The 20th annual United Healthcare US Open Racquetball Championships begin in earnest when the main professional draw opens Thursday at the newly remodeled Lifetime Fitness in Target Center. It is 6th consecutive year the event has been held in Minneapolis.
Billed as the “World’s Fastest Sport” with ball speeds reaching 180 miles per hour, the US Open is racquetball’s marquee tournament. Over 750 players participate in the various divisions, but it’s the pros who take center stage.
Despite being ranked No. 2 due mainly to a scheduling change, 10-time champion Kane Waselenchuk is always the top attraction. Last year’s finalist Alvaro Beltran and current No. 1 Rocky Carson – the 2007 champion – figure to be in the mix to play in Sunday’s final. With the top three in their 30s, youngsters Daniel De La Rosa (22) and Jose Rojas (25) represent their generation’s best hopes to crack the oligarchy ruling the men’s game.
For the women, it’s all about 4-time defending champion and world No. 1 Paolo Longoria who is seeking her 6th US Open title overall. Like Waselenchuk, Longoria is at her best in the sport’s premier event. 22-year-old Maria Jose Vargas and 4-time champion Rhonda Rajsich round out the women’s top three.
Waselenchuk begins his title defense at approximately 11:20 am Thursday; Longoria at 12:30 pm.
For more information including ticket prices and match times, check out: http://www.unitedhealthcareusopen.com/