2016 Simple Green U.S. Open Daily Updates: Sunday
Fountain Valley, CA, WPH Press, 10/23/16- Sunday wrapped up the 2016 Simple Green U.S. Open, featuring the finals of the Race 4 Eight Men’s Pro, Senior Race 4 Eight Men’s Pro, and the WPH Outdoor 1-Wall and 3-Wall Men’s and Women’s singles and doubles. JR WPH proudly hosted one of our largest and most exciting junior handball clinics in history, featuring more than 50 youngsters between the ages of 11-19.
Race 4 Eight Men’s 4-Wall Singles Final: McCarthy vs. Ortiz
Robbie McCarthy and Mando Ortiz met for the second time in Race 4 Eight play, with McCarthy winning their first encounter in the semifinals of the 2014 WPH R48 Player’s Championship. The pair of late 20’s stars have been competing against one another since their teenage years in the juniors and would now play for the largest payout in the sport.
McCarthy started the match with a 10-point run, building a 10-0 lead with four kill shots and six Ortiz errors. Ortiz scored his first point eight minutes into the match, but the early deficit was too great to overcome as McCarthy cruised to a one-game lead. The second game was close throughout, with neither player leading by more than four points at any point in the game. Ortiz looked to be on the verge of taking over the game at 15-14, hitting three consecutive kill shots to put McCarthy on his heels. McCarthy regrouped, taking a 19-17 lead before a two-minute glove change forced a break for both players. McCarthy returned from the break and hit two ace serves to clinch his second Simple Green U.S. Open title.
“Mando didn’t really get going in the first game but the second game was neck and neck the whole way,” stated an ecstatic McCarthy after the match. “I’m just over the moon and this is a great moment for me and I’m delighted.”
Final: McCarthy def Ortiz 21-5, 21-17
5th: Peixoto/Moreno/D. Cordova/Shanks
10th: Pe. Funchion
Senior Race 4 Eight Men’s 4-Wall Singles Final: Chavez vs. Alvarado
Marcos Chavez and Naty Alvarado have been Southern California rivals for nearly 20 years, but the rivalry never intensified until Chavez beat Alvarado for the first time in 2013. Since that first win, Chavez has rattled off three more wins against “El Tigre,” including in last year’s U.S. Open Masters final. The Chavez-Alvarado rivalry combines respect, irritation, and indignation for one another, making all of their clashes highly entertaining and must-see spectacles.
Alvarado caught wind of a pre-match interview in which Marcos Chavez boasted, “I’ve beat Naty four times in a row so this match doesn’t really mean much to me.” Alvarado attacked Chavez with vigor following the bulletin board quotation, playing like the Alvarado that rose to #2 on the Race 4 Eight tour in 2012. Alvarado was crisp and efficient handball in game one, blowing away his heated rival.
Chavez slowed down the game and executed his shots in game two, building a sizeable lead while playing to the crowd to force a tiebreaker.
Chavez cruised to a 9-4 lead in the tiebreaker and was seemingly just moments from defending his SR48 U.S. Open title. Alvarado applied pressure with incredible serves and sliding kills to tie the score at nine, then got his tenth and appeared to have scored the eleventh point on a left-hand pass to the right with Chavez behind him. The referee felt Chavez was screened, calling for a hinder instead of the final point in Alvarado’s favor. Alvarado had another point erased earlier when he appeared to have hit an ace serve down the right that the referee called a slide. Alvarado finally scored the tenth point (for the third time) and served for the match. A steely Chavez earned a side out and tied the score at 10 on his first serve. A 15-shot rally ensued with both veterans playing cautiously before Alvarado made an inexplicable error with an overhand shot, giving Chavez the win. Chavez climbed the front wall to celebrate the title, an obvious salute to the Alvarado’s. Rivalry to be continued in Minnesota next month…
“We both deserved to win today, just like everyone in the draw deserved it,” stated Chavez. “My daughter is my good luck charm and I am so happy she was here to see me win this one.”
(Watch the SloMo controversial shot here)
Final: Chavez def Alvarado 9-21, 21-14, 11-10
Men’s 4-Wall Pro Doubles Final: Team Ortiz/Perez vs. Team Chavez/Lenning
Current national doubles champions Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez challenged reigning U.S. Open doubles champions Mando Ortiz and Vic Perez in a showdown of the two best doubles teams in the sport. The four spectacular players did not disappoint, playing some of the most incredible rallies and shots of the event throughout the nearly two-hour match. Sean Lenning controlled much of the action for the national champions, making incredible retrieves and cross corner kills, while his partner was backing him up and ending rallies when given the opportunity. Mando Ortiz continued to sizzle, making kills from all angles, while relying on his partner to play steady and consistently. Both games would be decided by the slimmest of margins, with Team Lenning/Chavez taking game one 21-19 and staging an improbable comeback to win game two 21-20. Team Lenning/Chavez appeared to be heading to a tiebreaker after three consecutive errors on service returns from Chavez made the score 17-13 in Team Ortiz/Perez’s favor. Team Ortiz/Perez served for the game twice at 20-18, but a one-inch miss from Ortiz handed Team Lenning/Chavez a side out and another error at 20-20 from Ortiz handed Team Lenning/Chavez the match. Team Lenning/Chavez are now the current 4-Wall and 3-Wall national champions and the U.S. Open 4-Wall Pro Doubles champions.
Final: Team Lenning/Chavez def Team Ortiz/Perez 21-19, 21-20
Men’s 3-Wall Singles Final: Hernandez vs. Tellez
Samzon Hernandez promised to send the 2016 Simple Green trophy to the WPH trophy room were he to win his fourth consecutive title, but “The Machine” would need to be at his best against Josue Tellez to clinch a U.S. Open four-peat. Tellez was sensational in defeating WPH Outdoor #1 Juan Santos in the semifinals and did not show up on Sunday for a Hernandez coronation.
Tellez picked up where he left off in his semifinal win against Santos, playing evenly with Hernandez in splitting the first two games. “Tellez really impresses me,” stated ESPN3 color analyst Brian Pineda. “He has the athleticism, the strategy, and the intensity. WPH Outdoor has a new star.”
Hernandez demonstrated why he is one of the greatest to ever play 3-Wall handball in the tiebreaker, steamrolling Tellez with a nearly perfect display of power and percentage 3-Wall handball. Hernandez ended the match by serving a tiebreaker bagel, the third bagel he has served in four U.S. Open finals.
“When a guy like Samzon is playing ice cold ball like he was in the tiebreaker, there is nothing anyone could do,” stated Pineda. “It wasn’t that Tellez did anything wrong, it was just that Samzon did everything right.”
Final: Hernandez def Tellez 21-8, 8-21, 11-0
Men’s 3-Wall Doubles Final: Team Cordova/Suarez vs. Team Santos/Morales
Rain forced the 3-Wall Doubles final indoors after just five points, a seemingly huge advantage to Team Santos/Morales, who were already sizeable favorites on the 3-Wall courts. Despite limited 4-Wall experience, Team Cordova/Suarez rose to the challenge, stunning Team Santos/Morales in a 70-minute first game. Team Santos/Morales appeared to have righted the ship in game two, taking a 16-9 lead. Team Cordova/Suarez played more aggressively faced with the deficit, going for kills from the deep court and taking advantage of Team Santos/Morales’ mistakes. “Cordova is a marksman,” stated Pineda.
Seven consecutive points tied the score at 16 and five more points gave Team Cordova/Suarez the title in one of the biggest upsets in WPH Outdoor history.
“I needed this win,” stated Suarez. “This is my first yellow jersey. I came close the last two years and to win it just means so much to me. I’m not a 4-Wall player, but I told my partner to back me up and he did.”
Women’s 1-Wall Singles Final: Ng vs. Daskalakis
Sandy Ng was aiming to defend her 1-Wall singles U.S. Open title, while Danielle Daskalakis was hoping to erase the disappointment of falling short in last year’s Simple Green U.S. Open final. Ng took game one with aggressive play, pushing Daskalakis from side to side with two-handed power and precise passes and kills. Daskalakis changed the tone of the match with her serve in game two, mixing deep serves to the left and short angle serves to the right to earn first-strike opportunities. Daskalakis’ strategy put Ng on the run and enabled her to force a tiebreaker.
Daskalakis started the tiebreaker as she had ended the second game, building a 4-1 lead. Ng scored five straight points to grab the momentum and the lead but served out at 6-4, handing Daskalakis the serve and halting the momentum she had built during her five-point streak. Daskalakis took advantage, scoring five straight points to lead 9-6 and two points from the title. The rain started to fall considerably harder with Daskalakis serving at 9-6, prompting Ng to ask for a weather delay. Daskalakis and Ng were forced to wait 37 minutes before play resumed, an eternity with the match and U.S. Open Championship hanging in the balance. Ng capitalized on the break, earning a side out and scoring four straight points to arrive at match point. Daskalakis held off Ng’s first attempt at match point, winning the rally on Ng’s serve and scoring a quick point to tie the score at 10. Ng played aggressively on Daskalakis’ match point, jamming the lefty with an overhand drive to force a weak return and putting away the setup to serve for the match for the second time. Ng continued her aggressive play on her second match point, angling Daskalakis off the court and finishing the match with a crosscourt kill to the left.
Final: Ng def Daskalakis 21-8, 10-21, 11-10
Men’s 1-Wall Singles Final: Gonzalez vs. Cook
Timbo Gonzalez continued his stellar 1-Wall singles play at the U.S. Open, dominating the best 1-Wall big ball players in the world for the second time in four weeks. Gonzalez was never challenged in September’s 3WallBall Championships 1-Wall Big Ball pro singles and was even more dominant in winning his third consecutive 1-Wall Pro Singles title at the U.S. Open. Gonzalez dismantled Kadeem Bush in the semifinals and current national champion Tywan Cook in the final.
“I wasn’t playing my best this summer so I made some changes,” stated Gonzalez. “I started playing everyday and cross training to improve my agility and explosiveness. I’m playing really well right now and I feel really comfortable with all of my shots.”
Final: Gonzalez def Cook 21-6, 21-8
Men’s 1-Wall Doubles Final: Team Aguilera/Sanford vs. Team Bush/Miranda
Rain prevented the conclusion of the Men’s 1-Wall Doubles final, with the four players splitting the prize money and Team Aguilera/Sanford taking the title by virtue of winning the first game
Final: Team Aguilera/Sanford def Team Bush/Miranda
Women’s 1-Wall Doubles Final: Team Daskalakis/Ng vs. Team Ruiz/Garcia
Rain prevented the conclusion of the Women’s 1-Wall Doubles final, with the four players splitting the prize money and Team Daskalakis/Ng taking the title by virtue of winning the first game
Final: Team Daskalakis/Ng def Team Ruiz/Garcia
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 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 young people to learn handball from the best coaches in the most well organized clinics in the country.
Thank you to Simple Green, Mr. Bruce Fabrizio, Naty Alvarado, Sr. the entire Alvarado family, John Bike, Mark Shelgren, and the WPH staff and film crew for an incredible week at Los Caballeros.
To follow all of the draws from the Simple Green U.S. Open, click here
WPH Senior Writer