LPRT 2024 Arizona Open Recap

Vargas wins again. Photo US Open 2019 Kevin Savory

Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Maria Jose Vargas

– Doubles: Alexandra Herrera and Montse Mejia

Vargas wins the 3rd event of the four held so far in the 2023-24 season and takes a major step towards securing her first year end title. Herrera & Mejia cruise to another pro title together and solidify their place as the #1 ladies doubles team in the world.

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=41159

System note: I upgraded my hosting this past week and weekend to buy more resources for proracquetballstats.com and other personal interests. As things often do, the migration didn’t go very well, so i’m still experiencing issues with connectivity and errors on the site. So, there’s no embedded PRS links here for the loaded data because … i’m not sure whether it loaded to the “old” or “new” platform. Hopefully we’ll get this resolved asap.


Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database: tbd


In the 32s, there were no real “upsets” but we did see some decent games.

– Junior @Naomi Ros took Carla Munoz to 15-13 in game one before falling 13,4

– Jessica Parrilla came from a game down to top veteran Nancy Enriquez in a battle of doubles partners here at this event.

– MRR played @Kelani Lawrence tough before falling 10,7.

– One of the sport’s longest playing vets Susana Acosta made her first appearance of the 2023-24 season; its the 26th straight season she’s played a pro event. She took a game off of @Natalia Mendez before falling.


In the 16s, 100% chalk. All top 8 seeds advanced, though a couple were pushed.

– #5 Erika Manilla dropped the first game against #12 Munoz before moving on. Despite the seeds here, this is a lot closer of a match and this tiebreaker isn’t unexpected.

– Lawrence pushed #6 Gaby Martinez to a breaker as well, taking the middle game before falling in three.

– Parrilla and Laime had an interesting match: after losing 15-0 in game one, Parrilla fought hard to push game two to 14-14 but fell short of a tiebreaker.


In the Quarters, we got some upsets

– #8 Alexandra Herrera, who isn’t too far removed from winning tier 1s on tour herself, shocked her doubles partner and #1 Mejia in a tiebreaker. Sometimes, when you play a friend or someone you know well … seeds don’t matter. Mejia takes a quarter final loss and falls further behind in her quest to defend her title.

– #5 Manilla got a solid win over #4 Laime, playing just a few points short of the “perfect” game. Final score: 13,(14),8. Great win for the USA #1.

– #3 Longoria held off her 2018 World’s vanquisher Gaby Martinez 15-14 in game one, then crushed her 15-2 to move into the semis.

– #2 Vargas made very fast work of a player who’s given her fits in the past, #7 Barrios, winning 2,7 to move on. Whatever mental hiccups Vargas may have shown in the past, they seem to be past her.


In the Semis:

– Herrera moved into her first final in more than a season by topping Manilla 14,5

– Vargas continued her run of success against Longoria, taking two close games 12,14 to move into the final. After starting her career 2-14 against Longoria, Vargas now has won 5 of their past 7 meetings.

In the Finals, Vargas topped Herrera 5,12 in a game that may not have been as close as the scores to win her 3rd event this season.


Points Implications of results

There won’t be any changes in the current standings for the top 7 after this event, but we’ll see some shuffling in the 7-10 range. Salas will move up from 9 to 8, Barrios will move out of the top 8, and Munoz will get back in the top 10.

The more important points implications is in the Season to Date standings. With this win, Vargas takes a 125 point seasonal lead over Longoria, even more over Mejia. In fact, with three wins out of four so far, Vargas is easily in pole position right now to be crowned the third new LPRT champ in three seasons. Assuming there’s probably 4 or maybe 5 more events in the season (last year’s spring slate featured Boston, San Antonio, Sweet Caroline/Greenville, and a season-ending slam in Chesapeake), and considering that Vargas seems like a shoe-in to make the latter half of each event, it’ll be hard for her to be caught.


Doubles review

Match report in the PRS database: tbd

Nothing could stop the #1 and #2 teams from getting to the final, despite the talent in the draw. There, Mejia and Herrera cruised to another pro title and extended their lead at the top with a comprehensive 9,4 win over Salas & Longoria.


Open Singles, other notable draws

– USA top junior Naomi Ros took the small LPRT U21 draw.

– Carla Munoz took the Women’s Open draw over Lucia Gonzalez in the final.

– @Ben Baron took out Thomas Gerhardt in an all AZ men’s open final.

– The singles finalists paired up to take Men’s Open doubles.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst, Sandy Rios Jerry J Josey Jr., and Tj Baumbaugh


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …


Next up is the IRT in Sioux Falls for the annual Lewis Drug event on the 1/28 weekend. Then 2 weeks after that its Us Nationals in Arizona (Canada has a national selection event the same weekend). Next known LPRT event is Boston first week of March.


tags @LPR

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