Top three photos by AHA
Once again Australian national champion, Sean King, reached the championship match to defend his title against American 3-wall champion, Tyree Bastidas.
Both players had recently faced each other in Melbourne on April 6 and traveled to Sydney to participate in the most popular handball version in the Australian continent. “Sean King is a good player, you can’t take him for granted” said Jurell, Tyree’s big brother.
“The last time I played in Venice Beach I saw King playing in the 19-and under division. And if it wasn’t for the ceiling, he would have gotten deeper in the draw. Back then, I chose him to be my partner for my doubles event and did pretty good, but were overcame by good players in our tough division that included: Luis Moreno, Armando Ortiz, Victor LoPierre, Braulio Ruiz and other tough cookies”
American champion, Tyree Bastidas and Australian 3-wall open champion, Sean King, met for the first time at the Australian open championship match that took place during the Easter festivities.
As expected, the finals yielded a great match the spectators got to enjoy to the fullest during a beautiful afternoon that saw Tyree being crowned as the new Australian 3-wall King.
Congratulations to both champions.
The women division was heavily stacked with top players who wanted to take the opportunity to capture the title, the money, the trophy and the r/t ticket invitation to France to compete later on at the biggest Fronton tournament in the world where the best Fronton players compete for the ultimate honor.
Sarah Au was the surprise of the day as she battled through the qualifier to reach the finals where Danielle Daskalakis was fresh and ready, waiting for her. Neither Danielle, nor Sarah, has ever reached the finals before. Both players know each other through high school handball competition where they always faced each other in finals with Sarah having the upper hand.
On April 27, Sarah and Danielle met each other once again on a handball court, but this time using a different ball.
Both players are ambidextrous and still young enough to win more tournaments in the future. They split the first two games to force a tiebreaker that kept the audience glued to the seats until match point.
The point game was the best point to watch as both players kept rallying for a long time by hitting the ball high and deep to keep each other behind the long line. Unexpectedly, Danielle seemed to return the ball high again, but instead, she brought the ball down to the point where Sarah couldn’t run up to the front to return the ball on time.
Congratulations to both players for showcasing a great match.
Photo by NYAC
By John Duggan
The women’s Race for Eight Pro stop produced one of the deepest field in recent memory. The NYAC’s top female player, Tracy Davis, advanced to the finals where she ran into the number one ranked player, Catriona Casey who had traveled from Cork, Ireland. Casey imposed her all-around game and steady play on Davis, building big leads in both games.
Davis pushed Casey at time with low power serves and fly kills, but Casey’s percentage game and precise shot making was too much for the NYAC, woman, resulting in a comprehensive 21-12, 21-3 victory.
Tyree Bastidas has played at the Boston Open since he was seventeen years old and has always enjoyed the competition when Mr. Mark Seigle was the Tournament Director. But After Mr. Seigle ended his role as T. D. and the Boston Open moved to a new location, the tournament date was moved up to the first week of May. Previously, the Boston Open was being held during the last week of April.
For the past two years, handball fans and board members of the Boston Open have been openly concerned about Tyree’s absence from the Boston Open.
“This is the second year Tyree doesn’t show up at our tournament” commented Jim Kelley, a Boston Open Committee Member.
“Tyree never came to defend his title” one handball fan recalls.
“Where is Tyree?” another fan asked
Is Tyree coming this year? Tournament Director, Mike Rusinak asked.
As much as we all want Tyree to play at the Boston Open, it’s going to be impossible for now as his handball schedule is already booked with the TallCorn handball tournament in Iowa for the first week of May. Nope, Tyree has no control over this conflict as one of his major sponsors “Owen Gloves” requires him to play in Des Moines during the first weekend of May.
Tyree is hoping to play at the Boston Open as soon as his handball schedule is clear of any conflicts or when the Boston Open goes back to the last week of April.
Photo by Bill Fand
Everyone takes risks in life. Some do it for fun others for fame or recognition. But just like any other sport, some injuries can’t be avoided. Why are the best players of the game taking their game to the extreme?
We all know Tyree Bastidas and Paul Brady are serious candidates to the Hall Of Fame in the future, but is it worth it to keep taking risks at this point in their life?
“It’s unbelievable what Tyree has gone through. I just couldn’t put my body through so many injuries. I know handball could be an addiction, but I think what Paul and Tyree are doing is just too much.
“I just couldn’t believe when I read about Tyree’s new injury” Killian Carroll from Ireland said at the Boston Open while warming up to play.
“Is Paul and Tyree in a competition as to who gets the most injuries? Paul Williams said while joking around on May 7.
It may seem a lot of coincidence, but Paul’s and Tyree’s injuries seem to have affected them in similar situations as detailed below:
A - Tyree Bastidas got injured two months before the World Handball Championships were held in Canada in 2006. He played through to win the 1-wall title.
Paul Brady got injured two months before the World Handball Championships held in the U.S. in 2009. He played through to win the 4-wall title.
B - Tyree Bastidas got injured in 2011, months before the 1-wall nationals. He played through but lost in the championship match..
Paul Brady also got injured in 2011, months before the 4-wall nationals. He didn’t play.
C - Tyree Bastidas got injured in 2014, less than two months before the 4-wall nationals. He’s playing through.
Paul Brady also got injured in 2013 during the semis at the 4-wall nationals. He played through to win the title.