2021 Wintergreen Wrapup

Wintergreen 2021 Wrap-up
Congrats to your winners on the weekend:
• Pro Singles: Lalo Portillo
• Men’s Open Singles: Juan Pablo Rodriguez Castrillon
• Open Doubles: Eduardo Garay Rodriguez / Sebastian Franco
• Women’s Open: Micaela Meneses Cuellar
• Mixed Doubles: Juan Pablo Rodriguez/Micaela Meneses

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37546

A fun weekend tournament and a return for yours truly to the Severna Park Racquet club in Millersville. I was onsite saturday helping to broadcast and had a blast on the stream all day.

Lets review the IRT pro draw:
In the 16s:
• #1 Eduardo Portillo handled #16 Pennsylvanian Josh Pearl to move on.
• #8 Joe Kelley took out fellow lefty #9 David Austin
• #5 Maurice Miller handled Colombian junior Juan Pablo Rodriguez 5,4.
• #4 Eduardo Garay won in two straight over #13 Abraham Peña.
• #3 Mario Mercado cruised past #14 Brian Acuña in two.
• #6 MoMo Zelada had no problems moving past #11 Leland Rupp.
• #2 Sebastian Franco had to dig deep to move past the underseeded #15 North Carolinian lefty Jordan Walters 2,14.

But the match of the night was the social media grudge match between #7 Troy Warigon and #10 Dylan Pruitt. The IRT crew got setup early friday night and streamed the match live, and viewers/spectators were not disappointed. The younger Pruitt took the first game 12, then Warigon fought back to win 9 and force the breaker. In the tie-breaker, the two edged up towards 11 evenly, with the trash talk escalating on the court as the pressure rose. The two traded side-outs back and forth several times at 8-8, but Pruitt was able to edge his way upwards to 10. A time-out was called, with Warigon trying to get into Pruitt’s head … Pruitt reportedly said, “Don’t let me get back in the box.” Well, he did get back into the box, and served out the match with an Ace. It was quite a spirited match and well worth the rewatch on the IRT live stream feed.

In the Quarters

  • #1 Portillo handled #8 Joe Kelley in two quick games 4,4. This was the first broadcast match of the day, and Portillo put on a clinical display of shot placement and court control to advance past the New Jersey native.
  • #4 Garay advanced past #5 Miller 9,1. After a closer first game, Garay turned it on in a 15-1 second game domination. Garay’s power was evident and he overcame Miller’s court coverage.
  • #2 Franco came back from a huge game 2 deficit to beat local favorite #10 Pruit 7,13.
    The match of the quarters though was the match between #3 Mercado and #6 Zelada. These two close friends, business partners and doubles partners have met multiple times on tour in the past, with Mercado generally advancing with little trouble. But Zelada came out absolutely on fire, with a game plan to take it to Mercado and he executed without error. Mercado attempted to break his streaks and concentration, but this match was quickly over. Zelada gets one of the best wins of his career in shocking fashion, 15-1, 15-4.

In the Semis

  • #1 Portillo withstood an onslaught of power in game two and found a new gear in the tie-breaker to advance past #4 Garay 12,(3),2. Game one featured a back and forth battle between these two contrasting styles, with Portillo winning out. Garay came out firing in game two, getting points on his drive serve with ease, forcing the breaker. In the tie-breaker, Portillo shook off the game 2 struggles, played solid ball, took points where he could get them and quietly rattled off enough points to put the match on ice.
  • #2 Franco battled with #6 Zelada in game one, racing to a 9-0 lead. Zelada showed excellent mid-game adjustment and pulled all the way back to 9-9, and then the battle was on. Franco ended up on top in game one, but the hour-long battle was decided by just a couple of rallies. The efforts of the day seemed to weigh on Zelada in game 2, as he looked fatigued and couldn’t keep up with Franco’s power to stop him from advancing. Final score 15-13, 15-7

In the Finals

#1 Portillo survived a battle against fellow top-10 IRT touring pro #2 Franco to take the title in a close tie-breaker 9,(12),9.

Men’s Open, other draws

  • In the Men’s Open Singles: Juan Pablo Rodriguez, the 16yr old Colombian phenom, took out Dylan Pruitt in the semis then ended the cinderella run of #9 seed Josh Pearl in the final to take the Men’s open singles draw.
  • In Open Doubles: Eduardo Garay/Sebastian Franco teamed up to take a stacked draw, defeating Zelada/Mercado in a late-night Saturday brawl that didn’t end until nearly midnight, then topping the all-Mexican pairing of Portillo/Pena in a tie-breaker final.
  • In the 4-person Women’s Open draw: Bolivian junior Micaela Meneses (in her 17U season) topped the group for the title.
  • In the Mixed Doubles: Juan Pablo Rodriguez/Micaela Meneses combined to show some considerable junior fire-power to take the Mixed draw over several teams of veteran players.

Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Dean DeAngelo Baer, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew
hanks to the Tourney Directors Slemo Warigonnd his whole Maryland crew who shows up for every event (hello Bill Milbach!) for putting this event on!

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Sponsor links
International Racquetball Tour
USA Racquetball
Federación Boliviana de Racquetball De Raquetbol – Febora
Federación Boliviana de Racquetball
Racquetball Colombia
@Federacion Colombiana de Racquetball
Reaching Your Dream Foundation
Zurek Construction, LLC
Francisco Fajardo-Raquetball

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