Green makes a racket in racquets

Racquetball5Langley, B.C. – Defending champions Mike Green of Burlington and Jennifer Saunders of Winnipeg, successfully defended their titles on Saturday (May 25) at the 2013 Canadian Racquetball Championships in Langley, B.C. Both did so in two straight but competitive games.

Green defeated second seed Tim Landeryou of Saskatoon, 15-10, 15-8, to retain his men’s crown while Saunders beat Josée Grand’Maître of Longueuil, Que., 15-6, 16-14, for her women’s title.

Landeryou was undefeated in Canada this season, including a win against Green at the last Canadian National Team Selection Event in February, but Green got the better of him on Saturday. Green was ahead early in game one at 7-3, but Landeryou dug in and was only down by one at 10-9, before Green closed out game one.

In game two, they were tied at 4-4, when Green took the next four points to lead 8-4. However, after a timeout Landeryou got the serve back and scored three straight points to close the gap at 8-7.

However, Landeryou stalled there, and Green got two more points to get to 10-7. Landeryou called another timeout, but that was not as successful as the first, as Landeryou could only score one more point the rest of the way as Green went on to win game two.

The win completes an undefeated week for Green, who also won the Men’s Open Doubles title with Coby Iwaasa of Lethbridge, Alta. earlier in the week.

Green has won four consecutive singles titles and nine overall. This is the fifth year he’s won both the singles and doubles title. He previously did so in 2010 and 2011 both with Kris Odegard as his partner in doubles and in 2004 and 2006, when Brian Istace was his partner each time.

Green has more Canadian Men’s Open titles than any other men’s player: 17 total, eight in singles and nine in doubles.

On the women’s side, Saunders won game one comfortably against Grand’Maître, who is her doubles partner and the two won their ninth doubles title together earlier in the week.

But in game two, Grand’Maître came out strong using a variety of serves and making great shots during the rallies. The players were tied at 5-5, and then Grand’Maître pulled ahead and led 10-8, and she got to 14 first at 14-10.

Grand’Maître served for the game at 14-10 and 14-12, but couldn’t manage to find the winning point, as Saunders caught up at 14-14, and then went ahead 15-14 and won it on her first match point.

The victory is Saunders’s seventh and ties her for most Canadian Women’s Singles titles with Heather Stupp of Montreal. Her combined total of 16 Canadian Singles and Doubles titles is second only to Grand’Maître, who has 17.