Tuesday, October 14, 2008

IRT : Events of Other Tiers

There are no Tier I events on either the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) or the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization tour, as most players are taking a break in preparation for next week's US Open.

However, there are two minor IRT events: the Lou Bradley Memorial tournament in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, which is a Tier III event, and the West Michigan Open in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a Tier IV event. Five IRT regulars will be in Wisconsin - Shane Vanderson, Mitch Williams, Ben Croft, Jason Thoerner, and Juan Herrera, while the Michigan event will feature Cliff Swain, Alejandro Herrera and Canadians Mike Green and Eric Desrochers.

For Vanderson, Williams, Croft and Thoerner it'll be their fifth tournament in as many weekends with no break before the US Open, racquetball's premier event. Last weekend at the Canadian Racquetball Classic in Edmonton, Jack Huczek said he welcomed the break, but he'd played more tough matches than those four.

Moreover, in Edmonton when asked about the consecutive tournaments Andy Hawthorne indicated it wasn't too much of a burden, as he wasn't playing too many matches. That's also the case with Vanderson, Williams, Croft and Thoerner who have generally played two matches a weekend.

They'll perhaps have to play four matches this weekend, if they get to the final, as there's 21 players in the draw in Wisconsin (15 in Michigan); the late entry deadline is on Wednesday, so it's possible a few more might be added. That's more than they have been playing in the last month.

Also, competing this weekend risks injury ahead of the biggest event of the season. If you were their coach, what would your advice be?

Other Results - Congratulations to Juan Gutierrez and Jimmy Lowe, winners of IRT Tier IV events this past weekend. Gutierrez defeated Jaun Rivas in the final of the XV International Racquetball Tournament in Cali, Columbia.

Lowe defeated Taylor Knoth in the final of the Auburn VW Open in Kent, Washington. The two also teamed up to win doubles, defeating Daniel Pischke and Richard Seiler in the final.

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