Green starts defense on winning note

Defending champions Mike Green of Burlington and Jennifer Saunders of Winnipeg, won their first matches as singles competition got underway at the 2012 Canadian National Racquetball Championships singles in Brossard, Quebec.

On the men’s side, Green defeated Anthony Schonberger (New Westminster, B.C.), 15-7, 15-4, while 2nd seed Vincent Gagnon (Montreal) beat Wade Shadlock (Brandon, Man.), 15-5, 15-7.

Third seed Kris Odegard of Saskatoon beat Frédérick Desmarais (Rock Forest, P.Q.), 15-4, 15-2, and 4th seed Tim Landeryou of Saskatoon defeated Matthew Swaine of Etobicoke, Ont., 15-2, 15-4.

But both may have more difficulties in the next round as Odegard will be facing Pedro Castro of Brossard, Que., who reached the finals in doubles on Tuesday, and in the process defeated Odegard and Green in the semi-finals. Landeryou will be up against Corey Osborne of Penetanguishene, Ont., who is a former Canadian champion.

In other men’s play, Eric Desrochers (Ancaster) defeated Sébastien Juteau (Boucherville, P.Q.) 15-8, 15-4 and Conrad Cole (Hamilton) won by default over no-show Francois Viens (Delson, P.Q.). Thorolds’s Greg Holland was beaten by Schonberger, 13-15, 15-13, 11-4.

In women’s action, three-time defending champion Saunders beat Lindsay Swaine (Etobicoke, Ont.), 15-0, 15-2. She’ll be up against former national team member Nadia Verilli of Brossard, Que. next, as Verilli beat Brigitte Richard (Saint Basile Le Grand, Que.), 16-14, 15-2.

Women’s 2nd seed Frédérique Lambert of Montreal defeated Zoe Hanson of Regina, 15-4, 15-0, which sets up a battle between the current World Junior U18 Girls Champion and the current Canadian Junior U18 Girls Champion in Michele Morissette, as Morissette beat Valerie Fallu of Brossard, Que., 15-17, 15-7, 11-8.

The championships continue through the week at the Nautilus Plus club in Brossard. One hundred and seventy players across all age and skill divisions are participating in Brossard.