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Warming to task, Walsh wins A title.

Playing from behind may be a good thing for Ireland's David Walsh. He won the 21-player A singles title over Ricardo Palma 12-21, 21-19, 11-9.

It seems to take Walsh several points to really get into the flow of his matches.

Walsh had no answers against a hot-shooting Palma in Game 1. With Palma firing on all cylinders, Walsh could only look toward the next game.

"Ricardo was playing really well, and I never got going," Walsh said.

Once Game 2 began, Palma built another lead. But Walsh, current 19-and-under juniors champ and all-tournament collegiate player, responded by placing shots in the deep court to get Palma out of the front. Walsh's intense focus turned the match around with a two-point win to force a tiebreaker.

Palma began the third game as he did the first, putting Walsh on his heels with tough serves and putting the ball away when given an opportunity. Seeing his opponent race to a 9-0 lead was enough to roust Walsh back into the match.

A couple of aces helped Walsh rediscover his rhythm, and he began digging anything less than a perfect kill from Palma. Four points quickly grew to eight, and after two timely aces, Walsh was able to "claw my way back" to match point.

"I really don't know what happened," Walsh said. "I just got on a run, and a few ace serves at the end helped."

It almost seemed that Walsh plays better when looking up at a deficit.

"Yeah, it really does look like that," he joked. "I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing."

First round: Denny Schmidt (Hazelwood, Mo.) d. John Chapman (Frenchtown, Mont.) 17, 9; Isidro Garcia (San Jose, Calif.) d. Cesar Carlos (Chino, Calif.) 4, 9; Rene Lopez (San Jose, Calif.) d. Abraham Morrison-Lugo (Anchorage, Alaska) 9, 7; Briant Mendiola (San Jose, Calif.) d. Taylor Schmitt (New Braunfels, Texas) 4, 5; Garrett Bacon (Nixa, Mo.) d. Carlos Flores (San Jose, Calif.) 20, 20.

Round of 16: David Walsh (Cork, Ireland) d. Schmidt 2, 6; Rene Gutierrez (Escondido, Calif.) d. Ivan Ruiz (Los Angeles) 14, 20; Kyle Kloss (Chicago) d. Garcia (3), 19, 1; Javier Badillo Martinez (Stockton, Calif.) d. Lopez (18), 14, 6; Ricardo Palma (San Bernardino, Calif.) d. Mendiola (18), 7, 4; Eli Barajas (Los Angeles) d. George Magana (Bakersfield, Calif.) 11, 14;

Marco Ojeda (Riverside, Calif.) d. Dylan Key (Tucson) 6, 9: Patrick Murphy (Mayo, Ireland) d. Bacon 9, (18), 8.

Quarters: Walsh d. Gutierrez 4, 15; Badillo Martinez d. Kloss 11, (15), 0; Palma d. Barajas 13, 4; Murphy d. Ojeda 8, 14.

Semis: Walsh d. Badillo Martinez 17, 15; Palma d. Murphy 8, 9.

Final: Walsh d. Palma 12, (19), 9.

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Title Annotation:USHA NATIONAL FOUR-WALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Publication:Handball
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Aug 1, 2019
Words:453
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