LPRT 2024 Sweet Caroline Wrap-up

Vargas wins her 5th title of the season, and moves closer to the year end title. Photo US Open 2019 Kevin Savory

Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Maria José Vargas

– Doubles: Alexandra Herrera and Montse Mejia

Both #1 seeds take the pro draws, but both also had to endure 11-10 wins to do so along the way.

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=42306

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Let’s review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/v9b

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In the 32s:

– #17 Michelle Key continues to build points after being away from touring for years by topping #16 Stephanie Synhorst

– #21 Sheryl Lotts, who’s also been away from the tour for months after being a regular fixture, returned with a great win over #12 Hollie Scott .

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In the 16s:

– #9 Carla Munoz took out #8 Cris Amaya 7,6 to try to stay in the tour’s top 10.

– #11 Natalia Mendez got her best win in months, taking out the mercurial #6 Brenda Laime to move into the quarters for the third time this season.

– – #7 @Kelani Lawrence survived a 15-14 game one to advance past the the resurgent #10 @Jessica Parrilla .

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In the Quarters

– the top 4 seeds advanced as expected, with a couple of the matches being close.

– #4 @Alexandra Herrera ground out a close 13,14 win against #5 Ana Gabriela Martinez to get back to the semis.

– #1 Vargas was pressed by long-time South American rival #8 Munoz 11.10.

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In the Semis

– #1 Vargas cruised past #4 Herrera 8,5 to earn her 5th final out of the 7 tournaments played this season.

– #3 Paola Longoria reminded everyone where she belongs in the pecking order right now, taking out last year’s tour champ #2 Mejia in a hard fought 11-8 breaker.

In the Finals, Vargas took game one 12, then fell in game two 7 to setup another finals tiebreaker against the long time tour champion. In the tie-breaker, Vargas was fully in control and cruised to a 10-5 lead, but Longoria fought back. Vargas served for the match another 6 times without winning the final point as Longoria amazingly got it it back to 10-10 and had some opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize. Unfortunately, the match ended on a disputed serve that Longoria was adamant was a screen serve or foot fault. The lines judges didn’t agree, and that was that.

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Points Implications of results

With the win, Vargas now has 5 titles on the year, out of 7 events. Longoria has the other two. In the two tourneys Vargas missed, she had a semis loss and, going all the way back to Denver 2023, a loss in the 16s to Martinez. So, even though Vargas has far more titles, the points race for the title remains within Longoria’s reach. Assuming that SC was a “regular” grand slam, and that the last tournament next month in Chesapeake is also a “regular” grand slam … Vargas can still be caught for the 2023-24 title. It’ll take a miracle though: she leads Longoria by around 282 points, and you get 300 for winning a GS. So if Longoria wins Chesapeake (300) and Vargas misses the event, or loses in the round of 32 (worth 18.75), there’s a chance. However, if Vargas advances to the 16s in Chesapeake that’ll enough to seal the deal.

Mejia still sits #2 in rolling rankings, but will fall to #3 as soon as last year’s Chesapeake event (which she won) falls off. There’s a massive gap from the top 3 to #4 Herrera, then another huge gap to the ladies ranked 5th-13th, who are all within 100-120 points of each other. Based on her results in this event, Lawrence should move up to #5 on tour, a career high. Manilla is holding on at #7 despite being out for months. Despite making the quarters, Munoz will fall to #11 and the missing Salas will lose 4 spots and fall to #13. Most of the rest of the tour stays relatively the same.

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Doubles review

Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/t0c

The top ranked team survived an 11-10 thriller in the semis against the hodge-podge team of Martinez & Parrilla, then destroyed #2 Vargas/Mendez in the final for yet another title. Herrera & Mejia have now won 5 of the season’s 6 titles, and lost in the final of the one event they didn’t win.

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Open Singles, other notable draws

– Mendez topped San Antonio USA junior Naomi Ros in the final of Women’s Open. Ros got there by beating #1 seed Munoz, which has to be a career best win.

– the Commish @TJTj Baumbaugh teamed with Kanesha Madison to take the 3-team Women’s Open Doubles draw.

– Former IRT touring pro @Maurice Miller topped #1 seed @Dylan Pruitt for the Men’s Open singles title.

– Pruitt teamed with Georgia’s @Austin Cunningham to take the Men’s Open Doubles title.

– Pruitt made it a “double double” (also my favorite order at In-and-Out Burger) by taking the Mixed Pro/Open title with Lotts.

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Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., JTRball, and Tj Baumbaugh. Miller sat in on the singles final.

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.

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Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMbIP9SZd0MssH_nPGU/edit?usp=sharing

The IRT is in Canoga Park next weekend for the 2024 SoCal Open. Great to see the men and women playing back to back!

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tags @LPRT

LPRT 2024 Sweet Caroline Preview

Vargas closes in on the Season Ending title. Photo via usaracquetballevents.com

Welcome to the penultimate event of the 2023-24 @LPRT season, and its a big one. The 8th annual Sweet Caroline Classic in Greenville is perhaps the most important stop on tour. Greenville is the home of the LPRT Hall of Fame and it has supported the tour like none other.

R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=42306

We have a solid draw of 23 players. We’re missing #7 Manilla (injury) and #9 Solis from the draw, but have most of the rest of the top 20 along with the likes of @Sheryl Lotts who has been an infrequent player this season. Play starts friday 5/17 and continues through the weekend.

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

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In the 32s:

– #21 Lotts takes on #12 Hollie Scott in a fun opener.

– #13 @Maria Paz Riquelme takes on fellow South American lefty Martina Katz .

– #14 @Lexi York takes on junior ##19 @khKhyathi Velpuri to start.

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round of 16: Here’s some good ones to look for:

– 8/9 Munoz v Amaya. Cris Amaya has had a great season and now has overtaken Carla Munoz to get back into the top 8. It’s been more than a few years since Amaya was in the top 8 on tour and she’ll need this win to stay there.

– 5/12 Gaby Martinez likely gets Scott in a tough opener for the Guatemalan.

– whoever wins the play-in will give #4 @Alexandra Herrera a lefty opponent in the 16s

– #7 @Kelani Lawrence seems likely to face off against #10 Jessica Parrilla . Believe it or not, these two have never played in a top-level indoor match.

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Projected Qtrs:

– #1 @Maria José Vargas shouldn’t struggle with either potential opponent Amaya or Munoz

– #4 Herrera projects into #5 Gaby, a tough match up of two former Tier1 winners. I like the way Herrera is playing and project the seeds to hold.

– #3 Paola Longoria projects into #6 Brenda Laime , who does have a H2H win over the long-time #1. Laime has been struggling lately though so I’ll project Longoria to move on here.

– #2 Montse Mejia gets the winner of Lawrence/parrilla in a match she should move on from.

Semis:

I continue to predict chalk; the cream has definitely risen to the top of the tour right now, and its hard to see anyone moving forward right now from outside the top 4-5.

– #1 Vargas over #4 Herrera: they’ve met four times this season and Vargas is 4-0, but it was an 11-10 win in San Antonio in their most recent meeting that has this being closer to a coinflip than many might think.

– #2 Mejia over #3 Longoria; a rematch of the San Antonio semis, which featured a come-from-behind win for Mejia over her long-time rival. That broke a streak of 4- straight losses against Paola for Montse; can she repeat the feat? She needs to “remember” what she did to turn around that match in Texas to move forward.

Finals; #1 Vargas over #2 Mejia. They’ve met three times this year, all three Vargas wins. Their last meeting was the final of San Antonio, an 11-7 grinding win for the #1 player.

Fun fact: if Vargas wins this event, and it gives the Grand Slam points I believe it will, then Vargas will have an insurmountable lead heading into Chesapeake. However, the points assignment may change slightly if either event becomes a “Grand Slam plus” so don’t quote me on that.

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Doubles review

No Salas means Longoria is completely out of the doubles draw, which is pretty crazy considering that she’s played in 66 Pro doubles finals since 2013. There’s some very solid, long-standing pairings in the Doubles draw all looking to un-seat the #1 dominant pair of Mejia & Herrera, and the semis onward will be great. Look for Munoz/Key to push the #1 in the top semi but fall, and look for the Argentines Vargas & Mendez to push past the American duo of Lawrence & Scott. Mejia & Herrera remain too good to lose at the top.

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Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the LPRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. Look for Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Tj Baumbaugh on the mike, calling the shots!

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

LPRT 2024 Battle at the Alamo 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 & Montse Mejia

Vargas wins her 4th event of the season and extends her lead in both the current rolling standings and the season-to-date standings. Read on for details and points implications for the @LPRT season.

Match reports on proracquetballstats.com:

– Singles: http://rb.gy/o9dqp2

– Doubles: http://rb.gy/12de8l

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=42123

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Let’s review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

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In the 32s:

– US Junior national team member and San Antonio resident @Naomi Ros got a solid win over USA veteran Lexi York 14,10.

– Michelle Key got a very impressive win over Argentine @Natalia Mendez to move into the round of 16. Key continues to improve her singles profile at the expense of Mendex.

– Cris Amaya took out former top touring pro Frederique Lambert in a tie-breaker to continue her strong 2023-24 season.

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In the 16s:

– In the 8/9 match, Kelani Lawrence got the better of her close rival Munoz Carla in a tiebreaker.

– #5 Herrera was pressed by Angelica Barrios , losing the first game badly before turning on the jets and cruising to the win.

– #13 Jessica Parrilla shocked #4 Brenda Laime in a breaker for the biggest upset of the tournament.

– Amaya almost took another high-seed scalp, toping #7 @SamaSamantha Salas 15-2 in the first game before the Mexican veteran woke up and cruised 3,3 the rest of the way to move into the quarters.

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In the Quarters

– #1 Vargas had little trouble with #8 Kelani wining 5,4

– #5 Herrera topped her Mexican rival Parrilla with ease 2,2

– #3 Mejia had to go breaker to top Ana Gabriela Martinez but avoided the upset to move on.

– #2 Paola Longoria took time away from her political campaign to renew her long-time singles rivalry with Salas, winning two close games 14,11 to move into the semis.

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In the Semis

– #1 Vargas survived a scare, and had to save match points against, to top #5 Herrera by the score line of (3),10,10. Herrera turned back the clock this weekend but couldn’t close out the win. She returns to the final for the 4th time this season.

– #3 Mejia turned around her match completely against #2 Longoria after losing the first game, winning (12),6,6 to make her 4th final of the year.

In the Finals, Vargas took a back and forth slug fest in the tie-breaker to win her fourth tournament of the year.

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Points Implications of results

Vargas replaces a semis loss in this event a year ago with winner points, and extends her lead at the top of the tour with just two events remaining. Per our calculations (which, caveat, may not have the tiers/points right for the events if something unexpected has been done), Vargas now leads in rolling 365 rankings by about 90 points (a semi final in a regular event) and more than 180 points in the season to date rankings (which is more points than you get for making a final). With two events remaining, both of which (I believe) are grand slams, there’s still a lot that could happen …. but unless Vargas starts getting upset early, the title seems more and more likely to be going to the Argentine come the end of June.

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Doubles review

Munoz & Key were the big surprise in this draw, competing as the #7 seeds and getting two great wins. In the quarters they topped consensus #2 seeds Longoria & Salas in a breaker, then didn’t let down in the semis versus #3 Vargas & Mendez to secure a final. Alas, Herrera & Mejia were too much for the team, as the clear #1 doubles team in the world took the final 7,10 to extend their lead atop the LPRT’s rankings.

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Open Singles, other notable draws

The LPRT pro events were done Saturday evening, which led to the rest of the very solid amateur draws competing most of Saturday into Sunday. There were a slew of IRT touring pros playing in the Open events… here’s a quick recap:

– Men’s Open Singles: 18 players headlined by 14-time pro champ @Kane Waselenchuk competed in a solid Men’s Open draw. The event went mostly according to seeds/expectations, with Kane beating up and coming Mexican #5 Elias Nieto in one semi while IRT touring pro #2 seed Alan Natera beat fellow IRT touring pro and near top 10 player Erick Trujillo in the other. The final was one-way traffic for the San Antonio-based Waselenchuk, winning 5 & 9 for the title.

– Men’s Open Doubles: curiously, 3-time defending IRT champ Daniel De la Rosa was here (instead of at the competing PPA pickleball event in Utah), and also curiously he chose not to play singles. Instead he paired up with fellow San Antonio native David Mendoza in doubles. They were topped in the semis by the all-Junior national team of DJ Mendoza & Cole Sendrey. From the top, #1 Natera & Trujillo powered past Waselenchuk & @Matthew Barron in the semis to take on the kids in the final. There, the veterans overtook the juniors, winning 9,6 for the title.

– Women’s Open Singles: The women’s open draw unsurprisingly came down to the two non-top8 ranked ladies who entered and were seeded 1 & 2. In the final, Mendez took it to Munoz to win 5,3.

– Women’s Open Doubles: @Sandy Rios and Disney Linares took the small Open/A round robin competition.

– Mixed Open doubles: Alan Natera teamed up with fellow Chihuahua resident Yanna Salazar to take the Mixed Open doubles title.

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Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst and Sandy Rios

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Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMbIP9SZd0MssH_nPGU/edit?usp=sharing

Next weekend there’s a long-running DC area event called Wintergreen, that used to be IRT related but which has downsized considerably since its old days being held in Laurel. the US Open of Paddleball is also next weekend, which features some crossover names who play a ton of Rball. The LPRT returns to action mid-May in South Carolina, and the IRT has its SoCal Open later in May.

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tags

LPRT 2024 Battle at the Alamo preview

Gaby makes a rare LPRT appearance. Photo via Gaby

It’s been a minute since we posted, thanks to an incredibly busy March on the world racquetball calendar and a subsequently light April. But here we are, back in San Antonio for the 2024 Battle at the Alamo event. This tournament has been going on for years, with tournament director @Mike Cantu at the helm, and has been hosting an LPRT component since 2012. After a covid-break for a few years, the event returned last year and it’s great to see it back for 2024.

R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=42123

There’s a healthy draw of 27 players in Texas this weekend. The only top 10 player missing is Erika Manilla , who’s likely to be out until October recovering from hip labrum surgery. The only other top 20 player missing is Valeria Centellas, who has played just one LPRT event since last June and who may be stepping back, either for personal or financial reasons.

The only curious situation here is that, normally with a Texas-based pro event we’d get an influx of Mexican players who can drive to the tournament … and we didn’t really get that here. I was hoping to see some of the up-and-coming Mexican junior females, like Maria Gutierrez (2-time reigning Mexican U21 champ), or Cynthia Gutierrez (reigning Mexican 18U champ) or Leonela Osorio (who made the semis at Worlds U21) or Angela Ortega (2022 Mexican 18U champ and world semifinalist last fall), etc.

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

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Round of 32: Thanks to some surprise entrants, there’s a couple of first round match-ups that should be juicy:

– Texan @naomi ros faces off against Lexi York in the 16/17 seed match (they’re also playing doubles together, it’s always kind of a bummer to play your doubles partner in singles). These two played last December at the Xmas classic, a TB win for the junior, so expect another close match here.

– #11 @Natalia Mendez is the unlucky draw of #22 Michelle Key , who is coming off a qtr final loss in PARC and who is playing singles regularly for the first time in years. Mendez’s results have been spotty lately, with her ranking continuing to slip, and this could be a one-and-done.

– #23 @Frederique Lambert makes a surprise appearance, and the unlucky 1st round opponent is #10 Amaya Cris . Amaya’s had some great results lately, making the quarters and even a semi this season, something she hadn’t done since the 2013-14 season. But she gets a tough 1st rounder in Lambert, a Tier 1 winner and former top 2 player who now just plays sporadically.

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round of 16: Here’s some projected fun matchups in the 16s

– 8/9 is always tough, and here’s no different. #8 @Kelani Lawrence is set to battle #9 @Munoz Carla yet again. They just played in Boston (Kelani win), they played at this event last year (Carla win), and they’ve now played 8 times in their careers in top-level matches. They’re tied 4-4 head to head. This is a coin flip.

– #5 @Alexandra Herrera gets the always-tricky to play #12 Angelica Barrios in the 16s here. Barrios leads career h2h 3-2 and won their last matchup in Feb 2023. But Barrios hasn’t been making all the tour stops, so she may be dealing with a bit of rust in her game.

– Mendez/Key winner versus #6 @Gaby Martinez. Martinez and Mendez both used to be top 4 ranked players simultaneously, but despite not really touring full-time it’s Gaby who has kept her ranking up. She’ll be favored to go through here.

– Salas vs Lambert/Amaya winner: whoever advances, it’ll be a matchup of two of the longest-touring players in the world. Salas has been touring full time since 2004, Amaya since 2009, and Lambert toured regularly from 2008 until 2018 when she headed off to her medical residency.

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Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Maria Jose Vargas over the Lawrence/Munoz winner. There’s only a couple of names who i think can top Vargas right now, even in the best conditions.

– #5 Herrera over #4 Brenda Laime : these two just met in the qtrs of Boston, a 14,6 Herrera win. Will we see the same thing here? Alexandra seems to be steadying the ship after slipping a bit from her streak of nearly ascending to #1 on tour.

– #6 Martinez over #3 Montse Mejia . These two know each other’s game pretty well. They’re in the same “class” and played at junior worlds year after year for the better part of a decade between 2010 and 2018. In the Adult/Pro world though, they’ve rarely played; Montse beat Gaby in the 2021 SuperMax semis on the way to winning her first ever pro title, Montse beat her again in 2023’s PARC on Gaby’s home soil, and Gaby beat Montse in the 2023 Central American/Carribean regional games before losing to Paola in the final. So, what to make of this match here? Mejia has struggled since winning the title last June, with a ton of early-exits and upsets, and I think that can happen again here.

– #2 Erika Delgado will cruise past whoever comes out of the Salas section of the draw. If it is indeed Salas, it’ll be yet another in a series of the most prolific head to head rivalry in the sport’s history. Longoria & Salas have played 60 times professionally and probably a dozen more times in National competitions over the years.

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Semis:

– #1 Vargas over #5 Herrera; they’ve already played 3 times this season, each a two game dominant performance from Vargas with game scores like 15-3 and 15-5. No reason to expect anything different this weekend.

– #2 Longoria over #6 Martinez: Gaby had the famous Worlds win in 2018, but for their careers Paola is dominant: 24-2 in all competitions (the other loss was at last year’s 2023 Sweet Caroline, during the tail end of Paola’s season-long slip). Paola has righted the ship and will be looking for a final’s rematch.

Finals; Vargas over Longoria.

This rivalry is interesting. The two have played more than 50 times now in top-level pro and international competitions. Longoria won the first 26 times they played, with Vargas finally breaking the duck in 2018’s group stage of the PARC event. However, since the beginning of 2023 it’s an even rivalry: Vargas has won 5 of the 8 meetings since then. These two met in the semis in Boston though, and Longoria won rather handily. In San Antonio, i’ll expect a rebound from the Argentinian as she looks to seal off the season title.

The season points race cannot be won or lost in San Antonio, not with two more stops remaining, but it is highly unlikely Mejia can stay in the race unless she wins out. So, every match counts for Longoria and Vargas.

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Doubles review

The LPRT has definitely settled into very regular doubles teams, and the seeds and matchups often look the same. Mejia & Herrera are solidly #1 on tour now, and Longoria & Salas are solidly #2. Vargas & Mendez are the relatively clear-cut #3 team. From there the rankings scatter. Lawrence & Scott have formed a longer-term partnership. Gaby’s regular partner for years MRR has stepped back from touring, so she just picks up randoms. the rest of the teams are cobbled together with players who don’t have regular partners anymore.

These regular partnerships are all top seeds for a reason; they play together often, and it’ll be an upset if this draw doesn’t go chalk. #1 over #2 in the final.

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Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the LPRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. Look for Timothy Baghurst, Sandy Rios, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Tj Baumbaugh on the mike as normal, along with special guests.

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

Associations

LPRT

LPRT Boston Open Recap

Longoria with her first win in a while. Photo via Fran Davis Racquetball

Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:

– Singles: @Paola Longoria

– Doubles: @Maria Jose Vargas and Natalia Mendez

Longoria claims her 112th career LPRT tier 1 title after months of upsets. She also drastically tightens the points race at the top of the tour, even if we have a brand new #1 (see later on for more).

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=41926

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Let’s review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/b4m

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In the 32s, all four matches were interesting

– US Junior national champ @naomi ros showed fellow junior @Kyathi Velpuri of the current gulf between them.

– Michelle Key got a very n ice win over Lexi York during a rare singles appearance.

– Former #2 @Frederique Lambert cruised past tour regular @Maria Paz Riquelme

– Current Canadian #2 Juliette Parent got a TB win over LPRT regular Stephanie Synhorst .

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In the 16s:

– In the always close 8/9 match, @Kelani Lawrence came from a game down to top Carla Munoz and regain the upper hand in their frequently-seen h2h competition.

– #5 Alexandra Herrera wasn’t too troubled by #12 Jessica Parrilla

– #4 @Brenda Laime crushed Lambert 1,1 … its amazing how far you fall off when you’re not playing top-level competition week in and week out.

– #11 Cris Amaya moved into the quarters for the 2nd event in a row, getting an inj fft after winning the first game against #6 @Samantha Salas Solis

– #7 Angelica Barrios got a nice win over #10 @Natalia Mendez in two closer games.

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In the Quarters

– #1 @Montse Mejia held on after a dominant first game to advance over Lawrence in two.

– #5 @Alexandra Herrera got a solid win over #4 Laime 14,6

– #3 @Paola Longoria was not troubled by Amaya and moved into the semis.

– #2 @Maria Jose Vargas topped a player in Barrios who has vexed her in the past, winning in two games 7.11.

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The Semis neatly featured basically the four best players in the sport, the four who have dominated the game over the past few years (with all apologies to #4 Laime). And we got some interesting results the rest of the way.

In the top semi, Mejia cruised past friend and doubles partner Herrera 7,7. As i’ve mentioned before, these types of games are hard to predict since the two players know each other’s game so well. From the bottom semi, a surprise. Longoria, who has lost the last few meetings to Vargas, turned the tide and topped her in a relatively dominant fashion all things considered 13,5.

In the Finals, Mejia controlled game one, but Longoria used the conditions and Mejia’s lack of put-away accuracy to grind out the three game win.

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Points Implications of results.

As you’ve probably seen on social media by the time you read this, Maria Jose Vargas has ascended to #1 in the world for the first time in her long career. Despite losing to Paola in the semis, she takes over the top spot in the rolling 365-day calendar. She also maintains the #1 spot in the season to date rankings, which come June will be the only rankings that matter, as more and more it looks like Mejia will not be defending her title.

Mejia drops to #3 in the current rankings, and remains a somewhat distant 3rd in season to date. She’s going to need to basically finish out the season by winning every event to have a chance at repeating. There’s not much movement otherwise in the top 8: Manilla drops to #7 and may be out for a while unfortunately due to her hip injury.

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Doubles review

Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/2rl

The doubles draw saw a surprise finalist, breaking through the stranglehold that the two top Mexican teams have had at the top of the tour for some time. Argentinians Vargas & Mendez beat Longoria & Salas by the “can’t get any closer” score line of 14 & 14 to get to the final. There they played #1 Mejia & Herrera, who cruised past the Bolivian native team of Barrios & Laime to get there.

In the final, Vargas & Mendez put a shot across the international bow of reigning IRF doubles champs Mejia & Herrera, taking them out in the doubles final.

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Open Singles, other notable draws

– Parrilla defeated Munoz in the Women’s Open draw

– Sam Kelley beat Jose Flores Jr in a 1v2 Men’s Open final.

– Rhys Andersen and Michelle Key took the Mixed open

– Men’s Open Doubles: Carla Munoz teamed with Joe Kelley to take the Men’s Open doubles title.

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

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Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …

https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/

We’ll recap HS Nationals and then have a week off before the big 3/17 weekend.

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tags LPRT

LPRT 2024 Boston Open Preview

Lambert makes a rare LPRT appearance in Boston this weekend. Photo unk

The LPRT helps kick off an incredibly busy month on the racquetball calendar with its return to Boston for the 2024 Boston Open. They’re back in Boston for the seventh time since 2016. Boston has seen 3 different winners the last three times the tour was there:

– Longoria in 2020 (in what turned out to be the last event before the tours shut down for mostly the rest of 2020 due to Covid)

– Herrera in 2022, the second straight event she won and had the rball world buzzing about a possible new #1

– Mejia in 2023, her fourth in a row that season and which nearly sealed her the title.

Will we get a fourth straight new champion here? I think we might. Vargas is on a hot streak, having won the last 3 events and is the favorite here.

R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=41926

There’s 20 pros in Boston, including a rare appearance from the Canadian National team reps Frederique Lambert and Juliette Parent .

There’s some big names missing in the draw: #5 Erika Manilla (as she explained in a FB live session last week) is struggling with a back issue that cost her the US Nationals final. #6 @aAna Gabriela Martinez is also missing, slightly surprising in that its an east coast event and the upcoming IRF event is in her home country, so she doesn’t have to save travel pennies right now. Also missing are #15 Valeria Centellas, who has played in just one event since last June and may be officially stepping back from the tour. Lastly #16 @Hollie Scott, newly crowned US National champ, is absent here (her beau DLR is also missing from the IRT event this weekend, even though there’s no conflicting PPA event).

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Let’s preview the singles draw.

——————————-

In the 32s… a couple of fun ones right off the bat:

– Ros vs Velpuri: two US junior national team members face off.

– #13 @Maria Paz Riquelme is the unlucky early opponent of Lambert.

– #19 Michelle Key makes a rare singles appearance on tour; she’s got just two LPRT appearances since Nov 2021. She faces #14 Lexi York in a tough one for both.

– #15 @Stephanie Synhorst takes on Canada #2 Parent in a good test for both.

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round of 16:

– 8/9 Lawrence vs Munoz is always tough; they’re 3-3 lifetime against each other, and 5 of their 6 matches have gone tie-breaker.

– 5/12: Herrera vs Parrilla; Even though Parrilla has had some success in Mexican Nationals recently, on tour Alexandra hasn’t lost to her since 2016.

– #4 Brenda Laime will get a stiff test against Canadian #1 Lambert; Lambert was a former #2 ranked player; can she stress Laime?

– 7/10: Barrios vs Mendez, in a battle of Bolivian natives. They played in Arizona a month ago, an easy win for Barrios

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Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Mejia over Munoz/Lawrence winner, though either Carla or Kelani could press Montse a bit.

– #5 Herrera over the Laime/Lambert winner: I think Alexandra has the hot hand right now.

– #3 Longoria over Salas, as they renew the rivalry that’s been played the 2nd most times in pro history (they’ve met 60 times on LPRT, in addition to a slew of Mexican National meetings).

– #2 Vargas has been troubled by Barrios in the past, but is clearly on a roll this season.

Semis:

– Mejia over Herrera, though weird things happen when these two long-time doubles partners play.

– Vargas over Longoria: the tide has turned on this rivalry.

Finals; Vargas wins her 4th straight title and claims the #1 ranking on tour.

Side note on rankings: if Longoria wins this event, she’ll regain #1. If Montse beats Vargas in the final, she’ll retain #1 but by an incredibly slim margin.

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Doubles preview

The Canadian doubles team for PARC is here (Lambert & Parent) to get some on-the-court time before the event. With Scott’s absence, the newly crowned US champion team had to split up. Team Argentina and team Colombia are here … but at the end of the da y, it’ll be a rematch of the Mexican national champion ship from two weeks ago (Mejia/Herrera vs Longoria/Salas).

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Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the LPRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. JTRball posts excellent previews and broadcast schedules on Daily Racquetball: i highly suggest subscribing.

Look for Timothy Baghurst, Sandy Rios, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Tj Baumbaugh on the mike, calling the shots.

One last thing: fantasy racquetball is back! Surf here: https://officepoolstop.com/MyPool/JoinLeagueDetails.aspx?id=63999 and use password LPRT to enter.

Associations

LPRT

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 …

https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/

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

LPRT Arizona Open

Will Laime bo unce back? Photo US Open 2019 Kevin Savory

(a quick systems note: you may have seen some errors on the Pro Racquetball Website, where the code doesn’t work or you get “Resource busy” errors. I upgraded WordPress recently and it’s maxing out my memory/cpu at the host, so I’m upgrading this week. Once i validate the code works as advertised, we should have more stability. Apologies if you’re trying to run reports and getting errors).

It’s been almost exactly a month since the ladies were on the court, and now they’re back in action at a familiar site: Arizona State University in Tempe. Welcome to the first pro tour event in 2024; the 2024 Arizona Open, presented by The Madison Trust.

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

There’s 26 ladies in Arizona, including 19 of the top 20 (only Centellas is missing), so get ready for some great racquetball.

——————————

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

Projecting the 32s: here’s some possible matchups, though the depth of this draw could make for some upsets and make these predictions moot:

– the 16/17 could be interesting: Lexi York and @Maria Paz Riquelme should be a nice lefty/righty matchup of solid tour players.

– Lucia Gonzalez makes a rare appearance on tour, and faces off against LPRT veteran Samantha Salas . The 7-time junior world champion has never had the success she had as a junior in the adult world, but does periodically show up and get shocking wins at major events (in 2020 she went to Mexican Nationals and took out two top 8 LPRT pros at the time Enriquez and Herrera before falling in National semis). It’s been several years though since she got a solid win on tour, and now faces a somewhat resurgent Salas in the opener.

– @Alexandra Herrera comes in seeded 8th, the lowest she’s been since the 2015-16 season. For her troubles she gets local Arizona resident and US National team member Michelle Key , playing singles in a Pro indoor tournament for the first time since the 2021 Arizona Open.

– Carla Munoz has dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in a while, and as the #12 seed faces off against up and coming US Junior @Naomi Ros.

– Two Mexican former top 10 veterans Nancy Enriquez and Jessica Parrilla renew their rivalry in the #13/#20 seed match

– Reigning Mexican 16U junior champ Mariafernanda Trujillo makes her pro tour debut against Angelica Barrios

——————————-

round of 16, here’s some matches to watch:

– 8/9 Herrera-Salas would have been a 2/3 semi final just a couple years ago. These two are quite familiar with each other and this should be close.

– #4 Brenda Laime took an early upset loss last event; is she susceptible to another upset at the hands of the Parrilla/Enriquez winner?

– If they survive play-ins, Barrios v Natalia Mendez is a nice Bolivian native battle of two of the more unique playing stiles on tour.

——————————

Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Montse Mejia over Herrera. Ironic the #1 seed gets arguably the hardest quarter final by virtue of Herrera’s seed slipping so quickly over the past few events.

– #5 @Erika Manilla over Laime, if Laime gets here. She’s too jekyll and hyde for me; she’s in the final, then she’s losing first round. Manilla needs wins like this to maintain the pressure to get into the upper echelons of the tour.

– #3 Paola Longoria vs #6 @Ana Gabriele Martinelli : love this matchup. Gaby famously beat Paola to claim 2018 Worlds, but generally Longoria owns this matchup.

– #2 Maria Jose Vargas over #7 Barrios. Vargas is the hottest player on tour right now, but Barrios’ game style has given her fits in the past. I believe Vargas has passed a mental hurdle recently (as evidenced by 3 straight wins over Longoria) and wont’ be stopped here.

Semis:

– Mejia over Manilla; Erika can’t just play her power game, trying to blast nothing but passing shots and expect to beat Mejia, who may not have Erika’s mph but has a complete array of offensive shots.

– Vargas over Longoria: Paola has Vargas in her head right now and, even though Longoria has the lead in Season to Date points, its Vargas who has the upper hand over the next few events in terms of expiring points.

Finals: I like Vargas over Mejia again.

——————————-

Doubles review

A changing of the guard is seen here, as (finally) the #1 pro doubles team is Mejia & Herrera, having finally taken over that spot from long-time #1 Longoria & Salas. Likewise, Lawrence & Scott have taken over the #3 spot. Lurking though are some very good international teams: #5 is Gaby/MRR, just the reigning Pan Am Games champs. #4 is Laime/Vargas, an incredibly powerful team. #7 is the reigning US National champions Key/Manilla, another super tough team.

this is going to be a great doubles draw. Look for Gaby/MRR to upset #1 in the upper semi, and for Longoria/Salas to take advantage and win to regain #1 on the doubles tour.

———————————

Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the LPRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. Look for the likes of Timothy Baghurst, Sandy Rios, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Tj Baumbaugh on the mike, calling the shots!

Associations

LPRT

LPRT Arizona Open

(a quick systems note: you may have seen some errors on the Pro Racquetball Website, where the code doesn’t work or you get “Resource busy” errors. I upgraded WordPress recently and it’s maxing out my memory/cpu at the host, so I’m upgrading this week. Once i validate the code works as advertised, we should have more stability. Apologies if you’re trying to run reports and getting errors).

It’s been almost exactly a month since the ladies were on the court, and now they’re back in action at a familiar site: Arizona State University in Tempe. Welcome to the first pro tour event in 2024; the 2024 Arizona Open, presented by The Madison Trust.

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

There’s 26 ladies in Arizona, including 19 of the top 20 (only Centellas is missing), so get ready for some great racquetball.

——————————

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

Projecting the 32s: here’s some possible matchups, though the depth of this draw could make for some upsets and make these predictions moot:

– the 16/17 could be interesting: Lexi York and @Maria Paz Riquelme should be a nice lefty/righty matchup of solid tour players.

– Lucia Gonzalez makes a rare appearance on tour, and faces off against LPRT veteran Samantha Salas . The 7-time junior world champion has never had the success she had as a junior in the adult world, but does periodically show up and get shocking wins at major events (in 2020 she went to Mexican Nationals and took out two top 8 LPRT pros at the time Enriquez and Herrera before falling in National semis). It’s been several years though since she got a solid win on tour, and now faces a somewhat resurgent Salas in the opener.

– @Alexandra Herrera comes in seeded 8th, the lowest she’s been since the 2015-16 season. For her troubles she gets local Arizona resident and US National team member Michelle Key , playing singles in a Pro indoor tournament for the first time since the 2021 Arizona Open.

– Carla Munoz has dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in a while, and as the #12 seed faces off against up and coming US Junior @Naomi Ros.

– Two Mexican former top 10 veterans Nancy Enriquez and Jessica Parrilla renew their rivalry in the #13/#20 seed match

– Reigning Mexican 16U junior champ Mariafernanda Trujillo makes her pro tour debut against Angelica Barrios

——————————-

round of 16, here’s some matches to watch:

– 8/9 Herrera-Salas would have been a 2/3 semi final just a couple years ago. These two are quite familiar with each other and this should be close.

– #4 Brenda Laime took an early upset loss last event; is she susceptible to another upset at the hands of the Parrilla/Enriquez winner?

– If they survive play-ins, Barrios v Natalia Mendez is a nice Bolivian native battle of two of the more unique playing stiles on tour.

——————————

Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Montse Mejia over Herrera. Ironic the #1 seed gets arguably the hardest quarter final by virtue of Herrera’s seed slipping so quickly over the past few events.

– #5 @Erika Manilla over Laime, if Laime gets here. She’s too jekyll and hyde for me; she’s in the final, then she’s losing first round. Manilla needs wins like this to maintain the pressure to get into the upper echelons of the tour.

– #3 Paola Longoria vs #6 @Ana Gabriele Martinelli : love this matchup. Gaby famously beat Paola to claim 2018 Worlds, but generally Longoria owns this matchup.

– #2 Maria Jose Vargas over #7 Barrios. Vargas is the hottest player on tour right now, but Barrios’ game style has given her fits in the past. I believe Vargas has passed a mental hurdle recently (as evidenced by 3 straight wins over Longoria) and wont’ be stopped here.

Semis:

– Mejia over Manilla; Erika can’t just play her power game, trying to blast nothing but passing shots and expect to beat Mejia, who may not have Erika’s mph but has a complete array of offensive shots.

– Vargas over Longoria: Paola has Vargas in her head right now and, even though Longoria has the lead in Season to Date points, its Vargas who has the upper hand over the next few events in terms of expiring points.

Finals: I like Vargas over Mejia again.

——————————-

Doubles review

A changing of the guard is seen here, as (finally) the #1 pro doubles team is Mejia & Herrera, having finally taken over that spot from long-time #1 Longoria & Salas. Likewise, Lawrence & Scott have taken over the #3 spot. Lurking though are some very good international teams: #5 is Gaby/MRR, just the reigning Pan Am Games champs. #4 is Laime/Vargas, an incredibly powerful team. #7 is the reigning US National champions Key/Manilla, another super tough team.

this is going to be a great doubles draw. Look for Gaby/MRR to upset #1 in the upper semi, and for Longoria/Salas to take advantage and win to regain #1 on the doubles tour.

———————————

Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the LPRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. Look for the likes of Timothy Baghurst, Sandy Rios, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Tj Baumbaugh on the mike, calling the shots!

Associations

LPRT

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 …

https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/

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.

——————-

tags

LPRT

LPRT 31st Annual Xmas Classic Preview

Gaby makes a rare LPRT appearance. Photo via Gaby

We’re doing double duty this weekend, with the men on one coast and the ladies the other. Also this weekend is the 31st Annual Christmas Classic, being hosted just south of Baltimore at the Severna Park club, which features an old school sunken glass court with permanent seating behind it.

No Erika this weekend; she stays in Pleasanton to help her brother run the IRT event.

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

——————————

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

In the 32s, three play-ins. We get a repeat of lefties Riquelme-Leon from Chicago a few weeks ago, plus a fun match between two USA players York and Ros.

——————————-

round of 16:

Some slight jumbling of the back of the top 10 gives us some fun round of 16 matchups. Munoz and Salas repeat their frequent rivalry as of late. Parrilla and Herrera go at it again in the 16s, just as they did in Chicago a few weeks ago. Mendez and Lawrence in the 7/10 looks great. Lots of challenging round of 16 matches here.

——————————

Projected Qtrs:

– #1. Mejia versus the Salas/Munoz winner. Mejia jsut handled Munoz in the Portland Lprt exhibition, but would struggle a bit more with the veteran Salas.

– #5 Gaby is back, projecting into #4 Laime. Great match. Laime was upset early in the previous match, and Gaby is a tough matchup.

– #3 Vargas projects into #6 Herrera, another possible quarters rematch from Chicago where she advanced easily.

– #2 Longoria set to face the Lawrence/Mendez winner. If Kelani, look for her to continue to edge closer to an upset.

Semis:

– Mejia over Gaby. I don’t think Gaby is playing regularly enough to take out Mejia.

– Vargas over Longoria; Vargas has the hot hand.

Finals; Vargas continues her winning streak and takes her second in a row.

——————————-

Doubles review

All the regular teams are here, and i project another all Mexican final. We’ll give this one to Longoria and Salas.

———————————

Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the LPRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. Look for Timothy Baghurst, Sandy Rios, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Tj Baumbaugh on the mike, calling the shots!

Thanks to the Tourney Directors Stuart Solomon for driving down from Boston and putting this event on!

Thanks to our main sponsors; it goes without saying that without you and your support, we don’t have a sport.

@LPRT

LPRTLPRT