February 28th, 2007 by Geoff Thomsen
The ladies of the Women’s Professional Racquetball Organization were in Toronto this past weekend battling it out on the second and final grand slam event of the season. Many of you were lucky enough to watch the free internet video streaming provided by www.racquetballonline.tv. I just can’t mention enough how technology like this is AWESOME for the sport.
Back to the action .. The round of 16 pretty much finished as expected, with all but one of the top eight seeds advancing. Samantha Salas made an outstanding appearance at this event, by first taking out Jo Shattuck in three straight, followed by a five-game showdown with the number one seed – Rhonda Rajsich. Kerri Wachtel finally moved up in the draw (and by “moving up” I mean moving to the bottom half of the bracket) after several outstanding showings this season. Unlucky for her, this meant a quarterfinal matchup with
top contender #6 player on the tour, Christie Van Hees.
Christie was business in front of her hometown crowd, and ended the event with a win over Rhonda Rajsich in the finals. She made an amazing run through the draw, only losing two single games in all of her matches.
At this point in the season, it looks like Rhonda has a lock on the number one season end ranking. I say this mostly by assuming that Christie will play the last two stops of the year. With Christie in the bottom half of the draw, Rhonda can use her like a pawn to defeat her top rivals in the early rounds of the events – costing them precious ranking points. Even if Rhonda lost to Christie in the finals of both of the remaining events, no other player on the tour could overcome Rhonda’s top point spot. Christie is too far down the list at #6, and she serves as a huge obstacle to pass for anyone challenging Rhonda’s lead (Rhonda, is of course, the other big challenge on the top half of the draw).
Rhonda Rajsich def. Samantha Salas (10), 2, (10), 3, 3
Angela Grisar def. Kristen Walsh 8, 6, 3
Christie Van Hees def. Kerri Wachtel (10), 5, 6, 4
Cheryl Gudinas def. Brenda Kyzer (9), 8, 2, 7
Rhonda Rajsich def. Angela Grisar 8, 8, 10
Christie Van Hees def. Cheryl Gudinas 7, 2, (8), 4
Christie Van Hees def. Rhonda Rajsich 9, 7, 4
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