Well after a grueling two days of competition, the doubles portion of the Canadian National Racquetball Championships is in the books and, good or bad, the event had some of everything: upsets, tight tiebreakers, repeat titles, and new champions. Fans were truly treated to the full range of shots, emotions, and drama this sport has to offer. I present the following written word as a meager substitute for the bounty of racquetball nirvana taken place so far...
Starting on the women's side, it was back-to-back titles for Christine Richardson and Michele Morissette, who defeated Jen Saunders and Danielle Drury by two razor thin margins 17-15, 15-13 to retain their title. Some thanks on their part should be sent to the Geeraert/Iwaasa team who forced Saunders/Drury to a lengthy tiebreaker match earlier in the day, resulting in perhaps just enough fatigue to make the difference. Geeraert/Iwaasa won their final match of the event in straightforward fashion to take home the bronze medal.
On the men's side, it was the third final in as many years for Nicolas Bousquet and Tommy Murray, who were hoping the third time was the charm for them to finally take home the elusive title. Their opponents, perhaps surprisingly, were 5th seeds Trevor Webb, current junior national champion, and Mike Green, current men's national champion. The pair caused quite the stir this week, upsetting 4th seeds James & Tim Landeryou in the quarters and top seeds and defending national champions Samuel Murray and Pedro Castro in the semis. Their road had been long, needing tiebreakers in both instances to move on, but they were confident and riding a chemistry fostered by a shared daily training regimen. Uncharacteristically, Webb and Green started slowly, with the magnitude of the match clearly weighing on the junior champion's mind, and nervous errors the fruit borne of this distracted mindset. They eventually righted the ship and got themselves into a groove more indicative of their play earlier in the event. They couldn't quite dig themselves out of the hole in that first game, but played solidly enough down the stretch to squeak out the next two without any room to spare, taking home the first title for Webb in his young career, 16-14, 13-11. The previous year's national champions Castro & Murray would defeat the SK pair of Husulak/Connell to take the bronze. I and my brother James, unfortunately ran into somewhat of a freight train in the quarters and had to settle for 5th.
I have a preview of singles play written up, which I will post tomorrow. Action isn't truly picking up until later in the afternoon so be sure to check out my predictions. Feel free to respond on FB to start a discussion; I'm always up for a good racquetball debate :)