We’re at the US Open, the biggest event of the year.
I wrote up a huge preview for @USA Racquetball with “odds” of winning for each of the two pro singles draws, so I don’t want to write a ton here. Instead, go to the below link, open the Event Program, and read it there. The program has a TON of useful information on top of what i’ve written.
In this post, i’ll talk about some of the matchups I’m looking forward to in the opening rounds of the draws (i.e., Wednesday and Thursday), then i’ll cruise through some players to watch with some light predict ions.
I think your 128 and 64 round qualifiers will be:
– #17 Sebastian Fernandez , who continues to be “stuck” right in that 16/17 seed range, making it tough on him to move forward in main draws.
– Erick Cuevas fresh off his Mexican Junior Nationals appearance, who I think will top Maryland’s @Troy Warigon . But this could go either way.
– 9-time Junior national champion Jordan Barth, who is playing his first top-level racquetball to urnament in 5 years.
– Jaime Martell to take out talented USA junior @CCole Send .
– @MoMo Zelada to take out tough Colombian player @Andres Gomez.
– Former WRT top pro @Alejandro Cardona to take out Guatemalan veteran Christian Wer.
– Mexican Junior phenom @Erick Trujillo
– Last week’s IRT finalist #19 seed @Javier Mar, who I think will have another surprising run here.
– New Jersey tough lefty Joe Kelley over Arteaga
– USA national team member Sam Bredenbeck over Mexican junior @EzEzequiel Subieta
– Bolivian turned Argentinian @Diego Garcia to upset IRT regular @RoRobbie Collins
– @Sam Sam Brede , who looked so good at Worlds playing doubles.
– Veteran Bolivian power player @Kadim Carrasco
– Guatemalan regular Edwin Galicia
– Atlanta’s own and USAR board member Maurice Miller
– #18 Team Zurek member Eduardo Garay .
From there, here’s some of the round of 32 matches i’m looking forward to:
– 16/17 @Rodrigo Montoya vs Fernandez: two of the most athletic guys on tour battling it out. Could go either way.
– #9 Jake Bredenbeck versus former 9-time national junior champ Jordan Barth could be an interesting matchup of fellow Minnesota natives who have met plenty in local events in the past.
– #12 Andres Acuña versus Zelada; these two just met in Maryland, and Zelada upset the Costa Rican with relative ease. Could he do it again?
– #13 @Carlos Keller Vargas vs Trujillo; this could be a real interesting meeting, and an upset watch.
– #4 Eduardo Portillo versus Cardona: Cardona can and will score points against his young Mexican rival.
– #14 @AlvAlvaro Beltran cannot be happy about seeing Mar feeding into his round of 32 match.
– #11 Sebastian Franco projects to face a very tough former Junior world champion in Garcia.
– #15 @TThomas Carter versus Garay is an upset to look for.
In the 16s, a couple of possible upsets to look for:
– #1 Daniel de la Rosa versus Montoya; not the round of 16 that DLR would want; Montoya can win this.
– #5 @Alex Landa vs Acuna; if this comes to pass, these two have quite a bit of history.
– #19 Mar vs #3 @SSamuel Murray , a rematch of the semis from the Maryland IRT event, won by Mar.
– #7 Rocky Carson vs #10 @Adam Manilla , who I wonder if he could get an upset win.
My semis: DLR, Portillo, Parrilla, Moscoso. I think Lalo can beat Landa again, I think Moscoso takes care of Mar (though if Murray advances, Moscoso could be in trouble).
My final: Moscoso over Portillo.
15 teams are here, but the top 4 seeded teams have really separated themselves in both pro and international competitions oer the past year.
I like #4 Moscoso/@Roland Keller to upset the #1 DLR/Beltran team, #2 Montoya/Mar over Parrilla/Murray, and to eventually win the title.
31 Ladies entered into the singles draw.
In the 32s … look for some tough openers:
– #16 Cristina Amaya draws #17 @Nancy Enriquez in a super tough opener for both these long-time LPRT vets.
– #5 @Jessica Parrill gets USA national @Lexi York , who has been training with the Bredenbecks and will be a tough out.
– #14 @Maria RMaria Renee Rodriguez gets the tough Bolivian veteran @Jenny Daza in an upset watch.
– #15 @Sheryl Lotts takes on Bolivian junior national champ @MMicaela Meneses in a fun one for both players.
In the 16s:
– 8/9 @Brenda Laime vs US national team member Kelani Lawrence could be a barn burner. Laime famously took out Longoria in Virginia, while Lawrence only exited at the hands of eventual winner Herrera 14,14.
– #5 Parrilla vs #12 @Valeria Centella could be closer than Leoni prefers.
– #4 @NNatalia Mendes draws Gaby in an upset watch by seed.
– #3 US National champ @EErika Manilla will have her hands full with Daza.
– US National Hollie Scott has to come up with a game plan to beat the consistent Bolivian @AngelAngelica b .
– Salas-Munoz is a frequently seen matchup lately, with the two players splitting wins
My semis: Longoria, Martinez, Barrios, Herrera. I don’t think Laime can win twice in a row, I think Gaby takes out Leoni, I think Barrios upsets Erika, and I think Herrera beats either Salas/Munoz.
My final: 1 vs 2, with Longoria securing the biggest title in the sport.
Ladies Doubles Preview:
The absence of Mejia robs the draw of the Herrera/Mejia team that would normally press for the title. In their absence, I think #1 Longoria/Salas cruise to the title. They’ll likely face the most recent LPRT pro double champions from Virginia Lawrence/Scott in the semis, a fun match. On the bottom, Herrera replaces Mejia with excellent doubles player Parrilla and will make the final.
Follow USA Racquetball, IRT, LPRT on FB to get live streaming updates.
Reminder to Players! Please like and follow this page so that when I tag you, you see it. Facebook will only retain tags of people that like/follow a page, which means lots of you are not getting the notoriety of getting tagged and noticed on Facebook. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but Facebook stripped it.
Coincidentally, if you’re interested in playing Fantasy Racquetball for this event, the links to the brackets are advertised on LPRT’s main page. Both the IRT and LPRT are running fantasy competitions this year. The winner each week gets free swag!