Friday, January 9, 2009

IRT - California Open: Prediction

The Round of 16 in the International Racquetball Tour's (IRT) California Open in Canoga Park, California begins on Friday, so it's time that The Racquetball Blog chimes in with its opinion on who's going to win. Our readers have voted strongly for Kane Waselenchuk to continue his unbeaten streak this season, and win again in California.

It's difficult to argue against Waselenchuk, as he was very strong in his last time out when he won the US Open in October. However, his likely matches will be against Jack Huczek in the quarter finals and in the semi-finals, Alvaro Beltran, who we believe has the game style that best matches up against Waselenchuk.

Nonetheless, the smart money would be on Waselenchuk this weekend, and our prediction record hasn't been so great this season, so we going with the smart money (sure, sure, when you're behind you have to pick upsets, but you have to pick those upsets correctly) and are predicting Waselenchuk will win again this weekend.

If he does, it could start earnest talk about an undefeated season, which has never happened. A few years ago, Waselenchuk was close to an undefeated season, and many years ago Marty Hogan was also. But they still lost some matches.

It would be an amazing feat if Waselenchuk did pull it off, especially as this season is his first after serving a two year suspension for a positive drug test. Still there would have to be an asterisk beside the record, as Waselenchuk hasn't played in all the IRT events, missing the Canadian Classic and Juarez Open.

IRT 2009 California Open, Canoga Park, Calif.
Main Draw - Round of 16

(1) Rocky Carson - Gil Mejia
(5) Ben Croft - Chris Crowther

(6) Shane Vanderson - Alejandro Herrera
(4) Jason Mannino - Jose Rojas

(3) Alvaro Beltran - David Horn
(7) Mitch Williams - Andy Hawthorne

(8) Kane Waselenchuk - Juan Herrera
(2) Jack Huczek - Andres Herrera

Follow the bouncing ball....

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