The 34th annual Pan American Racquetball Championships tournament is in the books. Here’s a recap of the action, along with links for the results as entered into the Pro Racquetball Stats database.
Congratulations to the winners:
– Women’s Singles: Montse Mejia , Mexico
– Men’s Doubles: Rodrigo Montoya and Eduardo Portillo , Mexico
– Women’s Doubles: Alexandra Herrera and Montse Mejia, Mexico
– Mixed Doubles: Conrrado Moscoso & Angelica Barrios , Bolivia
It was quite the weekend for Moscoso, winning Mens singles and mixed and losing in the finals of Men’s Doubles, but it wasn’t quite enough to prevent Mexico from winning the overall combined team title. Mejia got the double Singles and doubles, and the Mexico mixed team making the final just put them over the top to win the Combined team.
Pro Racquetball Stats DB match results. Click on these links to see the match results in the DB:
– Men’s Singles: http://rb.gy/4m4j8
– Women’s Singles: http://rb.gy/cvs9h
– Men’s Doubles: http://rb.gy/u2f40
– Women’s Doubles: http://rb.gy/ii02g
– Mixed Doubles: https://rball.pro/9bz
Team Competition Results
Note: I do not yet have the full team results entered into the DB, but per blog posts we have gleaned the following standings:
Combined Team (Overall)
1st – Mexico
2nd – Bolivia
3rd – Argentina
4th — USA
1st – Bolivia
2nd – Mexico
3rd – USA
4th – Argentina
1st – Mexico
2nd – Argentina
3rd – Bolivia
4th – Guatemala
Mexico back on top in combined after finishing 2nd to Bolivia at last year’s PARC. 4th place overall is tied for the worst ever USA overall finish, and the Women finished5th. Definitely a disappointing result for team USA, and I believe these finishes cost the US some spots in the upcoming Pan Am Games.
Let’s run through the individual draws and talk about notable results.
There were no real surprises in the Round Robin stage of the Men’s singles; all the expected 1st place finishers finished first and I saw no real upsets. This led to a pretty true knockout stage draw.
In the knockouts, Canadian #1 Samuel Murray had to forfeit out, which thinned the bottom half of the draw a bit. The biggest “upset” in the quarters was Argentinian Diego García taking out USA #4 seed Thomas Carter, though Garcia’s results on tour lately made this a predictable result.
In the quarters, Garcia continued his run, taking out IRT top 4 player Portillo in a five game battle. It was chalk from the bottom, as #2 @Jake Bredenbeck and #3 Moscoso advanced to the semis without much trouble.
In the semis, #1 seed @Carlos Keller Vargas advanced to the finals over Bolivian-born but converted Argentine Garcia by the astounding score of 21-19 in the 5th. What an epic battle. From the bottom, Moscoso downed his familiar IRT pro rival Jake in 3 straight to get to the final.
The final was an all-Bolivian affair, a rematch of the Bolivian nationals that Keller surprisingly took earlier this year to ensure he was the top seeded Bolivian in this draw. Moscoso took three close games from his long-time teammate 8,9,9 to win the title. It is Moscoso’s 4th IRF title and third IRF major title (2023 PARC, 2022 Worlds, 2022 PARC), further solidifying his claim to being the best player in the world. See http://rb.gy/svvs1 for all Moscoso’s titles.
As with the men, no real surprises in the group stage, which featured a couple of all LPRT top 10 matchups that went basically along LPRT ranking lines.
The Knockout round featured a break out performance and a ton of upsets.
– #17 seed Costa Rican Maricruz Ortiz shocked the tournament by ousting #1 seed and defending PARC champion Angelica Barrios in the round of 16. A shocking upset by seed, but perhaps not so shocking for those who have watched Ortiz’ transformation lately as a player.
– #6 Mejia took a second win over #11 Erika Manilla after the two top 4 LPRT pros also met in the RR stage. This is one of the downsides of IRF’s seeding methodology, leading to a match that should have happened in the semis happening in the 16s and thus badly impacting team USA’s chances in the overall standings.
In the quarters, Ortiz continued her run with another win over a top LPRT pro, beating Colombian Cristina Amaya in a 5-gamer. Meanwhile, Maria José Vargas put another stake of doubt in the current status of world #1 @Paola Longoria , beating her in five games to give Longoria her earliest international loss since the 2006 Worlds (when Paola was a month past turning 17). See http://rb.gy/hzzal for a full list of Longoria’s IRF losses, which total just 11 over a nearly 20 year career.
The semis gave us some normalcy, as the two expected players Vargas and Mejia advanced, and then Mejia took a 3-game close final 8,6,9 to claim the title. This is Mejia’s first ever international title.
The Men’s doubles draw was almost entirely chalk, with no real surprises in the RR stage and a grand total of one upset by seed through the knockout stage. That upset was #5 team USA and the Bredenbeck brothers taking out #4 Team Ecuador in three quick games. Otherwise this was a coronation of team Mexico and team Bolivia blowing through the draw to meet in the final. In that final, Rodrigo Montoya won his 4th major international title with partner Portillo over the Bolivian national champions Moscoso and Kadim Carrasco .
The Women’s doubles RR gave a couple of surprises, especially team Guatemala (Gaby Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez ) taking out the pre-tournament #1 seeds from Argentina Mendez and Valeria Centellas to claim the #1 seed in the knockouts. They held serve all the way to the finals, taking out team Bolivia in the semis and team Chile in the quarters from the top-side.
From the bottom half, team Mexico (Alexandra Herrera and Mejia), which is largely now considered the best doubles team in the world, cruised through the draw without dropping a game en route to the title. This is Mejia’s first ever IRF title, and Herrera’s third.
This is just the third IRF event to host a Mixed doubles title, and Rodrigo Montoya has been in the final of all three. This time however, he came out on the losing end, as Moscoso earned the double for the weekend by combining with Mixed partner Barrios to win the title over #1 seed Team Mexico and its star-studded pairing of Montoya & Longoria.
It is a rare feat to beat Longoria in doubles internationally; she’s now a combined 104-6 in 15 years of competing internationally. But Moscoso and Barrios did it.
Congrats to the International Racquetball Federation for another successful event. Thanks to the IRT streaming crew and @Pablo Fajre for streaming, and thanks to @Gary Mazaroff and all his co-announcers for their hard work all week.
Next up on the IRF calendar is the Central American & Carribean games in July, then the big one: Pan Am Games in Chile in October.