So, just how fast is the “Fastest Ever Recorded Racquetball hit?”

Did Inoue really hit a ball 191mph? Photo unk

A post in KRG came up recently that featured the venerable former pro @Egan Inoue , along with the familiar claim that he owns the title of ‘fastest ever recorded racquetball hit” at 191mph.

Except … the “proof” of that claim is basically word-of-mouth lore that has persisted over the years, without anyone providing a place where said MPH was measured or who actually measured it.

Over the years, as I’ve done thousands of hours of research in our sport, reviewed old magazines for results. As i’ve done this, I’ve kept a collection of MPH claims and competitions, and I figured this was as good of a time as any to put these down in a post for reaction in one place.

I’m going to order these claims in order of “highest MPH claimed” down to lowest, and for each claim I’ll list the source and the validity.


– 210MPH Backhand by Sudsy Monchik :

Source of claim: hyperbole in a Head advertisement.

likelihood of truth: doutbful.

Notes: Sudsy has some verified readings further down, which are 25% lower than a 210mph backhand claim. He had a great backhand, no doubt. 210? no.

– 200mph serve by Scott Reiff at a pro stop in Atlanta in the early 1990s.

Source of claim: unknown

likelihood of truth: doubtful.

Notes: Reiff is known as a power hitter from back in the day, but is not really in the same class as the other players listed here.

Cliff Swain in the 191-192 range on his serve

Source of claim: internet lore

Likelihood of truth: doubtful

Notes: Cliff appears several times here, with lower verified readings; read on.

– Egan Inoue: 191mph

Source of claim: this is oft-repeated claim of fastest ever recorded speed is essentially internet lore

Likelihood of truth: doubtful

Notes: Even though this is the number that most people repeat, I have my doubts. We all just saw the link to the Inoue-Doyle 1990 final, where the two players were playing with probably 20″ racquets and, well, anyone who’s seen modern racquetball could see that their serves were nowhere near as fast as what we see today.

– @Brian Baker; claims 190-192.

Source of claim: Baker himself in a discussion in 2013 on the old 40×20 forum.

– Likelihood of truth: maybe? still no verification.

Notes: Baker was pinged on the discussion and chimed in with what seemed like credible details. He seemed quite confident and exact in his MPH capabilities. He also claimed to have played with Fredenberg and thinks he’s a tick ahead of the big Texan. However, this 190 figure is 20 mph higher than Fredenberg recorded when on a gun in a public setting … which doesn’t seem credible.

A copy of the discussion is here. Still isn’t really “proof” in as much as we have eyewitnesses or an official event, but this is more believable than the records above it to me right now.…/is-racquetball-really-the…/

– Brian Fredenberg: claimed 186-187

Source of Claim: unknown, perhaps Baker

Reliability: not that reliable

Notes: See below for more verified claims about Fredenberg.

– 180mph: Egan Inoue

Source: internet group

Reliability: low.

Notes: An author in a thread claims to have “seen” a gun register 180 but no higher. Not from Egan himself so a non 1st party claim.…/c/qwXzO_5PU6I/m/4NKd5EqLAwAJ

– Sudsy Monchik: forehand “more than 180mph” as per 5/31/99 Sports Illustrated article

– Source: SI article 1999:…/man-wielding-a-dangerous-weapon…

Reliability: weak (despite being claimed in SI, there’s not a source given)

Notes: the way the article is written, it seems like this is more lore than fact.

– Cliff Swain: Head Racquetball advertisement claims his serve in the 180+ range:


Reliability: slim

Notes: lots of “i heard he hit…” with the guys from the mid 1990s, which is weird because it’s not like radar guns didn’t exist at that time.

– Jeff Conine: 182 at an exhibition in Missouri?

Source: a direct claim made here:…

Reliability: weak

Notes: this is significantly higher than a verified, published reading noted further below. seems unreliable.

– Egan Inoue: during exhibition 170-175 range, 179 in Houston at Nationals in late 1980s

Source: unknown

Reliability: we’re closer to what I think is reasonable for Inoue.

– Fredenberg: 171

Source: 2002 US Open had a gun on players for $1000 (Eddie Meredith running it). Each got 5 hits and here’s how it went:

Fredenberg 171

Walters 170

Mitch 168

Kane 164

– Reliability: solid

– Notes: this is the first set of readings I really trust. This is from a published competition run by a trusted source. Fredenberg came in on top, followed by two known big-hitters in Walters and Mitch. Kane a tick below, which, if you’ve seen both Mitch and Kane on the court at the same time isn’t out of the realm of possible.

– Jeff Conine: serve once clocked at 162mph

Source: Racquetball magazine feature Sept/Oct 1993

Reliability: solid

Notes: this seems more in line with what he could do, as opposed to claims of 180+ made above.

– Mitch Williams: 160-162 at Arlington regionals event

Source: personally verified; hardest ever seen on a radar gun. I measured him myself. (I hit it 133 in the same competition as a point of comparison, a decent figure for a low-open player, but well below the 140-range we generally see pros hit today at a minimum, or the 150 range we generally see harder hitters.

– Reliability: 100%

– notes: Mitch was by far and away the crispest, hardest hitter on the east coast during the 2000s. I measured plenty of other hard hitters who were in the low 150s and he was a clear step ahead.

Spalding Power-Serve contest

source: Nov/Dec 1995 Racquetball magazine

1. Sudsy Monchik: 164mph

2. John Ellis: 161mph

3. Tim Doyle: 157mph

4. Andy Roberts: 156mph

5. Cliff Swain: 153mph

6. Luis Vogel: 145mph

6. Woody Clouse: 145mph

8. Tony Jelso: 142mph

Notes: perhaps the best source of comparison for players in the mid 1990s. This was a verified sponsored competition with published results in Racquetball Magazine. 22″ racquets were available by 1995 (the current 22″ max length rule was adopted officially by USAR in 1996 and remains the rule today).



Honestly, I have a really hard time believing any number above Fredenberg’s 171 figure.

With the exception of Baker, there’s not a player on this list i have not personally witnessed hit. And nobody comes close to what I saw Fredenberg do on the court in Houston one year in the early 2000s at Nationals.

With all due respect to everyone else, these claims of 190mph with a 21 inch racquet and substandard string, as compared to 22″ racquets a decade later with better string and more reliable rubber seems ridiculous.

Also there’s this: to believe that no one has approached Inoue’s 190 claim in the last 30 years, given the fact that Athletes evolve and equipment improves is laughable. Odds are today’s big hitters (Jake, Moscoso, Montoya, Garay, and Kane) are right where yesteryear’s big hitters (Inoue, Conine, Doyle, Swain, and Monchik) were. Right in the 160 range, maybe a tick higher one day to the next.


So, anybody got what they think is irrefutable evidence of a different n umber for a different player? I’d love to hear it.

Lewis Drug IRT Pro/Am Recap

Mosocos beats #1 DLR to cement claim to #1. Photo unk from Bolivian IRIS

Congrats to your winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Conrrado Moscoso

– Doubles; Daniel De La Rosa & Javier Mar

Moscoso secures his 5th pro tour win, breaking a 5-way tie for 20th place and now sits tied at 19th ever with Tim Doyle. He also moves ahead of Andy Roberts for 7th place in Career W/L of all time.

Mar wins his 6th pro doubles title, but the first one he’s won without long-time partner Montoya. DLR gets his 11th pro doubles title, his first without his own long time partner Alvaro Beltran

Singles Match report in PRS DB:

Doubles Match report in PRS DB:

R2 Sports App home page for event:


Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database:


In the 64s and 32s, no real surprises to this observer.

– Just one tie-breaker: Utah’s Anthony Martin going deep to take out Tanner Gross 13,(14),8.

– Jordan Barth dug deep in both games to come back against Montana amateur Ty Hedalen to advance 14,12.

– Argentina’s Diego García cruised past @Sam Bredenbeck in game one 15-2 then held on for a 2,12 win to advance in the 16/17 seed match.

– @Adam Manilla made fast work of Bolivian u21 @Gerson Miranda 2,6. Miranda showed he has a bit of work to do to be broaching the top 10.

Erick Trujillo topped Canadian veteran Lee Connell 10,7 to move into the 16s.

– Costa Rica’s Andres Acuña won a straightforward 7,10 match over Barth, making it much less close than I anticipated.


In the 16s, no big surprises for me.

– In the 8/9, Manilla got a solid win over Mario Mercado to get another pro quarter.

– As predicted, #12 @Javier Mar ousted #5 Alejandro Landa to move on.

– #4 Portillo destroyed his younger Mexican countryman Trujillo 0,2.

– #6 @Jake Bredenbeck was pushed to a breaker by Illinois-based pro Thomas Carter but moved on.

– As was rumored earlier in the week, Samuel Murray missed a second straight event with a lingering injury, defaulting to Acuna.


In the Quarters: a couple of upsets

– #4 Portillo held serve and ousted #12 Mar in two. I thought this might go the other way, but Lalo played well to outclass his fellow control specialist.

– #6 Jake got a solid win, taking out #3 Andree Parrilla in two. These two met over and over on the WRT adn now they’re frequently meeting on the IRT.


In the Semis: two straightforward wins for the top 2 seeds:

– #1 Moscoso took out #4 Lalo in two straight. These two had played 3 times previously, all tiebreakers. But Conrrado played solid ball to win 10,7.

– #2 DLR was pressed by #6 Jake in both games but persevered 13,8 to get to the final.

In the Finals, for the second event running we get #1 vs #2, Moscoso vs De La Rosa. After watching DLR’s master class in control to win in Austin, I thought going in he was the favorite, but I discounted the effect the panel walls would have on the Gearbox ball and specifically Moscoso’s serve. Moscoso served lights out this match, scoring aces left and right and controlled the match for long swaths. DLR was flummoxed and flustered and could not consistently score points, and that was the match. Moscoso wins 9,12.


Points Implications of results

Irrespective of this result, Moscoso was going to keep the #1 seed thanks to this tournament replacing the 2021 Arizona open (which Canrrado did not play). With the win suddenly he’s got a sizeable gap in front; nearly 500 points.

The rest of the results here gave us some interesting points machinations:

– Portillo will overtake Parrilla for #3 on tour.

– Jake moves up to #5 as Landa continues to slip with two one and dones in a row.

– Despite missing the event to receive an award back home, Montoya moves up to #8.

– Acuna is now in the top 10.

– Mercado and Carson take a big slip, dropping to #12 and #13 respectively. Its amazing how quickly Rocky has been falling by missing 3 straight events.

– Trujillo is now ranked #16, which puts him safely into the “second bye” section and given the odds of several players ahead of him missing each event right now, gives him an even better seed going forward.

– Diego Garcia is now #24.


Doubles review

The doubles draw went perfectly chalk to the final, with all expected seeds winning. That chalkiness continued in the final, as #1 seeds team PK DLR/Mar eked out a win over #2 Landa/Moscoso.


Men’s Open, other draws

– Alan Natera went breaker to top Bolivian Miranda to take Men’s Open singles.

– Trujillo got a surprising win over Garcia to take the IRT U21. He won 8,5 and made a statement.

– @Vallana Perault took the 3-person Women’s Open RR draw.

– the legend @Ruben Gonzalez flew in from HHI to compete in Centurian Doubles, winning the title with Montana’s Hedalen. They took out some tough teams, including Minor/Coyle in the group stage and Kisling/Adam in the final.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew. Adam Manilla did a fantastic guest spot at the final and has a future in streaming.

Thanks to the Tourney Director Mark Gibbs for putting this event on!


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar ……/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/

In two weeks’ time its Nationals time. USAR is holding National Doubles with team qualifying along with National Amateur singles in Arizona. Mexico was scheduled to hold its Nationals but I’ve yet to see an R2 site. And Canada is having its 2nd qualifier in Grand Prairie. Lots of ball going on.



43rd Annual Lewis Drug Pro/Am Preview

Can Javier Mar make another deep run in Sioux Falls? Photo Kevin Savory 2019 US Open

Welcome to one of the longest running tournaments in the world, and certainly the longest running Pro tournament that we have in the sport. The Lewis Drug event has been a pro event (either a satellite or a full Tier 1 event) for all 43 years of its existence, and it has become a must-play for many pros on tour.

We’ve been missing Sioux Falls; it hasn’t been played since January of 2020 thanks to Covid concerns the last two years, but we’re back and the community is ready. The event gets a ton of local media coverage, with all the local TV stations and the local paper well-covering the event.

Tournament Director and IRT part-owner Mark Gibbs puts on a fantastic event every year, guarantees RR competitions, throws a banquet every year, and always draws a solid crowd of pros and top amateurs from the Midwest and Canada.

This year is no different, as we get to see no less than 5 members of the Canadian National team competing, one of seven different countries represented at this event.

R2 Sports App link:

Thirty players are entered into singles draw. Top-20 players missing this week include #8 Montoya, #10 Carson (semi retiring), #11 Waselenchuk (injured), #16 Franco, #17 Fernandez, #19 Garay, and #20 Beltran (injured). These absences give in particular @Erick Trujillo a huge boost; he’s ranked 18th but is the 13 seed here. Furthermore, @Robert Collin and @Sam Bredenbeck both slip into the top 16 despite being deep into the 20s in the rankings.


Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:

In the round of 64, most of the Travelling Canadians have a play in thanks to having so few IRT points. Look for the likes of Tanner Prentice , Lee Connell , and @Kurtis Cullen to make some noise. Also look for top mid-west players like Jordan Barth , John Goth , and of course our Montana contingent Matthew Ivar Majxner and @Ty Hedalen to compete well.


Projecting the 32s: I see some fun matches here.

– In the 16/17 matchup, Diego García will take on the younger Bredenbeck in a competition to see who takes on the new #1.

– #9 Adam Manilla projects to face the upstart Bolivian former junior world 18U champ Gerson Miranda . Miranda is a tough out and Manilla will have his hands full here.

– #12 @Javier Mar projects to face the top Minnesotan Goth in the 32s. Goth is a power player who trains regularly with the Bredenbecks and is no slouch. Mar must focus here.

– The match of the round may be #10 Andres Acuña versus Barth. For those of you not familiar with Barth’s resume, he owns 9 US Junior National titles and another 3 Junior world titles; he’s the same age-class as current IRT #4 Eduardo Portillo and beat Lalo several times internationally as kids. Barth basically stopped playing competitive racquetball to focus on a baseball career at age 17, and played in both College and briefly professionally. He’s one of the more highly ranked players on USAR’s rankings right now, and Acuna will have to be on his toes for this match.


Round of 16: thanks to the absenses and the recent ranking shuffling, we have a ton of really intriguing round of 16 matches.

– #1 Conrrado Moscoso projects to face Garcia in my predictions. I don’t think Garcia is winning, but he’ll get some points.

– In the 8/9, Manilla vs @Mario Mercado is a close one: these two are neck and neck in my personal rankings and I think we get a slight upset with Manilla as the 9th seed winning.

– 5/12: Alejandro Landa has seen his ranking slide as of late and made it well known he can’t stand the Gearbox ball; he’s set to face the classy Javier Mar here, and I think Mar can beat him. They’ve split match-ups in the past, but i think they’re heading in opposite directions on tour right now.

– #4 Portillo versus #13 Trujillo; While I don’t think Trujillo is ready to beat Lalo, this is another excellent test for the rising junior Mexican star.

– #3 Andree Parrilla projects to get #14 Alan Natera in the 16s. Natera of course is coming off a solid tournament in Austin. Andree must be breathing a sigh of relief to get a reasonable round of 16 matchup; he’s drawn Mar twice in the past few months for early exits.

– #6 Jake Bredenbeck likely draws fellow USA player @Thomas Carter in a manageable match for him.

– #7 Samuel Murray , who bowed out of the last event with the same injury that cost him the November Canadian qualifier final, projects to face the Acuna/Barth winner. Keep your eye out for a possibly still hampered Murray to struggle here and give an upset winner an easy ride into the quarters.

– #2 Daniel De La Rosa , fresh off his PPA 2023 pro pickleball debut last week in Palm Springs, trades 75 and sunny for 25 and windy in South Dakota and likely takes on IRT vet lefty Collins in his opener.


Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Moscoso over Manilla: Conrrado benefits from being the top seed with the most straight-forward quarter final matchup.

– #12 Mar over #4 Portillo; both play similarly; Mar is better at it.

– #6 Jake over #3 Andree: Parrilla never really plays well in SD, and this is a rematch of the Portland semi, also a Jake win. I like the hot hand.

– #2 DLR makes fast work of the Costa Rican Acuna in this quarter.


– Moscoso over Mar; a rematch of the semis in Austin; Mar kept it close because he’s quality, but Moscoso will prevail because he’s better.

– DLR over Jake: Jake has pushed DLR in the past, but not this weekend.

Finals; DLR over Moscoso, again. DLR prevailed in two close games in Austin, which were cement courts that mitigated the new slower ball a bit. I think we’re going to see a similar game in the SD final. DLR just does not make mistakes and plays patient racquetball. Moscoso does not; he is a shooter, goes for low-percentage shots, makes a ton of them, but misses enough to cost him against top players. Moscoso may be #1, but DLR is a better strategist right now.

By the way, as I noted in my in-depth review of “Why Moscoso became #1 even though Daniel beat him head to head last week” … Moscoso will REMAIN #1 this weekend irrespective of results. That’s because he’s defending zero points from the next tournament to expire (Arizona 2021) so he can only improve his lead at the top.


Doubles review

Montoya’s absence means Mar teams up with a new partner … and he picks another fellow Mexican, fellow Pro Kennex player, and fellow top doubles player who also needs a new partner in DLR. A precursor of a more frequent pairing going forward?

It is slightly curious that DLR chose not to play with Landa, with whom he’s playing in two weeks’ time at USAR nationals (That’s a whole ‘nother story, why DLR is possibly converting after decades of playing/representing Mexico). But Landa has picked up Moscoso and is the #2 seed. It’s hard to envision a scenario where these two teams are upset by anyone prior to the final; team Dovetail at #3 (Acuna/Lalo) will try, as with the Bredenbeck brothers at #4, but both will fail.

In the final, I think a DLR/Mar pairing is unbeatable.


Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. Look for Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots!

3rd Average Joe’s tournament Recap, hosted by the Kelley brothers

Sam Kelley joined his brother as past winners of their namesake tourney. Photo Ken Fife Sept 2021

The Kelley brothers hosted 26 of their closest friends this past weekend for the third installment of the “Average Joes” event, held at their private court on the grounds of their New Jersey Estate.

They got the regular East Coast and New England crew that traveled for the event, but they also got players from far and wide, from Ohio to Texas. A fun time all weekend.

Past results and re-caps:

– 1st annual in March 2021: . Won by Joe Kelley

– 2nd event in Oct 2021: . Won by Kyle Ulliman

Here’s a recap of the action from the 3rd installment:

In the Singles…

The top half featured a big upset early, as #1 seeded Ben Bleyer was taken out by Connecticut #1 and 9th seed here Jose Flores Jr in the quarters. Flores couldn’t capitalize on the big win though, falling in the semis to #5 seed and host @Samuel Kelley. Kelley had gotten his own big upset, topping former Massachusetts #1 and now a new Washington DC area resident John Behm in the quarters before advancing past Flores to get to the final.

From the bottom half, the draw went mostly chalk, with #3 seed and co-host @Joe Kelley advancing over NY junior phenom @Josh Shea (aka “Baby S”) to meet top Ohio player @Victor Migliore in the other semi. Victor advanced to face S.Kelly in the final.

Kelley and Migliore battled it out in the final, and Sam took the title at his namesake “Average Joe” event.


This year’s event featured Doubles for the first time. Here’s a recap of the Doubles draw:

It was a 14-team draw, straight up single elimination.

From the top half, the draw went chalk, as #1 seeds the Kelley brothers used their Lefty/Righty combination to top #4 seeded Derek Ott and Texas junior @Cole Sendrey

to make the final.

From the bottom half, #3 seeds team Maryland Dylan Pruitt and Bleyer upset the 2nd seeded team of Josh Shea and @anthony Armanouse (aka “Moose”) to make the final.

In the final, Team Maryland topped the #1 seeds and hosts to take the title.


A 28-person draw finishing both a Singles and a Doubles draw in a 3-day weekend is awesome, and lays out a blueprint for a possible future pro event on the grounds. Hey, we can dream right?

Congrats to the players and the winners.

Deep dive into Match Stats for Longhorn Open Final.

(Dig in; this is a long post. Located within includes commentary on the new ball, critiques of serve selection, and the “reason” CM lost the game).

Every once in a while there’s a compelling enough match that I dig out my patented “Match Tracker” spreadsheet and spend a bit of time analyzing a game to find some hidden insights as to the result.

Given that we just witnessed a scintillating match between the then #1 Daniel De La Rosa and the now newly ascended to #1 Conrrado Moscoso for the Longhorn Open Final, one with a back and forth 15-14 first game, I thought i’d take a dive and see what information we could glean.

The video, if you want to re-watch it, is here:

The match tracker data for Game 1 is now uploaded to this Google xls:

The first tab is a detailed accounting of all 54 rallies, while the second tab has the aggregated data that will be the basis of most of this analysis. The other tabs explain the serve and rally codes in use.

Lets dive in and get some interesting info:

– Game 1 Length: 32mins, 36 seconds

This works out to around 36 seconds per rally. That’s about what I’ve seen with most of these other match tracking i’ve done, especially in tense, strategic games. Moscoso is a bit of a slower player, with a pedantic, deliberate serving motion, which adds some time. DLR isn’t exactly speedy himself, and had a ton of missed first serves in this game, which extended the time.

There were also two time-outs taken and two rather lengthy towel time-outs, so taking those delays out, you’re closer to a 29minute game and about 32 seconds per rally. Not bad.

– Rallies: there were 54 rallies exactly here: There were 29 points scored, 24 side-outs, and only one replay.

It was a rather clean game; just one replay, no avoidables, and that replay was a pretty soft one in this viewer’s opinion, coming on a play where Moscoso claimed a swing hinder but DLR looked exasperated that it was given.

– DLR won 27 of the rallies, Moscoso 26, and there was one replay. Not much between them in this game, as @Favio Soto repeatedly said while doing the finals broadcast with Tourney Director Soly Kor .

– Number of 1 shot rallies (aka Aces): 1.

– Number of 2 shot rallies: 16.

– Number of 3-shot rallies: 13

So more than 50% of the rallies were of the bang-bang-bang variety. This is what you’d expect with two skilled shot-makers.

– Average Number of Shots per rally: 2.74 not including the serve.

So, this is one of the points I wanted to get into. The Longhorn Open was the first event to use the new Gearbox ball, which we know is thicker and slower. Many have speculated about what impact this would have on the pro game. Would it slow down power players, would it drastically increase rallies? Would it lead to fewer aces? Would it lead to more aces?

First off, the court type and altitude makes a huge difference in the game, irrespective of the ball. Austin is just a few hundred feet above sea level, but featured concrete walls, which minimize the impact a bit of a slower ball. So that de-emphasizes a slower ball a bit for this event.

That being noted, here’s what we found in this data: an average of 2.74 shots per rally after the serve is roughly half a shot more per rally than the last time I did this analysis (the Kane-Andree Atlanta 11-10 game, which came in at 2.2 shots per rally), and a bit more than another, older game between two power players (the 2002 Kane-Cliff Halloween classic game that’s all over youtube): that one came in at 2.59 shots per rally.

What we really need to do is go back to the last time DLR-CM played (the Denver final in 2021) and do similar analysis. But even then, that match was at altitude and may not give us a neutral accounting either.

It is possible that the Gearbox ball resulted in about half an extra shot per rally, or one extra ball every other rally. It is also possible that we’re seeing the impact of a skilled defender like DLR who liberally used ceiling balls off of drive serves and rarely made an error during rallies, as compared to the playing style of Kane, which was basically to go for shots at every opportunity and resulted in a a ton of 2- and 3-shot rallies in that game.

At the end of the day, the Longhorn semis featured #1, #3, #4, and a #15 player who’s far better than #15 in the semis, so the players who were “supposed” to get to the semis basically got there. If the Gearbox ball supposedly favors the control player, then why didn’t we see the tour’s best control players (guys like Parrilla and Landa) do better? Landa was upset by Carter in the 16s and th en spent the rest of the weekend complaining about the ball on social media, while Parrilla ended up losing to another excellent control player in Mar. Perhaps the pre-eminent power player on tour right now is Moscoso; he made the final with relative ease.

More to come on this topic as we see how the tour goes forward with this ball, but that’s my thoughts for now.

Coincidentally, the longest rally of the game was just 9 shots; it occurred relatively early in the game and ended with a Moscoso forehand error.


Number of dives: only 6. Given how much these two players dive, they really did not spend much time on the floor. that’s probably because they were both making too many un-gettable shots.

Number of rollouts: 13. This was the number of times I saw a shot that was irretrievable, no matter where the opponent was standing. 13 rollout winners out of 39 total winners. That’s actually somewhat low; we definitely saw a ton more passing shots and use of lines/angles in this game versus going-for-broke kill shots.


Lets dive into some Serving stats. DLR first:

– 28 serves, just one 1 ace

– Only a 67% first serve in rate: he missed 9 of 28 first serves. That’s not very good.

– DLR drove serve 100% of the time; not one first serve lob.

– DLR hit 64% (18 of 28) drive serves to backhand, 35% (10 of 28) to the forehand. A decent 2-1 ratio, clearly meaning to try to keep CM on his toes and not do too much guessing backhand.

– When DLR drove to the backhand, he scored 10 of his 15 points. When DLR drove to the forehand … he scored just one point. 1 point out of 9 drives to the forehand. If I was DLR’s coach … i’d probably say, “stop drive serving his forehand: it isn’t working.”

– When DLR got his first serve in; 12 out of 19 points for 63% rate. When DLR missed his first serve, he scored on just 3 of 9 second serves for a 33% rate. Two lessons here: get your first serve in … and drive serve instead of lob.

Conclusions: DLR did not serve especially well in this game, but showed decent effectiveness when he did get the serve in. He got 4 points either from Aces or from service return errors and two more via classic 3-shot rallies (serve, return, kill). He should abandon the drive to the forehand against Conrrado, perhaps splitting his time 66% drive backhand and 33% hard Z to forehand. He did not try any other hard serves; no jams, no wrap-arounds, no real change of pace drives.


Serve Analysis for Moscoso: Here’s Conrrado’s serving analysis:

– 26 serves, zero Aces.

A pause here. Zero aces from one of the biggest hitters in the game? Is this because of the ball, or is it because DLR is the most skilled player in the game at returning? A combination of both? Also notably, Moscoso did not foot fault one time in this game; this has long been a bugaboo for him, and he used to liberally FF over and over. Has he modified his serving mechanics to sacrifice power for a shorter stride and more control? Unknown.

– CM had a great 1st serve percentage: 23 of 26 serves in for an 88% success rate. That’s super impressive for a guy who hits as hard as he does; its reminiscent of the old one-serve power players like Cliff, Sudsy, Ellis.

– As did DLR, CM drove serve 100% of the time.

– CM hit 92% of his drives to DLR’s backhand (24 of 26). He hit just two drives down the line to DLR’s forehand. Both those forehand serves were over fast: one was a service return error for a point, one was a crushed pass kill for a side-out.

CM had very little variation in his first serves: he didn’t really hit anything resembling a jam the entire game. He hit one serve that looked like it was an attempt at a wrap around, but it more likely was a flown drive serve that hit the back wall a few feet up and probably was a mis-hit. No Z-serves. Perhaps this is why he got no aces: DLR never had to really guess where the serve was going. To me, the times CM did go to the forehand, he so badly telegraphed it that DLR could jump the serve.

– CM did so little serving to the forehand that there’s no value in breaking down FH vs BH drive serve stats.

– When CM got his first serve in, he got points about half the time. 12 of his points came on his 23 first serves in. Probably needs to be higher, and indicates that despite his high 1st serve percentage the serves were not as effective as he needed them to be.

– Interestingly he got points on 2 of his 3 lobs/second serves. And all three of these 2nd serve/lob attempts were 3-shot rallies: twice DLR left up a return and CM buried it, the third time CM went for the kill and missed.

Conclusions: CM needs to get more from his powerful service game. I’d suggest more variation, more jam serves and more z-balls as change of pace/alternative serves. Also, he had such good success with his lobs in small sample sizes, i wonder if its worth trying to lob DLR an entire game to see what happens.


Rally stats. This is where the real reason the game was won/lost becomes evident.

DLR Rally ending breakdown: DLR had 17 rally winners:

– 9 forehands, 7 backhands. Very even spread

– 12 passing winners, 4 pinch/splat winners.

This is amazing to me, b/c DLR’s game is normally to pinch everything he can. Perhaps against this player, who is one of the better divers in the sport, he chose to work the lines more than to go for broke with lower percentage shots. This breakdown does NOT seem to support the slower ball; a slower ball is easier to pinch.

– Just 4 errors the entire game. Three of the errors were on the service return, meaning DLR made just one error during the run of play for the entire game.

– DLR had a 17/4 Winner/Error ratio for the game, that’s 6.25 winners per error. Awesome.

CM Rally ending breakdown: CM had 22 winners, more than DLR.

– 9 forehands, 13 backhands. CM really has an amazing backhand.

– 9 passing winners, 13 pinch/splat winners. This is the Moscoso we know, the most opportunistic shooter in the game right now.

– 10 errors. Moscoso made 10 rally ending errors in the game. Despite all his winners, this was the reason he lost. He had game point on his forehand and missed. Most of his winners were on the backhand, and most of his errors were on the backhand too (7 of the 10).

– CM had a 22/10 Winner/Error ratio. So just 2.2 winners per error as compared to DLR’s ratio, which was 3 times as high.

Conclusions based on the rally stats: DLR was more in control and played a very error-free game, which made the difference in the end. CM plays kind of like Serena Williams: he makes a ton of errors, but he also makes a ton of winners. He drives play and dictates the action. Turn more of those errors into winners and suddenly he’s Kane Waselenchuk.


That’s my deep dive. Honestly, i’m surprised after seeing these stats that it was 15-14. I would have thought it would have been more in DLR’s favor. But the shot-making ability of CM made the difference.

Hope you enjoyed reading this far!

Moscoso Takes over #1 on tour

Mosocos is #1. Photo unk from Bolivian IRIS

With his finals result at the 2023 Longhorn Open, @Conrrado Moscoso has officially ascended to the #1 spot on tour. This is obviously the first time Moscoso has ascended to #1 ranking on tour, and it represents the first time a player from outside the “Big 3” countries USA/Canada/Mexico has risen this far. Moscoso achieved a #1 tournament seed in October 2022 (when DLR skipped the Pleasanton event and Moscoso had risen to #2 temporarily), but now is the top dog.

I’ve seen more than a few comments from KRG and elsewhere online questioning how he could be #1 over Daniel De La Rosa when they met in the Longhorn final and Daniel beat Conrrado heads-up. These comments are misguided and don’t seem to exhibit an understanding of a rolling ranking system.

Why did Conrrado leapfrog Daniel for #1 despite losing the final to him on Sunday?

The answer is simple: the IRT rankings are not based on a “who beat who yesterday” concept, Its based on a rolling calendar of results. Just like Squash, or Tennis, and most any other individual pro sport with a “tour,” the reigning #1 is determined based on the totality of their results over a longer period of time than one specific match.

Right now, the IRT’s ranking system includes every player’s past 11 Tier1/Grand Slam tournaments. In the wake of Covid, the IRT pivoted from a conventional rolling 365-day calendar (which had been in place since the 1981-82 season) to include tournaments that may fall outside that range. The choice of exactly 11 tournaments was specific; that was roughly the average number of events that the tour was hosting before Covid struck, so it made sense to not penalize players who chose to not play events and expand the ranking calendar to include older events.

I maintain a “Rolling 2-year IRT Worksheet” that helps illustrate the points. I use this spreadsheet to write up my “predicted impacts to rankings” in all my recap posts.

I’ve uploaded the latest copy of it here:…/1M4bwt…/edit…

When the Longhorn Open finished, the rankings recalculation would take the Longhorn Results and “expire” the 12th oldest tournament. That expiring tournament turned out to be the 2021 US Open, won by Daniel. So, Daniel was set to “lose” 600 points for winning that grand slam, and to replace those points with whatever points he earned in Austin. That turned out to be 400 points for winning. So Take Daniel’s pre-Austin ranking points total (2933), subtract 600, add 400, and you get 2733.

Now lets do the same arithmetic for Connrado: heading into Austin he had 2652 points. His 2021 US Open was disappointing: he lost to Carlos Keller in the 16s, meaning he only earned 135 points there. So take 2652, subtract 135, add in his points for making the Austin final (300), and you get 2817.

2817 is more than 2733 … so that’s why Moscoso is now #1.

(Note: i’m excluding fractions of points earned for specific game wins/losses for simplicity of the post; in reality DLR has exactly 2,733.44 points, and Moscoso has exactly 2817.51 points).

Here’s the next interesting point: NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS in the next IRT event (the Lewis Drug Pro-Am on Jan 22nd), Conrrado will stay #1. Why? Because he did not play the 2021 Arizona event (which will expire next), and thus has no points to “defend.” He can do nothing but improve and increase his lead at the top of the tour. It won’t be until the Suivant Consulting GS in mid February where we might see some changes … that tournament will expire Sarasota from Nov 2021, won by Conrrado, so he’ll have 400 points to defend. But he’ll also have a Grand Slam to replace those points, and if he gets anywhere close to the back end of the tournament he’ll maintain the lead again.

At some point, the IRT probably will pivot back to a conventional 365-year calendar. We’re out of Covid, we’re back to a regular cadence of events (there’s going to be 7 events by the end of April, a very healthy slate, and then we’ll have Denver in the summer and the regular events in the fall, meaning we will have plenty of events in the calendar year on which to base events). DLR may very well trail Conrrado for months … but he will “catch up” greatly come this fall. He missed three IRT events between September and December 2022, meaning he’ll drastically catch-up later this year. It should make for an exciting finish to the 2023 season.

But in the meantime, I hope this explains the reasoning and provides insight to the machinations of the rankings.

2023 IRT Longhorn Open Recap

DLR wins a scintillating final over his closest rival Moscoso. Photo US Open 2019, Photographer Kevin Savory

Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Daniel De La Rosa

– Doubles: Rodrigo Montoya & Javier Mar

This is DLR’s 12th pro singles title, and he closes in on @Dave Peck for 12th all time.

Montoya & Mar win their 5th pro doubles title ttogether and strengthen their hold on #1.

R2 Sports App home page for event:

Match reports in the PRS database:




Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.


In the 128s and 64s:

– The match of the opening qualifying rounds did not seem to disappoint, as Diego García got by Alejandro Cardona 14,10. Wish we had a live-stream somewhere of the match.

– As predicted, the two top U21 internationals debuting in this event won in the 128s and 64s to get to the main draw. Mexico’s @Jose Carlos Ramos cruised past Maryland’s @Eridson Lopez in the opener then topped #18 seed Erick Cuevas 10,11 to force a meeting with Mar.

– Meanwhile at the top of the qualifying draw, former 18U world champ @Gerson Miranda topped New York’s Josue Perdomo in the opener, then went breaker to down veteran tour player and #17 seed @Robert Collin to setup a meeting with another top junior U21 player in Trujillo.


In the 32s:

– Trujillo topped Miranda in a battle of former World 18U champs, and fittingly it went breaker. I hope we see more of the Bolivian; he’s got game.

– Alan Natera got a great win over Sebastian Fernandez , holding off match point against in game two and then winning the breaker 11-9. This is Natera’s best win since this event in 2020, when he topped Bredenbeck at this same juncture.

– Andres Acuña got a solid win over upstart Garcia 11,7 in a match I thought could go the other way. This opens up the draw for Acuna, who could easily make a quarter’s run.

Anthony Martin got his second walk-over in a row, having gotten a wbf-ns over Zelada in the 64s then over Franco in the 32s. One has to wonder if these two players both had the same flight cancelled, being that they’re both coming from BWI (not for nothing, a big Southwest airport, and Southwest continues to have major operational issues in the wake of weather issues over the past couple of weeks).

– Interestingly another “Team Zurek” guy in Eduardo Garay no showed as well, giving Jaime Martell a clear shot into the 16s.

– @Thomas Carter held serve and topped big hitting Sam Bredenbeck in two. A solid win for Carter to hold serve against a player he should beat.


In the 16s, multiple upsets, some of which were predictable, some not.

– In the 8/9 match, Adam Manilla gave @Rodrigo Montoya everything he could handle, going to the brink and losing 11-10.

– A career best win for Carter, who topped #5 @Alejandro Landa 13,10 to move into the quarters. Landa seemed none too pleased with the ball, describing the play in Texas this weekend as being closer to squash than racquetball.

– #10 Acuna made quick work of #7 Mario Mercado 7,7, the only guy who seemed to make his flight from the Baltimore suburbs.

– Lastly, for the third time in the last 10 months, Andree Parrilla was upset in the 16s as a #1 or #2 seed. This time, a repeat of what happened in Maryland last September, as #15 @Javier Mar flummoxed Andree with excellent serving tactics in games 2 and 3 to frustrate the #2 player and knock him out early.


In the Quarters, no real surprises

– #1 DLR went toe to toe with #8 Montoya, who last met in the final of the Dovetail Open in Sarasota. Game one was a tense tactical back and forth affair that looked for a while like a 15-14 game before DLR pulled away at 9-9 to win 15-9. Game two was anti-climactic, as DLR seemed to have solved the new ball and played with more patience and won going away.

– #4 @Eduardo Portilla absolutely blasted surprise quarterfinalist Carter 1,4.

– #3 Conrrado Moscoso won in two solid games against Jake Bredenbeck 11,10.

– #15 Mar kept his tournament going, taking two close tactical games from the master tactician #10 Acuna 13,13.


In the Semis, the top two players in the world not named Kane advanced.

– #1 DLR cruised past #4 Lalo 8,7

– #3 Conrrado handled #15 Mar 10,12, mounting a furious comeback in game two to do so.

In the Finals, we got the match we wanted and that I predicted. These two had met 5 times previously: twice internationally in 2015 (1-1), then three times professionally. Conrrado beat DLR at the 2019 US Open in the semis before losing the final to Kane in his real eye opening debut domestically, then DLR beat him at the Lewis Drug a few months later, then they last faced off in the finals of the 2021 Denver event, another DLR win.

The neutrals were not disappointed. The two played a 40+ minute back and forth affair in game 1, with neither player backing down and little separating them. Moscoso made it to game point first but could not convert; DLR did, winning game one 15-14.

Game two featured DLR jumping ahead and threatening to run away with it, but Conrrado crawled back. Then Moscoso got the lead, and DLR clawed back. A couple of collisions and a couple of missed shots made the difference at the back end of game 2, as DLR pulled away and took the match 15-14, 15-12.

It was a statement win, the current (for now) #1 player taking out the upstart and threatening player who looked set to take the top spot.


Points Implications of results:

Despite his win, DLR will drop from the #1 ranking on tour, and Moscoso will ascend to #1 when the updated rankings come out. That’s because this event expires the 2021 US Open, won by DLR (and worth 600 points). Moscoso lost in the quarters there, so he’s gaining enough points on DLR with the finals appearance here to overtake both him and Parrilla (whose round of 16 exit really hurt him) for the #1 spot.

Other interesting moves:

– Jake should move up to #6, his career high.

– Kane and Rocky will drop to #10 and #11 respectively with the no-shows.

– This will move Mercado and Montoya up to the 8 and 9 spots, meaning we’re possibly projecting Montoya to still be facing the #1 seed in the quarters.

– Carter will move up to #14, which may be his career high as well.

– Mar will jump up from #19 to #15. He’s still a ways from a protected seed, but with a few players above him almost guaranteed to be missing from the next event, he’s gotta like his future draws.

– Trujillo is now officially inside the top 20 and continues to get the wins he expects.

– Lastly, Keller, the 2021 US Open finalist, loses a ton of points and drops from 14 to outside the top 20.


Doubles review:

The #1 doubles team in the world Montoya & Mar took the Doubles title over #2 Landa/Moscoso with little fanfare in a match played after the scintillating singles pro file. The doubles draw was quite chalk-y; there was exactly one upset by seed the entire draw, that being the no-show loss when Garay/Franco missed the tournament as the #6 doubles team.


Other Notable draws:

– Men’s Open: IRT touring pro Alan Natera took the Men’s Open draw, defeating Texas 16U junior Cole Sendrey in the final. Sendrey took out the #2 and #3 open seeds to get to the final (Martin and Pruitt), a great tourney. LPRT top player Erika Manilla entered the Men’s Open but lost in the first round.

– Women’s Open: Hollie Scott took out newly crowned World 16U champ Naomi Ros to take the Women’s Open title.

– Husband/Wife team Carla Munoz and Natera took the Men’s Open Doubles draw, defeating NorCal duo @Will Reynolds and @Israel Torres in the final.

– Ros teamed with fellow junior @Estefania Perez-Picon to take the Women’s Open Doubles crown. Fellow juniors Wargo and Diaz came in 2nd.

– Mixed open was won by Scott and @DDiego Gastel , topping Pruitt & Ros in the final.

Lastly, a shout out to the Men’s A draw. Normally at these pro events, the largest division by entrants is always the Men’s pro singles. Not here, not t his weekend. No fewer than 51 players entered Men’s A. The semis featured the #9 seed Michael Fuller, the #45 seed in Jesus Jaquez, the #46 seed in Christian Treviato, and the #39 seed in Alfredo Estrada. Jaquez (from Chihuahua) toped Treviato (from Monterrey) in an all-Mexican final.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew. They got some great help along the way from Alexis Iwaasa and from tourney director Soly Kor who was on the mike for the pro final.

Thanks to the Tourney Director Kor for putting this event on! It was great to be back in Austin after a two year hiatus.

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 ……/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/

Next weekend is the long-running Wintergreen tournament in Maryland, which is getting some attention as Moscoso just committed to play it. Look for it to have some last minute sign-ups to get a shot at the Bolivian.

the following week is the Lewis Drug, always a tour favorite.



2023 IRT Longhorn Open Preview

Another win for Moscoso? Photo US Open 2019, Photographer Kevin Savory

One of the biggest events (by participation) of the year upon us, and for the first time since Covid hit, the Longhorn open is back on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. More than 380 pros and amateurs are in Austin this weekend to play, and the pro draw looks great.

R2 Sports App link:

There’s 36 pros here. We have some intriguing rarely seen players who could make some noise, and we have some interesting absences that will make for some shaken up later match-ups.

Top-20 players missing include #6 Murray (unknown why he’s missing), #8 Kane (injured), #9 Carson (Load management), #14 Keller (distance), and #20 Beltran (injured).


Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to. Qualifying starts today Thursday, 1/5/23 3pm Central, so get ready for some action.

In the round of 128:

– We have two notable international juniors showing up and playing the IRT domestically for the first time. Mexican U21 champion and multi-junior world title winner Jose Carlos Ramos is here and can make some noise. And former World 18U champion Gerson Miranda is here as well, playing the IRT for the first time outside his own home country (he played the 2019 Bolivian Iris grand slam on his home courts). Both are excellent players and should progress in the draw.


In the round of 64:

– Look for Miranda and Ramos to get upsets against the top two ranked qualifiers Robert Collins and Erick Cuevas respectively.

– Two juniors Guillermo Ortega and @Cole Sendrey face off in a good match-up of Mexico 21U versus USA 16U.

– Mauricio Zelada will have his hands full with Utah’s Anthony Martin

– The match of the round, if it comes to pass, is Bolivian turned Argentine @Diego García , fresh off a Worlds 21U win and with several solid wins last season, versus former top WRT player @Alejandro Cardona . Cardona has no-showed the last two IRT events he’s entered with Visa/travel issues, but hopefully he’s here this weekend b/c he’s a great player and this would be a great match for the neutrals.


Projecting the 32:

– #16 @Erick Trujillo would project to face fellow junior phenom Miranda in my scenario. Phew. This would be the 2019 World 18U champ versus the 2021 World 18U champ.

– #12 Thomas Carter projects to face fellow American @Sam Bredenbeck . A good test for both to see who comes out on top.

– #13 Sebastian Fernandez projects to face #20 Alan Natera here, a player he’s beaten 3 times in top-level competitions but who plays tough.

– #14 Eduardo Garay projects to face the always-dangerous Jaime Martell here, a match I favor Martell to win.

– #11 Sebastian Franco , who lost at this juncture in the 32s five times last season, projects to face his fellow Suburban Maryland friend @MoMo Zelada here. They’ve played a few times on the IRT and Franco will have the upper hand, but Zelada has come up with crazy wins against his good buddies from Maryland on tour in the past.

– #10 Andres Acuña projects to be the unlucky player to face Garcia … and I think Garcia can beat him. I have these two neck and neck in my personal rankings, and this will be a battle.

– #15 @Javier Mar possibly gets the Mexican junior phenom Ramos here, another gotcha match that may be an upset. Mar is the better player … but Ramos may be fired up.

Lots of potential for upsets in the 32s in this event. Should be great on Friday Morning for streaming.


round of 16: Here’s some matches to watch for in the 16s.

– #1 @Daniel De La Rosa vs Trujillo/Miranda winner. I think DLR handles both players, but this is definitely a harder round of 16 than it could be for the #1 player. It will be interesting to see how DLR looks; he’s cut some weight and is in great shape and probably is looking ahead at some highly anticipated matches in this event.

– #4 Eduardo Portillo projects to play Fernandez in the 16s. Portillo should win, but Patata finally gets a round of 16 against someone not named DLR or Montoya for the first time in a while, and will be opportunistic.

– #7 Mario Mercado versus the Acuna/Garcia winner; upset watch here against a vulnerable Mercado; if Garcia wins this could be another surprise quarter for the Argentine.

– #2 Andree Parrilla projects to face Mar, who just beat him in Maryland in September and has a career winning pct against him. Not the round of 16 Andree wanted, and another possible tripping point for the #2 player.


Projected Qtrs:

– 1/8: DLR vs Rodrigo Montoya . Great match. Daniel crushed him at the Sarasota finals last November, but Montoya won at the US Open against a possibly indifferent DLR en route to the final. DLR is 7-3 in 10 top-level meetings in the DB and should be favored … but any given Sunday right?

– 4/5: The first big 4/5 test of the new season should come to pass, with the falling Landa taking on the surging Portillo. They’ve met 7 times; Landa got the first 3, Portillo has won 3 of the last 4. I favor Lalo here.

– 3/6: Conrrado Moscoso over Jake Bredenbeck . I just don’t think Jake has the game to challenge Moscoso right now. The Bolivian has all the power Jake has and more, plus has superior shot-making.

– 2/7: This could be Parrilla/Mercado by chalk … or if the crazy upsets happen that I think will happen, this will be Mar vs Garcia. Since I love upsets, i’ll assume this is the #15 versus the #23 for the semis, and the veteran Mar advances.


– #1 DLR handles Portillo

– #3 Moscoso handles Mar.


Well, this is the final that most neutrals want. DLR will have run through a far more difficult path to get here than Conrrado. These two have played 5 times; DLR is 3-2. They’ve split two IRF meetings, and then DLR has won 2 of their 3 matchups on the IRT. But they have not met since the Denver 2021 final, managing to avoid each other for a season and a half.

Interestingly, thanks to the huge gulf of 2021 points at the US Open between Moscoso and DLR that are set to expire after t his event … it won’t matter who wins if they play; odds are that if Moscoso gets to at least the semis, he’ll overtake DLR for #1 on tour.

I think Moscoso is hungrier and will take this. But it’ll be an amazing match either way.


Doubles review

14 teams in the draw, highlighted by the long-time dominant pairing of Montoya/Mar. With Murray absent, Landa picks up Moscoso as his partner, an interesting team at #2. Landa likes playing the forehand anyway, so this gives Conrrado free reign on the backhand side to play his crazy shots.

Other new teams include Acuna/Lalo, who are both Dovetail guys but who pair up with Rocky’s absence. With Beltran hurt, DLR picks up SoCal paddleball maven Patata as the #4 seed.

I like a chalk final 1vs 2, with the reigning Mexican champs to take it.


Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live.

Look for Favio Soto , Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots!

Thanks to the Tourney Director @Soly Kor 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.


@International Racquetball Tour

IRT 2022 Year End Standings Review – Part 4; Notables ranked Outside top 20

Erick Trujillo is set to make a big splash on tour in 2023. Photo Kevin Savory/US Open 2021

Welcome to Part 4 of our season recap: a discussion of some notable players ranked 21 and above this year.

Part 1: reference links to various year-end resources of note.

Part 2: the top 10

Part 3: 11-20

Part 4: notables ranked 21st and above (this post)

Thanks to the lack of funds available in our sport, more and more we’re seeing quite talented players who, if everyone was touring full time, might very well be ranked higher. These are the players nobody wants to see in the qualifiers when they do show up, and they’re the kind of “weekend warriors” who inspire the rest of us … we’re all “weekend warriors” at heart.

Here’s a run through some notable players ranked outside the top 20, with some comments and in some cases predictions on 2023.

– #21 Erick Trujillo ; might as well start with the elephant in the room. Trujillo has exploded onto the IRT scene, making a couple of rounds of 16 and even one quarter final. He made the finals of both Mexico u21 and World u21 (losing to Jose Ramos and Diego Garcia respectively). He’s already got solid wins on his resume (Mar, Franco, Garay) and will continue to improve. I see him moving into the teens with ease, and possibly higher, as he improves.

– #24: Jaime Martel played more events in 2022 than he had in the last three seasons combined, and it showed. He made the main draw three times, got to a quarter final, got some really solid wins. He topped Patata, Murray, and Franco in the last two events before a quarters loss to Jake in Pleasanton (one where he beat the big man 15-2 in the first game).

If he continues to play full time, look for him to push for the top 20.

– #27 Jordy Alonso has gotten some really impressive wins this past season, and if he can string together more of a full time tour schedule I can see him (along with Martell) pushing for the top 20 on tour.

– #28 Sam Bredenbeck was really, really zinging it at Worlds, playing the left side in doubles. He’s stepped up his game in terms of power, is training with some great players in Minnesota, and it’d be great to see him playing week in-week out to get his ranking up.

#31 Diego Garcia could be the best player not playing the tour full time. Here’s a quick list of players he beat in 2022 (internationally or professionally): Mercado, Collins, Franco, Mar, Carson, Trujillo twice, and Ramos to win World 21U. That’s quite a slate of wins. We hadn’t seen him domestically since Oct 2019 as he switched countries from Bolivia to Argentina.

I wonder if he can start getting support to travel and tour, because if so watch out, he could be pushing for the top 10.


#36 Bobby Horn is still heavily involved in the sport, working with the Manillas on their online training/coaching initiative and working hard to host programming at his home club in Pleasanton. When he does play, he’s still dangerous.

#46 @Cole Sendry , USA 16U competitor, played his first few IRT events this year and got some experience.

#53 Maurice Miller took a big step back from touring but still is a dangerous opponent when he shows.

#83 @Jordan Barth is the highest ranked player (by USAR rankings) who doesn’t tour regularly. he’s #28 at USAR and would be an interesting addition to the tour.

#98 Cliff Swain ; his 35th year in the rankings.

#99 Coby Iwaasa , long-time #2 in Canada and who regularly gets strong international wins. Rarely appears on the IRT. Another guy who would be interesting to see play.


A shout-out to the Guatemalans, who seem to play nearly every IRT event. Bravo, its always awesome to see the likes of @JuJuan Salvatiera , Christian Wer, @Javier martinez , Edwin Galicia , and @Geovani Mendoza at these events.


That’s it for our 2022 season retrospective. We have the Longhorn Open this coming weekend, so look for our preview soon.

IRT 2022 Year End Standings Review – Part 3; Players ranked 11-20th

Montoya should be the big riser in 2023 … if he plays. Photo Kevin Savory 2022 Portland IRT event

Welcome to Part 3 of our season recap: a discussion of the guys who finished 11-20th this year.

Part 1: reference links to various year-end resources of note.

Part 2: the top 10

Part 3: 11-20 (This post)

Part 4: notables ranked 21st and above


“Finishing in the top 10” is a metric I use a lot, but i’m not sure it means a ton to players. I get the sense that pro players care first and foremost about season-ending #1s, then tourney wins, then just want to earn as much money as possible (which normally means they want to get to at least the semis of an event to make “decent” money for the weekend. Top 8 is the place where you really want to be; that guarantees you a round of 16 spot and prize money each weekend; if you’re in 9th or 10th then you’re playing one extra match just to get there each weekend. But, its easy to divide analysis by the “top10” so that’s what we do.

Fyi: Rocky Carson is the Men’s all-time leader in “top 10s” for a season with 23.

Second place is Cliff Swain , who had 20 top-10 seasons plus another 15 seasons with results; see my top 10 matrix report here for more fun info:

That all being said, the guys who are just outside the top 10 are always interesting to me. Generally are guys who fall into one of three distinct categories:

– Former top 10 guys on their way down

– Up and coming full-time players who are trying to grind their way into the top 10

– Part time players who are better than their ranking but who can’t commit full time to the tour.

Looking at the guys who finished 11-20th this season ( ), i’d probably classify them as follows:

– On the way out: Franco, Beltran

– Grinders: Manilla, Acuna, Carter

– Wish they could play more: Montoya, Keller, Fernandez, Garay, Mar

We’ll use these story-lines throughout this writeup.

Lets talk about the guys who finished 11th-20th this year and give some projections on where they may end up next season.

– #11: Rodrigo Montoya played 7 of the 9 events this year, made two finals and saw his ranking jump from #17 last year to just outside of the top 10 this year. I’ve already kind of buried the lede with my last post in where I think Montoya ends up next year.

For me, Montoya’s talent has always been evident. He has two major IRF titles (2018 Worlds and then 2019 Pan Am Games Gold). He won 4 titles and made another 4 finals on the old WRT before it went defunct. But he’s never been able to give the IRT a full-time go, and has been balancing school and touring for years (he’s an Aerospace Engineer and holds an MBA and has spent most of the past few years in grad school).

This year in 2022, in addition to his pro successes, he made the back ends of multiple international events (finals of Mexican Nationals, finals of the World Games, semis of PARC, and semis of Worlds). This workload seemed to take its toll; he lost his final 2022 match 1,4 and put up very little resistance.

Prediction for 2023? Well, if he plays a full slate of events, he’s a top-4 talent in the world and should finish top 4. But if he’s hurt or continues to miss events here and there, he’ll be stuck in that 10-16 range where he’s been for years.

#12: Adam Manilla improved from #14 last year to #12 this year. In 8 events played, he made 4 quarters and lost in the 16s four times. To get to his four quarters, he had wins over top players Landa, Portillo, Mercado, and Keller; not a bad slate of wins. His 16s losses were to Landa, Rocky, Rocky, and Carter (only the last one really being a “bad” loss). He’s clearly improving as a player, made the semis of Nationals (again losing to Rocky), and when he did lose he played tough, often losing games 15-11/15-12 against top4 guys.

He’s on a roll and I see him continuing to incrementally improve on his ranking. I can see him right on the cusp of the top 10 at the end of this coming season, maybe even higher if we see some possible machinations at the back half of the top 10 (like if Kane retires and opens up a top 10 spot).


#13 Andres Acuña improved on his 2021 ranking of #16 mostly on the back of a strong run in Sarasota, where he had a career best showing of making the semis (beating Landa and getting a walkover against Lalo to get there). Otherwise he remains stuck at the round of 16 gate, losing in the 16s in 6 of the 8 tournaments he entered.

He has managed to get out of the always-dangerous 16/17 seed range, which gives a very tough round of 32 match only to head into the #1 seed (almost always a loss), and now can feed into players he has a better chance of beating to advance into the quarters, but the time is now. He cannot continue to lose in the 16s and have a shot at the top10.

Interestingly, he showed more internationally than he did on the pro circuit, making the final of PARC (losing to Moscoso), winning the World Games (topping Montoya in the final), and making the semis of Worlds (losing to Rocky). On the pro tour his best win all season was probably Mar in Chicago or Landa in Sarasota, and he took a “bad” loss against Zelada in Maryland.

For 2023, I see him doing more of the same; mostly round of 16 losses, an occasional quarter, an occasional upset with a bad round of 32 matchup. But he’s absolutely committed to the tour full time and won’t miss a tourney. That says 12-13 range for me.

#14 Carlos Keller sees his ranking drop slightly from its #12 spot in 2021, but this lofty ranking is built on a house of cards. He missed 6 of the 9 events in 2022 after essentially touring full time the previous two seasons, and his #14 ranking is buttressed by the fact that it still includes the Grand Slam points of his finals run in the 2021 US Open.

When those points expire, his ranking will plummet out of the top 20 and unless he plans on re-committing to touring full time he’ll stay in the 20s. In the 17 events he has played in the last 3 seasons now, he’s lost in the 16s or earlier in 14 of them. This is not a winning financial strategy and is likely why he’s stepped back.

Expect his ranking to be in the mid 20s going forward as he plays just a couple events a year.

#15: @Sebastian Franco has seen his former top 10 ranking slip to #13 last year and #15 this year. In 7 events played this year, he lost in the 32s 5 times.

Life seems to have caught up to Franco, as family commitments and work requirements seem to be conspiring against him as a touring pro. Losing in the 32s is not a winning financial strategy, and I’d guess we’ll be seeing less and less of him going forward. He’s good enough to keep making a quarterfinal here and there, so I’ll predict he hangs around the top 20.

#16: Thomas Carter improved from #18 last season and played well this year. He got solid wins in the 32s all year and capped the season with a great win over fellow lefty Manilla in Portland. Eight tourneys played, five times he made the 16s. That’s definitely a recipe for sticking in the top 16.

For 2023 I expect more of the same, with him getting an occasional upset win or upset loss, and hanging right at this same range 15-16.

#17: Sebastian Fernandez marginally improved on his 2021 finish of #19. For the better part of two seasons he’s been absolutely “stuck” at the 16/17 seed in events, and has not advanced past the 16s in that time.

In his last 10 Pro events, here’s who took him out: Martell, Montoya, Landa, DLR, Montoya, DLR, DLR, DLR, Landa. That takes you all the way back to the 2021 US Open. Thats … well that’s a tough slate of round of 16 or round of 32 opponents. Patata is challenged just to get a decent shot at advancing. And you can kind of see it in his play; after playing most of the first half of the tour, he played just the US Open and Pleasanton to end it, perhaps going back into partial touring as he said he would a couple of years ago.

2023 prediction: he hangs around at this same gate, maybe gets a couple of wins, and marginally improves on his ranking.

#18: Eduardo Garay dropped from #15 last year to #18 this year and seems to be struggling for consistency on tour. In 6 events he was beaten in the 32s three times, the rest in the 16s.

His international career remains in limbo; after seemingly converting to Colombia that federation has collapsed and he hasn’t played internationally in years. He’s working for Francisco Fajardo and Team Zurek, which is great, but (like Franco) it seems to be having a negative effect on his playing career.

For 2023, I predict he continues to be part time and hangs around the 19-20 range.

#19 @Javier Mar got some statement wins this year, but continues to play the tour essentially part time. It is hard to predict that he makes a huge push when he seems to play just half the events (a situation that guarantees he’s always qualifying and guarantees he gets random round of 32 matches that are coin flips).

For 2023 I’m guessing he improves on his ranking slightly, but won’t get much about the 16-17 range unless he commits to playing full time.

#20 @Alvaro Beltran saw his ranking plummet from #11 to #20, partly because he frankly was just done playing singles and partly because of the elbow injury he suffered in Las Vegas that took him out of the last couple of events. I would be surprised to see him playing serious singles going forward, and may be either retiring, just pivoting to doubles, or pivoting to select events that are drive-able as he transitions into a Gearbox ambassador role.

Expect his singles ranking to slowly disappear as he moves towards retirement in 2023.


Predicted 11-20 rankings for 2023 (and other rankings for players mentioned here):

4. Rodrigo Montoya

11. Adam Manilla

12. Andres Acuna

13. Mario Mercado

14. Sebastian Fernandez

15. Thomas Carter

16. Javier Mar

17. Erick Trujillo (see next post)

18. Eduardo Garay

19. Sebastian Franco

20. Jordy Alonso (see next post)

Outside top 20: Keller, Beltran