Saturday, October 9, 2021

Waselenchuk forfeits US Open IRT semi-final!

In a shocking development, Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) forfeited his semi-final match against Carlos Keller on Saturday at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Waselechuk had been undefeated at the US Open since 2002, winning the last twelve US Opens. That streak and his 15 overall titles are both records.

Waselenchuk has released a statement on Instagram stating "I will be forfeiting my Semi Final [sic] match today due to disagreements with the International Racquetball Tour...not an easy decision for me...will release more information... to the fans who deserve to hear from me."

This was Waselenchuk's first time playing singles since prior to the pandemic. He had played doubles with Sudsy Monchik last month in Illinois, as well as this week in Minneapolis. They lost last night in the semi-finals to Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray.

Keller is the beneficiary of Waselenchuk's forfeit, which means there is a Bolivian man in the IRT US Open final for a second consecutive time. Conrrado Moscoso was the first Bolivian to reach the final, when he was runner up to Waselenchuk in 2019. There was no US Open in 2020.

In Sunday's final, Keller will play IRT #2 Daniel De La Rosa, who defeated fellow Mexican Andree Parrilla, 6-15, 15-10, 11-5, to win the first IRT semi-final on Saturday. De La Rosa will be playing in the US Open final for the 3rd time in his career. His win solidifies him as the most in form player on tour, because he's winning the last two IRT events.

De La Rosa didn't show his recent great form in game one against Parrilla, as Parrilla was playing great. They were close early game one, but then Parrilla took a 10-4 lead. He maintained the lead to win it 15-6.

In game two, they were again close early, but this time De La Rosa opened up the lead to 9-3. He extended that lead to 13-4, but then Parrilla dug in, and clawed some points back.

Parrilla got within four at 13-9. But De La Rosa ended that run with a forehand return winner off a drive serve to the right side. He then got point 14 when Parrilla skipped a forehand shot.

Yet Parrilla held off two game points. The second of them was a De La Rosa shot that was called a skip, but may have been good based on the players' reactions. But De La Rosa was out of appeals, so he couldn't challenge the call. Would that be a crucial call in the match outcome?

Parrilla did get another point on the next rally with a forehand pinch shots, but De La Rosa regained the serve right immediately afterwards with a forehand cross court shot. Then he won it with a backhand down the line to force game three.

In game three, De La Rosa continued to pile on the pressure. He went out to a 10-1 lead, which put the writing on the wall. Parilla got a few points at the end, but that just delayed De La Rosa's win, which came after Parrilla skipped a backhand serve return of a De La Rosa drive serve down the left side.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

12) Carlos Keller d. 1) Kane Waselenchuk, forfeit
2) Daniel De La Rosa d. 6) Andree Parrilla, 6-15, 15-10, 11-5

IRT Singles - Final - Sunday

2) Daniel De La Rosa v. 12) Carlos Keller - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball…..

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