2022 US Open Recap

Moscoso takes the US Open crown, writing his name into the record books Photo US Open 2019, Photographer Kevin Savory

Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:

  • Men’s Singles: Conrrado Moscoso
  • Women’s Singles: Paola Longoria
  • Men’s Doubles: Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran
  • Women’s Doubles: Natalia Mendez & Erika Manilla
    All results now uploaded to the PRS datbase. Here’s the Match Report links:
  • Men’s Singles: https://rball.pro/lsu
  • Women’s Singles: https://rball.pro/pb5
  • Men’s Doubles: https://rball.pro/sq4
  • Women’s Doubles: https://rball.pro/t72
    On the Men’s singles side, a brand new US Open winner in Moscoso, who blew through the draw to capture his 3rd career title and really make a statement on the tour. Paola wins her 12th career US Open title but had to work to do so. DLR/Beltran win their 3rd US Open doubles title together and defend their title, maybe the last time doing so if Beltran retires. And we have a brand new team and brand new faces on the US Open women’s pro podium.

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39683

Lets review the notable matches in the Men’s Singles draw.

In the qualifying, only a couple of surprises for me (from my preview) making the main draw:

  • Christian Wer gets a walk-over against Alejandro Cardona , a bummer b/c I thought he’d really press Portillo in the 32s.
  • Tough win for the up-and-coming Bolivian Miguel Angel Arteaga over tough NJ player @Joe Kelley to advance.

– U21 up and coming Mexican @Guillermo Ortega Jr. took out top American player @Maurice Miller in two.

In the 32s, just three upsets by seed (and we predicted two of them)

  • #19 Mar topped #14 Beltran 1,0, a score line that indicates that Beltran probably was going through the motions or protecting against injury to focus on doubles.
  • #18 Garay took out #15 Carter in a tie-breaker.

– The biggest upset though, was #54 Garcia taking out #11 Sebastian Franco 11-8 in the breaker. Franco has been on a rough stretch on tour lately, and Garcia is a sneaky good player who’s gotten wins in the past.

In the 16s, 7 of the 8 matches went chalk, but one massive upset and a couple of surprising results to this observer:

  • #16 Rodrigo Montoya upset the #1 seed and Defending champion @DaDaniel de la Rosa in a tiebreaker (10),14,9. DLR had match point on his racquet in game two, then missed a slew of shots in the breaker to really squander this match. No offense to Rodrigo, but for me this was more DLR losing than it was Rodrigo winning. Montoya utilized a high lob Z to DLR’s backhand throughout the breaker that DLR uncharacteristically did not attack, leading to setups and setbacks. After bailing out of the Virginia event with little notice and little information, one has to wonder what DLR’s level of commitment to the sport is at this point, given his rising Pickleball stature (he is on a @Major League Pickleball team and competes often on the PPA tour).
  • #5 Landa gave #12 @Andres Acuna no room for drama with a straightforward win.
  • My big upset pick was a repeat of #19 Mar over #3 Samuel Murray , but after a first game loss Murray found the solution and ground out an 11-8 tiebreaker win. All credit to Murray for a huge comeback in the breaker, going down 0-7 before coming back to win; that’d never happen in rally scoring folks!
  • I thought #10 @Adam Manilla had a shot against #7 @Rocky Carson, and took game one. But Carson bounced back to win the breaker.

Its the second straight IRT event with a #16/#17 seed upsetting the #1 in this round, and unless Carson makes a huge run it guarantees a new US Open champion for 2022 (here’s a summary of the first 25 US Open finishers: http://rb.gy/cifvcf )

In the Quarters, my predictions went out the window.

  • Montoya improved to 6-3 h2h against Bredenbeck in top-level events by winning two close, sometimes controversial games 13,14.
  • Landa reversed the result from two weeks ago in Maryland, beating Lalo 14,10 to move on and continue to fulfil @Sudsy Monchik ‘s bold predictions.
  • In a stunning result, #6 Moscoso destroyed #3 Murray 7,2 to move on. Clearly the Bolivian has tired of losing to Big Canada and found a game-plan to counter Murray’s in a big way.

– #2 Parrilla quietly moved into the semis by moving past Rocky.

In the Semis:

  • Montoya crushed Landa 6,5 to advance to his first pro final.
  • Moscoso similarly crushed Parrilla 5,6 to move into the final.

In the Finals, Montoya really had no answers for Moscoso on the day. The second game was a complete blow out, and Conrrado really made a statement here winning the title 8,4.

Points Implications of Men’s Singles results
This event will expire the March 2020 Chicago event, the last event before Covid shut the sport down, and the points ramifications are large:

  • Moscoso should move up to #2 on tour, though still 700 points or so behind DLR.
  • Kane drops to #8; he won Chicago in 2020 and loses all those points.
  • Montoya should move up to #12, finally getting out of that 16/17 range and making it easier on himself to continue to get to back ends of tournaments.
  • Franco and Beltran now project to #15 and #16 on tour, putting significant questions on their continued participation on tour.

– We should also see significant rises from the two long-shots who advanced into the main draw, Garcia and Barth.

LPRT Pro Singles Review
Here’s a recap of notable matches in the Ladies singles draw.
In the 32s, almost no surprises but a couple of good matches.

  • Cristina Amaya got a solid win over Nancy Enriquez 4,12
  • Jenny Daza won a very tight match over @Maria Renee Rodriguez (14),13,7.
  • #15 Sheryl Lotts overcame a first game loss to blank #18 @Micaela Meneses in game 2 and survive the tiebreaker.
    Nearly half the round of 32 matches were complete blow outs: 8 of the matches played featured score-lines where the losing player scored 6 or fewer points TOTAL in the match. There’s definitely a line of delineation on tour right now.
    In the 16s: 100% chalk. All top 8 seeds advanced, though there were a couple of surprising results for me, and several close matches
  • In the 8/9, Brenda Laime setup a rematch with Longoria by taking out #9 @KelaLawal Kelani in a breaker.
  • #5 Jessica Parrilla went breaker to down #12 Valeria Centellas
  • The shocker of the round for me was #4 @Natalia Mendez holding serve and downing #13 Ana Gabriela Martinez in two close games. Based on form and talent, I thought for sure Gaby was making the semis here.
  • Great win for #7 Carla Munoz , downing #10 and frequent rival Samantha Salas Solis to earn her first ever US Open quarter final.
    In the quarters:
  • #1 @Paola Longoria pasted the player who defeated her in Virginia two weeks ago in Laime 1,8 to make a statement and move on.
  • #5 Parrilla got another solid win, this time over #4 Mendez, to move back into the US Open semis for the first time since 2016.
  • #3 Erika Manilla turned the tables against @AANgelica Barrios (who defeated her at Worlds a few months ago) and moved into the semis by edging the Bolivian 13,14.
  • #2 @Alexandra Herrera made fast work of the #7 Chilean @Carla Munoz 5,2.
    So, nearly chalk into the semis, with 1,2,3 and 5 seeds.
  • Longoria was not troubled by her long-time Mexican rival Parrilla, winning 4,5 to get back to the US Open final for the 14th straight time
  • Manilla got her best ever professional win, crushing Herrera 6,6 to get to her first pro final.

In the Final, Manilla took a scintillating first game, then Longoria made some adjustments and cruised to the title, her 12th. Final score (13),5,3. Manilla has definitely put her name into the ring among the sport’s elite players as someone who absolutely could take the crown from Paola, but has her work cut out for her to vanquish the GOAT.

Points Implications of this event:

  • At the top of the LPRT, these results won’t change much. Vargas still held a sizeable lead on Manilla for #3 and it will take a couple more results for that lead to evaporate.
  • Longoria and Herrera still hold a huge lead at the top of the tour.

– Mejia will drop a couple of slots, especially once the 2021 US Open expires off.

Men’s Pro Doubles review
Chalk in the 16s, with all 8 top seeds advancing without any even being pressed to a breaker.
The big story of the Men’s Doubles was the amazing play by the Bredenbeck brothers, who beat the presumptive favorites Mar/Montoya and then handled the excellent #3 seeds Murray/Parrilla to get to the final.
From the top, all credit due to DLR/Beltran, who beat the excellent Bolivian pair of Moscoso/Keller to get to the final themselves.

From there, DLR/Beltran overcame a 15-14 first game loss to win t heir 3rd title.

Women’s Pro Doubles review:
No real surprises in qualifying; the only qualifier upset was the solid Bolivian doubles team of Barrios/Daza taking out the relatively new partnership of Lotts/Enriquez to get into the main draw.
In the quarters, the Guatemalan national team of Gaby/MRR took out the reigning US National champs and the winners of the last pro stop Scott/Lawrence in the 4/5 seed matchup. Otherwise the top 3 seeds moved on with ease.

The big story was the play of Mendez/Manilla, who took out the top two seeds en route to the title.

U21, Open, other notable draw results:

  • The IRT U21 was won by Diego Garcia, who took out presumptive favorite Trujillo in the semis and then held serve against hte improving Ortega in the final. Great win.
  • The LPRT U21 was taken by Centellas, who ground out a win against 18U Bolivian champ Meneses.
  • Men’s Open was taken by #1 seed Jordan Barth, who took out former IRT touring pro Costa Rican Felipe Camacho in the final.
  • Women’s Open was taken by Chilean Carla Munoz, who took out precocious Costa Rican MariCruz Ortiz in the final.
  • Men’s Open Doubles was taken by Mexicans Romano/Trujillo over Californians Torres/Reynolds.

– Women’s Open Doubles was won by Kaiser/Ros.

Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Dean Baer, Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew , as well as the LPRT crew led by @Tim Baghurst and Sandy Rios.
Thanks to the Tourney Director @Connor Shane for all the work 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.

Next up?
Per our handy master racquetball calendar …
We have a super fast turnaround for the IRT pros, who immediately head to the Bay Area to play in Manilla/Horn’s Golden State Open.

After that, a break until 3WallBall in Vegas, which i’ll be at all weekend! If you’re there definitely come say high.


US Open Preview!

can DLR defend his U S Open title? Photo US Open 2019, Photographer Kevin Savory

We’re at the US Open, the biggest event of the year.

I wrote up a huge preview for @USA Racquetball with “odds” of winning for each of the two pro singles draws, so I don’t want to write a ton here. Instead, go to the below link, open the Event Program, and read it there. The program has a TON of useful information on top of what i’ve written.


In this post, i’ll talk about some of the matchups I’m looking forward to in the opening rounds of the draws (i.e., Wednesday and Thursday), then i’ll cruise through some players to watch with some light predict ions.

IRT Singles:

I think your 128 and 64 round qualifiers will be:

– #17 Sebastian Fernandez , who continues to be “stuck” right in that 16/17 seed range, making it tough on him to move forward in main draws.

Rodrigo Rodriguez , who I think will get a win over former IRT touring pro and veteran Costa Rican Felipe Camacho

– Erick Cuevas fresh off his Mexican Junior Nationals appearance, who I think will top Maryland’s @Troy Warigon . But this could go either way.

– 9-time Junior national champion Jordan Barth, who is playing his first top-level racquetball to urnament in 5 years.

– Jaime Martell to take out talented USA junior @CCole Send .

– @MoMo Zelada to take out tough Colombian player @Andres Gomez.

– Former WRT top pro @Alejandro Cardona to take out Guatemalan veteran Christian Wer.

– Mexican Junior phenom @Erick Trujillo

– Last week’s IRT finalist #19 seed @Javier Mar, who I think will have another surprising run here.

– New Jersey tough lefty Joe Kelley over Arteaga

– USA national team member Sam Bredenbeck over Mexican junior @EzEzequiel Subieta

– Bolivian turned Argentinian @Diego Garcia to upset IRT regular @RoRobbie Collins

– @Sam Sam Brede , who looked so good at Worlds playing doubles.

– Veteran Bolivian power player @Kadim Carrasco

– Guatemalan regular Edwin Galicia

– Atlanta’s own and USAR board member Maurice Miller

– #18 Team Zurek member Eduardo Garay .

From there, here’s some of the round of 32 matches i’m looking forward to:

– 16/17 @Rodrigo Montoya vs Fernandez: two of the most athletic guys on tour battling it out. Could go either way.

– #9 Jake Bredenbeck versus former 9-time national junior champ Jordan Barth could be an interesting matchup of fellow Minnesota natives who have met plenty in local events in the past.

– #12 Andres Acuña versus Zelada; these two just met in Maryland, and Zelada upset the Costa Rican with relative ease. Could he do it again?

– #13 @Carlos Keller Vargas vs Trujillo; this could be a real interesting meeting, and an upset watch.

– #4 Eduardo Portillo versus Cardona: Cardona can and will score points against his young Mexican rival.

– #14 @AlvAlvaro Beltran cannot be happy about seeing Mar feeding into his round of 32 match.

– #11 Sebastian Franco projects to face a very tough former Junior world champion in Garcia.

– #15 @TThomas Carter versus Garay is an upset to look for.

In the 16s, a couple of possible upsets to look for:

– #1 Daniel de la Rosa versus Montoya; not the round of 16 that DLR would want; Montoya can win this.

– #5 @Alex Landa vs Acuna; if this comes to pass, these two have quite a bit of history.

– #19 Mar vs #3 @SSamuel Murray , a rematch of the semis from the Maryland IRT event, won by Mar.

– #7 Rocky Carson vs #10 @Adam Manilla , who I wonder if he could get an upset win.

My semis: DLR, Portillo, Parrilla, Moscoso. I think Lalo can beat Landa again, I think Moscoso takes care of Mar (though if Murray advances, Moscoso could be in trouble).

My final: Moscoso over Portillo.


Men’s Doubles:

15 teams are here, but the top 4 seeded teams have really separated themselves in both pro and international competitions oer the past year.

I like #4 Moscoso/@Roland Keller to upset the #1 DLR/Beltran team, #2 Montoya/Mar over Parrilla/Murray, and to eventually win the title.


Ladies Singles

31 Ladies entered into the singles draw.

In the 32s … look for some tough openers:

– #16 Cristina Amaya draws #17 @Nancy Enriquez in a super tough opener for both these long-time LPRT vets.

– #5 @Jessica Parrill gets USA national @Lexi York , who has been training with the Bredenbecks and will be a tough out.

– #14 @Maria RMaria Renee Rodriguez gets the tough Bolivian veteran @Jenny Daza in an upset watch.

– #15 @Sheryl Lotts takes on Bolivian junior national champ @MMicaela Meneses in a fun one for both players.

In the 16s:

– 8/9 @Brenda Laime vs US national team member Kelani Lawrence could be a barn burner. Laime famously took out Longoria in Virginia, while Lawrence only exited at the hands of eventual winner Herrera 14,14.

– #5 Parrilla vs #12 @Valeria Centella could be closer than Leoni prefers.

– #4 @NNatalia Mendes draws Gaby in an upset watch by seed.

– #3 US National champ @EErika Manilla will have her hands full with Daza.

– US National Hollie Scott has to come up with a game plan to beat the consistent Bolivian @AngelAngelica b .

– Salas-Munoz is a frequently seen matchup lately, with the two players splitting wins

My semis: Longoria, Martinez, Barrios, Herrera. I don’t think Laime can win twice in a row, I think Gaby takes out Leoni, I think Barrios upsets Erika, and I think Herrera beats either Salas/Munoz.

My final: 1 vs 2, with Longoria securing the biggest title in the sport.


Ladies Doubles Preview:

The absence of Mejia robs the draw of the Herrera/Mejia team that would normally press for the title. In their absence, I think #1 Longoria/Salas cruise to the title. They’ll likely face the most recent LPRT pro double champions from Virginia Lawrence/Scott in the semis, a fun match. On the bottom, Herrera replaces Mejia with excellent doubles player Parrilla and will make the final.


Follow USA Racquetball, IRT, LPRT on FB to get live streaming updates.

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.

Coincidentally, if you’re interested in playing Fantasy Racquetball for this event, the links to the brackets are advertised on LPRT’s main page. Both the IRT and LPRT are running fantasy competitions this year. The winner each week gets free swag!

@International Racquetball Tour


@usUSA Racquetball US OPEN Championships

Hashtags #racquetball#proracquetball#outdoorracquetball#irt#lprt#wor

IRT 2022 Capital Classic Preview

Parrilla is the #1 seed for the first time in his career. Photo 2019 US Open via Kevin Savory

Welcome back to Men’s Pro Racquetball! It seems like it has been ages since the last IRT event, in May, in New York. We’ve had two international events, multiple nationals, outdoors, and ladies pro events in the interim … but now we’ve got the Men’s tour back in action.
And the tour returns to the Washington DC/Baltimore area for a Tier-1 for the first time since 2019, when the old Valentine Open was held at the former Laurel SportFit club (since closed, a Covid casualty unfortunately).
This weekend we’re at the legendary Severna Park Health and Racquet, roughly halfway between Washington and Baltimore, a club that has run tournaments for decades and still has a old-school stadium seating behind its show court.. The IRT did run a lower tier event at this club in May of 2021, so some of the pros are familiar with the setting.
R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=39163
There’s 40 IRT men’s pros entered into the singles draw this weekend, and we have a couple of curious missing players which will make for interesting seeding. #1
Daniel de la Rosa is not here, meaning that Andree Parrilla is the #1 seed, a career first for him. Also missing for one of the rare non-injury times in his life is #8 @Rocky Carson , perhaps “travelled out” after multiple IRF trips this summer and looking to avoid a cross-country trip so close to the US Open. This puts both @
Mario Mercado and @Jake Bredenbeck into top 8 seed placement, giving them guaranteed byes into the round of 16.

Other top 20 players missing include Fernandez and Trujillo (who is at Mexican Junior Nationals this weekend along with a few others who normally would be here). Interestingly, @Alvaro Beltran is here, and will be playing Pro Doubles with someone not named De La Rosa for the first time in recent memory (he’s playing with Landa as the #1 seeds).

Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that I’m looking forward to:
In the round of 128:

  • A rare singles appearance by Bolivian doubles specialist Roland Keller , facing New Jersey’s @
    David Austin in the opening round.
  • Junior U16 Texan @Cole Sendry is here and starts his tourney against local open player @Troy Moore.
  • Top New England player John Behm has travelled down I-95 for the event and faces off against one of the Kelley Brothers in Sam.

– Two of the better Maryland-based open players (@Dylan Pruitt and @Ben Bleyer are entered and have their work cut out for them against @Abraham Mercado and former IRT touring pro @Kyle Ulliman respectively

In the round of 64:

  • #17 overall seed @Javier Mar gets a tough one in Roland Keller to get into the main draw.
  • Bolivian veteran @Kadim Carrasco returns to the tour and likely faces Texan youngster Sendrey to move on. This will be a great test for Sendrey if he makes it here in the opener.
  • Mexican dark-horse @Jaime Martel is here and kicks off his event against the Pruitt/Mercado winner.

– A tougher opener than #18 @Jordy Alonso deserved, likely facing Ulliman.

Projecting the 32s: here’s some possible matchups, which should be great.

  • #16 @Eduardo Garay projects to face Mar, a really nice matchup and contrast of styles. Mar is the better player, but has been out of singles action for a while. Can Garay grind out a win against the veteran control player?
  • #12 @Carlos Keller versus #21 @Alan Natera; Keller should advance here, but Natera can surprise.
  • #11 @Andres Acuna , who has now put himself squarely in the conversation of “man I’d least like to see in the qualifying draw,” faces local pro
    MoMo Zelada in the 32s. Zelada will get home-town bounces and fan support, but Acuna should advance.
  • #10 @Adam Manilla gets perhaps the toughest qualifier draw in #23 @Jaime Martel. I’ve got Manilla higher on the pecking order, but Martel can get wins. This will be an upset watch for sure.
  • #15

Thomas Carter has his work cut out for him against #18 Alonso. Another upset watch: Alonso has been on a hot streak lately, with 2022 wins over Horn, SFranco, and Jake.

Round of 16: Here’s some interesting projected matches for me in the 16s, which start Friday afternoon.

  • #1 Parrilla vs #17 Mar: wow, not the easy opener the #1 seed would normally expect. Up until quite recently I rated Mar as the better overall player than Parrilla, and these two go back a long ways. I don’t see an upset, but I do see a close match.
  • In the always-close 8/9, we get @Sebastian Franco on his (sometimes) home courts versus @Jake Bredenbeck . These two have split their last few meetings, dating to 2018, but Jake topped Sebastian easily the last time they met. Edge to Jake.
  • #5 @Conrrado Moscoso projects to face his country-man Keller, the mane he’d least like to see here. With DLR out of the top of this draw, Moscoso has to like his chances to get to the final (especially on the back of his great run at Worlds). But first he has to get past a player he’s played dozens of times in the past, and who knows how to beat him. Carlos beat Conrrado handily at last year’s US Open on the way to the final; Conrrado needs to find a way to mentally win this.
  • #3 @Alex Landa versus #14 @Rodrigo Montoya. Tough one for the #3 seed, as Montoya just beat Alex at the World Games rather handily. Montoya’s only losses this entire year have come against Kane, Moscoso, De La Rosa, and Acuna (in the World Games final). I think Montoya moves on here, and is starting to really take his place at the top of the pro food chain.

– #6 Lalo Portillo versus #11 Acuna: first time they’ve ever met in a top level setting, and I’ve got them neck and neck in my pure talent rankings. Tough one to predict, but I’m leaning towards Acuna, who has been hot lately. Lalo won the 2021 event on these courts so he’s a fan favorite, but Acuna has really turned it up a notch lately.

Projected Qtrs:

  • Parrilla over Jake: they just met in Birmingham and Andree handled the American easily.
  • Moscoso over @Samuel Murray. Yes I know Murray had a couple of recent wins over the Bolivian; to me Moscoso is the 2nd best talent in the world and blew out the Worlds draw, and seems like he’s on fire right now. That being said … sometimes its about the match-up and not about the talent; if Murray can control Conrrado’s power and force him to play impatiently … this could be a loss for the Bolivian at the hands of Big Canada once again.
  • Montoya over Acuna: even though Acuna topped Montoya at World Games final .. it was rally scoring. I think longer non-rally scoring games will favor Montoya, who can grind out points and wait for opportunities.
  • Waselenchuk over Mercado: Mario’s goal will be to not get donuted in either game at the hands of the GOAT.
  • Moscoso over Parrilla. Parrilla is a grinder, but Moscoso is a phenom.
  • Kane over Montoya. Montoya has the power and talent to get some points … and has had some impressive showings against Kane before, but he cannot keep up flawless shot-making for the entirety of a match, which is what it takes to beat Kane right now.
    Finals: Kane over Moscoso, in what hopefully is a more enjoyable match than the last time they met, where the Bolivian didn’t seem to have any semblance of a game-plan and got wiped out attempting to lob serve one of the best shooters in history.

(Note: I really hope t his turns out to be the progression of matches, because my semis features 3 of my 4 favorite players to watch in terms of athleticism, power, and shot-making.)

Doubles review
As noted at the top, DLR is not here, so the usual #1 seeds are now different. Beltran has teamed up with Landa and they’re #1. But they’re going to face some serious challenge; the #4 team is Moscoso/Keller, who have three IRF titles to their name and are coming off a finals appearance at Worlds.
From the bottom, #2 Montoya/Mar are the 2021 Worlds champions and are also a tough team to beat, but they’ve got to contend with a relatively new team of Acuna/Portillo as the #3 seed, both of whom are excellentdoubles players.

In the end, I like Montoya/Mar to top Moscoso/Keller in the final.

Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live.
Look for Dean Baer, Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots! Also look for @Gary Mazaroff on the mike this weekend, as well as yours truly Todd Boss, coming in for Saturday’s action.
Thanks to the Tourney Director Slemo Warigon and regular helpers Grisz and Milbach et al for putting this event on!
International Racquetball Tour
Hashtags #racquetball #proracquetball #outdoorracquetball #irt #lprt #wor







Alex Landa Open Recap

Landa wins the Landa Open. Photo from 2020 USAR National doubles by Kevin Savory

Here’s a recap of the excellent satellite IRT event from this past weekend in Juarez.
Congrats to your winners on the weekend:

  • IRT Singles: Andree Parrilla
  • Open Doubles: Rodrigo Montoya & Javier Mar
  • IRT21 Singles: Erick Trujillo

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39837

Lets review the notable matches in the Pro Singles draw.
Not too many surprises before the quarters; Cuevas got a walkover against Christian Longoria, @Jordy Alonso was a no-show, giving Diego Gastellum a pass into the 16s, otherwise the top players advanced.
In the 16s,

  • Andree Parrilla took out former WRT #1 Alex Cardona in two games.
  • Gastellum got a marquee win, topping Cuevas to get to the quarters.
  • Rodrigo Montoya handled former Mexican national champ Polo Gutierrez in two, a solid win against a very tough opponent.
  • Alvaro Beltran went breaker to top the under-rated Jaime Martell (who I thought would get this upset).
  • #2 and tournament namesake @Alex Landa had his typical slow start and dropped a game to Sebastian Hernandez before advancing.

All in all, only a couple of minor surprises into the quarters.

In the Quarters

  • #1 Parrilla handled the upstart Gastellum in two to advance to the semis.
  • #4 Montoya blitzed #5 Sebastian Fernandez , donuting him in the first to advance in two. Kind of a shocking result honestly.
  • “The Kid” Erick Trujillo took out the Veteran @Alvaro Beltran in a breaker. It looked like it would be a two game win, but Beltran had a huge comeback in game two to force the breaker, where Trujillo ran away with it 11-2. Another excellent result for the reigning 18U Mexican national (and World) champ.

– Landa made a statement against his long-time Mexican rival @Javier Mar, taking game one 15-1 and holding on for a two-game win.

The Semis went chalk:

  • #1 Parrilla, who has a losing record in tier1s against his long-time rival Montoya, flipped the script and took out Rodrigo in a breaker. After saving match points against in game two, Parrilla blew out the breaker 11-1 to win.
  • #2 Landa won two close games against the upstart Trujillo to move into the final.

In the Finals, it was a tale of streaks between the two top seeds. Landa cruised to a game one win, then Parrilla ran of a ton of points straight to win game two … then Landa blew it out in game three 11-1 to take the title in his home town tourney.

Open Doubles review
The doubles draw was relatively chalk into the finals, where the two top seeds of IRT veterans (#1 Montoya/Mar and #2 Landa/Beltran) were set to meet.

In the final, the #1 seeds took a close game one win, then cruised to a two game victory and the title.

IRT 21 Singles results:

  • #1 Trujillo advanced to the final from the top half, but not before getting pressed by Luis Renteria , who is playing in his age 17 season.
    The bottom half featured a big run of upsets by @Jose Ramos (who holds 6 junior Mexican titles himself and just matriculated out of 18U), who topped both Orteaga and Cuevas with relative ease to make the final.

In the final, Ramos gave Trujillo everything he could handle, and it went down to the wire, with Trujillo taking a thrilling 11-10 win.

Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Dean Baer, Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew

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 …

there’s a break in the schedule on the 8/7 weekend, then 8/15 marks the first pro tournament since May, with the LPRT returning to Mexico for a grand slam kickoff to their new season.

International Racquetball Tour

Alex Landa Open Preview

Landa headlines the draw at his namesake event. Photo US Open 2019, Photographer Kevin Savory

As you may have already seen on KRG and elsewhere in social media, there’s a very solid IRT satellite tournament scheduled for this weekend, the Torneo de Raquetbol Landa Open 2022, in honor of current IRT #4 Alex Landa . It is being held in Juarez, one of the bigger racquetball communities in Mexico, right across the river from El Paso where Landa resides.
The pro singles draw has 34 pro players, almost entirely from Mexico. The Guatemalan team is here, along with Set Cubillos Ruiz from Colombia and a couple of Americans, but this is almost entirely a domestic draw. And its stacked; this is arguably a deeper draw than the last Mexican Nationals event, and it should be a ton of fun to watch from afar.
r2sports link: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39837
Here’s a quick preview of the Singles and Doubles draws. Play gets kicked off later today, Thursday 7.28.22, and the @International Racquetball Tour streaming team is in the house to get us some live action.

Reminder: Juarez is Mountain time zone, so its 2 hours earlier than EST for timing purposes.

round of 32s to look for:

  • #9 @Erick Cuevas Fernandez versus #24 @Christian Longoria is compelling: Longoria is better than his seeding, while Cuevas’ seeding in an IRT event is inflated due to his playing more events. This is a pretty even match.
  • #21 @Jose Ramos versus #12 Cubillos: Ramos won a slew of Mexican Junior national titles and lost his last 18U season to Covid. This is a nice test against a veteran international player.
  • #20 @Polo Gutierrez vs #13 @Christian Wer; Polo was at one point recently a force in Mexican racquetball and won a slew of WRT events before an elbow injury curtailed the back half of his career. He’s still a very solid player and is an upset watch all weekend.
  • Both Renteria brothers are entered (owners of 9 junior national titles between them), and both take on Guatemalan competition in the openers.
  • – 15-18 @Guillermo Ortega versus @Sebastian Hernandez should be a close match between two up and comers in the Mexican scene.

Projecting the 16s, which are all scheduled for Friday night. Here’s some match-ups I’m projecting and hoping to see:

  • #1 @Andree Parrilla projects to face #17 Alex Cardona (who I think advances past Guatemalan Mendoza in the 32s). That’s a brutal draw for the former WRT #1; this is a quarters quality matchup.
  • #4Rodrigo Montoya vs #20 Gutierrez. A contrast in styles, with Montoya’s power and athleticism heading up against Polo’s pin-point control and unorthodox playing style. Montoya should advance but upset watch here if Polo is rested and in form.
  • #3 Alvaro Beltran vs #14 Jaime Martel ; Martell is one of the better players in the world that you may not know of, with multiple recent wins over players ranked in the teens on the IRT. I hate picking against Alvaro, but he’s struggled in singles events lately and Martel can beat players. Upset watch.

    Predicted Quarters:
  • #1 Parrilla over #8 @Jordy Alonso: Alonso probably is a top 10 player if he toured regularly, with wins over Horn, Jake and Sebastian Franco earlier this year. But Parrilla is too tough for him here.
  • #4 Montoya over #5 @Sebastian Fernandez : Patata has a relatively straightforward path into the quarters, but there is set to face the tough Montoya. Both of these players are athletic as all get-out, and this would be a fantastic match to see live. Rodrigo moves on.
  • #6 Erick Trujillo over #14 Martel: with wins over the likes of Natera, Garay, and Franco t his year, Trujillo is starting to become a feared opponent on tour. Martell is a veteran, and certainly can win this game, but i’ll go with the youngster to move on.
  • #2 Landa over #7 @Javier Mar: the only times I have these two meeting was in Mexican Nationals in 2017 (Mar win in the final) and 2019 (Landa win in the quarters). On paper this is a Landa win; Mar has taken time off from singles recently to rehab an injury, while Landa has also fought off injury issues in the last year, but both should be recovered. Expect a tactical shot making match here, with Landa moving on in two close games.

  • Montoya over Parrilla: Montoya just has Parrilla’s number, having just beat him in the World Games and owning a 6-3 adult record h2h against him. Makes you wonder why Montoya isn’t also in the top 4 in the world, if he can continually beat the current #2 player. Anyway; i’m going with another Montoya win here.
  • Landa over Trujillo; experience trumps youth here; Trujillo has the talent to get into main IRT draws but not to win them just yet. Landa solves him and moves into the final of his namesake tourney.

Final: Montoya over Landa. Montoya topped Landa in Birmingham (though landa was under the weather), and they have a 3-3 head to head record dating to 2017 in top-level events. Montoya has won the last two meetings on tour/internationally and is riding the hot hand.

IRT U21 preview
In the Under21 pro division, 14 players are entered, headlined by Trujillo and Cuevas. this is a great showcase for rising talent and i’m glad to see this division again.

Predictions: Trujillo over Hernandez from the top half, Ortega over Cuevas from the bottom half, and Trujillo wins the title.

Open Doubles Preview
This 12-team draw features some fun teams. it is headlined by Montoya/Mar, perhaps the finest doubles team in the world. They should advance to the final with relative ease.
The bottom half features a throwback veteran team of Landa/Beltran as the #2 seed; they should be able to outlast #3 Hernandez/Trujillo to get to the final.

The final should be chalk though, as Montoya/Mar are hard to beat.

As mentioned, streaming on the IRT this weekend. Follow the IRT and sign up for live streaming notifications.

IRT Costa Rica Open Recap

Parrilla gets the double this weekend in San Jose. Photo 2019 US Open via Kevin Savory

Congrats to the pro winners on the weekend:

  • Singles; Andree Parrilla
  • Doubles: Parrilla & Sam Murray
    r2 link: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39311
    Lets recap the Pro Singles draw:
    In the 16s, I had my eye on a couple of matches that might be close … but in the end, the draw went essentially chalk to the quarters. I say “essentially’ because #9 Javier Mar took out #8 Erick Trujillo 8,3, which may be an upset by seed but certainly is not by talent. The other pro-vs-pro round of 16 that looked intriguing turned into a blowout, with #7 Eduardo Garay Rodriguez handling #10 Alan Natera 12,3.
    In the quarters:
  • #1 @AnAndree Parrilla made fast work of #9 Mar 7,6. This used to be a much closer rivalry, now Mar has his work cut out to close the gap.
  • #5 Andres Acuña cruised past #4 @Sebastian Franco 9,3 on his home courts.
  • #6 @Rodrigo Montoya got a statement win over #3 @Eduardo Portillo 9,9; tour observes often wonder what would happen if Montoya committed to the tour full time, with his full attention. Could he be a top 5 player?

– #2 @Samuel Murray cruised past #7 Garay 4,7.

Both Semis featured great comebacks from the top seeds.

  • #1 Parrilla dropped the first game to the home-town favorite Acuna before advancing (😎,12,2.
  • #2 Murray looked like he was going to lose two fast ones to the athletic Montoya, but held on to win (😎,12,7.

In the final: Parrilla and Murray played a barn burner, each going through multiple shirts and fighting both each other and the humidity before Andree pulled away at 7-7 in the breaker to take it. Solid match.

Pro Doubles review:
The pro doubles went completely chalk to the finals, where #1 Montoya/Mar took on #2 Parrilla/Murray.

In that final … Parrilla & Murray, who had just walked off the court as singles competitors in the final, teamed up to take out the #1 Montoya/Mar pairing 13,13. This is an interesting result for me: Montoya & Mar are an accomplished, veteran team who have shown the ability to beat any other pairing in the world. Meanwhile, Parrilla just spent the last season exclusively playing doubles with Portillo … who was here in Costa Rica. So why didn’t the two play together? Meanwhile, Murray normally plays with Landa and has for several years and is securely ranked #2 on the doubles circuit. Is he looking for a change?

Men’s open review:
The Men’s open draw was nearly the size of the Men’s singles draw and featured some interesting players and interesting results.
From the top half, #1 Erick Trujillo topped #4 @Set Cubillos in one semi, while #2 @Alan Natera took out #3 former IRT touring pro @Felipe Camacho in the other. Camacho advanced in part by topping LPRT #5 @Ana Gabriela Martinez along the way in a breaker.

In the Open singles final… Trujillo got a solid win against a tough veteran player in Natera to take the Open title.

Thanks to Dean Baer and Pablo Fajre for making the trek to San Jose to broadcast for us!

IRT Costa Rica Tier 3 Preview

Acuna welcomes pro players to his home club as a host this weekend in San Jose. Photo US Open 2019 Kevin Savory

The Costa Rica country club in San Jose is hosting an IRT event for the first time (I believe) since 2019, and they’ve got a nice solid draw. Lower tier events are not put into the proracquetballstats.com database because they’re not “full draws,” but they generally get a good chunk of the IRT top 10 and definitely contribute ranking points.
r2 link; https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39311
Here’s a preview of the draw in San Jose this weekend; the tourney runs Weds-Sat so play will start on 6/15/22. There will be streaming, which is awesome, and per the IRT’s posts streaming starts thursday with the quarterfinals.
Singles preview:

  • 25 players entered, including 3 guys from the current top 10 (Parrilla, Murray, and Portillo) and another 5 guys from the 11-20 range (Franco, Acuna, Garay, Montoya, and Trujillo) and a couple of big names from the 21-30 range who can make noise (Mar, Natera).
    There’s a ton of players here from Guatemala, including their entire international team of Salvatierra, Wer, Mendoza, and Galicia. There’s also a great set of IRF vets from other countries: Cueva from Ecuador, Cubillos from Colombia, the Gaticas and Salgado from Chile, plus @Franciso Fajardo and some of Team Zurek.
    In the round of 16, look for these good matches:
  • 8/9 Trujillo vs Mar: a tough draw for the young Trujillo, getting a player in Mar who, when he’s “on” can be one of the best 8-10 players in the world. Mar has been out for a while nursing a core muscle injury, so this could be a close match.
  • 4/13 Mexican up and comer Sebastian Hernandez takes on veteran Franco in a good test for him, assuming he can get by the veteran Cubillos in the 32s.
  • 7/10 Garay vs Natera; this is an interesting match. Garay has been hit or miss touring lately, but should have the slight advantage over Natera.
  • 2/15: Murray vs Camacho; Camacho is a long-time former touring pro who can still ball; Murray has no cake walk here.
    Projected Quarters:
  • #1 Parrilla vs Trujillo/Mar winner: Parrilla has a tough quarter ahead.
  • #4 Franco vs #5 Acuna: Look for Acuna to hold serve at his home club
  • #3 Lalo vs #6 Montoya: tough matchup for Lalo here; Montoya is better than his ranking
  • #2 Murray vs Garay/Natera winner: this should be a win for Murray on paper, but both of these players can cause trouble.

My projected semis and Final: Parrilla over Acuna, Montoya over Murray. Final Parrilla over Montoya. However … if the semis turn into this quartet of players, its “any given sunday” because I think all four of these players are tightly bunched and can beat each other. Should make for some great Friday and Saturday action.

One of the best doubles teams in the world is here in Montoya/Mar; I see them topping Garay/Franco in one semi. In the other side, Portillo/Acuna versus Parrilla/Murray is an interesting doubles match. Portillo/Parrilla were a “team” for sometime recently but now are apparently splitting up. Acuna doesn’t really have a regular partner since Camacho stopped touring, but Portillo has shown he’s a solid player. I’ll go with Lalo/Acuna in an upset.

However, the final is all Montoya/Mar, irrespective of who comes out of the bottom side.

Looking forward to more live pro racquetball this week!

IRT New York Open Recap

Kane was cruising towards another title before court conditions halted play. Photo US Open 2019, Photographer Kevin Savory

Congrats to your winner on the weekend … well, there was no Pro winner this weekend. For just the 2nd time in recorded pro tour history, an event was started but not completed. #1 Daniel de la Rosa and #7 Kane Waselenchuk had just finished game one of the singles final when the viewers saw them talking with the IRT commissioner @Pablo Fajre on the court … and then we saw nothing but commercials for what seemed like 10 minutes straight before the feed cut out. We eventually got the explanation; wet courts and safety concerns.

IRT statement on the situation: https://www.facebook.com/racquetballtour/posts/10159763607656737

It’s a bummer, because Kane was as dialed in as I’ve ever seen him this weekend and had just taken the first game 15-4. But, the court conditions (which by all accounts were already sketchy all tournament) turned unbearable after an HVAC issue overnight turned the courts into skating rinks. The players will split the points and money, and we’ll have a ? for the winner in the database for the rest of time.

What was the other IRT tournament that never finished? That would be the 2005 Summer Cooler traditional season opener that used to happen in New Orleans every season. But in August 2005 … Hurricane Katrina bore down on the town and the players had to get out of town after completing the quarters on Friday night. The tourney was never finished, Katrina decimated the area … and there’s never been another tournament in New Orleans since.

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=38842

Lets review the notable matches in the Pro Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database: http://rball.pro/5BBBF2

In the 128s and 64s: Here were some of the eye-brow raising results for me in the first day of qualifying:

  • Bravo to the traveling Ecuadorian pros, who fared very well this weekend. Cueva won a round before losing to Horn, and Ugalde made the round of 32s before playing Fernandez tough and losing 13,10.
  • Bolivian junior Ezequiel Subieta got two solid qualifier wins over Warigon and Salvatierra before falling to Garay.
  • Flight issues took Cardona out of the event, giving Iwaasa a clearer path to the 32s.
  • – Mexican junior Guillermo Ortega Jr. got a couple of solid wins over established international pros Gomez and Cuevas to get into the 32s.

In the 32s:

  • Horn upset #9 Jake Bredenbeck with relative ease 7,10.
  • #12 Manilla was pushed to a 11-9 breaker by Guatemalan Galicia
  • Acuna and Iwaasa played a very close match, with Acuna advancing 10,14. Iwaasa could absolutely be a mid-teen ranked player on tour if he played regularly.
  • Bolivian junior qualifier Hector Barrios got the biggest win of the round, taking out #10 Franco 14,11.
  • Another top 16 seed upset was #15 Robbie Collins, taken out by the young Mexican Ortega.

Three qualifiers into the round of 16.

In the 16s:

  • #1 DLR calmed the upstart #16 Alonso
  • Underseeded Horn gave Mercado everything he could handle.
  • #12 Manilla took out another top 8 player, this time the #5 seeded Portillo in a breaker.
  • Fernandez was just a couple points away from an upset of #4 Landa … but couldn’t convert and Landa squeaks by 14,13.
  • Murray and Garay played a close game one, and a not-so close game 2 as the Canadian advances 13,0.
  • #6 Moscoso made fast work of his oft-difficult rival Acuna 6,4
  • #7 Waselenchuk put on a clinic against the young Bolivian Barrios, winning 3,5
  • – #2 Parrilla was made to work for it by his young Mexican rival Ortega, but advanced 9,12.

In the Quarters

  • DLR held off the mercurial Mercado in a breaker.
  • Landa cruised past Manilla in two.
  • Murray put another loss on Moscoso. This is the third time in five meetings that Murray has controlled Moscoso and put a loss on him, something that observers continually seem shocked by.
  • – Waselenchuk made a statement against Parrilla, donuting him in the first and ensuring that there would e no repeat of Atlanta.

In the Semis

  • DLR survived match point against his long-time rival Landa and moved into the final.
  • Waselenchuk crushed his Canadian rival Murray 1,1 in another statement win.

In the Finals … as mentioned above Kane was cruising. DLR’s points all came on aces or service winners, which is a difficult strategy to maintain when that’s the only way you can score.

Points Implications of results
Kane and DLR split the points, getting 350 each, which doesn’t make much of a change in the standings. The top 8 should stay the same after this event, which expires the 2020 Lou Bradley.
DLR (who didn’t play the Lou Bradley in 2020) only expands his lead at the top of the points; he now leads #2 Parrilla by 1400 points, a huge margin. The rest of the top 8 tightens: the difference between #2 and #8 is now less than 500 points, and we’ll see some major jostling in the 2-7 spots after every event going forward.

Acuna should rise to #11, his career best. Manilla should also see a big jump to #12. Beltran will drop, possibly to #15 by virtue of his absence here and expiring points. The other big mover will be Alonso, who will jump from in the 30s to in the 20s.

Men’s Open and other draws

  • Men’s Open Singles had 33 players, and the final featured two veteran international competitors in Canada’s Iwaasa and Ecuador’s Ugalde. They played the “perfect” match, with Iwaasa winning 14,(14),10.
  • Men’s Open Doubles featured more of the tour regulars with no pro doubles component, and the competition was fierce. The final was won by Acuna/Alonso topping Fernandez/Ortega Jr in two close games. Great event for Ortega jr.
  • – The U21 was a new event here, with players representing SEVEN different countries competing. In the end #1 seeded Bolivian Hector Barrios took out #2 Cuevas in the final, but lots of top young players competed and fared well.

Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Dean Baer, Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew

Next up?
We’ll recap the LPRT event tomorrow, then talk about what’s next on the calendar

IRT NY Open Preview

Fernandez gets a #13 seed; can he get a first round upset? Photo US Open 2019 via Kevin Savory

After a couple year’s hiatus, the IRT returns to Long Island for the 2022 New York Open.
The tournament has a rich 47-man draw, including a ton of players we don’t normally see on tour, which I’ll call out in the “interesting matches to watch” section below.
Top20 players missing: #8 Carson misses a rare event; he went nearly 20 years without missing a tournament. Word is he’s avoiding the cross-country trip ahead of Nationals. #11 Beltran is not here; he was clearly hurt at the last tournament and has mentioned he won’t play in tournaments that don’t have doubles anymore. #13 Keller misses his second straight pro event. #16 Montoya is not here, nor is #17 Carter (a rare tourney missed as well). Interestingly #20 Trujillo, who was making a big move, is missing the event after a strong run. Maye he has finals.

All these missing top seeds have meant that Fernandez is finally out of the 16/17 seed range and can get a more winnable first rounder, and Mercado gets a top8 protected seed, among other players ranked in the teens moving up.

Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:
In the round of 128:

  • Arteaga vs Ecuadorian national team member Cuevas should be interesting.
  • Sam Kelley versus Canadian national team member Leduc is a solid match.
  • Another Ecuadorian Ugalde takes on Cubillos in an intriguing all-South American match.
  • toughest first rounder: Canadian #2 Iwaasa versus the very good Joe Kelley.
  • Gomez vs Ortega Jr could be interesting too.
  • Bravo to all the NY local players who entered and will duke it out in this round of 128. Punjari, Puggioni, Galvez, Sullivan, Meguerditchian, and Behm all representing the tri-state area.

In the round of 64, we have some projected battles worth watching:

  • Floridian Zamudio versus Galicia could be great.
  • Ugalde versus Sam Kelley would be a good match.
  • Warigon versus the Guatemalan #1 Salvatierra would be great.
  • Iwaasa once again is in the toughest potential match of the round, projecting to face Cardona. Both these guys can make the 16s with the right draw, but one is going home in the 64s.
  • – Young Bolivian Barrios gets a test against veteran Wer.

Projecting the 32s:

  • #16/17 Alonso vs Zelada. Alonso has been on fire, but Zelada is no slouch. A nice test for the Mexican who has been hot lately.
  • #9 Bredenbeck vs Horn; all American matchup sends one team USA member home early. In their WRT peaks i’d favor Horn, but now i’m favoring Jake.
  • The best projected match of this round will be #11 Acuna versus the winner of Cardona/Iwaasa. Acuna should hold serve against both players, but both will press him as better than their seedings.
  • – #15 Robbie Collins is the most vulnerable of the 9-16 seeds, but the winner of Cuevas/Behm/Gomez/Ortega Jr quadrant may not have enough firepower to do so.

round of 16:

  • I Like DLR-Alonso for some fireworks. Alonso can score some points, but DLR will advance.
  • I think #9 Jake upsets #8 Mercado with better current form.
  • Can #13 Fernandez upset #4 Landa? Yeah, I think he can, especially if Landa gets off to a slow start. Fernandez has the explosive game to press Landa unless he’s 100%.
  • #14 Garay has the firepower to top Murray but will need to play a complete match. Murray is a model of consistency and rarely loses to upstarts.
  • #6 Moscoso vs #11 Acuna: these two always play close.
  • – If Kane shows up, he has a straightforward winnable first rounder against Franco.

Projected Qtrs:

  • #1 DLR over #9 Jake.
  • #5 Lalo over Landa/Patata winner; i think Lalo is poised to take the next step and Landa is beginning to show some wear and tear. If Sebastian gets the upset win, I still think Portillo can top him in a battle of 20-somethings.
  • #6 Moscoso over #3 Murray, even though Murray has a number of wins over the Bolivian in their career. It nearly always goes breaker.
  • #7 Kane over #2 Andree. Again, if he shows. This would be a rematch of the epic 11-10 Andree win from Atlanta in January.
  • #1 DLR over #5 Lalo; Lalo doesn’t have what it takes to beat DLR yet.
  • #7 Kane over #6 Conrrado. But, if Kane no-shows I like Andree over Conrrado in a rematch of two weeks ago.
  • Finals;
  • – If he shows, Kane takes out DLR in a highly anticipated matchup of the current #1 and the long-time #1. If its DLR vs Parrilla, its a rematch of last week, a easy DLR win. If its DLR- Moscoso? Tough one: DLR has the better game and Moscoso would need a game-plan/strategy to counter 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 Dean Baer, Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots!
@International Racquetball Tour

IRT SoCal Open Recap

DLR wins his 8th career title. Photo US Open 2019, Photographer Kevin Savory

Congrats to your pro singles winner Daniel de la Rosa for his win in Canoga Park on Saturday 4/30/22.

He secures his 8th career Tier1 title, which moves him into a tie for 13th all time with newly inducted Hall of Famer John Ellis . 12th on the list is 1981-82 pro tour champion and fellow Hall of Famer @Dave Peck , who won 11 tier1 titles.

See this link for a list of all 42 historical Tier1 IRT pro tourney winners: http://rball.pro/1D09B4

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=38996

Lets review the notable matches in the Pro Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database: http://rball.pro/22795E

In the 128s and 64s:

  • Great showing this weekend from Bolivian Junior @Hector Barrios, who won twice on Thursday, including an upset of IRT regular @Erick Cuevas Fernandez, to get into the round of 32.
  • @Alejandro Cardona ‘s return to the IRT started out well, with two quick wins over seeded competition.
  • @Jim Douglas secured his first career IRT win in the round of 128, taking out @Brad Levine in a breaker.

In the 32s, some big upsets.

  • #17 upset #16 when @Sebastian Fernandez took out @Thomas Carter in two. Patata can’t seem to get out of the #16 seed at IRT events and will shoot for the big upset on Friday.
  • #9 Mario Mercado almost fell to former IRT touring pro @David “Bobby” Horn, but outlasted him 11-8 in the breaker. Its hard to win three matches in a day.
  • #21 @Jordy Alonso got the biggest upset of the day, continuing his excellent streak of play lately and beating #12 @Sebastian Franco in two 6,13. Alonso is making a statement lately, now with wins in the last few months over Horn, Franco, and Bredenbeck.
  • Cardona made quick work of a hobbled #11 @Alvaro Beltran 13,2 to move into the round of 16
  • #18 Mexican junior phenom @Erick Trujillo staved off match point against in game two versus #15 fireballer @Eduardo Garay, then raced to a 11-3 tiebreaker win. Trujillo continues to get solid wins against solid pros.

In the 16s, two upsets by seeds and a couple other notable matches:

  • #8 @Rocky Carson made quick work of #9 @Mario Mercado 6,11 in the 8/9 spot that generally sees really competitive matches. Mercado won his first Tier 1 recently, but has scuffled as of late both professionally and internationally.
  • #13 @Adam Manilla got one of the best wins of his career, topping #4 Alejandro Landa in an 11-8 tiebreaker.
  • #3 @Andree Parrilla was pushed to the edge by the improving @Andres Acuna but prevailed 10,14
  • #6 @Conrrado Moscoso shook off the jet lag after falling behind big in the first, then raced to a two game win over Cardona 14,4.
  • In the always competitive 7/10 match, #7 @Eduardo Portillo took a solid win over #10 @Jake Bredenbeck in a tiebreaker
  • #2 @Kane Waselenchuk was a no-show, reportedly having “flight issues,” which gave Mexican reigning 18U World champion @Erick Trujillo a walkover into the quarters, his career best.

In the Quarters

  • #1 @Daniel de la Rosa reversed his previous result against #8 Carson, topping him in a breaker. These two had met in the last event at this juncture and Carson upset the #1 player; not this time.
  • #5 @Samuel Murray cruised past the upset-minded Manilla in two games. It is difficult to come back after a career win and compete in the next round, especially when its just a few hours later.
  • #3 Parrilla showed pretty sturdy mental game against #6 Moscoso, coming back from 10-0 down in the first to win 15-12. He then ground out a 15-13 game two win against the talented Bolivian to get a really solid win and move into the semis.
  • #7 Lalo put his foot down against his junior Mexican rival, topping Trujillo 8,4 in a dominant showing to move into the semis.

In the Semis

  • #1 DLR improved to 5-1 lifetime against Murray, playing a solid match to advance despite Murray’s best acrobatic efforts 13,9.
  • #3 Parrilla played a masterful tactical match against #7 Portillo, frustrating his young San Luis Potosi rival to advance 8,8.

In the Finals, DLR improved to 9-2 career against Andree and took care of business, driving the action and out playing Parrilla en route to a comfortable 8,11 win.

Points Implications of results

The IRT for the time being is doing the ranks on a rolling 11 Tier1 basis, dropping the lowest Tier1 showing and any other events that add up to more than 11 played events. That means this tournament “retires” two Jan 2020 events, where DLR had a win and a final, so he had 700 points to defend. This means his lead at the top will shrink, but he will remain #1 by a sizeable margin.

The big move will be Kane dropping; he had a win in Austin in January 2020 to defend, and earned zero points here, so he’ll drop at least a few spots (my projection shows him dropping to #5 on tour). This means that Parrilla will ascend back to the #2 spot, Landa moves up to #3, and Murray to #4.

Men’s Open Singles and Doubles draws
No pro doubles here, so a lot of the non top 8 also entered Open Singles … and then a lot of them dropped out, giving a bad look with a ton of WBF-ns on the sheet. Four of the top 8 seeds forfeited out at the round of 16.
The semis featured a very international flavor, with two Bolivians, a Guatemalan, and a Colombian competing. Bolivian 16U payer @Ezequel Subieta took out Colombian vet @SeSet Cubillos in one semi, while Mexican youngster @Miguel Arteaga Guzman got a walkover against Guatemalan vet @Juan Jose Salvatierra in the other. The final thus was #15 versus #16, with Arteaga taking out Subieta 11-10 in a thrilling match.
In Open Doubles, seeds held to the semis, which was full of IRT touring regulars. #1 Garay/Franco (a good representation of the top Colombian doubles team) beat the young team of Trujilo/Rodriguez in one semi, while the excellent pairing of Acuna/Alonso topped the NorCal duo of Antone/Horn.

In the final, Acuna/Alonso prevailed over the hard hitting Colombians, winning easily 13,5.

Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Dean Baer and Leo Vazquez , who flew in specially for this event. We also got to see a ton of streaming from @JTRB , thanks as always for all you do. Thanks also to @Wayne Antone who did some great work on the mike and reffing.

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 have a break next weekend, then on the 5/15 weekend both pro tours are back in action. IRT is in NYC, while LPRT has its Grand Slam in South Carolina.