Simple Green’s annual October handball spectacular, honoring Naty Alvarado Sr., kicked off today with 32 of the best men’s 4-Wall players on the planet in action. Each of the 32 handball headliners would play twice on Thursday, with half of the field eliminated before many of the U.S. Open events started.
(View the draws and track results, HERE)
(Broadcast Schedule, ESPN Schedule & Anticipated Aired Matches @ race4eight.com)
The top eight seeds advanced through the loaded draw of top Americans and top Irish stars, with four Irish players and four Americans remaining after day one. Paul Brady overcame Colin Crehan in two games, with Crehan demonstrating the skills that will likely make him one of the game’s best players in the near future. Mando Ortiz cruised past Daniel Cordova in two games, overpowering the 2015 R48 Rookie of the Year en route to the quarterfinals. After defeating Jonathan Iglesias in a close tiebreaker following a three-year hiatus with back problems, Michael Gregan nearly took a one-game lead on Sean Lenning before falling in two games. Killian Carroll overcame a slow start to overcome Luis Cordova, scoring 23 of the final 28 points of the match. Emmett Peixoto blitzed 2015 R48 NYAC finalist Andy Nett in their first game before holding off a Nett rally in game two. Robbie McCarthy had little difficulty disposing of compatriot Stephen Cooney, while Luis Moreno played the most impressive handball of the evening with a straight sets thrashing against Vic Perez.
Brady vs. Ortiz
Lenning vs. Carroll
Peixoto vs. McCarthy
Moreno vs. Nash
Women’s R48Pro (4 Wall indoor)
Jean Kasamoto-Kastner edged pass Canadian sensation, Leslie Amminson, in the round of 16 on Thursday, when the women’s pro elite took center stage; Lauren Mendez (Canyon Country, CA) loses to Tracy Davis in her first US Open appearance; meanwhile, Suzanne Koehler and Mikaila Mitchell (both from Missouri) fall to Aiofe McCarthy and Yvonne August in their opening rounds, respectively.
Catriona Casey vs Jean Kasamoto-Kastner
Tracy Davis vs Martina McMahon
Jessica Gawley vs Aoife McCarthy
Yvonne August vs Aisling Reilly
Men’s Pro Doubles (4 Wall indoor)
Stephen Cooney and Jon Iglesias edged out former top three finalists, Dane Szatkowski and Bill Mehilos in one of the most electric matches of the afternoon, on Thursday. Facing match point, the team of Mehilos/Szatkowski served to advance to the quarters, but came up short. Cooney/Iglesias battled back in that second game (after losing the first 17-21) to take the win and force a tie-breaker (21-20). It was all Iglesias/Cooney until a late game flurry by the Chicagoans to close the gap to 8-10, before Cooney and Iglesias scored the final point; winning the match: 17-21, 21-20, 11-8. Jon Hingey and Stephen Atwood got bounced by Armando Ortiz/Vic Perez (USHA National Doubles Finalists) in the 16’s, 21-3, 21-9; while, Carlos Chavez and Dylan Hernandez exit the open after a quick loss to former US Open doubles standouts, Mike Gregan/Ger Coonan. Luis Cordova and brother Danial (Juarez, MEX) edged-out Anthony Sullivan and Arturo Suarez to close the evening.
Nash/McCarthy vs Cooney/Iglesias
Ortiz/Perez vs Coonan/Gregan
Peixoto/Brady vs Carroll/Crehan
Cordova/Cordova vs Lenning/Chavez
Men’s 40+ Senior SR48Pro (4 Wall indoor)
What an exciting day in the 40+ division (WPH Ranked Event), as the #8 vs #9 seed clash happened again, to set the tone. Joe Harris (Nevada) took on Dan Zimet (Maryland) in what turned out to be one of the best matches of the day. Newcomer to the R48Pro tour, Harris, pounced on Zimet early and took a dominating 21-14 win away from the top 10 Senior ranked pro; however, game two found some adjustments by the 3-wall mid-Atlantic star at the very last second, when he overcame match point, then served to take the match to a breaker (successfully). In that breaker a worn-out Harris fought for every point but only scored six of them; Zimet advances 14-21, 21-20, 11-7.
Naty Alvarado, playing his third match of the day (losing earlier to Diarmaid Nash in the pro bracket 21-20, 21-3) slipped past Jamie Murillo 21-9, 21-8—advancing to the quarters in the process. Fergal Coughlan (IRE) dropped Dan Armijo in his opening round of 16 (11-10 breaker); while, Schad, Jasso, Flores and M. Chavez all move on to the quarters.
Chris Watkins vs Dan Zimet
Naty Alvarado vs Fergal Coughlan
Andy Schad vs Raul Jasso
Juan Flores vs Marcos Chavez
In the 50’s, John Robles, Mike Linnik, Jim Carkeek, Tom McGrath, John McDonough, Steve Pool and Marc Penick all move to the quarterfinals; meanwhile, in the 60’s singles, all quarterfinal and some semis kick off on Friday.
WPH Outdoor Ranked Events
The Men’s and Women’s Big Ball 1-Wall and 3-Wall also kicked off on day one, with top seeds Samzon Hernandez, Rudy Cruz, Ricky Ruiz, Juan Santos and Tracy Davis advancing.
An explosive round of 16 is in store for the 3 Wall Big Ball Bracket on Friday; we suggest you watch the action LIVE and in person to catch one of the most competitive draws to date. *Men’s Pro Big Ball 3 Wall Doubles also commences on Friday.
Men’s 1 wall big ball round of 16 starts on Friday with top names like Tywan Cook, Timbo Gonzalez, Kadeem Bush, Pee Wee Castro, Shooter Ramos, Carlin Rosa, Andres Calle, and Billy O’Donnell.
To watch all of the action live, go to the Watch ESPN APP (here). Make sure you have an account with your cable company so you don’t miss a point! To follow all of the news from the world of handball and the 2015 Simple Green U.S. Open of Handball, go to wphlive.tv. To follow the draws and results from the 2015 Simple Green U.S. Open of Handball, click here