“Coach, what was it like to coach the greatest doubles match in the history of the US Open?’
In case you live under a rock, you would know that the finals of the US Open doubles was an intense, physical, and amazing match. The fans were treated to a great show and rooted hard for the underdogs. It is very difficult to keep a calm head during an emotional match.
First, a trivia question. Of the four players, which one have I never coached or worked with?
Answer: Ben Croft-has never been coached by me as I just started to get to know him when Kane began playing with him.
It might surprise you to know that I have coached Alvaro, spent two days teaching racquetball with Danny when he was coming up, and of course I work with Kane.
The rallies were spectacular and it came down to Kane being Kane. Down 4-7 in the breaker Ben made some clutch shots but Kane’s serve cranked up a notch and was very hard to handle.
That resulted in some mis-hits and skips that led to a crack ace at the end of the match.
Like giving the ball to Tom Brady or Michael Jordan, Kane was Kane at the end.
The greatest player in the history of racquetball delivered.
Now, the rest of the story. In 2000 I coached Mexico. That year I told a young Alvaro Beltran that his performance in that tournament would affect Mexico racquetball for years to come. I told him if he could win the Worlds in Mexico young players would be encouraged. In this doubles final one of those young players, Danny DeLaRosa played with Alvaro. In that year Alvaro defeated Rocky Carson and Kane to win. Canada won the overall team but Mexico took home the first gold medals in individual doubles and singles.
Another piece of trivia. Alvaro asked me to coach him in the pros. I wanted to and he was set to come to my house for training. The date was 9-11 and his plane (thank God) never got off the ground. We just never got a chance to work together. In this match, Alvaro played like a champion!
So this match I was a proud coach of players like Kane and Alvaro. Fierce competitors and good guys are fun to work with.
I had the best seat in the house to the greatest men’s doubles match I’ve ever seen.