Saturday, 9 February 2013

Keystone Finals Set!

Well after a long and eventful day of racquetball in Winnipeg the finals for the Men's Pro Singles and Men's Open Doubles are set.

It what will probably end up being the match of the tournament, 2nd seed James Landeryou (SK) took on 3rd seed and rising star Coby Iwasaa (AB). The first two games were extremely tight finishes. Landeryou gave Iwasaa large leads at the beginning of both games only to tighten up and mount comebacks, closing to within one point near the end but running out of time and dropping both games in nail biters 11-9, 11-8. Knowing he needed to have a good start to bring a game home, Landeryou would start strong in the third, building a lead that Iwasaa could not close and finishing strong to take the game 11-4. The fourth saw both players tighten up their games. This game was to and fro all the way to the finish, with James capitalizing on his opportunities late to take the game 11-9 and level the match. Appearing to have the momentum, Landeryou would open up a lead in the 5th game as well 3-1, extending it to 6-3. Several changes of serve ensued, with Iwasaa scoring the only point to make it 4-6. Then seemingly out of nowhere, Coby found his drive serve which had been eluding him for most of the match. Four quick points made it 8-6 and Iwasaa seemed poised to take the match. Landeryou would not be denied though and dug in, getting the serve back and tying the game at 8. It would take several more exchanges before any points were scored, but the match remained level, now at 9. Another few rallies saw Landeryou get opportunities to score his tenth point, but miss his shots but impossibly small margins. This seemed to tire him and Coby was able to take advantage and finish the match on his next service opportunity, taking the final game 11-9.

The second semi final saw #1 seed Tim Landeryou (SK) take on 4th seeded Brandon native Kurtis Cullen (MB). This match saw Landeryou start quickly, jumping out to a large lead in the first. By contrast Cullen seemed to struggle to find a rhythm and unable to take advantage of the few service opportunities he had, allowing Landeryou to take the first 11-3. The second was more of the same, although with more changes of serve it was clear Kurtis was working himself into the match, even if it was more slowly than he'd like. Landeryou would take this game 11-4. The third saw Cullen finally find his serving rhythm, or rather, embrace it like a long lost friend. Multiple aces and a solid mix of lines made returning serve extremely difficult for Landeryou, and to top it off Kurtis returned serve much better as well. The advantage swung heavily to Cullen's favour in this game and he would take the game 11-6. The fourth saw Kurtis' serve lose some of it's heat, and Landeryou tightened up, returning serve better and putting more pressure on Cullen. This swung the advantage back in Landeryou's favour and he would take the fourth game 11-2 and the match.

All four of these players are also in the Open doubles draw and will be competing in the final against each other tomorrow, as well as the Pro Singles final between Tim Landeryou and Coby Iwasaa. It will definitely be a great day of racquetball. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

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