2017 Pro Racquetball Stats Top 10 Statistics-driven list for Pro Racquetball
Here’s a list of interesting stat-driven items for the 2017 year, across the pro tours.
– US Open recap: both #1 seeds won to extend their own records for most US Open titles. Paola won her 8th, Kane his 13th. Paola is only 28; she may have another 10 years on tour at this level and given her dominance she may set some pretty unbeatable records. Meanwhile Kane was made to work for his 13th title as Rocky took a game off of him in the final, a rarity on tour these days, and had to face several great up and coming players along the way.
– The US Open Men’s pro draw was 73 this year, reversing a 6-year declining participation trend on the Men’s side. The Women’s draw was at 40 players, which is down from last year but about in line with the general participation level for the ladies pros over the past decade.
– Year End Title Winners: Kane wins his 12th career IRT pro tour title, Paola won her 8th to take over the top spot in the history of the Women’s tour from Michelle (Gilman) Gould, and Bobby Horn takes the WRT title with a season-ending tourney win for his first WRT title.
Top 10 list:
10. The WRT featured 7 different winners among its 13 tourneys for the 2017 season; Bobby Horn led the way with 4 wins and was followed closely behind by the guy who was #1 on tour for most of the year, Rodrigo Montoya, with 3 wins. Long time WRT #1 Alejandro Cardona slumped to a #4 finish on tour this year but remains the all time WRT tour leader in tournament wins with 12. Alejandro Landa only sporadically enters the WRT events but when he does he often wins: he’s 60-5 career on the WRT tour and has won 9 of the 14 WRT tournaments he’s ever entered.
9. The Landa-Beltran quarter in Atlanta, won by Landa 15-13 in the 5th, was tied for the 3rd longest ever 5th game in tour history. In the same tournament, The Bredenbeck-Manilla round of 32 match tied for the 3rd longest MATCH in tour history with the players scoring a combined 109 points. One of the reasons it was so long was an amazing 17-15 game two, tied for 10th longest ever game on tour. All in all, 9 of the pro matches in the Atlanta event went to a deciding 5th game, and fans saw all sorts of clutch action along the way. Unfortunately the scoring changes on tour mean an end to these kinds of amazing games and matches.
8. Two quarter-finalists at the US Open set records for highest seeds on record to make a Pro quarter: Sudsy Monchik as the #53 seed and more impressively Conrrado Moscoso as the #73 seed (in other words, he was seeded dead last). Monchik is a 5-time pro tour winner who had not played competitively for more than 5 years on tour, but who has re-found his playing shape and looked pretty dominant on his way to the quarters in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, Moscoso is a long-time Bolivian international team representative with plenty of IRF experience and who defeated several top players before falling to Kane in the quarters.
7. Speaking of Seeding, up-and-coming Mexican star Rodrigo Montoya became the 2nd highest ever Men’s seed to make a semi, getting to the semis in the season opening event in Canoga Park as a #28 seed before falling to eventual champ Kane in an entertaining match (which featured an ESPN top-10 highlight rally early in the 1st).
6. Charlie Pratt wins Portland IRT event to become the 36th distinct player to ever win a pro tournament in the IRT (and its predecessors).
5. Pratt winning the tournament as the #14 seed becomes the 3rd highest seed I have on record of winning a tournament; only Kane’s 1st tournament back from suspension in 2008, Swain’s first tourney win in 1985 and Tim Sweeney’s Oct 1990 Chicago tour stop win seem to be lower seeds winning a draw. Was his win the most improbable in pro tour history? Many think so.
4. Kane has the best career W/L percentage in pro tour history; that’s no surprise. He’s 546-49 in his career for a .918 percentage. Here’s the shocking number for you: he’d have to lose more than FIFTY consecutive matches in order to lower his career winning percentage down to the #2 spot (Marty Hogan’s 508-94 record, good for a .844 winning percentage). That’s how dominant he has been in his career.
3. Longoria finished the 2016-17 season 42-1 on the LPRT, with her only loss in the semis of the season’s final tournament to her
long-time doubles partner Samantha Solis. Her dominance over the Ladies tour is as strong as Kane’s she’s lost just three times on the LPRT in the last 7 seasons combined. What’s different is the fact that Longoria is just 28; could she continue playing like this for another decade?
2. Kane going undefeated in matches AND Games for the entirety of the 2016-17 season. 29-0 in matches, 85-0 in games (one of his finals was an injury forfeit, resulting in 85 games instead of 87 in the data). I opined at the time in May that this was Kane’s greatest feat; I was wrong (see #1).
1. Kane’s absolutely amazing 113 game winning streak finally broken at the US Open. Interestingly, the same player (Alvaro Beltran) both started and ended the streak (meaning, Alvaro was the last player to take a game from Kane prior to the streak starting, and the player who took a game from him to end it). We often talk about superlatives with Kane, and unbreakable records, but this may be the pinnacle of on-court performance for his career.
Looking forward to 2018 on the court!