Murray captures his 17th Canadian National or Qualifier title for his career, and the 15th out of the last 16 competed. He continues a run of dominance reminiscent of the eras of @Mike Green , Sherman Greenfeld , and @Lindsay Myers, who won 6 straight Canadian titles between 1977 and 1982. See https://rball.pro/niz .
Meanwhile, Lambert cruises to another Canadian national-level title. She hasn’t lost a Canadian qualifier/national tournament since 2014 and with this win puts herself in pole position for the May Nationals to re-qualify for the Canadian National team for the 14th time. See https://rball.pro/1zb .
Perennial finalist Coby Iwaasa missed this event; he’s the regular finalist to challenge Murray over the past few years. In his absence, we saw a first time Canadian national finalist and a ton of upsets in a draw that normally is the chalkiest of chalk.
Two double-digit seeds advanced out of the 16s in @Conrad Cole and @Leyton Gouldie, who topped two regulars on the Canada scene in @Tanner Prentice and @Christian Pocsai respectively. Cole continued his run by topping #4 Lee Connell in the quarters, while #7 @Nathan Jauvin shocked #2 Trevor Webb in the quarters. The first time finalist across from Murray was #3 Kurtis Cullen , who cruised into the final without dropping a game and even took a game off of big Sam before falling.
The Ladies draw featured all the top players in Canada right now battling it out, but the final came down to a rematch of the last two National Canada events; #1 Lambert versus #2 @Juliette Parent . After years in the juniors, Parent has now established herself as the #2 player in Canada, supplanting long-time stalwarts such as Morissette, Iwaasa, Ramsay (nee Drury), and Keay (nee Richardson). The two top seeds advanced to the final, where Lambert again topped Parent for the title, the third straight finals matchup.
Per our handy master racquetball calendar …
The global Racquetball calendar has a break until the first week of March, and then we have a very busy month of pro, outdoor, and international events. As for Canada, their next national event will be 2024 Nationals the last weekend of May in Calgary.
The Men’s draw came down to the same final that we’ve seen in the last 12 events prior to it; Murray vs Coby Iwaasa . This time around, the IRT touring pro left little doubt, cruising to a title. (see https://rball.pro/we5 for all Canada National event Men’s finals)
The Women’s draw saw Dr. Lambert win for the 6th time in the last 7 national events. See https://rball.pro/bni for all Canada National event Women’s finals)
Per our handy master racquetball calendar …
The end of the IRT season is a-coming: the men are heading to Portland for a Satellite event this weekend, then to Pleasanton for the final event of the season. The #1 ranking is up for grabs.
After that, the LPRT heads to DC for its annual Xmas classic, to wrap up the year.
There were no real surprises to the Semis from the 10-man draw; we were robbed of the best quarter final match when 2-time defending USA national champ Rocky Carson announced he was skipping the event. I don’t blame him; flying halfway across the country on Memorial day weekend for a likely one-and-done against a top IRT player for someone who has played basically two tournaments all year wasn’t a strong strategy. Carson is off the national team for the first time since (I believe) 2002, an amazing stat.
In the semis, a shock upset by Adam Manilla , taking out the #1 seeded Jake Bredenbeck with relative ease in four games. A real surprise loss that has major US team ramifications for the Pan Am games (which we’ll summarize below). From the bottom, #2 Daniel De La Rosa cruised past his doubles partner Alejandro Landa to guarantee his singles qualification to the team and solidify his claim.
In the final, Manilla made a match of it, stretching the 2-time defending IRT champ to five games, but DLR persevered to claim his first ever USA singles title. Jake rebounded to take the 3rd place match over Landa, which I was initially shocked was even played given the circumstances (but read on for the likely real reason).
US Men’s National Team/Pan Am games roster ramifications.
Your 2023-24 team qualifiers are now:
– Men’s Doubles: De La Rosa & Landa
– Mixed Doubles: Manilla
– Men’s Singles: De La Rosa & Manilla
Three players for three Pan Am Games Slots. So, absent any externalities that impact the availability/eligibility of these three players, this is your Pan Am Games Men’s team. I’d imagine that we’d line up these players exactly like this in Chile in the fall.
Now, why did they play the 3rd place match? Probably for positioning in case one of these three players cannot go to Chile. And the “order” of finishing matters when selecting the next players to go. If the USA men need a 3rd player, here’s the next in line:
– Men’s Doubles finalists from Feb: Manilla & Antone
– Mixed Doubles finalist from Feb: De La Rosa
– Men’s Singles semi finalists from May: Bredenbeck & Landa
So, next in line to be asked probably would be Jake and then Wayne, then the team would start to dig deeper. Given the import of the Pan Am Games, its not likely we’d have to; this is the crown jewel event of the sport.
USA Women’s competition;
There were no real surprises in the 5-person Ladies draw. Lexi York did her best to upset @Rhonda Rajsich in the quarters but fell in five games. Kelani Lawrence broke her duck against Rhonda in the semis, winning in three to ensure her national team consideration. Erika Manilla had a battle against Hollie Scott that went 5 games, with Scott knowing only a win would put her into contention after early losses in doubles draws in February. In the final, Manilla took the title in an upset by seed but certainly not by LPRT current rankings. Manilla repeats as National singles champion.
US Women’s National Team/Pan Am games roster ramifications.
Your team qualifiers are now:
– Women’s Doubles: Manilla & Michelle Key , who did not travel to Chicago this weekend to compete
– Mixed Doubles: Manilla
– Women’s Singles: Manilla & Lawrence.
So, as we thought might happen, three ladies for two spots in Chile. Someone is going to be disappointed. We can speculate now as to what the US Team committee/future US coach may decide w/r/t putting the best team forward, but that wouldn’t be fair to any of these women, who have earned their US team titles on the court.
Canada Men’s Singles
For the 14th straight time. the final of a national Canadian tournament came down to its top two players, #1 @Samuel Murray and #2 Coby Iwaasa . There were a couple of notable down-bracket upsets, a rarity in Canadian racquetball; congrats to Kurtis Cullen for taking out #4 @Connell Lee and for #6 @Tanner Prentice to get the upset win over #3 @Trevor Webb to advance to the semis and eventually compete for 3rd place. Cullen took 3rd and capped a banner weekend for him (he also won the Doubles title; see below).
In the men’s final, Murray controlled Iwaasa to win in three 4,10,3 and claim his 4th straight National title.
Canada Women’s Singles:
#1 Frederique Lambert won her 3rd straight Women’s singles title, and 5th overall, by downing @Juliette Parent in the final. Lambert did not cruise through this draw though, she was stretched to five games in the semis by last year’s finalist @Michele Morissette and then taken to four by the upstart Parent. Bravo to Parent for breaking through with a marquee win over Christine Keay , who had more or less solidified herself as the #2 Canadian woman over the past few years with three straight singles finals appearances at Nationals.
Canadian Men’s Doubles:
A huge upset in the doubles final, as the Murray brothers were taken out by Iwaasa and Cullen in three. This was a rematch of last year’s final, and breaks the string of three straight Canadian doubles titles by the Murray brothers.
Canadian Women’s Doubles:
#1 seeds Lambert & Morissette defended their Canadian national doubles title by taking the 5-team round robin group without losing a match. A 3-way tie for second resulted in Keay and Prentice being the 2nd place finishers.
Canadian Mixed Doubles:
In a small round robin competition, @Christian Pocsai and @Ofelia Wilscam took the National mixed doubles draw title, a first for both. Unfortunately, this draw was purged of most of the top players by virtue of the workload it would have caused, something for the US to consider if/when we combine both singles and doubles qualifying into one event.
Canadian Pan Am Games team selection discussion;
So, the Canadian team selection process may now be a bit complicated by the above results, and thanks to their poor showing at the 2023 PARC. Canada finished 6th in Men’s and 10th in Women’s in Guatemala, meaning they were no where close to the threshold for getting three players in either gender. So just two men and two women will be selected to represent Canada in Chile. But who? Here’s your player pool:
– Men’s Singles: Murray, Iwaasa
– Men’s Doubles: Iwaasa, Cullen
– Mixed Doubles: Pocsai
Technically four players for 2 spots, though there’s a clear gap between Murray & Iwaasa and the others, so one would have to think that will be the team. It normally is Murray & Iwaasa at the major IRF events and i’d have to think it’d be the same in Chile.
Canadian Women’s team selection consideration.
Here’s the qualified female players under consideration:
– Women’s Singles: Lambert, Parent
– Women’s Doubles: Lambert, Morissette
– Mixed Doubles: Wilscam
A tough decision here; both Parent and Morissette have represented Canada internationally in each of the last three years, but Lambert is the double qualifier. However, as we know Lambert is a practicing medical doctor and may very well not be able to get away for a trip as long as the Pan Am games requires. I could see a repeat of the 2023 PARC team of Parent & Morissette in Chile, but we hope to see Lambert (the former #2 LPRT player) show up at the sport’s biggest stage.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend. Pablo Fajre and his IRT crew in Chicago, and @JJT R Ball and Timothy Baghurst in Winnipeg.
Per our handy master racquetball calendar …
We have a couple weeks off until the final LPRT stop of the season in Chesapeake, where the title is up for grabs for the first time since the late 2000s.
It has been a minute since we last published in this space. But we’re to the end of May, which every year means Nationals time.
This year, the USA Racquetball did something a little different with its qualification, having doubles in February on its normal course then having just a National team qualifier at the Glass court club in Chicago land. The reasons behind this were partly financial in nature: National singles has struggled in attendance and in revenue for the last few years, so a combined event going forward seems inevitable. This weekend in Chicago there’s a small shootout in conjunction with the 15 top US nationals competing in a win-or-go-home singles competition for the National team slots.
The Seedings for singles, in a change to some years’ past, is done by the USA Rankings as of the time of seeding. As a result, you may be somewhat surprised by the seeding. Jake Bredenbeck gets the #1 seed over two-time defending IRT pro champ @Daniel De La Rosa . The other slight surprise is probably Thomas Carter pipping Adam Manilla for the 4th seed despite their current IRT rankings being reversed. Otherwise the draw is probably as you’d expect. 2022’s champion Rocky Carson has fallen all the way to 6th as he’s essentially retired from IRT competition.
In the quarters:
– Jake advances past Indiana amateur James Black.
– Manilla should advance past Carter in a battle of lefties.
– In a rematch of the 2022 final, Carson takes on Alejandro Landa . It may look curious that the two finalists from last year are seeded 3rd and 6th, but that’s where the rankings fall and they’re probably a fair representation of the talent level right now. It is tough to know where Landa’s game is week in and week out, while Carson no longer tours and may be rusty against top competition. I’ll predict Carson in an upset.
– De la Rosa likely takes out @Sam Bredenbeck , who should advance past Texan amateur Limonciello in the play-in.
– Jake over Adam: amazingly these two have managed to avoid each other in all top competitions since 2017. Jake has never lost to Adam, and is playing better than ever, and should advance.
– DLR over Rocky; Rocky did get a h2h win over DLR back in march 2022 on these exact courts, but otherwise DLR has owned Rocky since mid 2019. DLR is qualified already for the team by virtue of his doubles win earlier in the year, but doesn’t want to leave anything to chance.
Finals: Playing for pride, as the two finalists are on the team, but I suspect Jake is more interested in owning a US national title than DLR. I think jake wins.
National team impact if these results hold. Right now the team is:
– Men’s Doubles: DLR and Landa
– Mixed Doubles: Manilla
– Men’s Singles projection: Jake and DLR.
(Note: post publishing i deleted in accurate claim that there’s Worlds in august. There’s World SENIORS in august, not regular worlds).
This would make for 4 players for 3 Pan Am Games slots, and would make for a difficult selection between Landa and Manilla for the third slot. Unless there’s other circumstances that arise, someone with a national title will be disappointed for the Pan Am games roster.
Just 5 players in Chicago, and like with Rocky above, we see the impact of the non-protected seeds on the essentially retired @Rhonda Rajsich , a finalist in 2022. Thanks to her inactivity playing, she’s dropped behind all the top USA women competitors and is seeded 4th here.
Kelani Lawrence gets the #1 seed despite being well behind Erika Manilla in the LPRT points standings right now, seemingly by virtue of a couple of h2h wins over Brenda Laime recently, who has now shot up to #2 overall.
in the quarters, Lexi York has a shot at topping Rajsich, but we’ll go with the legend to advance. She always comes to play in Nationals.
In the semis:
– Lawrence should advance past the winner of York/Rajsich, though Rhonda has had a lot of success beating Kelani in USA national events. They’ve met in this event every year since 2016 save one, and Rajsich has beaten Kelani in every year save one. So, Kelani has her work cut out for her; the winner here gets on the team, the loser is out.
– In the 2/3 seed semi, @Erika Manila faces a familiar foe in Hollie Scott , who she keeps running into on the pro side as well. Manilla has handled Hollie multiple times in the past year and has only lost to the Washington native once in 7 known meetings. Manilla moves on.
In the final, i’d expect Manilla to win over Lawrence if seeds hold; these two have very little history playing each other, kind of surprising given that the top of the US women’s pool has been the same four players for years.
National team impact if these results hold. Right now the team is:
– Women’s Doubles: Erika and Michelle Key
– Mixed: Erika
– Singles projection: Erika and Kelani
So, if these results hold, it’d be three women qualified for the team for the Pan Am Games … but we only get 2 spots thanks to our team’s poor finish at the 2023 PARC. See https://www.santiago2023.org/descargas/en/Racquetball.pdf for the team qualifications to Pan Am games: host nation plus top 3 countries at PARC get 3 players, the rest two.
Erika triple-qualifying would make one decision pretty easy, but how would you decide between Key and Kelani for the 2nd spot? And, what if we get a surprise singles finalist (Scott or Rhonda?) That’d throw a huge monkey wrench into the team selection procedures.
I don’t envy the US National team committee, who will have to make some tough decisiosn on who to send to the sport’s marquee event later this year.
Why does Canada use Trackie instead of R2sports? Because of new regulations in Canada that require personal information of Canadian citizens to be kept in Canada.
Canada is having their Nationals this week and weekend as well, but they’re stretching this into an all week affair and holding Singles, Doubles and Mixed all at once. Lots of playing for the top guns, with round robins all week feeding into single elimination draws this weekend.
On the Men’s singles side, 11 straight Canada national selection events/nationals tournaments have come down to the same two guys in the final: Samuel Murray and @Coby Iwaasa . With all due respect to the rest of the Canadian men right now, its hard not to think this weekend will be anything other than the 12th. Mostly its Murray taking the titles, but their last meeting went 12-10 in the fifth, and Iwaasa can play. I’m predicting Murray over Iwaasa in another barn burner.
Frederique Lambert is in the draw, which usually means everyone else is playing for 2nd place. Lambert has just ONE loss in Canadian nationals in the last decade, a finals loss to Jen Saunders (now the sporting director for Racquetball Canada) in May of 2014.
So, we’ll go out on a limb and say that Frederique will take this championship. The next four seeds in Christine Keay , Michele Morissette , and Parent Julienne will jocky for 2nd place.
Men’s Doubles: They’re already to the semis by the time you’re reading this, and the #1 seeded Murray brothers are still the favorites. With Canada only getting two Pan Am games spots, likely we’ll see Murray play with Iwaasa at the Pan Ams like he normally does internationally.
Women’s Doubles: Lambert is teamed up with Morissette to be the formidable #1 seed, and only Keay/Prentice seem like they have a shot to unseat them.
Mixed Doubles: none of the singles favorites are playing in Mixed, so the draw is wide open. Four teams are playing, which means we’re going to likely have a brand new international rep for Canada at the next PARC event in the spring of 2024.
USAR had National doubles team qualifying (along with amateur singles), Mexico hosted National Singles and Doubles (though they didn’t play Mixed), and Canada had their Winter 2022-23 season Singles only qualifier.
Congrats to the Open/National team winners on the weekend:
– Women’s Doubles: Alexandra Herrera & Montse Mejia
– Men’s Singles: Samuel Murray
– Women’s Singles: Michele Morrissette
– Men’s Doubles: Moscoso/Carrasco
– Women’s Doubles: Barrios/Daza
For USA, Mexico and Bolivia, these winners (and singles finalists) now qualify to represent their country in the 2023 IRF events.
– PARC in April in Guatemala City
– Central American & Caribbean Games in July in the DR (Mexico Only)
– The big one: The 2023 Pan American Games in Chile in October (though qualifying for Pan Am games depends on performances in PARC, and not all national team members from each country are automatically qualified).
Note: different countries use different rules: the PARC representatives for the USA will be the existing 2022 team and these winners “terms” start July 1. I’m not sure what Mexico will do for its 2023 PARC team at this point, and Canada’s actual Nationals are in May to determine the Worlds/Pan Am games team.
Newly switched De La Rosa paired with another former Mexican national in Landa to capture the Men’s Doubles title. They were pushed to a 5th by the Bredenbeck brothers, but blew them away 11-2 in the breaker. From the top side, defending national champs Rocky Carson and @Charlie Pratt were taken out by the surprise pairing of Adam Manilla and amateur Wayne Antone . Manilla and Antone couldn’t do much against two top-5 IRT pros in the final, losing in three straight.
– USA Women’s Doubles:
@Erika Manilla and Michelle De La Rosa dethroned the defending champs Scott & Lawrence in four games to take the title. mDLR makes her 3rd National team while Erika makes her 4th straight.
– USA Mixed Doubles:
The Manilla siblings took down two-time IRT champ De La Rosa and Scott to claim the MIxed title. This is the first time Adam has qualified to represent the USA in an international competition.
– Men’s Singles:
In a massive draw, #1 seed Montoya held serve and ran a gauntlet of tough players to take the title. It is his 3rd National singles title since 2018 and his 4th time qualifying for Singles.
He certainly earned it: by virtue of FMR’s weird seeding, a slew of better-than-their-ranking players were drastically under-seeded and played into top players early. Montoya defeated, in order, Eduardo Garay in the 32s, 7-time Junior national champ Jose Carlos Ramos in the 16s, then rising star Trujillo in the quarters, his doubles partner Mar in the semis, and then current top-4 IRT player Portillo in the winner’s bracket final. Phew.
Portillo dropped to the loser’s bracket and topped Parrilla for the second time in two days to finish in 2nd place and secure his first ever Mexican National team spot.
– Women’s Singles
Even though she’s faltered a bit lately, Longoria crushed the competition this weekend, beating Parrilla 4,2,6 in the semis and Mejia 2,3,8 to win yet another Mexican National title. Our records only go back to 2014, but it is believed that Paola has won every singles title save for one since 2007.
– Men’s Doubles
Mar/Montoya won their 4th National title in 5 years by taking an 11-9 5th game thriller over Portillo/Parrilla. Fun fact: Montoya has been in every single Mexican National doubles final since 2016.
– Women’s Doubles
It finally happened: Longoria & Salas were beaten in a Mexican Nationals event. The 15-time defending champions (that’s every single tournament since 2007) were toppled by Mejia/Herrera in a 5-game showdown. It didn’t look like it would be close, with the two long-time veterans taking the first two games. however, the lefty/righty pair stormed back to take the next three games and cruise in the 5th 11-6 for their first Mexican National title.
– Men’s Singles
Samuel Murray shook off an injury that has vexed him for months and outlasted #2 Coby Iwaasa in five tight games. It couldn’t be any closer, with Sam winning in the 5th 12-10 to take yet another Canadian National event. The two players split the selection events and will remain the top 2 seeds at Canadian Nationals in May.
– Women’s Singles
Michele Morrisette took her 2nd career Canadian National event title, defeating the #4 seed Danielle Ramsay in the final. Ramsay had topped #1 seed Christine Keay in a big upset and was the first time she had advanced to a National level final.
Bolivian National Doubles:
From what we can glean from Facebook posts, Barrios & Daza took Bolivian Doubles over Sabja and an unknown partner.
For the men, it was four familiar names in the final, but they were teamed up in an unexpected manner. Moscoso teamed with Carrasco, while Moscoso’s regular partner @Roland Keller teamed with his brother @Carlos Keller Vargas. In a hard hitting final, Moscoso and Carrasco came out on top.
It is a big week for Amateur racquetball! All three original O.G. countries (USA, Mexico, and Canada) are having National level events to some extent or another this week. Let’s do a quick preview of all three, highlighting some storylines. I’ll abandon my typical round by round previews in the interest of time (my own time; i moved this week and i can’t find half my office in the stonehenge mound of boxes I have in our new home).
USAR is in Tempe AZ for the tournament titled “National Doubles and Singles Championships.” Due to financial factors (and the losses we took last year on these two events being held separately), USAR combined the two events for 2023, cancelling the typical May singles-only event. However, in the interests of not burning national team qualifiers out with too many matches, “National Team Singles Qualifying” will be held as a one-off event sometime in May (likely in Chicago during Memorial day). All Doubles National team qualifying (Men’s, Women’s and Mixed) will be t his weekend, along with all amateur doubles and all other amateur singles.
US Men’s Doubles: the big story line for the weekend is the switching of countries by the 2-time defending IRT pro tour champ Daniel De La Rosa . A dual passport holder by virtue of living in the USA for so long (and being married to an American), DLR made the switch thanks to the ongoing funding issues FMR is having, and he senses an opportunity to get onto the US national team and reap the benefits that it offers as a national player. This is the 2nd time in 3 years that a top Mexican dual citizen has switched, though the reasons behind @AAlejandro Lanús ‘s switch were a bit different.
Nonetheless, DLR’s presence certainly complicates the pathway onto the team for the rest of the players. DLR is teamed with Landa and are seeded third. They’ll project to play the Bredenbeck brothers in the semis if seeds hold, and they’d play the two-time defending champions @Rocky Carson and Charlie Pratt in the finals.
It is hard not to see DLR/Landa winning this; DLR is among the best doubles players in the world and Landa prefers the right side.
US Women’s Doubles: Scott/Lawrence are #1 seeds and defending champs, but have a possible semis upset watch playing two of the most decorated doubles players in history in @Aimee Roehler and Janel Tisinger-Ledkins . On the bottom side, Rhonda Rajsich is back, and is the #2 seed with @SSheryl Lott but seem likely to get beat by the powerful Manilla/De La Rosa pair.
Manilla made the final last year playing with Roehler, but now will play the backhand side with an excellent doubles player in mDLR on the forehand, and I think they’ll upset Scott/Lawrence for the title.
US Mixed Doubles: all eyes will be on the upper half semis, as long time doubles partners Daniel and Michelle De La Rosa have split ways and are set to face each other. Daniel has teamed up with Scott, while Michelle is playing with Alex, and fireworks are sure to fly. Advantage DLR here, and I see the #4 seeds advancing to the final.
Its hard to see anyone but the bro-sis Manilla team advancing to the final from the bottom half, but the question will be whether they can out-hit a DLR/Scott team.
My prediction: DLR doesn’t lose this weekend and is the double winner.
Ironically DLR is prominently featured on the Mexican home page, even though he entered the USA event weeks ago.
As usual, the draws are massive for Mexican Nationals, and by the time you read this they’ll have already played a couple of rounds. Here’s some predictions:
Men’s Singles: #1 @Rodrigo Montoya probably isn’t troubled until the semis, when he projects to face his doubles partner Javier Mar. The bottom half likely is a showdown in the semis between Portillo and Parrilla, assuming Lalo can get by the #3 seeded veteran Polo Gutierrez . There’s a ton of other players in this draw to watch for, guys who may become household names in the future, but it seems to be playing out as Montoya-Parrilla for the title. Advantage Montoya.
Women’s Singles: The back end of the Women’s open is projecting just like the LPRT is right now: Longoria from the top with little stopping her from a final, and the semis from the bottom likely coming down to another Mejia-Herrera battle.
Longoria covets these titles, so even though she’s stumbled against Mejia and Herrera lately, whoever makes the final will lose so that Paola can add another championship to her collection.
Men’s Doubles: The gulf between Montoya/Mar as #1 seeds and any other team in this draw is huge. Look for some fun matches in the bottom half (especially with the Garay cousins and Lalo/Andree teaming up again), but without the regular DLR/Beltran pairing the champion seems pre-ordained.
Women’s doubles: Well … here we are at Mexican Nationals and Longoria/Salas are back together after taking a 2-tournament break. Maybe its because Longoria’s camp realized they needed Salas. But only 4 teams here and expect a huge battle between Longoria/Salas and Mejia/Herrera. I like the lefty/righty pair to win.
Unlike Mexico and USA, Canada is having a national event, but not THE nationals (which still happen in May). This is the second of two qualifiers team Canada plays in order to seed for Nationals.
Here’s a quick overview of the competitions:
Men’s Singles: Samuel Murray is here, but he’s been hurt and has forfeited out of the last two IRT events. Is he healthy? Every single Canadian national men’s final in the last 10 events has come down to Murray and Iwaasa, so no reason for me to predict anything else. But if Sam isn’t 100%, is he at risk? I’m going to predict Iwaasa wins the event, either by forfeit in the final like last time or by defeating whoever tops Sam earlier on.
Women’s Singles: No Lambert this time, so @CChristine Keay (nee Richardson) gets the 1 seed. I favor #2 Michelle Morissette though to make the final, as she’s made the last 3 singles finals in Canadian national events.
Phew! Lots of racquetball going on this weekend, lots of streaming, and lots of excitement.
Congrats to Coby Iwaasa and Frederique Lambert for taking the two Singles qualifiers this past weekend.
Iwaasa wins his first Canadian National event since May of 2015. He had faced off against finalist @Samuel Murray in the last 10 straight Canadian national event finals and got the win by virtue of an injury related walkover. It is Iwaasa’s 3rd overall title (1 National title, 2 qualifier titles).
Lambert wins her 4th straight Canadian national event, and her 14th overall with the win. She now owns 4 National titles and another 10 National qualifying tournament titles. She has not been defeated in Canadian competition since May of 2014, though her participation is understandably spotty thanks to her day job of being a Medical professional. She defeated Michele Morissette in the final, the third straight time these two have met in a Canadian national event final.
The Canadian Amateurs will presumably play another qualifier in the winter months before competing for their 2023 National title next May.
Mixed Doubles:David Serra/Disney Linares The Canadian Nationals also had Junior nationals, awarding the following Junior titlists:
Girls 21U: Cassie Prentice
Girls 16U: Ofelia Wilscam
Girls 14U: Lahni Buller
Boys 18U: Nathan Jauvin
Boys 16U: Asher Pocsai
Trackie home page for event: https://www.trackie.com/…/racquetball-canada…/476421/…
Lets do some quick commentary on each draw.
Men’s Singles: PRS event report: http://rball.pro/CF063C No real surprises here; #1 @Samuel Murray topped #2 @Coby Iwaasa for the fourth straight time. The Men’s draw was missing some regulars (Castro, the Landeryou brothers, Bousquets), but featured the expected names at the back end.
Men’s Doubles; PRS report: http://rball.pro/5F5739 The Murray brothers secure their third straight Canadian men’s doubles title together, and Sam gets his 6th for his career, by topping Iwaasa and Kurtis Cullen in the final.
Women’s Singles: PRS report: http://rball.pro/EEB08C Former LPRT #2 Dr. @Frederique Lambert won her fourth national singles title, defeating her doubles partner Michele Morissette in the final.
Women’s Doubles: PRS Report: http://rball.pro/7B7355 Lambert gets the double on the weekend, winning both Singles and Doubles. Frederique wins her 3rd career national doubles title, Morissette her 3rd as well, but their first together.
For the first time since February 2020, Racquetball Canada hosted a selection event. Normally, Canada hosts two of these events each season (usually, in late November and then again in early February) to determine seeding for its eventual Nationals (held in May). But, thanks to Covid, we hadn’t seen one of these tournaments since right before the Pandemic took grip of society. Trackie.com site for the event: https://www.trackie.com/…/racquetball-canada…/474684/… Lets do a quick recap of the results. Note: thanks to IRF’s decision to go to rally scoring, this tournament was played with the rally scoring rules. Three out of Five games to 15, win by one. In Men’s Open, #1 Samuel Murray and #2 Coby Iwaasa met up in the final for the eight successive Canadian Nationals or Selection event, with Murray taking the title over his countryman for the 8th successive time. Murray’s 10th straight Canadian national tournament title came with the scores of 8,11,14. click here for the Match report: http://rball.pro/F20E68
Click here for a list of all Canadian Men’s National event finals dating to 1975; http://rball.pro/2CB02F
In Women’s Open, #1 @Frederique Lambert continued her dominance over Canadian Racquetball (when she can play, given her medical residence requirements) by taking out #2 @Michele Morisset in the final (😎,10,6,10. The draw was missing @Christine (Keay) Richardson, who had made the final of the previous five Canadian national tournaments. click here for the Match report: http://rball.pro/DCDEDE
Click here for a list of all Canadian Women’s National event finals dating to 1975; http://rball.pro/AF9A18
Murray and Lambert retain their #1 positions in Canada heading into May’s Canadian Nationals, and should be representing their country at the upcoming PARC event in Mid April In Bolivia.
This coming weekend is a busy one on the racquetball calendar
USA Racquetball High School Nationals is in St. Louis
the LPRT is in Boston
there’s an IRT Tier 3 in Findley, Minnesota that has a handful of touring pros attending.
there’s an IRT Tier 4 or 5 in Pueblo, Colorado, also with a few IRT regulars in the field. Click here for my running Racquetball “major” event tracker: https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/
Here’s a recap of Canada Junior Nationals, held this past weekend in Burlington, Ontario Canada. Trackie site for Canadian Jr Nationals: https://www.trackie.com/…/racquetball-canada…/471134/… (In case you’re wondering why Racquetball Canada has gone to a different system than R2sports … it has to do with Canadian data privacy laws for its players. R2 is not housed within Canada, so they had to switch to a Canadian-housed solution). Congrats to the following Boys singles finalists for team Canada (click here: http://rball.pro/5B9265 for a Matrix of all Canada boy’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2014 or so. We will do the 2021 data entry later this week while on travel):
Boys 18U: Nathan Jauvin over Naman Gauri
Boys 16U: Christian Pocsai over Matthew Hudson
Boys 14U: Asher Pocsai over Raphael Guillemette
Boys 12U: not competed
Boys 10U: not competed
Boys 8U: not competed This is the 6th junior nationals title for Jauvin, who is in his age 17 season so he has one more shot to extend his collection of tities. This is the 4th title for Christian Pocsai and the 3rd for Asher Pocsai.
For Doubles, we’re assuming the two singles finalists in 18U and 16U will be the doubles team. In Boys 14U, the two singles finalists Pocsai/Guillemette teamed up to win a small round robin to win the Doubles title.
Congrats to the following Girls Singles finalists for team Canada (click here: http://rball.pro/8DDB63 for a Matrix of all Canada girls’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2014 or so)
Girls 18U; Juliette Parent over Zoe Chopnick
Girls 16U: Tamara Wilscam over Ofelia Wilscam
Girls 14U: Chloe Jauvan wins the RR, Alaya Buller 2nd.
Girls 12U: not competed
Girls 10U: not competed
Girls 8U: not competed
This is Parent’s 4th junior national title, Tamara’s 3rd, and Chloe’s 5th.
Congrats to tournament director Jennifer Saunders for another successful Canadian national tournament. International Racquetball Tour LPRT Racquetball Canada International Racquetball Federation – IRF