Washington, Mo. September 24, 2018- October is just one week away and everybody in the entire racquetball community knows what October brings…the 2018 UnitedHealthCare U.S. Open! From October 3-7 at the Target Center in the center of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, the greatest athletes in the world from the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) will compete on the biggest stage in the sport of racquetball.
With over 750 competitors from both professional and amateur divisions worldwide, the UnitedHealthCare U.S. Open is the place to be to witness all of racquetball’s greatest players. The Open is your chance to see IRT pros like #1 Rocky Carson, #2 Alex Landa and #3 Kane Waselenchuk and LPRT pros like #1 Paola Longoria, #2 Frederique Lambert and #3 Samantha Salas all battle in singles and doubles play for the biggest prize money in any racquetball event.
Waselenchuk defeated Carson in last year’s IRT final in a four game match by scores of 11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4. Waselenchuk captured his 13th, 10th consecutive, U.S. Open championship and will be looking for his 14th this October. Last year in the LPRT finals, Longoria defeated Lambert in a four game match by scores of 11-7, 11-4, 2-11, 11-3 winning her eighth, seventh consecutive, U.S. Open championship.
The UnitedHealthCare U.S. Open celebrates its 23rd anniversary that first week in October, but the Open didn’t always take place in Minneapolis. In 1996 the first U.S. Open was held in Memphis, Tennessee with 500 players registered and made over $50,000 for U.S.A. Racquetball. Memphis continued to host the Open for the next 14 years until player entry’s and attendance numbers grew too high to support. Tournament director, Doug Ganim, found the Target Center in Minneapolis and moved the Open to Minnesota eight years ago in 2009. Ganim has been the Open’s tournament director every year since it first started in Memphis and is looking forward to another great event in October.
“We’re very luck to have the facility set-up that we do for the Open in Minneapolis, they are second-to-none,” Ganim said. “The athletes are exposed to great crowds at a great club and we’re right in the center of the entertainment district. I think it’s an absolute perfect set-up for the U.S. Open.”
The UnitedHealthCare U.S. Open rolls-out the action on Wednesday night for the pro/am chairty doubles and will continue throughout the week into the weekend. To watch all the action from the Open online visit any of the IRT’s multiple streaming platforms like: IRT Network, Facebook, YouTube and TwithTv.
Head Staff Writer:
Kelly R. Diesel