IRT 2024 JMB Produce SoCal Open Preview

Can Trujillo make some noise in SoCal? Photo US Open 2021 via Kevin Savory

Welcome back to the IRT 2024 season. This coming weekend is the 4th event of the season, with the tour returning to Southern California at one of the biggest clubs in the LA area in Canoga Park. Thanks to tourney director Cindy Tillbury for making this event happen, and thanks to JMB produce and its owner Craig Rolandelli for being the title sponsor.

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This week we have a nice contingent of Mexican players who have been able to drive over the border to play. There’s 37 pros in the singles draw. There’s also a slew of regular touring pros/top 10 players missing: #4 Parrilla, #5 DLR, #9 Murray, and #13 Portillo all miss this event for various reasons (It’s Canada nationals this weekend for Murray, for example). These absences have given some career high seedings to a couple of players, including Erick Trujillo getting a 7 seed and @Erick Cuevas being seeded 10th.


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

In the round of 64/qualifying, there’s only 5 qualifiers this weekend:

– Wer/Wolfe could be interesting: Wer a long-time international player and Wolfe briefly a touring pro a few years back.

– Alonso-Bear is a tough draw for the youngster Bear.


Projecting the 32s: here’s some great matches to watch for in the 32s.

– 9/24: @thomas Carter vs @Alejandro Cardona is a fun first round. Cardona doesn’t tour full time but he’s tough. Carter has been playing well, but this could be close.

– #5 Adam Manilla projects to play @DJ Mendoza, USA adult team member versus USA junior team member.

– Fellow USA junior team member Cole Sendrey gets a winnable match against Carlos Ramirez.

– Alonso feeds into #3 @Kane Waselenchuk , and will get some points off of him.

– #11 Jaime Martell gets Elias Nieto , a tough matchup.

– Trujillo takes on veteran international Juan Francisco Cueva .

– with his career best seeding, Erick Cuevas gets tough junior Diego Gastelum. Upset watch here.


round of 16:

– Current #1 Conrrado Moscoso projects to play former #1 @Rocky Carson , who’s entering his home town event and comes in as a #17 seed.

– #8/#9 Alan Natera projects against the Carter/Cardona winner, either of which will make for a solid match here.

– In the 6/11, Andres Acuna projects to play Martell/Nieto winner, which will be a solid match.

– In the 7/10, I could see Trujillo v Gastelum, two guys who are both competing in Mexico U21 right now, and which we could see Gastelum getting a win. The last time they played was at 2023 Mexican Nationals, and Gastelum beat him easily.

– #2 @Rodrigo Montoya gets a resurgent #15 @Sam Bredenbeck .


Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Moscoso over #8 Natera. There’s really only one or two guys who can top Moscoso right now, and they’re both on the opposite side of the draw this weekend.

– #5 Manilla over #4 @Jake Bredenbeck . Manilla got Jake at US Nationals last year, and Jake’s been on a season-long slide, so I’m playing the trends here.

– #3 Waselenchuk over #6 Acuna. Acuna took a game off Kane earlier this season by sticking to a simple game plan: get drive serves in and go for 3 shot rally wins. Is he consistent enough to do this for three games? No, but if Kane’s having an off day this could be close.

– #2 Rodrigo Montoya over Gastelum Montoya is #2 for a reason and won’t be falling here.


– Moscoso over Manilla

– Waselenchuk over Montoya. Now, this is no gimme; they played in Minnesota and it was a 14,(7),2 win for Kane … first game could have gone either way and Montoya blitzed Kane for the game two win before a bad call derailed Rodrigo mentally in the breaker. The thing is, Kane doesn’t have mental breakdowns on the court; he’s relentless, and you can’t have any slip ups. Can Rodrigo put it together and get a first career win?


Kane over Moscoso. The last couple of times we’ve seen this anticipated matchup, its been disappointing. Moscoso is a front runner; when he’s ahead, he dominates. When he loses the first game, he struggles to come back. Conrrado has a h2h win over kane so its possible, but I don’t think the court conditions (playing at sea-level with the slower gearbox ball) will play into Conrrado’s favor.

If Kane wins, he will have an almost unbeatable lead for the year end title … he’s already 300 points ahead in season to date and has basically no points to defend for 2023.


Doubles review

No Javier Mar this weekend, so the top doubles player Montoya picks up Trujillo as the #1 seed. They have to play two tough SoCal players in Allin/Shahin right out of the box. Alvi and Rocky take time away from Centurion to play pro doubles together as the #8 seed; they’re good at doubles but won’t get past #1. I like the Bredenbeck brothers at #5 to make the semis but fall.

From the bottom half, two kids in Gastelum & Sendry should push #2 Moscoso/Carrasco but fall in the Quarters. I like Natera/Acuna as a team and I thi nk they can get past the reigning Bolivian champs in the semis if they pick on Carrasco, who sometimes struggles to put balls away when he needs to.

Finals though, Montoya/Trujillo should win.


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, Samuel Schulze, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots!


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