IRT Costa Rica Tier 3 Preview

Acuna welcomes pro players to his home club as a host this weekend in San Jose. Photo US Open 2019 Kevin Savory

The Costa Rica country club in San Jose is hosting an IRT event for the first time (I believe) since 2019, and they’ve got a nice solid draw. Lower tier events are not put into the database because they’re not “full draws,” but they generally get a good chunk of the IRT top 10 and definitely contribute ranking points.
r2 link;
Here’s a preview of the draw in San Jose this weekend; the tourney runs Weds-Sat so play will start on 6/15/22. There will be streaming, which is awesome, and per the IRT’s posts streaming starts thursday with the quarterfinals.
Singles preview:

  • 25 players entered, including 3 guys from the current top 10 (Parrilla, Murray, and Portillo) and another 5 guys from the 11-20 range (Franco, Acuna, Garay, Montoya, and Trujillo) and a couple of big names from the 21-30 range who can make noise (Mar, Natera).
    There’s a ton of players here from Guatemala, including their entire international team of Salvatierra, Wer, Mendoza, and Galicia. There’s also a great set of IRF vets from other countries: Cueva from Ecuador, Cubillos from Colombia, the Gaticas and Salgado from Chile, plus @Franciso Fajardo and some of Team Zurek.
    In the round of 16, look for these good matches:
  • 8/9 Trujillo vs Mar: a tough draw for the young Trujillo, getting a player in Mar who, when he’s “on” can be one of the best 8-10 players in the world. Mar has been out for a while nursing a core muscle injury, so this could be a close match.
  • 4/13 Mexican up and comer Sebastian Hernandez takes on veteran Franco in a good test for him, assuming he can get by the veteran Cubillos in the 32s.
  • 7/10 Garay vs Natera; this is an interesting match. Garay has been hit or miss touring lately, but should have the slight advantage over Natera.
  • 2/15: Murray vs Camacho; Camacho is a long-time former touring pro who can still ball; Murray has no cake walk here.
    Projected Quarters:
  • #1 Parrilla vs Trujillo/Mar winner: Parrilla has a tough quarter ahead.
  • #4 Franco vs #5 Acuna: Look for Acuna to hold serve at his home club
  • #3 Lalo vs #6 Montoya: tough matchup for Lalo here; Montoya is better than his ranking
  • #2 Murray vs Garay/Natera winner: this should be a win for Murray on paper, but both of these players can cause trouble.

My projected semis and Final: Parrilla over Acuna, Montoya over Murray. Final Parrilla over Montoya. However … if the semis turn into this quartet of players, its “any given sunday” because I think all four of these players are tightly bunched and can beat each other. Should make for some great Friday and Saturday action.

One of the best doubles teams in the world is here in Montoya/Mar; I see them topping Garay/Franco in one semi. In the other side, Portillo/Acuna versus Parrilla/Murray is an interesting doubles match. Portillo/Parrilla were a “team” for sometime recently but now are apparently splitting up. Acuna doesn’t really have a regular partner since Camacho stopped touring, but Portillo has shown he’s a solid player. I’ll go with Lalo/Acuna in an upset.

However, the final is all Montoya/Mar, irrespective of who comes out of the bottom side.

Looking forward to more live pro racquetball this week!

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