Still making a racket

GLEN DAWKINS -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

With two world and 10 Canadian singles championship titles on his resume, Sherman Greenfeld has nothing to prove to himself or anybody else on a racquetball court.

That hasn't stopped him from adding to his impressive list of athletic accomplishments.

"It's strictly for the love of the sport," said Greenfeld, who beat Bernie Taronno 15-2, 15-0 to win his 23rd Manitoba Open singles title yesterday at the University of Winnipeg Duckworth Centre. "My life since the (1999) Pan Am Games has changed dramatically with the career with CHUM Radio. My little guy is two and a half and it's his turn to be on the court."

The 42-year-old retired from top-level competition following the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg. While he still plays squash and racquetball three times a week, the 2001 Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame inductee doesn't have the time or commitment necessary to compete nationally.

But that doesn't mean he's lost any enthusiasm for the game.

"It's probably good that I stay with it because there are a lot of great young players coming up and it's important for them to see what level you can reach," said Greenfeld, a sales rep for Q-94 FM and BOB FM who is still ranked No. 3 nationally. "A lot of them are here watching the matches like this today and it gives them a little bit of motivation to keep going and train hard."

"He's not the former world champ for nothing," said Taronno, an instructor in teacher education at Red River College. "He showed out there today that his athletic ability is still there. On any given day, he can be as good as anybody in the world. I like to think I brought out the best in him today."

Meanwhile, national team member and 2004 World Championships women's doubles bronze medallist Jen Saunders and Ben Ryder from Eau Claire, Wis., won the open doubles final with a 15-13, 14-16, 11-9 victory over Taronno and Dwayne Kohuch.

Saunders, who also competed in the men's open singles, is tuning up for the U.S. Open, Nov. 16-21 in Memphis, Tenn.

Sara Jane Schmidt downed Barb Neudorf 15-10, 15-11 to win the women's A/B singles crown.

Greenfeld had his son Zack out on the court for a couple of hours before yesterday's final. While he's impressed with the way the youngster hits the ball, there's no pressure on him to fill the old man's sneakers.

"You look at a lot of children who don't have that opportunity where their parents aren't involved that seriously in sport," said Greenfeld. "It's important for Zack to see this lifestyle and be active every day."

While facing Zack's old man might seem an intimidating prospect, Taronno wouldn't have it any other way.

"Racquetball is his game," said Taronno. "He brings a mentality to the game that you have to love to be there. I look for an opportunity to play him whenever I can even if you're going to take your lumps. It's a pleasure to play a guy like that."


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