Washington, Mo. October 9, 2018- The 23rd annual UnitedHealthCare U.S. Open finished this past weekend in Minnesota with the most dominate player in the world, Kane Waselenchuk, residing in Austin, Texas capturing his 14th U.S. Open Championship.
Waselenchuk, who has won the Open every year since 2008, took the court this past weekend in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Target Center and showed the world he hasn’t lost a step in his game. Without playing on Tour since last season’s Denver World Doubles Open Championships in early May, Waselenchuk demonstrated why the majority of the faithful racquetball community call him “King Kane”.
After Javier Mar, from Chihuahua, Mexico gave Waselenchuk a tough run in the round of 16s (15-12, 15-10), Kane flipped the switch and took over the whole show. Sebastian Franco, from Cali, Colombia met “the King” in the quarter-finals and was defeated by scores of 15-6, 15-1 while Andree Parrilla, from San Luis Potosi, Mexico met the same fate in the first game of the semi-finals and was beat 15-3. Parrilla stepped up to the challenge in game two of the semi-finals, but still didn’t have enough to best Kane and was sent home by a final score of 15-12.
Daniel De La Rosa, residing in Gilbert, Arizona met Waselenchuk in the finals and they both put on a show before Kane took home the gold by a final score of 15-11, 15-6. Waselenchuk and De La Rosa shared a moment on the court before all the trophies and media surrounded them, and as a racquetball fan you have to look forward to seeing those two battle it out again this season.
De La Rosas defeated the #1 ranked player on Tour, Rocky Carson, from Landera Ranch, California in their semi-final three-game tiebreaker match by scores of 8-15, 15-5, 11-5. Although De La Rosa lost to Waselenchuk in the finals, he and his partner Alvaro Beltran, from Tijuana, Mexico got the best of Kane and his partner, Ben Croft, from Lake Bluff, Illinois in the Open’s doubles division.
It was a rematch of last year’s, and what many people consider the greatest, U.S. Open doubles final match between Waselenchuk/Croft and De La Rosa/Beltran. The box seats surrounding the court were filled and the stadium seating stands were packed with the whole Target Center ready to see the doubles championship match.
De La Rosa and Beltran went up early in game one at 12-3, but Croft and Waselenchuk closed the gap quickly, cutting it to 12-10. Croft and Waselenchuk couldn’t keep that momentum going in game one to complete the comeback in game one and lost 15-11. In last year’s doubles final, Beltran and De La Rosa took a game from the champs and forced a tiebreaker which they eventually would lose 15-10, 10-15, 11-7.Croft and Waselenchuk didn’t have time to think about a breaker as De La Rosa and Beltran snatched game two at 15-6, knocking off the 3x U.S. Open doubles champs.
In the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) divisions, Paola Longoria, from San Luis Potosi continued her dominance, winning her ninth U.S. Open championship, eighth in a row.Longoria defeated her doubles partner, Samantha Salas Solis, from Guanajuato, Mexico by final scores of 15-11, 15-14.
Longoria and Salas Solis did take home gold in their doubles division as they defeated Montserrat Mejia, and her partner Alexandra Herrera, both from Monterrey, Mexico by scores of 15-11, 15-14.
The Tour will be in Portland, Oregon next from November 29-December 2 for the Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions at the Multnomah Athletic Club. Watch all the live action from the IRT’s multiple online platforms: Facebook, TwitchTv, YouTube and the IRT Network!
Head Staff Writer:
Kelly R. Diesel