The pro draws are stacked on both sides this year, which will make the tournament a neutral viewer’s paradise. #1 Men’s pro double seeds Daniel de la Rosa and @Alvaro Beltran face a tall road ahead, with the top of their men’s pro doubles draw completely stacked with talent. The Women’s Pro doubles draw features at least 5 teams with reasonable expectations to win it all; one of these favorites is not even going to make the semis.
So, tune in all weekend. Follow both the @IntInternational Racquetball Tour and the LPRT to get live broadcast announcements: both teams are here and broadcasting both show courts.
One last thing: see this link for the 2022 event Media Guide, a huge program with a ton of biographical and WOR historical data.
Moscoso wins his 4th pro IRT singles title, tying him with Alejandro Landa , Steve Keeley , @Steve Serot, and @Gregg Peck for 20th all time. Murray and Parrilla each break long title-less streaks: Sam wins his first pro doubles title since 2018, and Andree his first since 2019.
– Solid win by Nick Riffel to advance over Colombian @AndAndres G
– Bravo to Colombian junior Jhonathan Flores to push solid Mexican veteran Jaime Martell to a breaker before falling.
– @Anthony Martin with a solid win over budding star @EzeEzequiel Subi to move on.
– NorCal’s @Walter Ramos pushed Sam Bredenbeck a little in the second game but fell 2,10.
In the 32s, a few blow-outs but five tie-breakers with some upsets.
– Natera pushed to a breaker to down Collins in the 16/17 match.
– Riffel pushed Keller to an 11-7 breaker before losing.
– Sam Bredenbeck got the first game but cou ldn’t close out against Bolivian @Kadim Carrasco.
The two notable upsets:
– Argentina’s Diego García took out @Javier Mar 11-10 in perhaps his best professional win. Match point was amazing, with multiple dives from Mar to extend the rally and then a backhand overhead splat winner from Diego to take it. He gets a crack at Rocky next, and is clearly building on his main-draw appearance last week at the US Open.
– In an all-Mexico affair, Martel took out Fernandez to move on. This is an upset by seed, and probably a slight upset by true talent levels, but its still a great win for Martel, who always seems to make noise when he plays IRT events.
In the 16s, a couple more massive wins for infrequent tour players
– Martell took out #3 @Samuel Murray 8,14 to make his first ever IRT pro singles quarterfinal.
– Garcia achieved the same feat, topping Carson in a breaker to get to his first ever pro quarter as well.
Other notable 16s results:
– #8 Manilla held serve and topped the always-tough #9 Keller in a breaker
– The mercurial Mercado (hey, that almost rhymes!) dispatched the US Open finalist Montoya with relative ease. Its all about the matchups: despite recent runs of form, Mercado has now beaten Montoya in 3 of their 4 meetings, and in all 3 pro meetings.
In the Quarters, some more shocks
– Moscoso ground out a win against Manilla, who made it closer than some may have thought it’d be.
– The Garcia train came to a crashing halt at the hands of fellow youngster Portillo, who blew past him 2,5.
– For about 15 minutes it looked like another major upset for Martell, who took down his former frequent WRT rival Bredenbeck 15-2 in the first. Then, Jake woke up and crushed Jaime 15-3, 11-2 the rest of the way to improve to 7-1 lifetime against him to move into the semis.
– Mercado continued providing surprises, edging #2 @Andree Parrilla 13,14 to move into the semis.
In the Semis
– Moscoso pulled a rabbit out of his hat to win an 11-10 breaker over Portillo, in a match he really should not have won. Portillo had a setup at 10-7 and missed it, and Conrrado never gave the serve back. Lost opportunity for Lalo, but credit to Conrrado for making it to the final.
– Jake repeated the results from last week at the US Open, topping Mercado in two straightforward games to make his second ever IRT pro final.
In the Finals, Moscoso cruised to his 4th title, winning 11,7.
Points Implications of results:
This tournament expires the Jan 2021 Atlanta Grand slam, which was won by Sam, so he had a ton of points to defend. Fittingly, he’ll fall from #4 to #6 after this weekend. Despite winning this weekend with Daniel missing the event, Conrrado only picks up a few points on DLR in the race for #1. Despite not playing, Kane actually improved one spot since he did not play the 2021 event that dropped off.
Due credit to Portillo/Acuna, who have teamed up anew this year and are getting results. they made the MD pro doubles final, and now they’ve topped the #1 seeds Montoya/Mar to make this final from the top half.
On the bottom half, #2 Parrilla/Murray had to fend off mat-point against from home town favorites Manilla/Fernandez before advancing 11-10 into the final.
In the final, the veteran doubles team of Murray/Parrilla finally got a win together, topping team Dovetail 10,13 for the title.
Men’s Open, other draws
– Sebastian Fernandez won the Men’s Open title as the #1 seed, beating surprise finalist Colombian junior @Jhonatan Flores in the final.
– Garcia teamed with NorCal top player @Will Reynolds to take the Men’s Open doubles title.
– @Carla Munoz topped @Annie Roberts in the Women’s Open final.
– Mercado teamed with @Kimberly Randolph to beat Munoz/@Tyrone Snipes in the Mixed Open final.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters @Favio Soto and his collection of guest broadcasters, which included Erika Manilla and other local voices who did a great job.
Per our handy master racquetball calendar …
We get a little break in the schedule, then the big Outdoor Major in Las Vegas, @3W3Wall Ball !
Hot on the heels of the Us open, the IRT moves westward to Northern California for a new event, the Golden State Open. Held in Pleasanton, CA, it represents the first time the Men’s pros have played in NorCal since 2015, and the first time since 1984 that the tour has played in Pleasanton. Back then it was called the “Schoeber’s Christmas Classic” but now its the brainchild of IRT players Bobby Horn and Adam Manilla, who piggy backed off of the US Open purposely to get a number of the international players another tournament while on US Soil. R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39852
33 men’s pros are in the draw this weekend, and a couple of notable top 8 absences will make for some interesting matchups. US Open champ @Conrrado Moscoso has ascended to #2 on tour, and gets the #1 seed here with DLR missing the event. Also skipping out this weekend is #6 ranked Landa and #8 ranked Kane, who will be sidelined for sometime with his ankle issue.
Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to: In the round of 64:
@Jaime Martell will have a good match with Colombian junior @Jhonatan Flores
Bolivian junior @Ezequiel Subieta will have a solid match against some-time tour player AAnthony Martin
– Powerful lefty NorCal outdoor specialist (and new dad) Walter Ramos will have his hands full against the improving @Sam Bredenbeck . Lots of broken balls in this one.
Projecting the 32s: here’s a few possible upsets to watch for in the 32s.
#17 Alan Natera could upset #16 Robbie Collins to get into the main draw, though Collins plays quite frequently on these courts and could have the advantage.
#12 @Javier Mar will have his hands full with Argentine U21 phenom @DDiego García , who just won the U21 event in Minneapolis over a ton of really quality players.
Martel will certainly vex #14 Sebastian Fernandez to move on.
– Sam Bredenbeck has one of his better chances to advance into the main draw in recent memory with a projected matchup against Bolivian @Kadim Carrasco
round of 16 to watch for:
#8 Adam Manilla versus #9 @Carlos Keller Vargas . Tough one, as 8/9 seed matches always are. Manilla has been playing solid, but Keller has finals capability on the right day.
#12 Mar over #5 Rocky Carson : not the first round that Carson wants to see, a player who can regularly get to the semis of pro draws if he was seeded properly.
#3 @Sam Murray versus #14 Fernandez; these two have met three times; Patata got a win in 2017, Murray crushed him in South Dakota in 2019, then a tiebreaker win for Big Canada in May of 2019. Can Fernandez even the score?
#6 @Jake Bredenbeck versus #11 @Andrés Acuña : they haven’t met since 2017, and both players have come a long way since. Which Acuna shows up? The one who makes the finals of int’l events or the one who loses to local open players in the round of 32?
– #7 Mario Mercado versus #10 Rodrigo Montoya : Mercado has beaten him both times they’ve played professionally. But Montoya is coming off a US Open final. Will he have a letdown or will he build on his success?
Moscoso over Manilla
Portillo over Mar; if Mar can get past Rocky he may be too winded to handle the kid.
Murray over Jake
Montoya over Parrilla; they’ve played so many times in the past, it’s less about talent and more about mental. Semis and Final:
Moscoso over Portillo
Montoya over Murray
final; rematch of US OPen; Moscoso over Montoya.
Doubles review A really fun doubles draw in store for California, with 6 or 7 teams who could win it. The Bredenbecks will try to build on their US Open finals appearance but will have to beat both Portillo/Acuna and Montoya/Mar to do so. Moscoso and Keller are the #3 seed but may be the favorites.
I’ll go with Moscoso/Keller over Montoya/Mar in the final.
Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. Look for Dean Baer, Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots! Thanks to the Tourney Directors Bobby Horn and @Adam Manilla for putting this event on! International Racquetball Tour
Women’s Doubles: Natalia Mendez & Erika Manilla All results now uploaded to the PRS datbase. Here’s the Match Report links:
Men’s Singles: https://rball.pro/lsu
Women’s Singles: https://rball.pro/pb5
Men’s Doubles: https://rball.pro/sq4
Women’s Doubles: https://rball.pro/t72 On the Men’s singles side, a brand new US Open winner in Moscoso, who blew through the draw to capture his 3rd career title and really make a statement on the tour. Paola wins her 12th career US Open title but had to work to do so. DLR/Beltran win their 3rd US Open doubles title together and defend their title, maybe the last time doing so if Beltran retires. And we have a brand new team and brand new faces on the US Open women’s pro podium.
R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39683
Lets review the notable matches in the Men’s Singles draw.
In the qualifying, only a couple of surprises for me (from my preview) making the main draw:
Christian Wer gets a walk-over against Alejandro Cardona , a bummer b/c I thought he’d really press Portillo in the 32s.
Tough win for the up-and-coming Bolivian Miguel Angel Arteaga over tough NJ player @Joe Kelley to advance.
– U21 up and coming Mexican @Guillermo Ortega Jr. took out top American player @Maurice Miller in two.
In the 32s, just three upsets by seed (and we predicted two of them)
#19 Mar topped #14 Beltran 1,0, a score line that indicates that Beltran probably was going through the motions or protecting against injury to focus on doubles.
#18 Garay took out #15 Carter in a tie-breaker.
– The biggest upset though, was #54 Garcia taking out #11 Sebastian Franco 11-8 in the breaker. Franco has been on a rough stretch on tour lately, and Garcia is a sneaky good player who’s gotten wins in the past.
In the 16s, 7 of the 8 matches went chalk, but one massive upset and a couple of surprising results to this observer:
#16 Rodrigo Montoya upset the #1 seed and Defending champion @DaDaniel de la Rosa in a tiebreaker (10),14,9. DLR had match point on his racquet in game two, then missed a slew of shots in the breaker to really squander this match. No offense to Rodrigo, but for me this was more DLR losing than it was Rodrigo winning. Montoya utilized a high lob Z to DLR’s backhand throughout the breaker that DLR uncharacteristically did not attack, leading to setups and setbacks. After bailing out of the Virginia event with little notice and little information, one has to wonder what DLR’s level of commitment to the sport is at this point, given his rising Pickleball stature (he is on a @Major League Pickleball team and competes often on the PPA tour).
#5 Landa gave #12 @Andres Acuna no room for drama with a straightforward win.
My big upset pick was a repeat of #19 Mar over #3 Samuel Murray , but after a first game loss Murray found the solution and ground out an 11-8 tiebreaker win. All credit to Murray for a huge comeback in the breaker, going down 0-7 before coming back to win; that’d never happen in rally scoring folks!
I thought #10 @Adam Manilla had a shot against #7 @Rocky Carson, and took game one. But Carson bounced back to win the breaker.
Its the second straight IRT event with a #16/#17 seed upsetting the #1 in this round, and unless Carson makes a huge run it guarantees a new US Open champion for 2022 (here’s a summary of the first 25 US Open finishers: http://rb.gy/cifvcf )
In the Quarters, my predictions went out the window.
Montoya improved to 6-3 h2h against Bredenbeck in top-level events by winning two close, sometimes controversial games 13,14.
Landa reversed the result from two weeks ago in Maryland, beating Lalo 14,10 to move on and continue to fulfil @Sudsy Monchik ‘s bold predictions.
In a stunning result, #6 Moscoso destroyed #3 Murray 7,2 to move on. Clearly the Bolivian has tired of losing to Big Canada and found a game-plan to counter Murray’s in a big way.
– #2 Parrilla quietly moved into the semis by moving past Rocky.
In the Semis:
Montoya crushed Landa 6,5 to advance to his first pro final.
Moscoso similarly crushed Parrilla 5,6 to move into the final.
In the Finals, Montoya really had no answers for Moscoso on the day. The second game was a complete blow out, and Conrrado really made a statement here winning the title 8,4.
Points Implications of Men’s Singles results This event will expire the March 2020 Chicago event, the last event before Covid shut the sport down, and the points ramifications are large:
Moscoso should move up to #2 on tour, though still 700 points or so behind DLR.
Kane drops to #8; he won Chicago in 2020 and loses all those points.
Montoya should move up to #12, finally getting out of that 16/17 range and making it easier on himself to continue to get to back ends of tournaments.
Franco and Beltran now project to #15 and #16 on tour, putting significant questions on their continued participation on tour.
– We should also see significant rises from the two long-shots who advanced into the main draw, Garcia and Barth.
LPRT Pro Singles Review Here’s a recap of notable matches in the Ladies singles draw. In the 32s, almost no surprises but a couple of good matches.
Cristina Amaya got a solid win over Nancy Enriquez 4,12
Jenny Daza won a very tight match over @Maria Renee Rodriguez (14),13,7.
#15 Sheryl Lotts overcame a first game loss to blank #18 @Micaela Meneses in game 2 and survive the tiebreaker. Nearly half the round of 32 matches were complete blow outs: 8 of the matches played featured score-lines where the losing player scored 6 or fewer points TOTAL in the match. There’s definitely a line of delineation on tour right now. In the 16s: 100% chalk. All top 8 seeds advanced, though there were a couple of surprising results for me, and several close matches
In the 8/9, Brenda Laime setup a rematch with Longoria by taking out #9 @KelaLawal Kelani in a breaker.
#5 Jessica Parrilla went breaker to down #12 Valeria Centellas
The shocker of the round for me was #4 @Natalia Mendez holding serve and downing #13 Ana Gabriela Martinez in two close games. Based on form and talent, I thought for sure Gaby was making the semis here.
Great win for #7 Carla Munoz , downing #10 and frequent rival Samantha Salas Solis to earn her first ever US Open quarter final. In the quarters:
#1 @Paola Longoria pasted the player who defeated her in Virginia two weeks ago in Laime 1,8 to make a statement and move on.
#5 Parrilla got another solid win, this time over #4 Mendez, to move back into the US Open semis for the first time since 2016.
#3 Erika Manilla turned the tables against @AANgelica Barrios (who defeated her at Worlds a few months ago) and moved into the semis by edging the Bolivian 13,14.
#2 @Alexandra Herrera made fast work of the #7 Chilean @Carla Munoz 5,2. So, nearly chalk into the semis, with 1,2,3 and 5 seeds. Semis:
Longoria was not troubled by her long-time Mexican rival Parrilla, winning 4,5 to get back to the US Open final for the 14th straight time
Manilla got her best ever professional win, crushing Herrera 6,6 to get to her first pro final.
In the Final, Manilla took a scintillating first game, then Longoria made some adjustments and cruised to the title, her 12th. Final score (13),5,3. Manilla has definitely put her name into the ring among the sport’s elite players as someone who absolutely could take the crown from Paola, but has her work cut out for her to vanquish the GOAT.
Points Implications of this event:
At the top of the LPRT, these results won’t change much. Vargas still held a sizeable lead on Manilla for #3 and it will take a couple more results for that lead to evaporate.
Longoria and Herrera still hold a huge lead at the top of the tour.
– Mejia will drop a couple of slots, especially once the 2021 US Open expires off.
Men’s Pro Doubles review Chalk in the 16s, with all 8 top seeds advancing without any even being pressed to a breaker. The big story of the Men’s Doubles was the amazing play by the Bredenbeck brothers, who beat the presumptive favorites Mar/Montoya and then handled the excellent #3 seeds Murray/Parrilla to get to the final. From the top, all credit due to DLR/Beltran, who beat the excellent Bolivian pair of Moscoso/Keller to get to the final themselves.
From there, DLR/Beltran overcame a 15-14 first game loss to win t heir 3rd title.
Women’s Pro Doubles review: No real surprises in qualifying; the only qualifier upset was the solid Bolivian doubles team of Barrios/Daza taking out the relatively new partnership of Lotts/Enriquez to get into the main draw. In the quarters, the Guatemalan national team of Gaby/MRR took out the reigning US National champs and the winners of the last pro stop Scott/Lawrence in the 4/5 seed matchup. Otherwise the top 3 seeds moved on with ease.
The big story was the play of Mendez/Manilla, who took out the top two seeds en route to the title.
U21, Open, other notable draw results:
The IRT U21 was won by Diego Garcia, who took out presumptive favorite Trujillo in the semis and then held serve against hte improving Ortega in the final. Great win.
The LPRT U21 was taken by Centellas, who ground out a win against 18U Bolivian champ Meneses.
Men’s Open was taken by #1 seed Jordan Barth, who took out former IRT touring pro Costa Rican Felipe Camacho in the final.
Women’s Open was taken by Chilean Carla Munoz, who took out precocious Costa Rican MariCruz Ortiz in the final.
Men’s Open Doubles was taken by Mexicans Romano/Trujillo over Californians Torres/Reynolds.
– Women’s Open Doubles was won by Kaiser/Ros.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Dean Baer, Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew , as well as the LPRT crew led by @Tim Baghurst and Sandy Rios. Thanks to the Tourney Director @Connor Shane for all the work for putting this event on!
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.
Next up? Per our handy master racquetball calendar … https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/ We have a super fast turnaround for the IRT pros, who immediately head to the Bay Area to play in Manilla/Horn’s Golden State Open.
After that, a break until 3WallBall in Vegas, which i’ll be at all weekend! If you’re there definitely come say high.