Green’s biggest test could be his partner

Racquetball5Burlington’s Mike Green and Jennifer Saunders of Winnipeg will be out to defend their No. 1 rankings when the 2013 Canadian Racquetball Championships begin in Langley, B.C. on Sunday (May 19). Green will likely have the biggest challenge – even with two of the top four men’s players missing from Langley.

However, Green lost to Tim Landeryou of Saskatoon in February at the last Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event, and the young up and coming Coby Iwaasa of Lethbridge, Alberta is on Green’s side of the draw, as Iwaasa’s the fourth seed with Green the first seed, so they would meet in the semi-finals. Landeryou’s seeded second.

Green will get a first hand view of Iwaasa’s play as he and the current Canadian Junior U18 and U16 Champion are playing doubles together in the first part of the championships.

The Canadian Racquetball Championships have the doubles competitions on the first three days with singles on the last four days.

Green and Iwaasa are second seeds in Men’s Open Doubles, and could meet Landeryou and his brother, James, in the semi-finals, as they are seeded third. Last year’s runners-up Eric Desrochers of Ancaster and Pedro Castro of Brossard, Que. are seeded first. Desrochers is No. 9 in men’s rankings.

On the women’s side, Saunders, the three-time defending Canadian champion continues to hold the No. 1 ranking but could face a strong challenge from the No.2 player, Frédérique Lambert of Montreal. Lambert missed the early part of the season after having surgery on her right shoulder, but if fully fit the 2011 Girls U18 Junior World Champion could seriously test Saunders. In last year’s final, Saunders needed a tie-breaker to defeat Lambert.

Not to be overlooked is the No. 3 player, Josée Grand’Maître of Longueuil, Que., who’s also Saunders’s doubles partner.

The national championships conclude on Saturday, May 25.

Men’s Rankings

1 Mike Green, Burlington.
2 Vincent Gagnon, Montreal.
3 Tim Landeryou, Saskatoon.
4 Kris Odegard, Saskatoon.
5 Nathaniel Husulak, Saskatoon.
6 Coby Iwaasa, Lethbridge, Alta.
7 James Landeryou, Saskatoon.
8 Corey Osborne, Penetanguishene, Ont.
9 Eric Desrochers, Ancaster.
10 Samuel Murray, Baie Comeau, Que.

Women’s Rankings

1 Jennifer Saunders Winnipeg.
2 Frédérique Lambert, Montreal.
3 Josée Grand’Maître, Longueuil, Que.
4 Brandi Jacobson Prentice, Montreal.
5 Christine Richardson, Regina.
6 Linda Ellerington, Shields, Sask.
7 Diana Hambley, Abbotsford, B.C.
8 Joanne Ditommaso, Vancouver.
9 Shanda McKnight, Lethbridge.
10 Michele Morissette, Baie Comeau.