LPRT 31st Annual Christmas Classic Recap

Vargas dominates to win in DC. Photo US Open 2019 Kevin Savory

Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Maria Jose Vargas

– Doubles: Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia

Vargas wins her 7th career LPRT singles title, putting her ahead of Mejia and tying her for 11th place all time with a couple of hall of fame calibre players in Marci Drexler and Caryn McKinney.

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=41727


Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/9pb


In the 32s, the tour welcomed back @Maria Renee Rodriguez , who we hadn’t seen on tour since May. She topped @Stephanie Synhorst to move on to face #1 Mejia. Texas junior @Naomi Ros got a nice win over fellow USA player Lexi York to move on, and Colombian @Maria Paz Riquelme took out Floridian Chanis Leon in a rematch of their opener from Boston.


In the 16s

– #9 @Samantha Salas Solis got the better of Carla Muñoz this time around, winning in a breaker of the always-close 8/9 matchup.

– #13 Cris Amaya advanced to the quarters of a pro event for the first time since January 2020 with a close 2-game win over Brenda Laime 13,14.

– #6 Alexandra Herrera made fast work of country-woman Jessica Parrilla for the 2nd straight event, moving on 6,5

– An injury to Argentine @Natalia Mendez gave team USA Kelani Lawrence a walk-over into the quarters.


In the Quarters

– #1 Mejia moved past Salas 2,11

– #13 Amaya turned back the clock once again and moved into her first pro semi since March of 2017 by topping Guatemalan @Ana Gabriele Martinelli in a breaker. Amaya lost game one easily and saved match points against in game two before topping Gaby in the breaker.

– #3 Vargas cruised past Herrera 3,10, another statement win defining the gulf that has opened between Herrera and the top 3 ladies on tour

– #2 @Paola Longoria was not very troubled by Lawrence, moving on 4,2.


In the Semis

– Mejia ended Amaya’s luck, advancing to the final 8,3

– Vargas topped Longoria for the 3rd time in their last 4 meetings, but it couldn’t have been any closer. (13),10,10. Vargas controlled most of the breaker and got to 10-6, but then Longoria saved match point against (plus two more) as she clawed her way to 10-10. Vargas buried a side-out winner, then aced Longoria on her fourth match point attempt to take the win.

In the Finals, Vargas improved to 6-4 lifetime (including wins in their last two meetings) to take the title.


Points Implications of results

When last year’s Xmas classic expires, Vargas will leapfrog Longoria for #2 on tour, relegating Paola to #3 on tour. It has been so long since Longoria was ranked below #2 on tour that our records don’t even reliably have seeding data; we know Paola was the #5 seed at the 2008 US Open, which she won, and by that season’s end she was firmly ensconced at #1 on tour. So, a seminal event on tour.

Other top 10-15 moves: Salas moves one notch ahead of Mendez in the rankings, while Munoz drops from #10 to #12.


Doubles review

Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/mrf

Mejia and Herrera won their third straight LPRT pro doubles title, and their 8th as a pair, with a comprehensive 10,8 win over the #1 seeds Longoria & Salas. The reigning Mexican champs (who won 2023 PARC but who got upset in the semis at the Pan Am Games) continues to be the best doubles team in the world, even if they’re still ranked #2 behind Longoria & Salas.


Open Singles, other notable draws

– Ros beat York again and then Synhorst to take Women’s Open singles.

– Dylan Pruitt took out Mauricio Zelada in an all-Maryland Men’s Open final.

– Pruitt teamed with Jessica Parrilla to win the Men’s open doubles title.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend from the LPRT crew, thanks to the tourney director, and thanks to all the sponsors as always.

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 …


We’re finishing off the last tournament weekend of the 2023 year. I’ll recap the Beach Battle from Hollywood and then after a break I’ll do a 2023 season IRT recap.




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