TUCSON -- An exciting tiebreaker finish is what capped the day’s first action in the 64th USHA National Junior Four-Wall Championships on Thursday at the Tucson Racquet Club.
Playing in the last match of the day, Alexander Duval of Vancouver (Wash.) had split the first two games with Tucson’s Luke Lambert in the first round of the 11-Under Big Ball singles. Lambert had forced the tiebreaker with a close two-point win in the second game but now faced a 4-9 deficit in the tiebreaker.
Duval had been playing with a tough two-handed arsenal and showed no signs of slowing. Lambert made a frenzied effort, chasing down each shot and putting pressure on Duval to finish. He finally got the break he was looking for when Duval hit himself with his own shot.
With the serve back, a confident Lambert pulled out an improbable win. Lambert’s home crowd applauded the win but also congratulated Duval’s effort, good play and sportsmanship. It was the perfect ending to the first day of the tournament.
Earlier, handball pro and WPH Development Director David Fink held a junior clinic. Nearly 20 juniors filed onto the court to listen to Fink’s advice and practice technique for hitting the ball.
“I know how much it meant to me as a junior when I could learn from one of the pros. Those are memories that I have always cherished.” Fink shared.
“It’s an honor to be asked to teach these great young handballers.” He added.
Fink also played some pick-up games with some of the juniors after the clinic.
“Having a chance to play against some of these great young players was a huge thrill—I’m sharing the court with the next generation, and hoping to inspire them, too.”
Big Ball continues on Friday while Small Ball Singles and Doubles begin first round matches.
See today's results at the tournament's R2sports site HERE.