg, Manitoba. All four players had previously been doubles champions, but with different partners. Iwaasa and Murray had each won twice previously: Iwaasa with Mike Green both times, and Murray with Pedro Castro and Vincent Gagnon. Lambert had won doubles once before with Brandi Jacobson Prentice, while Saunders had 11 doubles titles previously (10 with Josée Grand’Maître and 1 with Danielle Drury).

The Men’s Doubles final was a brother showdown, as Samuel Murray’s older brother Tommy was on the other side playing with Nicolas Bousquet. Iwaasa and Samuel needed a tie-breaker to defeat Bousquet and Tommy, 15-13, 10-15, 11-6.

On the women’s side, Lambert and Saunders beat Michèle Morissette and Christine Richardson in two close games, 15-9, 15-13.

The National Championships is also the third event that is used to select Canada’s National Team that will compete at the 2018 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in August in Cali, Colombia. The doubles results will be combined with the singles results from this week, as well as the results from the two National Team Selection Events that happened earlier this season, to select the players for Cali.

2018 Racquetball Canada National Championships
May 20-26, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Men's Open Doubles

1st Place


Coby Iwaasa & Samuel Murray d. Nicolas Bousquet & Tommy Murray, 15-13, 10-15, 11-6

3rd Place

James Landeryou & Tim Landeryou d. Lee Connell & Trevor Webb, 15-3, 15-12

5th Place

Pedro Castro & Michael Leduc d. Kurtis Cullen & Tanner Prentice, 8-15, 15-5, 11-2

7th Place

Ian Frattinger & Josh Keil d. Mitch Brayley & Paul Albert, forfeit

Women's Open Doubles

1st Place


Frédérique Lambert & Jennifer Saunders d. Michèle Morissette & Christine Richardson, 15-9, 15-13

3rd Place

Danielle Drury & Alexis Iwaasa d. Erin Geeraert & Cassie Prentice, 11-15, 15-8, 11-1

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Martell defeats Bredenbeck to win 2018 WRT Georgia Open

Jaime Martell won the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) 2018 Georgia Open in Lilburn, Georgia on Sunday by upsetting top seed Jake Bredenbeck, 15-8, 15-5, in the final. It’s Martell’s 2nd win on the WRT. His first came in 2016 at the Rocky Mountain Open, when he beat David Horn in the final. Martell defeated Horn in the semi-finals in Lilburn.

Martell and Francisco Troncoso took the WRT Doubles title also, although they won the final by default over Luis Avila and Hiroshi Shimizu. The win was Martell’s sixth WRT Doubles title, and Troncoso’s first. Martell had previously won with Alejandro Cardona (twice), Jose Daniel Ugalde (twice) and Joshua Hungerford.

The next WRT tournament isn’t until October, when the Canadian Open will happen October 17-21 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

2018 WRT Georgia Open, May 18-20
Lilburn, Georgia


Singles - Final - Sunday

3) Jaime Martell d. 1) Jake Bredenbeck, 15-8, 15-5

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Jaime Martell & Francisco Troncoso d. 4) Destry Everhart & David Stincer, 15-2, 15-2
2) Luis Avila & Hiroshi Shimizu d. 3) Justus Benson & Kevin Vazquez, 13-15, 15-8, 11-3

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Jaime Martell & Francisco Troncoso d. 2) Luis Avila & Hiroshi Shimizu, forfeit

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Martell upsets Horn to reach the final of the 2018 WRT Georgia Open

Jaime Martell upset 2nd seed David Horn, 13-15, 15-8, 11-9, in the semi-finals of the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) 2018 Georgia Open in Lilburn, Georgia, and will play top seed Jake Bredenbeck in the final on Sunday at noon. In the other semi, Bredenbeck beat Mauricio Zelada, 15-2, 15-4.

You can watch the action from Georgia via the WRT website or its Facebook page. The final will be Sunday at noon.

2018 WRT Georgia Open, May 18-20
Lilburn, Georgia


Singles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Jake Bredenbeck d. 9) Justus Benson, 15-8, 15-7
5) Mauricio Zelada d. 4) Francisco Troncoso, 15-7, 15-11

3) Jaime Martell d. 11) Kevin Vazquez, 15-11, 15-6
2) David Horn d. 7) Luis Avila, 15-10, 15-9

Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Jake Bredenbeck d. 5) Mauricio Zelada, 15-2, 15-4
3) Jaime Martell d. 2) David Horn, 13-15, 15-8, 11-9

Singles - Final - Sunday

1) Jake Bredenbeck v. 3) Jaime Martell - Noon

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Jaime Martell & Francisco Troncoso v. 4) Destry Everhart & David Stincer - 7 PM
2) Luis Avila & Hiroshi Shimizu v. 3) Justus Benson & Kevin Vazquez - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

WRT 2018 Georgia Open - Round of 16

Young USA player Kevin Vazquez upset Japanese veteran Hiroshi Shimizu, 15-7, 8-15, 11-9, in the Round of 16 at the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) 2018 Georgia Open in Lilburn, Georgia on Friday. The win puts Vazquez in the quarterfinals against 3rd seed Jaime Martell, who was a straight game winner over Destry Everhart, 15-10, 15-2.

Also of note, Luis Avila beat Thomas Carter in straight games, 15-7, 15-12, and will play 2nd seed David Horn in the quarters. Finally, 9th seed Justus Benson won the 8/9 match, as he defeated Austin Cunningham, 15-10, 15-8. Benson will play top seed Jake Bredenbeck in the quarters on Saturday.

You can watch the action from Georgia via the WRT website or its Facebook page. The quarterfinals begin Saturday at 10 AM with the semi-finals Saturday at 5 and 6 PM. The final will be Sunday at noon.

2018 WRT Georgia Open, May 18-20
Lilburn, Georgia


Singles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Jake Bredenbeck - BYE
9) Justus Benson d. 8) Austin Cunningham, 15-10, 15-8

5) Mauricio Zelada d. 12) David Stincer, 15-13, 10-15, 11-0
4) Francisco Troncoso d. 13) Daniel Herrera, 15-3, 15-2

3) Jaime Martell d. 14) Destry Everhart, 15-10, 15-2
11) Kevin Vazquez d. 6) Hiroshi Shimizu, 15-7, 8-15, 11-9

7) Luis Avila d. 10) Thomas Carter, 15-7, 15-12
2) David Horn - BYE

Singles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Jake Bredenbeck v. 9) Justus Benson - 1 PM
4) Francisco Troncoso v. 5) Mauricio Zelada - 11 AM

3) Jaime Martell v. 11) Kevin Vazquez - 10 AM
2) David Horn v. 7) Luis Avila - Noon

Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Jaime Martell & Francisco Troncoso - BYE
4) Destry Everhart & David Stincer d. 5) Alberto Dent & Daniel Herrera, 15-12, 15-8

3) Justus Benson & Kevin Vazquez - BYE
2) Luis Avila & Hiroshi Shimizu - BYE

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Jaime Martell & Francisco Troncoso v. 4) Destry Everhart & David Stincer - 7 PM
2) Luis Avila & Hiroshi Shimizu v. 3) Justus Benson & Kevin Vazquez - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mejia & Fernandez win at 2018 Olimpiada Nacional - Mexican Junior Nationals

The Olimpiada Nacional 2018, which are the Mexican Junior Nationals, concluded earlier this week in Chihuahua, and there was an enviable participation rate, as 182 players - 75 girls and 107 boys - participated across three age categories: U18, U16, U14, which are the World Cup divisions at the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Championships. That large participation rate produced some surprises, as only one of the twelve players seeded #1 or #2 made a final, let alone won their respective division.

But Monserrat Mejia’s win in Girl’s U18 wasn’t a surprise, as she is the current IRF World Junior Champion in the division. Mejia was the #1 seed, but needed a tie-breaker to defeat 6th seed Erin Rivera, 15-3, 7-15, 11-1, in the final.

Sebastian Fernandez won the Boy’s U18 division, which is a bit of a surprise given who else was in the draw, but not a big surprise, because Fernandez is the current U16 World Junior Champion. Yet Fernandez had to defeat the two Boy’s U18 medalists from last year’s World Juniors as well as the top seed to win the title.

In the final, Fernandez came back from a game down to defeat Eduardo Portillo, 7-15, 15-13, 11-8. Portillo was silver medalist in U18 at World Juniors last year. Fernandez squeaked out a tie-breaker against #1 seed Christian Longoria, 15-13, 5-15, 11-10, in the semi-finals, and in the quarterfinals, he beat 4th seed and 2018 World Juniors U18 bronze medalist Gerardo Franco, 15-9, 13-15, 11-7.

In U18 Doubles, neither Mejia on the girl’s side or Fernandez on the boy’s side won with their respective partners. Mejia and Claudia Vizcaino lost to Ana Laura Flores and Erin Rivera in the Girl’s U18 Doubles Final, while Gerardo Franco and Juan Loreto beat Christian Longoria and Saul Rivera, 15-12, 15-2, to win the Boy’s U18 Doubles Final.

The division winners will represent Mexico at the 2018 IRF World Junior Championships, November 10-17, which we believe will be held in Juarez, Mexico.

Olimpiada Nacional 2018
Chihuahua, Mexico - May 13-16, 2018


Girl’s U18 - Final

1) Monserrat Mejia d. 6) Erin Rivera, 15-3, 7-15, 11-1

Semi-finals

1) Monserrat Mejia d. 4) Ana Laura Flores, 15-12, 15-5
6) Erin Rivera d. 7) Ana Kristin Rivera, 15-3, 15-11

Girl’s U16 - Final

4) Delia Aguilar d. 10) Maria Gutierrez, 15-10, 15-4

Semi-finals

4) Delia Aguilar d. 1) Sofia Ramierez, 15-3, 15-4
10) Maria Gutierrez d. 14) Ana Cristina Perez, 15-6, 15-10

Girl’s U14 - Final

3) Daniela Rico d. 9) Karime Estrella, 15-11, 6-15, 11-8

Semi-finals

9) Karime Estrella d. 12) Sofia Hernandez, 3-15, 15-10, 11-1
3) Daniela Rico d. 2) Jessica Balderrama Perez, 15-8, 15-5

Girl’s U18 Doubles - Final

2) Ana Laura Flores & Erin Rivera d. 1) Monserrat Mejia & Claudia Vizcaino, 15-11, 15-9

Semi-finals

1) Monserrat Mejia & Claudia Vizcaino d. 4) Denisse Maldonado & Abril Sacristán, 12-15, 15-9, 11-4
2) Ana Laura Flores & Erin Rivera d. 3) Mariana Gisele Avila & Natalia Gonzalez, 15-6, 15-0

Girl’s U16 Doubles - Final

5) Delia Aguilar & Ana Victoria Orozco d. 3) Guadalupe Griffin & Beatriz Hernandez, 15-3, 14-15, 11-3

Semi-finals

5) Delia Aguilar & Ana Victoria Orozco d. 1) Valeria Hernandez & Sofia Ramirez, 15-3, 15-4
3) Guadalupe Griffin & Beatriz Hernandez d. 2) Vanessa Copca & Maria Gutierrez, 15-3, 14-15, 11-3

Girl’s U14 Doubles - Final

3) Andrea Ibarra & Jessica Balderrama Perez d. 1) Karime Estrella & Angela Ortega, 15-11, 7-15, 11-7

Semi-finals

1) Karime Estrella & Angela Ortega d. 4) Sofia Hernandez & Alexa Robledo, 15-2, 15-0
3) Andrea Ibarra & Jessica Balderrama Perez d. 7) Constanza Moreno & Alondra Yañez, 15-9, 15-2

Boy’s U18 - Final

12) Sebastian Fernandez d. 23) Eduardo Portillo, 7-15, 15-13, 11-8

Semi-finals

12) Sebastian Fernandez d. 1) Christian Longoria, 15-13, 5-15, 11-10
23) Eduardo Portillo d. 30) Rodrigo Rodriguez, 15-6, 15-3

Boy’s U16 - Final

14) Elias Nieto d. 13) Andres Trejo, 15-11, 10-15, 11-9

Semi-finals

13) Andres Trejo d. 8) Aldo Caraveo, 15-9, 15-11
14) Elias Nieto d. 2) Guillermo De Jesus Ortega, 15-1, 15-14

Boy’s U14 - Final

10) Omar Gonzalez d. 5) Sebastián Hernández, 15-10, 15-7

Semi-finals

5) Sebastián Hernández d. 16) Andres Ruelas Jr., 15-3, 9-15, 11-9
10) Omar Gonzalez d. 19) Rodrigo Rios, 15-14, 15-1

Boy’s U18 Doubles - Final

3) Gerardo Franco & Juan Loreto d. 1) Christian Longoria & Saul Rivera, 15-12, 15-2

Semi-finals

1) Christian Longoria & Saul Rivera d. 4) Sebastian Fernandez & Luis Saldaña, 12-15, 15-12, 11-6
3) Gerardo Franco & Juan Loreto d. 2) Daniel Maldonado & Rafael Ochoa, 15-10, 13-15, 11-3

Boy’s U16 Doubles - Final

1) Manuel Moncada & Guillermo De Jesus Ortega d. 2) Elias Nieto & Andres Trejo, 3-15, 15-14, 11-9

Semi-finals

1) Manuel Moncada & Guillermo De Jesus Ortega d. 4) Aldo Caraveo, 15-14, 15-13
2) Elias Nieto & Andres Trejo d. 3) Carlos Esparza & Roberto Valencia, 15-13, 15-11

Boy’s U14 Doubles - Final

7) Sebastián Hernández & Omar Gonzalez d. 4) Juan Carlos Castillo & Juan Carlos Picard, 15-6, 15-10

Semi-finals

4) Juan Carlos Castillo & Juan Carlos Picard d. 8) Angel Camacho, 15-7, 15-4
7) Sebastián Hernández & Omar Gonzalez d. 3) Rafael Ayala & Andres Ruelas Jr., 13-15, 15-11, 11-7

Follow the bouncing ball….

WRT 2018 Georgia Open - Preview

The World Racquetball Tour (WRT) 2018 season resumes this weekend with the 2018 Georgia Open in Lilburn, Georgia, where there is an unusually small draw of 14 for a WRT event, which often has fields of more than twice that size. Jake Bredenbeck is top seed with David Horn as the 2nd seed, Jaime Martell 3rd seed and Francisco Troncoso 4th seed.

Other players of note in the draw are Mauricio Zelada, seeded 5th, Hiroshi Shimizu, 6th seed, and Thomas Carter, 10th seed.

You can watch the action from Georgia via the WRT website or its Facebook page. The play begins Friday with the 16s. The quarters will be Saturday beginning at 10 AM with the semi-finals at 5 and 6 PM. The final Sunday at noon.

2018 WRT Georgia Open, May 18-20
Lilburn, Georgia


Singles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Jake Bredenbeck - BYE
8) Austin Cunningham v. 9) Justus Benson - 5 PM

5) Mauricio Zelada v. 12) David Stincer - 5 PM
4) Francisco Troncoso v. 13) Daniel Herrera - 7 PM

3) Jaime Martell v. 14) Destry Everhart - 4 PM
6) Hiroshi Shimizu v. 11) Kevin Vazquez - 4 PM

7) Luis Avila v. 10) Thomas Carter - 6 PM
2) David Horn - BYE

Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Jaime Martell & Francisco Troncoso - BYE
4) Destry Everhart & David Stincer v. 5) Alberto Dent & Daniel Herrera - 8 PM

3) Justus Benson & Kevin Vazquez - BYE
2) Luis Avila & Hiroshi Shimizu - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Monday, May 14, 2018

2018 Costa Rica Open - Wins by Horn, Parrilla & Camacho & Mercado

David Horn won the Costa Rica Open - a Tier 3 event on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) - on the weekend in San Jose, Costa Rica. Horn beat Alvaro Beltran, 15-4, 15-6, in the final. In the semi-finals, Horn upset top seed Alejandro Landa, 15-12, 12-15, 11-7, and Beltran defeated Mario Mercado, 15-4, 15-9.

In the Men’s Open division, Andree Parrilla was the winner, and he beat both Horn and Beltran to it. Parrilla got the better of Horn in the quarterfinals, 15-7, 15-5, and Beltran in the semis, 15-11, 15-14. In the final Parrilla beat Andres Acuña, 12-15, 15-10, 11-3.

Felipe Camacho and Mario Mercado won the Men’s Open Doubles division, and they beat Beltran and Landa, 15-11, 15-9, in the final. In the semi-finals, Camacho and Mercado needed a tie-breaker to get past Horn and Parrilla, 6-15, 15-8, 11-6, while Beltran and Landa defeated Ramon De Leon and Luis Perez in two straight games, 15-9, 15-7.

Coming up this week is the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) Georgia Open, May 18-20, in Lilburn, Georgia. Then the Canadian Racquetball Championships will begin on Sunday, May 20. They play doubles for the first three days, and then singles from Wednesday to Saturday. Finally, the USA Racquetball National Singles Championships begins next week on May 23 in Pleasanton, California.

2018 Costa Rica Open - IRT Tier 3, May 9-12, 2018
San Jose, Costa Rica


IRT Final

David Horn d. Alvaro Beltran, 15-4, 15-6

IRT Semi-finals

David Horn d. Alejandro Landa, 15-12, 12-15, 11-7
Alvaro Beltran d. Mario Mercado, 15-4, 15-9

IRT Quarterfinals

Alejandro Landa d. Andres Acuña, 10-15, 15-6, 11-2
David Horn d. Andree Parrilla, 15-9, 15-8
Mario Mercado Felipe Camacho, 15-8, 15-1
Alvaro Beltran d. Justus Benson, 9-15, 15-6, 11-5

Men’s Open Final

Andree Parrilla d. Andres Acuña, 12-15, 15-10, 11-3

Men’s Open Semi-finals

Andres Acuña d. Maykel Moyet Suarez, 15-5, 15-6
Andree Parrilla d. Alvaro Beltran, 15-11, 15-14

Men’s Open Quarterfinals

Maykel Moyet Suarez d. Justus Benson, 15-9, 15-3
Andres Acuña d. Felipe Camacho, 15-9, 14-15, 11-5
Alvaro Beltran d. Mario Mercado, 15-9, 15-14
Andree Parrilla d. David Horn, 15-7, 15-5

Men’s Open Doubles - Final

Felipe Camacho & Mario Mercado d. Alvaro Beltran & Alejandro Landa, 15-11, 15-9

Men’s Open Doubles - Semi-finals

Alvaro Beltran & Alejandro Landa d. Ramon De Leon & Luis Perez, 15-9, 15-7
Felipe Camacho & Mario Mercado d. David Horn & Andree Parrilla, 6-15, 15-8, 11-6

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Croft & Waselenchuk, Longoria & Salas and the De La Rosas won at the 2018 World Doubles Open Championships

Only one top seed won a final at the World Doubles Open Championships in Denver Sunday, as 1st seeds Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas defeated 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia, 15-5, 5-15, 11-6, to capture the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) title. The Men’s International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Doubles title went to Ben Croft and Kane Waselenchuk, who defeated Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa in the final, which had an unfortunate end.

Croft and Waselenchuk won the first game 15-7, and were up 13-8 in the second game, when a rally ended with a bit of a mix up in the middle of the court. Beltran laid out to put a ball into the left corner, and then Waselenchuk went over top of him to play a ball down the line on the right side. The referee called Waselenchuk’s shot good, and no hinder on the play, although Waselenchuk came up hobbling afterwards.

As there was a couple of minutes of injury time for Waselenchuk, Beltran and De La Rosa disputed the referee’s call of a point for Croft and Waselenchuk, which made the score 14-8. Beltran and De La Rosa's complaint led to them being assessed a technical for delaying the game, so the score was 14-7. That’s when they chose to walk off the court and default the match, even though they had run a string of points to get within shouting distance of their opponents.

It was really an unfortunate ending to a match that had some high quality play.

The Mixed Doubles title went to De La Rosa and his wife Michelle, who beat the top seeds Mario Mercado and Adriana Riveros, 15-7, 15-13, and that result meant The Racquetball Blog’s prediction of a tie-breaker in the Mixed Doubles final was incorrect. Previously, 10 of the 14 matches in Mixed Doubles from the Round of 16 through the semi-finals went three games, so it was a bit of a surprise that the final was over in two straight games.

Overall, the World Doubles Open Championships seemed to be a success, as it brought the LPRT and IRT players together, which rarely happens outside of the US Open. And a big reason for its success was the Mixed Doubles division, as new pairings competed against each other, which is always fun, and many of the matches went a full three games, which is also always fun.

This ends the IRT season, but the LPRT season has one more event: the Treeroot.com Classic in Overland Park, Kansas, June 8-10. If you missed any of the action from Denver, check out the LPRT Facebook page or the LPRT Livestream channel, and the IRT Facebook page or the IRT YouTube channel.

World Doubles Open Championships
May 3-6, 2018 - Denver, Colorado


Men’s Doubles - Final - Sunday

6) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk d. 1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa, 15-7, 14-7, forfeit

Women’s Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia, 15-5, 5-15, 11-6

Mixed Doubles - Final - Sunday

11) Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa d. 1) Mario Mercado & Adriana Riveros, 15-7, 15-13

Follow the bouncing ball….

Top seeds win in semi-finals at World Doubles Open Championships

The top seeds made it to the finals in the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles divisions at the World Doubles Open Championships in Denver Saturday with Daniel De La Rosa the only player in two finals. He and Alvaro Beltran were the top seeds in Men’s Doubles, and they beat Jansen Allen and Felipe Camacho, 15-8, 15-3, to reach the Men’s International Racquetball Tour (IRT) final. Then De La Rosa teamed up with his wife Michelle to defeat Paola Longoria and Rodrigo Montoya, 15-5, 14-15, 11-7, in the semi-finals of mixed.

Longoria and Samantha Salas, the top seeds in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) draw, beat 4th seeds Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros, 15-8, 15-5. They will face 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia in the final, as Herrera and Mejia beat De La Rosa and Carla Muñoz, 15-10, 15-13, in the other semi-final.

Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa will play Kane Waselenchuk and Ben Croft, who have gone through the draw like a hot knife through butter with their semi-final victims being Sebastian Franco and Mario Mercado, who they dismissed 15-1, 15-4.

In Mixed Doubles, the De La Rosas will play top seeds Mario Mercado and Adriana Riveros, who also needed a tie-breaker to win their semi-final against Beltran and Natalia Mendez, 15-5, 10-15, 11-5. We’re not sure who’s going to win the final, but we’d be willing to bet it’s going to go three games, as 10 of the 14 matches in Mixed Doubles from the Round of 16 on have gone breaker.

The finals begin Sunday with the Women’s final at 11:15 AM, with the Mixed final at 12:30 PM, and Men’s final at 1:45 PM. All times Mountain. Check out the LPRT Facebook page or the LPRT Livestream channel, and the IRT Network. or the IRT YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC67kzHthKegmrRXaWzx6pQ

World Doubles Open Championships
May 3-6, 2018 - Denver, Colorado


Men’s Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 4) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho, 15-8, 15-3
6) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk d. 2) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado, 15-1, 15-4

Men’s Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 6) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk - 1:45 PM

Women’s Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 4) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros, 15-8, 15-5
2) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia d. 6) Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz, 15-10, 15-13

Women’s Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - 11:15 AM

Mixed Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Mario Mercado & Adriana Riveros d. 5) Alvaro Beltran & Natalia Mendez, 15-5, 10-15, 11-5
11) Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa d. 7) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya, 15-5, 14-15, 11-7

Mixed Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Mario Mercado & Adriana Riveros v. 11) Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa - 12:30 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Quarterfinals at the World Doubles Open Championships

The 6th seeds have done well in Men’s and Women’s Doubles at the World Doubles Open Championships in Denver, as both teams are through to the semi-finals in the Men’s International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) draws.

Of course, we aren’t surprised by the 6th seeds doing well in the IRT draw, because that’s the team of IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk and Ben Croft, who as a team are almost undefeated. Their 6th seeding is clearly too low, but reflects Croft’s relative inactivity in singles. To get to the semis, they beat 3rd seeds Jake Bredenbeck and Jose Diaz by the “thanks for coming out” scores of 15-1, 15-3. Waselechuk and Croft will play 2nd seeds Sebastian Franco and Mario Mercado, who needed three games to get past the young team of Adam Manilla and Nicholas Riffel, 15-6, 7-15, 11-4.

The LPRT 6th seeds are more of a surprise, but Michelle De La Rosa and Carla Muñoz played well to come back and defeat 3rd seeds Frédérique Lambert and Jessica Parrilla, 10-15, 15-12, 11-4, in the quarterfinals. They’ll play 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia in the semis, as Herrera and Mejia beat Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-7, 15-4, in the quarters.

In Mixed Doubles, six of the eight Round of 16 matches went breaker. Then two of the four quarterfinals also went breaker. This is perhaps not surprising, as several of the teams are likely playing together for the first time. But that’s not the case for Daniel and Michelle De La Rosa, who were seeded 11th, but are through to the semi-finals after beating 6th seeds Jake Bredenbeck and Mejia, 15-7, 12-15, 11-7, in the 16 and eking out a victory over 3rd seeds Lambert and Samuel Murray, 13-15, 15-1, 11-10, in the quarters.

In fact, only one of the top four seeds in Mixed Doubles is in the semi-finals, and that’s top seeds Mario Mercado and Adriana Riveros, who won both their matches on Friday in two straight games, including a win over Adam Manilla and Rhonda Rajsich, 15-6, 15-14, in the quarterfinals.

In the semi-finals, they’ll play 5th seeds Alvaro Beltran and Natalia Mendez, who looked like they would win their quarterfinal match with Cristina Amaya and Sebastian Franco in straight games, as they led 8-1 in game two after winning game one. But Amaya and Franco ran 14 unanswered points - many of which started with Amaya hitting a drive Z serve to Mendez on the right side - to force a third game. However, Amaya and Franco couldn’t keep the momentum going, so Beltran and Mendez won, 15-9, 8-15, 11-5.

Paola Longoria was hard on her current or recent Women’s Doubles players, as she and Montoya beat Samantha Salas - Longoria’s doubles partner in Denver and Mar, 15-8, 15-10, in the 16s, and then they defeated Alexandra Herrera, who Longoria won gold with in Women’s Doubles in March at the Pan American Championships, and Jansen Allen, 15-12, 15-6. Longoria and Montoya will play the De La Rosas in the semis Saturday.

All the semi-final action begins Saturday afternoon. Check out the LPRT and IRT Facebook pages for the action, as well as the LPRT Livestream channel and the IRT Network. The finals will be Sunday beginning at with the Women’s final at 11:15 AM, Mixed at 12:30 PM, and Men’s at 1:45 PM. All times Mountain.

World Doubles Open Championships
May 3-6, 2018 - Denver, Colorado


Men’s Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 8) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya, 15-7, 14-15, 11-5
4) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho d. 12) Alejandro Cardona & Gerardo Franco, 15-5, 15-5

6) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk d. 3) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz, 15-1, 15-3
2) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado d. 7) Adam Manilla & Nicholas RIffel, 15-6, 7-15, 11-4

Men’s Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 4) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho - 7:30 PM
2) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado v. 6) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk - 6:15 PM

Women’s Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 9) Daniela Molina & Masiel Rivera
4) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros d. 5) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-13, 15-9

6) Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz d. 3) Frédérique Lambert & Jessica Parrilla, 10-15, 15-12, 11-4
2) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia d. 7) Gabriela Martinez Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-7, 15-4

Women’s Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 4) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros - 5:00 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia v. 6) Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz - 1:15 PM

Mixed Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Mario Mercado & Adriana Riveros d. 16) Daniela Molina & Mauro Rojas, 15-7, 15-11
9) Adam Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich d. 8) David Horn & Jessica Parrilla, 3-15, 15-13, 11-6

5) Alvaro Beltran & Natalia Mendez d. 12) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas, 8-15, 15-8, 11-5
4) Cristina Amaya & Sebastian Franco d. 13) Felipe Camacho & Masiel Rivera, 14-15, 15-7, 11-9

3) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray d. 14) Erik Garcia & Carla Muñoz, 15-1, 5-15, 11-3
11) Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa d. 6) Jake Bredenbeck & Monserrat Mejia, 15-7, 12-15, 11-7

7) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya d. 10) Javier Mar & Samantha Salas, 15-8, 15-10
2) Jansen Allen & Alexandra Herrera d. 15) Gerardo Franco & Gabriela Martinez, 11-15, 15-13, 11-2

Mixed Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Mario Mercado & Adriana Riveros d. 9) Adam Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich - 15-6, 15-14
5) Alvaro Beltran & Natalia Mendez d. 4) Cristina Amaya & Sebastian Franco - 15-9, 8-15, 11-5

11) Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa d. 3) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray, 13-15, 15-1, 11-10
7) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya d. 2) Jansen Allen & Alexandra Herrera, 15-12 15-6

Mixed Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Mario Mercado & Adriana Riveros v. 5) Alvaro Beltran & Natalia Mendez - 2:30 PM
7) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya v. 11) Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa - 3:45 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, May 4, 2018

First results from 2018 World Doubles Open Championships

The World Doubles Open Championships began Thursday in Denver, and there was one notable upset in the Men’s International Racquetball Tour (IRT) draw, as the 12th seeds Alejandro Cardona and Gerardo Franco defeated 5th seeds Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray, 15-7, 14-15, 11-9, in the Round of 16. The other higher seeds all won their matches in the IRT draw.

Cardona and Franco will next play 4th seeds Jansen Allen and Felipe Camacho, who were winners over Andrés Gómez and Set Cubillos, 15-5, 15-6.

There was one small upset in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) draw as the 9th seeds Daniela Molina and Masiel Rivera beat 8th seeds Sara Jeys and Rhonda Rajsich, 15-14, 15-7. Molina and Rivera will face top seeds Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas in the quarterfinals on Friday.

They are also playing Mixed Doubles in Denver, and although there was only three Mixed Doubles matches on Thursday, they were all close. Molina and Mauro Rojas defeated Kelani Bailey and Nicholas Riffel, 15-14, 15-13, and the other two matches went breaker.

In those matches, Erik Garcia and Carla Muñoz defeated Brenda Laime and Jordan Walters, 15-11, 13-15, 11-6, and in a match of doubles partners Franco and Gabriela Martinez beat Cardona and Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-6, 12-15, 11-4. Martinez and Rodriguez will play in the LPRT draw together and as mentioned Cardona and Franco were successful in their first IRT match.

Look for the action via the usual LPRT and IRT outlets. Their Facebook pages should have some of the action, as well as the LPRT Livestream channel and the IRT Network.

World Doubles Open Championships
May 3-6, 2018 - Denver, Colorado


Men’s Doubles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 16) Danny Beaudry & Joey Lee, 15-7, 15-3
8) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. 9) David Horn & Mauro Rojas, 15-2, 15-2

12) Alejandro Cardona & Gerardo Franco d. 5) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray, 15-7, 14-15, 11-9
4) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho d. 13) Set Cubillos & Andrés Gómez, 15-5, 15-6

3) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz d. 14) Woody Clouse & Ryan Rodgers, 15-12, 15-1
6) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk d. 11) Tim Herman & Michael Myers, 15-5, 15-5

7) Adam Manilla & Nicholas RIffel d. 10) Justus Benson & Erik Garcia, 15-4, 15-2
2) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado d. 15) Alex Brown & Jeff Mayorga, 15-2, 15-1

Men’s Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 8) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya - 9:20 PM
4) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho v. 12) Alejandro Cardona & Gerardo Franco - 3:05 PM

3) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz v. 6) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk - 1:50 PM
2) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado v. 7) Adam Manilla & Nicholas RIffel - 8:05 PM

Women’s Doubles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas - BYE
9) Daniela Molina & Masiel Rivera d. 8) Sara Jeys & Rhonda Rajsich, 15-14, 15-7

5) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
4) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros - BYE

3) Frédérique Lambert & Jessica Parrilla - BYE
6) Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz d. 11) Maria De Los Angeles Sarria & Maria Riquelme, 15-3, 15-1

7) Gabriela Martinez Maria Renee Rodriguez d. 10) Kelani Bailey & Brenda Laime, 15-13, 15-8
2) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - BYE

Women’s Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 9) Daniela Molina & Masiel Rivera - 6:50 PM
4) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros v. 5) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - 6:50 PM

3) Frédérique Lambert & Jessica Parrilla v. 6) Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz - 9:20 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia v. 7) Gabriela Martinez Maria Renee Rodriguez - 8:05 PM

Mixed Doubles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Mario Mercado & Adriana Riveros - BYE
16) Daniela Molina & Mauro Rojas d. 17) Kelani Bailey & Nicholas RIffel, 15-14, 15-13

9) Adam Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
8) David Horn & Jessica Parrilla - BYE

5) Alvaro Beltran & Natalia Mendez - BYE
12) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

13) Felipe Camacho & Masiel Rivera - BYE
4) Cristina Amaya & Sebastian Franco - BYE

3) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray - BYE
14) Erik Garcia & Carla Muñoz d. 19) Brenda Laime & Jordan Walters, 15-11, 13-15, 11-6

11) Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa - BYE
6) Jake Bredenbeck & Monserrat Mejia - BYE

7) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
10) Javier Mar & Samantha Salas - BYE

15) Gerardo Franco & Gabriela Martinez d. 18) Alejandro Cardona & Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-6, 12-15, 11-4
2) Jansen Allen & Alexandra Herrera - BYE

Mixed Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Mario Mercado & Adriana Riveros v. 16) Daniela Molina & Mauro Rojas - 1:50 PM
8) David Horn & Jessica Parrilla v. 9) Adam Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich - 1:50 PM

5) Alvaro Beltran & Natalia Mendez v. 12) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas - 10:05 AM
4) Cristina Amaya & Sebastian Franco v. 13) Felipe Camacho & Masiel Rivera - 10:05 AM

3) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray v. 14) Erik Garcia & Carla Muñoz - 11:20 AM
6) Jake Bredenbeck & Monserrat Mejia v. 11) Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa - 11:20 AM

7) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya v. 10) Javier Mar & Samantha Salas - 12:35 PM
2) Jansen Allen & Alexandra Herrera v. 15) Gerardo Franco & Gabriela Martinez - 12:35 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

2018 World Doubles Open Championships - Preview

The World Doubles Open Championships happen this weekend in Denver. It’s a special event that brings together the top Men’s and Women’s pro racquetball players for a doubles showcase, which is a Tier 1 event for both the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and International Racquetball Tour (IRT). Doubles is often played by us mere mortals, but until recently it was rare to see pro players team up against each other.

However, the LPRT routinely plays doubles at its events, as does the World Racquetball Tour (WRT). The IRT has also had doubles at some of its events in the last couple of years, and the US Open Racquetball Championships have had pro doubles for four years now.

But as both the men and women are in Denver, they are also playing pro mixed doubles, which might be the most interesting draw of them all. Are we interested in seeing Paola Longoria and Rodrigo Montoya versus Javier Mar and Samantha Salas? Or Alvaro Beltran and Natalia Mendez versus Alejandro Landa and Maria Jose Vargas? Yes. We. Are! And those are in the Round of 16!

So is Daniel and Michelle De La Rosa versus Jake Bredenbeck and Monserrat Mejia. Oh, this is going to be good.

There will be nice matches in Men’s and Women’s doubles, of course. We’re not sure how Ben Croft and Kane Waselenchuk are seeded 6th, even with Croft’s low IRT ranking. But it will probably only spur them on - like those two need any more motivation

Look for the action via the usual LPRT and IRT outlets. Their Facebook pages should have some of the action, as well as the LPRT Livestream channel and the IRT Network.

World Doubles Open Championships
May 3-6, 2018 - Denver, Colorado


Men’s Doubles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 16) Danny Beaudry & Joey Lee - 8:45 PM
8) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya v. 9) David Horn & Mauro Rojas - 1:30 PM

5) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 12) Alejandro Cardona & Gerardo Franco - 8:45 PM
4) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho v. 13) Set Cubillos & Andrés Gómez - 2:45 PM

3) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz v. 14) Woody Clouse & Ryan Rodgers - 5:15 PM
6) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk v. 11) Tim Herman & Michael Myers - 5:15 PM

7) Adam Manilla & Nicholas RIffel v. 10) Justus Benson & Erik Garcia - 7:30 PM
2) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado v. 15) Alex Brown & Jeff Mayorga - 7:30 PM

Women’s Doubles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas - BYE
8) Sara Jeys & Rhonda Rajsich v. 9) Daniela Molina & Masiel Rivera - 7:30 PM

5) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
4) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros - BYE

3) Frédérique Lambert & Jessica Parrilla - BYE
6) Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz v. 11) Maria De Los Angeles Sarria & Maria Riquelme - 5:15 PM

7) Gabriela Martinez Maria Renee Rodriguez v. 10) Kelani Bailey & Brenda Laime - 1:30 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - BYE

Mixed Doubles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Mario Mercado & Adriana Riveros - BYE
16) Daniela Molina & Mauro Rojas v. 17) Kelani Bailey & Nicholas RIffel - 4 PM

9) Adam Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
8) David Horn & Jessica Parrilla - BYE

5) Alvaro Beltran & Natalia Mendez - BYE
12) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

13) Felipe Camacho & Masiel Rivera - BYE
4) Cristina Amaya & Sebastian Franco - BYE

3) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray - BYE
14) Erik Garcia & Carla Muñoz v. 19) Brenda Laime & Jordan Walters - 8:45 PM

11) Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa - BYE
6) Jake Bredenbeck & Monserrat Mejia - BYE

7) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
10) Javier Mar & Samantha Salas - BYE

15) Gerardo Franco & Gabriela Martinez v. 18) Alejandro Cardona & Maria Renee Rodriguez - 5:15 PM
2) Jansen Allen & Alexandra Herrera - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Waselenchuk likely to retire

Kane Waselenchuk announced he will likely retire this off season last Saturday after winning the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Florida Regional Championships. Waselenchuk has been the dominant IRT player since 2008 during which he has lost only twice on court (i.e., not by default), and he’s been #1 twelve times since 2004.

At 36, Waselenchuk is not a young athlete (he'll be 37 in November), but he’s still at the top of his sport, as evidenced by Waselenchuk’s five IRT tournament victories this season, including winning singles and doubles (with Ben Croft) at the 2017 US Open.

However, he won’t finish as the #1 IRT player this season. Rocky Carson will be #1, as Waselenchuk injured his knee at the 2018 Los Angeles Open in January, which led to him missing four events. He also missed one event prior to his injury, and those absences will stop Waselenchuk’s run at #1.

Waselenchuk didn’t say he was going to retire for certain, but that he was “about 90% sure” he would. Thus, Waselenchuk left the door open for a return. But if he doesn’t return, should we be surprised?

Some people suggest that an athletic career lasts 20 years. Ten years to get to the top, then 10 to stay there, and then the athlete is often done. Waselenchuk first became noticed 20 years ago at the 1998 Canadian National Championships, when he finished 3rd in Men’s Doubles with Mike Green.

In 1999 at just 17, he won the first of three consecutive Canadian National Championships in Men’s Singles by defeating the 10 time Canadian Champion Sherman Greenfeld in the final. He played on Team Canada eight times from 1998 to 2002, winning the 2002 Pan American Championships.

But it was on the IRT that Waselenchuk made his reputation. He reached the semi-finals in his first IRT event: the 1999 Bud Light Pro Nationals in Las Vegas, where he beat Derek Robinson in the quarterfinals, Jack Huczek in the semi-finals, and went five games with Cliff Swain in the semi-finals, losing 11-8 in the tie-breaker.

Waselenchuk’s second IRT event was the 2000 US Open, and he knocked off Jason Mannino, who was the defending champion, in the Round of 64, which is the earliest a defending champion has lost at the US Open (note: Sudsy Monchik lost in the 64s at the 2001 US Open, but that was due to a pre-tournament injury but after the draw was finalized). Waselenchuk reached the quarters, losing to Alvaro Beltran in five games.

Waselenchuk won his first IRT event in Chicago in October 2001, when he was playing just his 7th IRT event. He did it by beating Mannino in the Round of 16, Mike Green in the quarterfinals, and Sudsy Monchik in the semi-finals without losing a game to any of them. In the final, he faced John Ellis, who forced Waselenchuk to a breaker after losing the first two games. Waselenchuk denied Ellis the comeback by winning the breaker, 11-8.

He didn’t look back from there, finishing 4th in the 2001-02 season, 2nd in the 2002-3 season, and then 12 seasons as the #1 IRT player interrupted only by his suspension for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.

Will he be back? Waselenchuk wouldn’t be the first athlete to retire early and near the top of his sport, even within racquetball. Jack Huczek retired in 2011, when he was still in the top 4. Waselenchuk also wouldn’t be the first player to retire due to an injury, as Monchik’s was forced into retirement because of a back injury.

His age and recent injury are one thing, but when Waselenchuk said he’s “not too sure I enjoy this like I used to” that’s when alarm bells should ring. Sport really needs to be enjoyed, especially sport at the highest level, because it takes a lot of work and many sacrifices to get to that level and even more so to stay there. If it’s not fun, if the pain starts to outweigh the pleasure, then it’s time to stop.

There’s been much talk over his career of Waselenchuk being the best player of all time. Better than Swain or Monchik or Marty Hogan. The Racquetball Blog would be happy to make that argument, but really it’s bar-room talk: an issue that’s fun to discuss, but can’t be definitively answered. In our idea of heaven, we’ll get to spend eternity seeing Waselenchuk at his best playing the others at their best, and then we’ll know for sure who was the best.

Waselenchuk finished Saturday by saying “the run’s been great, and if this is the last one then, man, it was fun.” It was fun. And often it was astonishing. We aren’t likely to see the likes of him again.

Until we do, of course, because there’s always a next one. Then we’ll argue about whether the next one is better than Waselenchuk.

Regardless of whether he plays again, Waselenchuk’s place in racquetball history is assured.

Follow the bouncing ball....