Photo credit : Express Media / Santiago 2023
Samuel Murray and Coby Iwaasa had the upset of the day in men’s doubles at the Pan American Games. The two Canadians came back from being down two games to none against Daniel De La Rosa and Alejandro Landa of the United States. It was looking like the Canadians were destined for a loss but Murray and Iwaasa took control and won the next three games to move on to Monday’s semi-finals.
Murray also advanced to the quarterfinals in singles after defeating Gabriel Garcia of Costa Rica in three straight matches, winning 11-8, 11-6, 12-10.
Team Canada’s other matches didn’t go their way today.
Frederique Lambert put in an impressive effort in her women’s singles match against Natalia Mendez, the number one seed from Argentina. It looked good for Lambert early in each of her games, but Mendez was able to come up with the win with scores of 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7.
In the women’s doubles quarterfinal, Lambert and partner Michèle Morissette were in tough, also facing the number one seeds, Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia of Mexico. Canada had a hard time coming up with an answer for the strong play from the Mexican team, losing 11-3, 11-7, 11-7.
In men’s singles, Coby Iwaasa faced Andres Acuña of Costa Rica in his round of 16 match. Although he had a solid first game, he was unable to put together a win losing 11-9, 11-7, 11-6.
Frédérique Lambert and Samuel Murray didn’t have it any easier in their mixed doubles semi-final. They came up against Angelica Barrios and Conrrado Moscoso, the number one seeds. Murray and Lambert were able to win one game, but ended up losing 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4.
In the words of Racquetball Canada’s High Performance Director and Team Leader, Jennifer Saunders, the Pan American Games is “the best of the best”. It’s an extremely challenging tournament and advancing is not an easy feat.
The line-up for Monday’s matches is as follows:
Men’s Singles Quarterfinal
(7) Samuel Murray (Canada) vs (2) Carlos Keller (Bolivia)
Men’s Doubles Semifinal
(5) Coby Iwaasa / Samuel Murray vs (7) Edwin Galicia / Juan Salvatierra (EAI)