Monday, October 27, 2008

US Open - The Day After

We're back home from the US Open, and so is the power cord for our computer (note to self: don't put the computer power cord in checked luggage).

Open Divisions

Continuing a pattern we noted prior to the Open, a Mexican won the Men's Open division. Gilberto Mejia defeated Canadian Vincent Gagnon, 15-9, 15-6 to win the division for a second time. The first was in 2005. It's the 6th year in a row that a Mexican has won Men's Open at the US Open.

The Women's Open division was a battle of two teenagers, and again a non-US player came out on top. Veronica Sotomayor of Ecuador defeated American Aubrey O'brien, 15-8, 15-1.

We've spoken of how impressive Sotomayor is, so let us tell you a few things about O'brien. She was seeded 23rd in Women's Pro last week and defeated 10th seed Jo Shattuck in three straight games before losing to 7th seed Adrienne Fisher in a tie-breaker.

O'brien won Girls 16 and under at the 2008 US Junior Olympic Championships, and Girls 14 and under at the 2007 US Junior National Championships, so along with Sotomayor, O'brien has to be considered one of racquetball's good young players.

But as we mentioned last week, if you were looking for good young American players, you won't see them in the list of winners in Men's or Women's Open at the US Open, with the exception of Fisher who won Women's Open in 2005. There are some such players, of course, such as Ben Croft and Jose Rojas, who lost to Mejia in a tie-breaker in the Open division's Round of 16. However, we're sure Dave Ellis, coach of the US National team, would like to see more of them.

The We Hadn't Seen That Before Dept - Part I

This year's women's pro draw was likely the first time only one of the top 4 seeds made the semi-finals of either Women's or Men's Pro. Top seed Rhonda Rajsich lost in the quarters, as did 4th seed Kerri Wachtel. Third seed Angela Grisar went out in the Round of 16. Only 2nd seed Cheryl Gudinas Holmes reached the semis and then went on to the final where she lost to 5th seed Paola Longoria.

The We Hadn't Seen That Before Dept - Part II

In game 4 of her match with Grisar, Michelle Key changed socks during a time out. That's the first time we'd seen that in a match. Unfortunately for Key it didn't change the momentum as she lost to Grisar in four games.

The We Hadn't Seen That Before Dept - Part III

Speaking of socks and semi-finals, Shane Vanderson sported knee high socks in his semi-final match against Rocky Carson. They were the kind that a soccer player would cover his shin pads with, though Vanderson didn't have shin pads. As with Key, the socks didn't seem to be enough help to Vanderson who went down in three games to Carson.

Thus, dear Readers we believe that while socks may be necessary they are not sufficient for successful racquetball, even if you pull yours up, way up, like mom always wanted.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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