Tuesday, October 21, 2008

US Open: What to look forward to early on

In the US Open Men's Pro (International Racquetball Tour - IRT) division draws there are some potentially strong match ups in the Round of 32. Competition begins with qualifying for the Round of 64, with the top 48 IRT players seeded into that round. To qualify for one of the other 16 spots, players will have to play one or two matches depending on their seeding in the qualifying division.

Perhaps the most interesting potential Round of 32 match ups are Cliff Swain versus Chris Crowther, and Mike Green versus Jason Thoerner. Moreover, the winners of those matches play each other. Green won last weekend's West Michigan Open, and in doing so beat Swain in the semis, so Green is definitely a threat to make it to the quarter finals, which would be his first US Open quarter final since 2003, when he lost to Jack Huczek.

The Women's Pro draw (Women's Professional Racquetball Organization - WPRO) has the same format as the Men's, but half the players. So 24 players are seeded into the Round of 32 with a qualifying division to determine the other 8 players.

The highlight match up in the WPRO Round of 32 is the all-Canadian battle between Jennifer Saunders and Christie Van Hees. Van Hees, a three time US Open champion, is actually the lower seed, as she has only played one tournament since last year's US Open. That was two weeks ago when she lost to Veronica Sotomayor in the Round of 16.

Sotomayor will first face T. J. Baumbaugh and if she wins, will likely have a rematch with Cheryl Gudinas Holmes in the Round of 16. Gudinas Holmes beat Sotomayor 3 games to 1 at the Canadian Racquetball Classic in Edmonton, Alberta two weeks ago, and played very well in doing so. If they meet here, Gudinas Holmes will need to in top form again to get the win.

Watch the action on line!

The folks from Racquetballonline.tv are on hand in Memphis, and will be doing live streaming of some of the matches. Go to www.racquetballonline.tv for more information.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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