DF’s Top Moments from the 2016 Simple Green U.S. Open
One of handball’s greatest tournaments always produces incredible moments and memories. Check out the top moments below!
Two-stream Feed: The WPH debuted the first two-stream coverage at the 2016 Simple Green U.S. Open, enabling viewers to simultaneously watch the Race 4 Eight and WPH Outdoor. “We try to add something new each year and this year we were so happy to add streams of the indoor and outdoor matches at the same time,” declared Simple Green U.S. Open tournament director Naty Alvarado, Sr.
Simultaneous 11-10 tiebreakers! The simultaneous ESPN3 and race4eight.com streams allowed viewers to watch Sandy Ng come back from 6-9 in the tiebreaker in the Women’s 1-Wall singles final to win 11-10 and Marcos Chavez hold off heated rival Naty Alvarado Jr. to win the Masters singles 11-10 in a tiebreaker. These matches will be discussed for years to come and we were able to see them both unfold live!
Ng and Chavez Slam: Sandy Ng slammed for the second consecutive year in the Women’s 1-Wall, while Marcos Chavez picked up his 7th and 8th U.S. Open titles in winning the 2016 Masters singles and pro 4-Wall Doubles. Ng demonstrated that she is ice-cold under pressure in standing just three points from defeat in her 1-Wall singles semifinal and one point from defeat in the final, while Chavez also faced match point in the singles and played sensationally in the 4-Wall doubles
48-year old legend Vince Munoz turns back the clock to beat four top 10 R48 stars en route to the 4-Wall Pro Doubles semifinals: Vince Munoz is a global handball phenomenon with thousands of fans worldwide and added to his legend in teaming with Carlos Chavez in defeating top 10 R48 pros Luis and Daniel Cordova and current national champion Killian Carroll and former doubles national champion Emmett Peixoto to advance to the 4-Wall doubles semifinals. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” stated R48 pro and Munoz fan Ryan Bowler. “Vince ended the match with a fade away right hand kill with Killian 10 feet in front of him. Wow!”
Santos’ U.S. Open Singles Curse Lives: If you don’t believe in curses, consider WPH Outdoor #1 Juan Santos. Santos has won everywhere on every type of outdoor court but just cannot win at the Simple Green U.S. Open. Santos arrived at this year’s U.S. Open with strep throat #curse and although he never once mentioned his illness, his play was clearly affected by his poor health. Santos was not himself in the singles semifinals, losing to unseeded Josue Tellez then losing in the doubles final as a 10-point favorite
Samzon and Timbo do it again: Samzon Hernandez entered this year’s U.S. Open in a horrific slump, having played nowhere anywhere near his potential all season. Hernandez flipped the switch at the U.S. Open, leaving wreckage with every win in clinching his fourth consecutive U.S. Open title by serving a bagel in the tiebreaker, a Hernandez U.S. Open finals tradition. Timbo Gonzalez also slumped earlier this summer, but turned around his season in Las Vegas and carried his form into the U.S. Open, dismantling the best 1-Wall players in the world en route to his third consecutive U.S. Open 1-Wall singles title
Junior WPH Clinic: JR WPH proudly hosted a clinic for more than 50 youngsters from California and Ireland on the Los Caballeros’ 3-Wall courts, featuring WPH Coaches David Fink, Shorty Ruiz, and Luis Cordova. The youngsters were split into three groups, with each group having the opportunity to learn from three of the games top coaches. After trying to hit various targets, the young handballers had a chance to test their skills against Coach Ruiz and Coach Cordova. “I can’t believe how good these kids are!” proclaimed Coach Cordova after playing points against the 14-year olds on his court. Junior WPH has hosted more than 900 clinics thus far in 2016, proudly providing opportunities for more than 3,000 different young people to learn handball from the best coaches in the most well organized clinics in the country
Chavez and Alvarado stage another classic in the most entertaining rivalry in the sport: After not defeating Alvarado once in their 20-year pro career, Chavez picked off Alvarado for the first time in 2013 and has added three more wins since. Chavez boldly stated before the match, “I’ve beat Naty four times in a row so this match really doesn’t mean much to me.” Alvarado overheard the slight and punished Chavez in game one, but could not sustain his high-level play, dropping game two and trailing 9-4 in the tiebreaker. Alvarado tied the score at nine and appeared to score two points that would have given him the win but the referee saw it differently, calling a hinder and a slide on the two winning shots that were out of Chavez’s reach and allowing Chavez to stay alive. Chavez eventually won 11-10 and punctuated his win with an “El Gato” wall-climb #statement. Stay tuned to this rivalry in Minnesota #cantmiss
Team Cordova/Suarez stun Juan Santos/Alfredo Morales: Juan Santos and Alfredo Morales entered the U.S. Open 3-Wall Doubles final as the overwhelming favorites and became even bigger favorites after the rains forced the match indoors after just five points. Despite limited 4-Wall experience, Team Suardova adapted and stunned Team Mantos, scoring the final 12 points of the match to win the biggest prize in 3-Wall Doubles. “This is my first yellow jersey and this means everything to me,” stated an emotional Manny Suarez.
The U.S. Open 3-Wall Reffing: The U.S. Open 3-Wall refereeing was so unthinkably bad it was comical. Those calls were just pranks right?
The Buzzsaw and The Cat conquer the U.S. Open: Robbie McCarthy arrived at Los Caballeros having just won the 60×30 All Ireland Championships in September and spending the next two weeks at sea with the Irish military. McCarthy showed no rust from having very little 4-Wall preparation, dominating the best of the Race 4 Eight tour without dropping a game to win his second U.S. Open. Catriona Casey emphatically reclaimed the U.S. Open title she relinquished last year, playing flawlessly against the second and third best women 4-Wall players in the world and sending a message that if you’re going to take her down, you better play better than you ever have in your life #truth
To read the Thursday-Saturday daily recaps from the 2016 Simple Green U.S. Open, click here
To read the Sunday recap from the 2016 Simple Green U.S. Open, click here
WPH Senior Writer