Top ranked racquet players from Burlington chase U.S. title in Memphis

Burlington’s Mike Green is the men’s No. 1 player in Canada, according to Racquetball Canada’s latest rankings, the first since 2001.

Calgary’s Christie Van Hees, the reigning Canadian and World Champion, regained the women’s top spot after defeating Jennifer Saunders of Winnipeg in the final of the Canadian Open in Burlington in October.

This week, Green is in Memphis, Tennessee trying to win the US Open men’s title. His challenge will be to beat top seed American Jack Huczek, who has won four International Racquetball Tour (IRT) tournaments this season, including last month’s Canadian Open.

Van Hees is defending her US Open title in Memphis where the competition begins today. If she wins, Van Hees will become the first woman to win the US Open three times. She won in 2000 and last year.

Also competing at the U.S. event is Ryan Smith of Burlington. He is the current Canadian 18 and under Junior Champion, and will use the Memphis tournament to gain experience in advance of the World Junior Championships next month in Tempe, Arizona. Smith is ranked 15th in Canada.