Saturday, January 10, 2009

Racquetball Canada's Doubles Selection Event - Saturday results

There have been some surprises on the men's side of Racquetball Canada's National Team Doubles Selection event in Burnaby, British Columbia. It started on Friday, when fourth seeds Kris Odegard and Ryan Smith were upset by the fifth seeds Francis Guillemette and Corey Osborne, 13-15, 15-11, 11-5. Both those teams are new for this season, as Guillemette and Odegard had been partners in the last few seasons.

Then on Saturday, Guillemette and Osborne almost repeated the trick against the top seeds and reigning Canadian Champions Vincent Gagnon and François Viens losing a tie-breaker after trading 16-14 games. Gagnon and Viens took it, 14-16, 16-14, 11-3.

But Gagnon and Viens weren't so lucky against Mike Green and his new partner Eric Desrochers, as Green and Desrochers won their match, 17-15, 11-15, 12-10. On Sunday Green and Desrochers will face off with Guillemette and Osborne.

These results likely throw up for grabs the selection of the doubles players for the Pan American Championships in April, and makes the Singles Selection event coming up in three weeks in Brossard, Quebec all the more important.

The team that hasn't done well in Burnaby is the second seeds James and Tim Landeryou, who lost both of their games on Saturday.

The format of the men's side is not a straight draw. Initial matches sorted the teams into groups of four, who are playing off in a round robin format. Racquetball Canada adopted this format a few years ago for selection events so that all players, or teams in doubles, have to play each other. Without doing so it was felt there was some uncertainty about which players were better.

On the women's side, the results are mostly as expected, as both the top seeds are Geneviève Brodeur and Véronique Guillemette and second seeds Jennifer Saunders and Josée Grand'Maître have won all their matches. They will face off on Sunday.

The unexpected result came from the pair of Denise Haynes and Frédérique Lambert, seeded fourth, who upset the third seeds Alison Schlichemeyer and Brandi Jacobson Prentice on Friday.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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