With training leading up to Nationals going well I thought it was time to do a little preview. Keep in mind this may prove to be slightly inaccurate. The association hasn't released the draw (for reasons unknown) and it is still unclear as to whether Vincent Gagnon and Corey Osbourne will play, which means the layout could prove to be different than what is being assumed here. With that in mind I thought I'd do something a bit different. Instead of putting up what may or may not be the draw, I'll list the top 8 seeds and give the odds for them winning the singles title! Feel free to comment/sling insults my way. These odds are based on basically nothing :)
Seeds / Odds:
#1 Mike Green / 3:2 - As the most decorated player in Canadian Racquetball History, Green has to come in as the favourite. Add to that statistic that he has only lost one match in Canada in almost 3 years and this is a no-brainer.
#2 Tim Landeryou / 2:1 - Just behind Green in the oddsmakers' eyes is Landeryou, who has had an exceptional season. Winning every selection event so far, unbeaten in Canada since the 2012 National Championships, and the only player to beat Green in the last 2 seasons, Landeryou is also one of the favourites to take the title this year.
#4 Coby Iwassa / 4:1 - Next in line is Alberta prodigy Coby Iwassa. With a Junior World title last season and 2 Junior National titles in April, Coby is flying high and will be full of confidence coming into this year's Nationals. While there is no doubt a national title is in this young athlete's future, having not beaten either Green or Landeryou will work against him as he would likely have to beat both of them to win this year.
#3 Nathaniel Husulak / 6:1 - A perennial quarter-finalist and break-through semi-finalist in Kelowna, Husulak has stepped up his game considerably this season. Inconsistent play will prevent him from making a run to the finals, but if he catches fire he will be dangerous against anyone he faces
#5/6/7 James Landeryou, Corey Osbourne, Eric Desrochers / 8:1 - All dangerous in different ways, Landeryou, Osbourne, and Desrochers all have the potential to go deep into this draw. They will all run into opponents that have had their numbers recently in Iwassa, Husulak, and Landeryou though which means they will have to pull off somewhat unlikely upsets if they are to make it to the finals. All of them have the ability to do this though, so it will be interesting to see how the quarter-finals play out.
#8 Pedro Castro / 10:1 - Somewhat of a wildcard, Castro is an extremely talented player who has rededicated himself this season, presumably to compete for a spot on the 2015 Pan American Games Team. While he has shown the ability to upset higher ranked players, he has historically had difficulty with Iwassa, Green, and Landeryou, all of whom he would potentially have to defeat on a path to a national title this year.
What do you think of the odds? Agree? Disagree? Think I'm crazy? Post your comments below :)