Sunday, October 6, 2019

Waselenchuk wins #15 at 2019 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Kane Waselenchuk won his 15th US Open International Racquetball Tour (IRT) title Sunday at the 24th UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships in Minneapolis, where he ended 15th seed Conrrado Moscoso's Cinderella run with a straight game victory, 15-12, 15-5. Waselenchuk has won 11 consecutive US Open titles, and did the double this year for the fourth time as the lefthander won both singles and doubles with Ben Croft.

The first game of the final was great, and Moscoso had small leads early at 2-0 and 4-2. But Waselenchuk tied the match at 4-4 with an ace drive serve to the left side. They would tie again at 5 and 7, but Moscoso never led again.

From 7-7, Waselenchuk won three consecutive rallies to lead 10-7 with the 9th point a drive serve ace to the right side and the 10th point a service winner to the left side. Moscoso called time out.

Waselenchuk was charged with a penalty hinder when play resumed, as he hit a Z serve that came across the centre of the court, where Moscoso was ready to hit it with Waselenchuk standing between the ball and the front wall. The referee only called a hinder, but Moscoso appealed to the line judges for an avoidable and they overturned the referee's call.

But Moscoso couldn't capitalize on the opportunity. A messy rally ended when he tried to hit a ceiling ball to keep the rally going, but skipped it. From there Waselenchuk went up 12-7, and Moscoso cut it to 12-9.

Then the game stalled, as they went back and forth. Thirteen rallies resulted in just one point, which went to Waselenchuk, making the score 13-9.

Moscoso got within one at 13-12 with a three point run helped by two errors from Waselenchuk. But Waselenchuk forced Moscoso into a backhand skip to get the serve back.

He then hit a forehand over to the left side around Moscoso to reach 14-12. Waselenchuk won it with his first game point, 15-12.

Game one was great with both players playing at a high level. But when game two started it seemed like Waselenchuk had more left than Moscoso, as took a 5-0 lead. Moscoso did come back to 5-4 and kept it close at 7-5.

But he wouldn't score again, as Moscoso struggled to find a serve that was effective against the 14 time champion. Moscoso had opportunities, as he served six times after 7-5, but he scored no points.

So Waselenchuk slowly but surely worked his way to the end. Then the last three points came on consecutive rallies. Moscoso skipped a forehand shot (he appealed but the line judges agreed with the referee). A backhand skip by Moscoso put Waselenchuk on match point, and he ended it with a drive serve ace to the right side.

It was an appropriate finish to Waselenchuk's 15th US Open victory.

The next IRT event will be the Arizona State Pro Am, October 24-27 in Tempe, Arizona.

If you missed the final, look for it via the IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2019 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 2-6, 2019

IRT - Final - Sunday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 15) Conrrado Moscoso, 15-12, 15-5

Follow the bouncing ball….

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