This article appeared on November 2, 2017.
This weekend there’s one of the largest fields for an International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event in some time, as there are 34 players competing for the title at the Atlanta Pro-Am in Lilburn, Georgia. Leading the way is Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 IRT player, who won his 13th US Open in October. Rocky Carson, IRT #2, and US Open runner up, will also be in Georgia.
Also in the draw is Alejandro Landa, a US Open semi-finalist, who is in the same bracket as IRT #4 Alvaro Beltran, who was also a US Open semi-finalist this year.
Jake Bredenbeck might be the dark horse this weekend. He needs to come through qualifying, and if he’s successful in making the Round of 16, Bredenbeck will be in the same bracket as Daniel De La Rosa, #3 on the IRT. They met in the final of the 2016 Pan American Championships, when De La Rosa won. But that was (a) in San Luis Potosi – De La Rosa’s hometown, (b) at altitude, so the ball flew farther than normal, and (c) under a one serve rule (the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) has since changed to a 2 serve rule), which hampered the hard serving Bredenbeck. Thus, if they meet in Georgia this weekend, it will be under significantly different circumstances. That doesn’t mean Bredenbeck will win, but it is to say that no one should assume that he’ll defeat De La Rosa. But it’s possible.[Read More]