XXI 2022 Worlds Preview

Beltran goes for a title in his final Worlds. Photo US Open 2019 via Photographer Kevin Savory


Hello! I’m a few days late to this preview … but now that the knockout brackets have been set, i thought i’d set the stage for the rest of this week.
The 2022 Worlds tournament is the 21st iteration of the tournament. The first one was in 1981, held at the inaugural World Games in Santa Clara, then the second held three years later in 1984 in Sacramento (it didn’t move far). From there, it has been regularly held every two years at increasingly distant spots in the world from Racquetball’s origin in the states. Places like Germany, Venezuela, Bolivia, South Korea, Colombia, Guatemala, and Ireland have held the event over the years. The USA has now hosted it four times .. but none since 1996. Canada has hosted it twice.
But this year it is in San Luis Potosi, Mexico’s hotbed of racquetball, which now hosts this event for the third time. SLP was set to host in 2020 but Covid knocked the racquetball world for a loop, but here we are, back in SLP and at the amazingly beautiful La Loma Sports Center.
This being racquetball … it wouldn’t be an international event without some interesting stories. In the lead-up to this event, we discovered that:

  • The FMR (Mexico’s federation) is badly in arrears in its payments and paperwork with CONADE (the Mexican equivalent nationals porting body to the US’s US Olympic Committee). This was discovered when the entire Mexican team went to gofundme/facebook to ask for funds to cover their travel with a week’s notice. The FMR and CONADE traded accusations in the media, each disputing the other’s story.
  • The Colombian Federation apparently has dissolved, meaning that the two frequent ladies representatives Cristina Amaya and @Maria Paz Riquelme not only had to fund their own trip … but they had to cover their own and their association’s fees to the IRF which together are thousands of dollars). Not surprisingly, there are no Male Colombian competitors, robbing the worlds of the typical presence of @Mario Mercado , @Sebastian Franco , @Eduardo Garay (if he still even represents Colombia) , or lately Gerson Miranda , who just switched from Bolivia last year. Not good.
  • The European Federation announced that they were not sending any teams this year … but that didn’t stop @Fabian Balmori from coming to represent Spain. Balmori represented Venezuela at various international events from 1993 until 2008, and has two IRF Men’s singles titles to his credit (in the 1993 and 1998 Central American & Caribbean Games events).

The IRF has come to its senses and now uses R2; here’s the link https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=39914

Quick recap of the interesting machinations of the RR groups before we get to knockout predictions.
Note: the top 2 competitors from each group advance to the knockouts, while the non-qualifying players/teams move to the consolation knockout brackets.
In Men’s Singles:

  • #2 seed and defending World champ @Andres Acuna was upset in the RRs by Ecuadorian @Jose Daniel Ugalde in five games. Big-time upset and this will shake up the bottom-side of the draw.
  • Argentina’s Diego Garcia was surprisingly eliminated inthe group stage.
  • Japan’s @Michimue Kono upset the #1 seed @Ssergio.acun in his group, and then Canadian @Kurtis Cullen had an amazing down-two-games come-back to win the group and the top seed; final score against Acuna was (7),(7),9,0,0. Sounds like a possible injury here; we’ll see what the knockouts bring.
  • Most of the rest of the groups went chalk, with #1 overall seed @RRocky Cars and IRT #1 ranked pro @DanielDaniel de la Rosa giving up the fewest points (36 and 37 respectively) in the group stage.
    In Women’s Singles, only a couple of notable results in a very chalk-y RR stage:
  • I was surprised @VValeria Centellas got a win over Steffany Barrios (formerly Angelica) ; big win that hopefully propels her to success in the knockouts.
  • A solid win byAna Gabriela Martinez in the group stage to topple current #2 LPRT player @AleAlexandra Herrera , a 5-game see-saw affair.
  • Both Cuban entrants played their first couple of matches , then no showed. Turns out, they used this opportunity to defect. Bravo to them, and I hope they find success.
    In Men’s Doubles:
  • Kind of surprised the Ecuadorian Men’s team didn’t fare better, after their excellent runs in past events.
  • The Canada-USA match was the highlight of the opening round, with both teams really powering the ball. Hope to see this matchup again.
    In Women’s Doubles:
  • Two of the groups went chalk/predictably, but Group 2 featured three teams to go 2-1, beating each other up and forcing the places to go down to points differential.
    In Mixed Doubles:

– Slightly surprised that the Bolivian team of Moscoso/Daza outlasted the Canadian team of Murray/Lambert.

Predictions/Knockout Preview
Lets run through the knockout draws and make some predictions.
Men’s Singles: The quarters look to be great.

  • #1 @Rocky Carson , who owns 8 IRF singles titles, likely faces Keller, a 2-time PARC champ. Carson has never lost to Keller, and should advance here.
  • #5 @DanieDaniel de la Rosa , who owns 3 IRF titles, likely faces defending champ Acuna,, who should advance as the #13 seed in the 16s over Canada’s @Kurtis Cullen . I don’t see DLR losing here.
  • #3 @Alejandro Landa faces a very stiff challenge against #6 Conrrado Moscoso in what should be the best match of the round. Landa has downed Moscoso two straight events, but neither has been in the race-to-11 rally scoring method. I think the altitude and pace of Moscoso works to his favor and he gets the upset here.
  • For his excellent RR finish earning him the #2 seed, Ecuador’s @Jose Daniel Ugalde is set to face 2-time IRF champ Rodrigo Montoya , who always elevates his game in IRF events. Montoya to advance.
    In the semis:
  • DLR should advance past Carson, though Rocky skipped out on Doubles specifically to focus on singles here while Daniel is still pulling double duty. On paper this is a DLR win .. but Rocky got a win over DLR back in Chicago in March. Could go either way.
  • Montoya has shown a propensity to control Moscoso … but Conrrado has turned the tide. These two met in the semis of PARC in April, a close 3-game win for the Bolivian, and I predict the same here.

In the final: DLR vs Moscoso is a fitting final, a contrast in styles. I think DLR’s patience and maturity on the courts will earn him a close win, similar to the way he ground out a win the last time they played, which was in Denver, at altitude, in Aug 2021.

In Women’s singles, as with the Men’s, the quarters are going to be great:

  • #1 Erika Manilla will have her hands full with the likely play-in winner Barrios (who has to top Chilean vet @Carla Munoz first). Manilla topped Barrios in Vero Beach … but Barrios just won the PARC event (albeit on home soil). A coin flip, but Manilla is slightly favored.
  • The #1 LPRT player @Paola LPaola Longoria is seeded 5th in the knockouts but should have little trouble topping #4 Centellas.
  • #3 Rhonda Rajsich faces a tall task in #6 Gaby Martinez; this should be an upset by seed.
  • Despite the seeds, #7 Herrera should make quick work of #2 Mendez.
    In the semis:
  • Longoria over Manilla; Erika has exploded onto the women’s scene, but isn’t ready to beat Paola, especially on home soil.
  • Martinez over Herrera: this would be an upset by seed, and by LPRT ranking … but Martinez has had consistent success over Alexandra and is an excellent international player.

Final: a rematch of the famous 2018 worlds title for Gaby, her sole career win over Longoria. Not this time: Longoria will not be stopped in her home town.

Men’s Doubles prediction:
I think seeds will hold to the semis. There we get some awesome matches.

  • #1 Mexico should advance to the final over #4 USA. @Alvaro Beltran is seeking to go out on top in his final World tournament.
  • #3 Canada is looking really strong and should topple #2 Bolivia.

In the final, I like DLR/Beltran

Women’s Doubles prediction: its hard not to predict a Mexico-USA final, but these teams will have to beat some solid teams to get there.
Longoria/Salas are pretty unbeatable right now, unless their opponents are Herrera/Mejia, so i’ll predict them to top Lawrence/Scott in the final.

Mixed Doubles prediction: I think Mexico is a shoe-in for the final from the top, but any of three teams (USA, Canada, or Bolivia) could win from the bottom. Whoever advances though will be hard pressed to beat Montoya and Salas.

Streaming is being done by the IRT team for this event (thanks to Pablo Favre ) and the lead broadcasters are the excellent @Gary Mazaroff and @AlIAlexis Iwaasa . Follow @internaInternational Racquetball Federation on Facebook and sign up for live notifications.
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.
Associations
International Racquetball Federation – IRF
USA Racquetball
Racquetball Canada
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Paola Longoria Grand Slam Wrap-up

Longoria wins her namesake event. Photo via US Open 2019, Kevin Savory


Congrats to your winners on the weekend:

  • Singles: Paola Longoria
  • Doubles; Alexandra Herrera & Montse Mejia

    This was a unique tournament featuring Paola’s “personal” portable court, which was setup on a covered court outside of the Deportivo Ferrocarrilero club in Aguascalientes, AG, Mexico.
    It is a spectacle of a court, but the outdoor setting features very difficult sight-lines for players, especially in the later afternoon where the sun glared into the court from all sides. This seemed to really vex some players, as we saw all kinds of upsets in this event. They had to have a thunder delay midway through the event, something I can’t quite say i’ve heard of before.

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=39838

Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/k9q

In the 32s, no surprises from the 5 relative newbies to the LPRT tour.

In the 16s, we started to get some surprises.

  • In the 8/9 match, @Samantha Salas Solis got a solid win over top10 rival @Carla Munoz 5,13. Is this the return of Salas to the top 10?
  • #5 Angelica Barrios escaped by the skin of her teeth, winning 11-10 over #12 Sheryl Lotts.
  • The shock result of the round of 16 was former top10 player Nancy Enriquez blasting #4 Erika Manilla 10,4 to move on. Not a good start to Manilla’s pro season.

– #6 Jessica Parrilla was stretched to an 11-7 breaker win over #11 @Maria Renee Rodriguez

In the Quarters

  • #1 @Paola Longoria topped her doubles partner Salas 8,4 to move on. These two have met more than 70 times now on the pro tour, by far the most frequent rivalry in the tour’s history.
  • #5 Barrios had a comprehensive win over upset-minded Enriquez 11,5 to move into the semis.
  • #6 Parrilla continued her recent record over #3 Natalia Mendez , advancing to the semis.

– #7 @Montse Mejia dominated her doubles partner and #2 player @Alexandra Herrera 7,5. This is the most significant result of the round; Mejia is one of just a handful of players who have ever gotten a win over Paola, and this result spurred her into the finals.

In the Semis

  • Longoria flew by Barrios 3,6 to move into the finals in her namesake tourney. In 6 games she’s given up a grand total of 23 points and looks unstoppable as always.
  • Mejia had little trouble over her country-woman Parrilla, moving into the finals 5,6. Mejia definitely looks “on” this weekend.

In the Finals, a great back and forth match between Mejia, a young player who when “on” can beat anyone in the world, and Longoria, the veteran who has proven time and again she knows how to win. Mejia raced out to an early lead in game 1, but Paola came roaring back to win it. Instead of being deflated, Mejia returned the favor in game two to force the tiebreaker.. In the breaker, Mejia was first to match point but could not convert, then Longoria worked the last two points to win 11-10 in the final. The fans could not have asked for a better singles final.

Points Implications of results
No changes in the top 3: Longoria did not play in Denver last year, so she had no points to defend and thus turned her 600 point lead over Herrera into an 1100 point lead overnight. Wow; Herrera really needed a result here to make the race this season close and missed out on a huge opportunity.
There was some big-time movements though, both by players who were here and players who were not. Mejia’s result vaults her immediately to #4 on tour, jumping both Mendez and Manilla. Munoz moves into the top10 at #9. Salas continues to climb backup the rankings, now sitting at #12.

However the most impactful change is to Gaby Martinez, who plummets from #5 to #15 on tour. Martinez won the 2021 Denver event but defends none of those points and thus drops 320 points in an instant. This will make future seeding quite interesting, as she now projects to face a top 4 player in the 16s.

Doubles review
Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/hu4
The 8-team doubles draw resulted with the expected 1-2 final. The two top ladies doubles teams in the world (Longoria/Salas and Mejia/Herrera) met in the final just after the singles final, and the losing singles finalist Mejia helped power her team to a comprehensive finals win, beating the #1 seeds 7,7.

Herrera is on quite a roll in doubles; she has won 4 of the last 5 pro doubles titles now and has done it with multiple different partners as Mejia does not always travel. It seems likely Paola will lose her #1 doubles ranking soon.

Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Maria Renee Rodriguez.

Next up?
Per our handy master racquetball calendar …
https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/

It is time for 2022 Worlds! Its being held just next door to Aguascalientes in San Luis Potosi, one of the hotbeds of Mexican racquetball. There’s been all sorts of funding drama leading up to the event (well publicized elsewhere); lets hope the Mexican players do actually attend.

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LPRT

LPRT Paola Longoria Grand Slam Preview

Manilla has a career high seeding. Photo 2021 US Open via Kevin Savory


Welcome to the 2022-23 LPRT season! The LPRT starts off with a bang; a Grand Slam season opener and a return to tournament racquetball in Mexico.
For three years running, from 2017-19, the “Paola Longoria Experience” was held in her hometown of San Luis Potosi as a kickoff tournament for the tour each season, but then Covid hit and the tournament took three years off. But we’re back, and this time the tournament is being held 100 miles west of SLP in the town of Aguascalientes.
R2 Sports App link:https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=39838
Perhaps due to fixture congestion, the draw for the opener is way down, with just 21 players entered (by way of comparison, the Supermax GS in Kansas City in June had 25% more players with a 28-person draw). A huge chunk of the ladies tour is qualified for Worlds, taking place the starting next weekend in SLP proper, and its likely that many decided not to add a week to their next trip. Understandable.

As a result, this event is missing 6 of the top 20 players in the world: #3 Vargas (pregnant), #5 Gaby, #9 Rajsich (which is odd; she’s missed just 3 events in her entire career!), #12 Lawrence, #13 Laime, and #16 Scott all are out of this draw, which will give us a ton of elevated seeds and solid opportunities for lower ranked players. Most of the American national team is missing the event, which could have been a nice tune-up for Worlds.

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

The round of 32 features 5 relative unknowns playing 5 regular LPRT players. We may see some upsets, but not likely as the LPRT veterans advance.

Round of 16: there are a few compelling matches:

  • In the usually competitive 8/9 seed game, we get two players in Carla Munoz and @Samantha Salas Solis who have had some battles in the past. Some of Munoz’s best ever wins have come at the hands of Salas, so she’ll be confident. Salas saw her ranking dip out of the top 10 last season, but she finished strong with a semis appearance in Kansas City. Great match here. I’m leaning Munoz to win here.
  • Long-time international rivals #3 Natalia Mendez and #14 Cris Amaya are set to meet for the 8th time in all competitions. Mendez leads h2h 5-2.
  • #6 @Jessica Parrilla takes on #11 Maria Renee Rodriguez. MRR is a long-time tour competitor and will seek a top10 win for her resume.

– In the 7/10 matchup, we get a very competitive match between @Montse Mejia and Valeria Centellas . Mejia is undefeated against the Argentinian in her career, and as I frequently intone has the talent to be in the top 4 on tour, but needs consistent attendance and consistent performances.

Projected Qtrs:

  • #1 and tournament namesake @Paola Longoria should advance over the Salas/Munoz winner.
  • A great match is projected between #4 Erika Manilla and newly crowned World Games champ #5 @Angelica Barrios. These two met in Vero Beach, a two game win for Erika, and I’d expect the same here, but under-rate Barrios at your peril.
  • Upset watch for #6 Parrilla over #3 Mendez: these two met in South Carolina and that’s exactly what Leoni did. She’s finally back into the top 10 consistently after her knee injury and will look to stay there.
  • #2 Alexandra Herrera projects to meet her long-time doubles partner Mejia in the quarters. They’ve met more than a few times, and Herrera has taken their last couple of meetings, but Mejia is arguably the better player, but needs to overcome the mental aspect of playing her friend and partner. Based on where these two are right now, i’m going with the lefty.
    Semis projection:
  • Longoria over Manilla: this is becoming somewhat of a famous matchup, and many see Manilla as a leading rival to take down Longoria. Can Erika take a big step here? The game plan for beating Paola has been demonstrated by Herrera recently; simply put, don’t make errors. Easier said than done.
  • Herrera over Parrilla: I still think there’s a huge gap from the top 2 players to the rest of the tour, and see no reason not to predict a 1v2 final.

Finals: Longoria wins her namesake tourney and starts off the season with the upper hand against her primary rival for the 2022-23 title.

Doubles review
There’s 8 doubles teams here … with some new teams competing thanks to regular partners missing. However, the top 2 seeds are the regular dominant teams of Longoria/Salas and Herrera/Mejia. It is difficult not to predict another final between these two teams, who have been battling for pro and National titles regularly for years.
I am intrigued by #3 seeds Manilla/Parrilla: both have regular partners at this point (Scott and Perez respectively), and it should be interesting to see how they play together. Both are great doubles players.

In the final i’ll go chalk, with Longoria/Salas raising another doubles title together.

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

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.

tags
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.


    Semis:
  • 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.

Mexican Nationals Recap

Beltran wins the Men’s doubles title in Mexico; is it his last? Photo US Open 2019 via Photographer Kevin Savory


Congrats to your winners on the weekend:

  • Men’s Singles: Daniel De La Rosa
  • Women’s Singles: Paola Longoria
  • Men’s Doubles: Daniel De La Rosa/Alvaro Beltran
  • Women’s Doubles: Paola Longoria/Samantha Salas
  • Mixed Doubles: Rodrigo Montoya/Samantha Salas

    Very successful weekends for Longoria, De La rosa, and Salas, each of whom come home with two titles. Montoya wins Mixed and makes the final of Singles, double qualifying for the team.

    Here’s some quick “Category” reports showing all Mexican National finals in the database:
  • Men’s Singles: http://rball.pro/13D7D4
  • Women’s Singles: http://rball.pro/D13492
  • Men’s Doubles: http://rball.pro/7F4C52
  • Women’s Doubles: http://rball.pro/7B5D25
  • Mixed Doubles: http://rball.pro/7E4470 (this is a brand new query!)

    These winners shall represent Mexico starting with international events AFTER next month’s PARC: the winners of last June’s Mexican Nationals are the representatives for Mexico in Bolivia (as we learned with the little kerfuffle a couple of weeks ago when the FMR attempted to reneg on the original plan to send the 3rd/4th place finishers from June 2021 as the PARC doubles team as opposed to the two-time defending IRF champion team of Montoya/Mar).

    Reminder: rally scoring here, so the scoring format is games to 15, win by one, and if it gets to a fifth game it goes to 11, win by 2.

    R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=38926

Lets review the notable matches from the Event.
Men’s Open Singles

Singles Match report in the PRS database: http://rball.pro/C33ED1

In the 32s and 16s:

  • The only round of 32 between notable/known IRT touring pros was a win for #7 Sebastian Fernandez over #26 Erick Cuevas 11,14,8
    We saw just a couple of upsets in the 16s:
  • #21 @Rodolfo Esparza got his second upset in a row, taking out #7 Emir Martinez 13,9,9 to move into the quarters. Great tourney for Esparza, who is in his mid 20s and has never appeared in an IRT event.
  • Wily Veteran #20 Polo Gutierrez , who missed a chunk of time with an elbow injury, is clearly back playing in his home town and cruised by #4 Erick Trujillo in three close games 13,10,12. The draw opens up for Polo to make a deep run, and he poses a danger to all he plays. He was a 2014 Mexican open finalist and has made the weekend in many pro events in his career.
  • No other upsets really: your quarters are seeds 1,8,21,20 from the top and chalk 3,6,7,2 from the bottom half.

In the Quarters

  • #1 @Rodrigo Montoya won over #8 @AAlejandro Cardon … but he had to work for it. After going 2 games up, Cardona took the next to for a 5th game breaker. In the breaker, Rodrigo caught fire and rolled to an 11-4 win.
  • #20 Polo took out #21 Esparza in three quick games to move into the semis as expected.
  • #6 @Daniel De La Rosa took out #3 @Javier Mar in three solid games 13,10,6. DLR is just a step ahead in quality than Mar right now and it showed on the court. This was a rematch of the Beach Bash final just one day ago, but the result was the same.
  • – In the match of the tournament so far, #2 @Andree Parrilla took down #7 @Sebastian Fernandez in a battle of two of Mexico’s up and coming pros … and it went the distance. Final score: 14,11,(9),(14),9. Can’t get much closer than that.

In the Semis

  • #1 Montoya overpowered the veteran #20 Polo 5,7,13 to move into the final.
  • #6 DLR ground out a win over his IRT rival #2 Parrilla in four close games to return to the final for the first time in two years.
  • In the Finals, we had a rematch of the 2018 final, won by Montoya. The final was even better than the semi, with DLR rushing out to a 2-game lead and Montoya coming storming back to force the 5th game tiebreaker. After jumping out to a small lead, DLR ran off a slew of points to make a comeback nearly impossible and took the breaker 11-7. This is DLR’s 3rd Mexican National title since 2014.

Women’s Singles recap


Match Report in the PRS database: http://rball.pro/AA60BE


The Women’s draw went completely chalk to the quarters, but that included for me a big upset win for #5 @DaniDaniela Rico over an under-seeded and under-rated #12 @Lucia Gonzalez in the 16s. Rico, who is the reigning Mexican 18U junior champ and still has a year of junior eligibility, got a career win over Lucia 12-10 in the fifth.
In the quarters…

  • #1 Longoria dominated #8 @JJessica Parrill , winning 9,5,3 in a match where Leoni got increasingly frustrated as the day went on.
  • #4 @Nancy Enriquez took out the upset minded Rico in four very close games 14,(13),13,14. Can’t get much closer than that in rally scoring.
  • #6 @Alexandra Herrera went the distance against her doubles partner #3 @Montse Mejia before advancing. A tough draw for both players but the champion of the last two LPRT events moves on.
  • #2 @Samantha Salas dominated against her long-time Mexican RivalSusy Acosta , winning 1,6,9.
    In the semis:
  • Longoria cruised into another final, topping Enriquez 2,7,7 in dominant fashion.
  • Herrera held serve against her veteran Mexican rival Salas, winning in four close games.

  • In the final, we get a rematch of the last two LPRT finals (both won by Herrera). Longoria makes her 9th straight final (and probably many more since our database of Mexican results only goes back to 2014) while we get a first time finalist in Herrera. The top to LPRT pros split the first two games 14 and (13), but then Longoria found a new gear and cruised to win the next two games comfortably 15-8, 15-8 to take the title.

Men’s Doubles
PRS report: http://rball.pro/B9F23A
The top 4 seeds held to the semis without any really notable matches in the early stages. Lets pick up the action from there.
In the semis: both top seeds advanced to the finals in hard fought four game matches. #1 Montoya/Mar topped #4 Parrilla/Fernandez from the top side, while the veterans #2 DLR/Beltran held off the youngsters #3 Trujillo/Hernandez in the bottom side.

In the final, we get a frequent matchup; this is a rematch of the 2021, 2020, and 2018 National final, and a frequent match seen on the IRT pro tour. However, unlike for the last few matchups in Mexican Nationals, the veterans topped the newcomers, with DLR/Beltran winning the final in 3 straight games to return to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2018 and vanquishing the current reigning World Champions.


Women’s Doubles
PRS report: http://rball.pro/FFC344
As with the men, the top 4 seeds held to the semis without any really notable matches in the early stages. Lets pick up the action from there.
From the top, #1 Longoria/Salas were not troubled in their semi against #4 Aguilar/Lucia Gonzalez, winning in three games in dominant fashion. The bottom semi was closer, but #2 Herrera/Mejia held off the Parrilla/Ximena Gonzalez pairing in four.
In the final … a frequent rematch. This was the 2019 and 2020 Mexican Nationals final. These are also inarguably the top two teams on the LPRT right now and a frequently seen final (mostly won by the Longoria/Salas pairing save for a famous 2019 Open win by the younger pair).

The four top LPRT pros played a very spirited, passionate match. The 15-time champions took the first two games, but their younger rivals stormed back to take games 3 and 4. In the breaker, a number of arguable calls led to a back and forth affair, but a pair of long rallies wen the way of Longoria & Salas and they eked out the win 11-7 in the fifth.


Mixed Doubles
PRS report: http://rball.pro/6C0361
Mexican Nationals was the first major Mixed tournament to be competed, and it was a fun one.
The Semis were chalk with the top 4 seeds advancing, but the early rounds were not without some interesting matches.
From the top side, #5 @Alvaro Beltran and @Montse Mejia topped the veteran team of #12 @Polo Gutierrez andSusy Acosta in the 16s but fell to the Parrilla brother/sister combo in the quarters.
On the bottom side, the third seeded pairing of the two current pro #1s @DaniDaniel de la Rosa and @Paola Longoria played a dominant match to take out the dangerous looking team of Cardona/Lucia in the quarters 4,6,9.
In the semis…

  • #1 Montoya/Salas dropped the first game against the Parrillas, but held on for the win.
  • #3 DLR/Longoria split the first two with the Fernandez/Herrera team before turning on the pressure and taking the next two games to move into the final.
  • In the final…Both Longoria and De la Rosa were competing in their third final in a row … and frankly ran out of gas. After winning the first game, Montoya/Salas won the next three games to give them the inaugural Mixed title for their country. They prevent both #1 players from a historic treble on the weekend.

Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend from the Rkt and @Federación Mexicana de Raquetbol

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…/

Its the 33rd annual Pan American Racquetball Championships! Live from Bolivia, this is the annual international competition that will run over the next two weekends!

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Campeonato Nacional Selectivo Mexico 2022 Preview Part 2: Doubles

Fernandez and his mixed partner Herrera are a favorite this weekend at Mexican Nationals. Photo unk


Part 1 (published yesterday) previewed the Mexican National singles draws.
Part 2 today covers the three doubles draws: Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed.

r2sports site: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=38926

Men’s Doubles
13 Teams are here, highlighted by the top two seeded teams of #1 @Javier Mar and @Rodrigo Montoya and #2 @Daniel de la Rosa & @Alvaro Beltran. These two teams have met on plenty of occasions as of late:

  • the 2021 Mexican Nationals final (Mar/Montoya win)
  • 2021 US Open Semis (DLR/Beltran win)
  • 2021 Shamrock Shootout Semis (DLR/Beltran win)
  • 2020 Shamrock final (DLR/Beltran win)
  • 2020 Mexican Nationals final (Mar/Montoya win)
  • 2020 Lewis Drug Final (DLR/Beltran win).

    So, the two wins for the Mar/Montoya team were … in the Mexican Nationals finals, which then opened a pathway for them to represent their country at the last few international events, where they have had great success. They’re the current reigning 2019 Pan Am Games champs and the 2021 World Champs.

    So, can anyone stop either team on the way to another finals rematch?
    The only other team I’d be fearful of here is the #4 seeded team of @Sebastian Fernandez and Andres Parrilla ; they’ll give Montoya/Mar a run for the money in the semis. DLR and Beltran should cruise to the final.
  • My prediction? Another Montoya/Mar defeat of DLR/Beltran. I think Alvaro is dinged up right now, not getting any younger, and as a team they’ve gotten upset early in the last few events they’ve entered.

Women’s Doubles Preview:
Nine teams here, highlighted (like the Men’s draw) by two powerhouse teams at #1 and #2 seeds. #1 @Paola Longoria and @Samantha Salas Solis continue their partnership, which now includes 36 pro titles together, somewhere in the range of 15 Mexican national titles, and 19 International titles together. Amazing. But the #2 team of @Montse Mejia and @Alexandra Herrera is coming up fast on the veteran team’s heels. They’ve beaten Longoria/Salas in a couple of significant pro events recently ( the 2019 US Open being most memorable) and have several pro titles together. But they’ve yet to take a National doubles title.

Is this the weekend?

Like on the men’s side, it is difficult to see anyone standing in the way of a 1-2 final. In that final, I’m going to predict a changing of the guard with the Mejia/Herrera team topping Longoria and Salas to take their first national title together.


Mixed Doubles preview.
Today marks a new day for Pro Racquetball Stats: the beginning of what seems like it will be a sustained movement of regular mixed doubles competition at both the National and International level. For the nearly 20 years I’ve run this site, we’ve never had anything other than a couple of one-off Mixed pro events when the two tours just happened to be in the same spot (World Doubles in Denver, the Syosset Open, Arizona Pro-am to name a few over the past few years). But now we have Mixed to add to both the Amateur and International database and report code.
Lets preview the first National mixed doubles draw.
There are 15 Mixed Doubles teams competing here; lets go through with some predictions.
Matches to watch for in the 16s (which happened yesterday so this is old news)

  • #5 Beltran/Mejia were done no favors having to play #12 Polo/Acosta. A lefty righty pair will present some interesting choices for Beltran and Mejia. Polo is always hard to beat. In the end though, Beltran/Mejia advanced rather easily 10,4,9
    QF matches to look for
  • The 4/5 of Beltran/Mejia versus the Parrilla/Parrilla brother/sister combo could be great. Andree is a great doubles player and will push this matchup. I think there’s an interesting balance of talent here; Parrilla is a better player than Beltran right now, while Mejia is a better than Jessica. But, the key for me is the fact that Beltran plays almost entirely on the right hand side when he plays doubles with DLR in mens; here he’ll have to play the left hand side, where I think Parrilla has the advantage. I see the Bro/Sis pairing advancing.
  • I like the 3/6 matchup between DLR/Longoria and Cardona/Lucia. It might be odd to think that a pairing of the two currently ranked #1 pro players in the world is seeded third (hey, Mexican national seeding), but chemistry is important in doubles pairings, especially in mixed. Cardona will bang it out on the right side with DLR, while Longoria could overwhelm Lucia on the left.
    Projected Semis:
  • #1 Montoya/Salas, who won the 2021 World Doubles mixed pro title with relative ease, are set to face the Parrillas.
  • #2 Fernandez/Herrera, who made the 2021 World doubles final (perhaps this is the tourney they used to seed this draw) are set to face the #1/#1 team of DLR/Longoria. What makes this matchup interesting is the lefty/righty pairing. Herrera will be on the left, meaning DLR will be serving to her. DLR is not hitting photons at 160mph … but he does hit with pace and can place his “walking drive serve” with an accuracy and depth that Herrera is not used to seeing. On the flip side, Patata can blast serves at Paola’s forehand, but probably will choose to either hit wallpapers or hard Zs. Either way, for whatever reason Longoria has not fared well in past Mixed pro matches and I think they’ll lose again here to setup 1v2.

In the final, I like a rematch of the Denver World doubles final from 2021, where Montoya/Salas crushed Fernandez/Herrera 12,6. I think we’ll see a closer match but a similar result. #1 seeds to win.

Streaming has started: follow RKT on Facebook to get live notifications. The tournament runs through Sunday early afternoon. Juarez is Mountain time, so 2 hours later than EST for your planning purposes.

Campeonato Nacional Selectivo Mexico 2022 Preview Part 1: Singles

Montoya the #1 seed in both Singles and doubles this weekend. Photo Gearbox promotional


Welcome to one of my favorite tournaments to cover every year; its the 2022 Mexican Nationals Selection event. This year features both Singles and Doubles in one event and will feature the best of all the top Mexican players and pros. A new fun feature this year is the inclusion of Mixed Open Doubles, thanks to the IRF adding Mixed as a competitive event, so we’ll preview that event and the interesting pairings we will see.


I’ll preview Singles today and Doubles tomorrow.


You’ll see rally scoring this weekend, since IRF has adopted it and thus confederations will play it going forward so as to prepare t heir athletes.

This tournament started on Wednesday morning thanks to the huge draws, so we’re a bit behind on this preview (some of the first round of Men’s has already been played), but here goes.

r2sports site: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=38926


Men’s Singles
There’s some notable absences at this event. Current IRT #7 Eduardo Portillo is missing despite playing last weekend at the Beach Bash. Also missing was the other semi finalist from 2021 in @Elias Nieto. Curious why they’re not here, though word has it that a bit of a kerfuffle about the PARC Mexican doubles team was resolved by Mar/Montoya backing out and giving their spots to Lalo/Nieto (as was apparently promised to them last Summer, when the FMR said the 2022 PARC team would be comprised of the singles semi finalists, not the Doubles winners from the Worlds selection event later in the fall).
Also not here are top Mexicans such as Eduardo Garay (perhaps still not converted back to Mexico from Colombia), Javier Estrada , Alan Natera , @GeraGerardo Franco (who may be retired at this point), @Jaime Martel , @Ernesto Ochoa, Jordy Alonso (who’s had some recent success on tour), Rodrigo Rodriguez, or frequent competitor @Christian Longoria . So, as deep as this draw is it could have been better. Also not playing singles but here playing doubles is @Alvaro Beltran, prioritizing his health and skipping the demanding singles draw to focus on doubles.


But, there’s some notable players present who we don’t always get to see playing. Former WRT #1s @Alejandro Cardona and @Polo Gutierrez are entered in the draw (probably because they’re both residents of Juarez and its an easy commute). Both are top notch players and are dark horses as the #8 and #20 seeds respectively.


Also, a general word about the seeding. The seeds at this event always seem curious to me, depending on what seems to be a random calculation of past events and personal opinion. Daniel De la Rosa, for example, is the #1 player in the world and has been for some time, but is seeded 6th in the Singles draw (he missed the 2021 Nationals event and finished 3rd in the 2019 event, so i guess that adds up to the 6th seed). It makes for some curious early round matches sometimes that we’ll note as we go.

If you were asking me to seed this ignoring last year’s results (not that you were of course), i’d seed it: DLR, Parrilla, Montoya, Mar, Fernandez, Cardona, Trujillo, and Polo.
There’s 31 players in the singles draw, with the top seeds driven by last year’s finals. Here’s a preview of matches to look for.


In the 32s:

  • #5 @Emir Martinez faces #28 @Luis Renteria in what could be an interesting match. Renteria is one of the more decorated Mexican Juniors in history but is in his age 17 season.
  • #7 @Sebastian Fernandez takes on fellow IRT touring pro @ErErick Fernanado Cuevas in the round of 32, perhaps a round too early for such a meeting.
  • – Another decorated Mexican junior recently matriculated in Jose Ramos is entered as a #23 seed; he’ll take on #10 seed Angel Camacho in the opener.

Projecting the 16s, here’s some fun ones

  • #4 @EErick Trujillo , who has been making waves on tour, may face Polo at this stage. Polo has a unique game style that stymies veteran pros all the time; can the younger Trujillo make the adjustments? Upset watch here.
  • – #7 Patata versus the upset-minded junior #23 Ramos: Fernandez should advance but if Ramos gets by round one he’ll have some confidence.

Quarters: here’s where the rubber meets the road, with a set of projected quarter final players all with tour experience.

  • #1 @Rodrigo Montoya versus #8 Cardona: a good old fashioned WRT matchup between two hard hitters. Cardona leads career h2h 4-2, but they havn’t played in 5 years. Advantage Montoya to move on.
  • The winner of Trujillo/Polo has the advantage over #5 @Emir Martinez, who has zero IRT experience and is seeded 5th (ahead of DLR, lets we forget) on the back of his 2021 run to the quarters.
  • #6 @Daniel de la Rosa takes on #3 @Javier Mar in a match worthy of a final, but which happens in the quarters thanks to the ridiculous seeding. Mar has been on the singles sidelines for months as he recovered from a hernia, but competed well last weekend in Florida. DLR missed the Nationals last year for the first time in a decade, but has made the semis or better in the last 6 Mexican Nationals that he’s played. Mar won this title in 2017 and made the 2020 semis … so this will be a tightly fought match. Advantage DLR just based on world rankings.
  • #2 @Andree Parrilla projects to take on Patata in another fun match. They have not met since 2019, but Andree is 4-0 lifetime against Fernandez. This is a solid IRT round of 16 quality match and Parrilla should advance.
    My projected Semis:
  • #1 Montoya over #4 Trujillo; power will rise to the top here.
  • #6 DLR over #2 Parrilla; Though Andree beat him in their last meeting (Atlanta pro semis in January en route to his 11-10 win over Kane in the final) DLR is still 7-2 lifetime over his younger countryman. DLR in 5 games.
  • Projected Final: Montoya over DLR. This would be a rematch of the 2018 final, when DLR seemed to just kind of go through the motions and lost 3,12 to Montoya. See, once you have the final determined, both players are on “the team” and the winner is more about bragging rights and title collection than anything else. Will DLR push to win another actual title or is he just interested in ensuring his spot on the team for future IRF competitions?

Women’s Singles Review
No real notable missing names from the Singles draw for the Women: the top 7-8 women in my book are all here and will make for some great quarters onward. Second tier pros like @Ana Laura Flores, Erin (Rivera) Groves, and Montserrat Perez are not here, nor are some of the top up and coming Mexican junior girls, but the draw is solid.
Here’s a preview of what to look for.
In the 16s:

  • #12 @Lucia Gonzalez, who has had enough past success that players know not to call her a “dark horse” any longer, should advance past #5 @DanielDaniela Rica .
  • #3 @Montse Mejia faces a tough challenge from @Delia Aguilar to start
    In the quarters:
  • #1 @Paola Longoria , looking for what should be something like her 15th national singles title (our records are not complete), gets a tough quarterfinal opponent in #8 @Jessica Parrilla. Longoria moves on but not without getting pushed a bit.
  • #12 Gonzalez is my pick to upset #4 @Nancy Enriquez here. She’s done it before and should do it again.
  • The match of the round is #3 Mejia versus the criminally under-seeded #6 @Alexandra Herrera, winner of the last two LPRT stops. These two doubles partners are good friends of course, and know each other’s game all too well, but Herrera’s form is spot on right now. Six month’s ago i’d have favored Mejia here, but now its Herrera’s match to lose.
  • #2 @Samantha Salas should breeze into the semis with a win over veteran @Susy Acosta.
    In the semis:
  • Longoria should dominate against Lucia.
  • Herrera should top Salas.

Final: for the third major tournament in a row its Longoria versus Herrera in the final. Will the tournament category matter here? Longoria needs to find a winning strategy and fast, because Alexandra has proven for two events in a row she can make drive serves, play clean, error-free racquetball and get wins. My gut says Longoria wins this, just because the National titles are so important to her.


Streaming: it remains to be seen who will do the streaming down in Juarez. I’d follow FMR and RKT for now, to see if we can get some live streaming.
Thanks to the Tourney Directors @Favio Soto 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 FB. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but Facebook stripped it.
Associations
@International Racquetball Tour
@LPRT
Federación Mexicana de Raquetbol
Rkt
Hashtags #racquetball #proracquetball #outdoorracquetball #irt #lprt #wor

2021 Mexican National Doubles recap

Mar takes his 3rd straight national doubles title with Montoya. Photo via PK

The 2021 Campeonato Nactional Selectivo Dobles for Mexico was held this past weekend in racquetball hotbed San Luis Potosi, SL, Mexico. Here’s a recap
Congrats to your winners on the weekend:

  • Men’s Doubles: Rodrigo Montoya/Javier Mar
  • Women’s Doubles: Paola Longoria/Samantha Salas

    This is the 3rd straight National doubles title for Montoya/Mar. This is the 7th National title for Longoria/Salas since 2014 (the extent of our current Mexican records), but likely represents something like their 12th or 13th title together once we get all records input.
    These teams qualify to represent Mexico at the next few international events, namely Worlds in Guatemala in December (if it happens), and then PARC next April in Bolivia.
    R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37831

    PRS Match Report links:
  • Men’s Doubles: http://rball.pro/4FDC8F
  • Women’s Doubles: http://rball.pro/8B09C7

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

Despite the tourney being held in racquetball hotbed San Luis Potosi, there was a distinct lack of depth in this draw, on both sides. The Men’s draw was missing top IRT pair Parrilla/Portillo, the regular competing team of Natera/Estrada was missing, the Longoria brothers were not present, nor was a slew of downballot Mexican players who usually compete.
Seeds held to the semis, though #2 Daniel De La Rosa and Alvaro Beltran were pushed to a tiebreaker in the quarters by the relatively young team of Oscar Nieto and Elias Nieto Zedalav.
In the semis:

  • #1 seeds and defending champs Rodrigo Montoya Solis and Javier Mar were pushed to the bring by 18U players Erick Trujillo and Sebastian Hernandez, but scraped by with an 11-10 win.
  • #2 seeds DLR/Beltran cruised into the final with a 2- game win over IRT semi-regulars Jordy Alonso and Erick Cuevas.

    In the Finals, I would have thought it was advantage DLR/Beltran, who were just coming off a win in Vegas and who had the easier time of it in the semis. but it was the defending champs who were energized for the win and who ran away with the tie-breaker after splitting the first two games. Final score: 8,(9),4.

Lets Review the matches in the Women’s Doubles review

Also an odd draw; Herrera was missing her regular partner Montse Mejia, a slew of LPRT regular touring pros were not present, and the draw was small enough to go round robin. After the expected teams advanced to the knock out semis, here’s the recap:

  • #1 seeds Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas Solis cruised past 18U challenges Daniela Rico and Ximena Martinez.
  • #3 seeds Jessica Parrilla and Montserrat Pérez advanced past #2 seeds Alexandra Herrera and Diana Aguilar.

In the final, the lefty-righty pair of Parrilla/Perez cruised in game one, but the champions fought back to take a close game two and eventually the breaker. Longoria and Salas win the hotly contested match.

Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend from players onsite and from FMR, the Federacion Mexicana de Raquetbol.
Thanks to the Tourney Director Favio Soto 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 FB. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but FB stripped it.

Next up? According to our master calendar
https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/
Next up:

  • Florida Long Wall championships in Davie, FL
  • an IRT tier 4 Long Island Open in NY

The next big pro event is the dual IRT/LPRT Arizona Open two weekends from now in Tempe.

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@federacion mexicana de racquetbol
@mexico racquetball

Mexican Junior Nationals recap

Erick Trujillo takes the 18U Mexican Junior National title. Photo US Open 2021 Kevin Savory


This past weekend featured both Mexico and Canada holding their Junior National tournaments. The results of these events determine the national team members that will represent their country at the upcoming World Juniors in Guatemala City the first weekend of December. We’ll recap the Mexican tourney today and the Canadian tournament tomorrow.


R2 site for Mexican Jr Nationals: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/viewResults.asp?TID=37940

Congrats to the following Boys singles finalists for team Mexico:
(click here: http://rball.pro/27C371 for a Matrix of all Mexican boy’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2012. We’ll work on the 2021 data entry later this week while on travel).

  • Boys 18U: Erick Trujillo , Sebastián Longoria
  • Boys 16U Jorge Gutierrez Ortiz and Cristhian Sánchez Raquetbol
  • Boys 14U: Eder Renteria and Sebastian Alejandro Ruelas
  • Boys 12U: Luis Carlos Ochoa and Diego Chavez
  • Boys 10U: Rene Palomino and Jhontan Garcia Banuelos
  • Boys 8U: Herman Gracia Castro and Max Soto

Trujillo is a name that’s been in “the news” lately for his excellent showings in recent IRT events. He’s come out of nowhere on the Mexican scene; this is his first junior national title. Longoria was the 16U champ in 2019. This is the first junior title for Ortiz. Renteria is a familiar name to junior racquetball; this is his 6th junior national title, and he’s got a chance to come close to David Ortega’s record of 11 career Mexican junior national titles. This is Ochoa’s 3rd junior title; he previously won an 8U and 10U title.


Congrats to the following Girls Singles finalists for team Mexico:
(click here: http://rball.pro/271CB4 or a Matrix of all Mexican girls’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2012)

  • Girls 18U; Daniela Rico and Ximena Martinez
  • Girls 16U: Angela Veronica Ortega and Cynthia Gutierrez
  • Girls 14U: Mariafernanda Trujillo and Yanna Salazar
  • Girls 12U: Lilia Farias and Natalia Guillen
  • Girls 10U: Michelle Gomez and Maria Melo
  • Girls 8U: Maria Jose Juardo and Eva Chavez Enriquez

A second junior national title for Rico, who has already played in 8 LPRT events, the first of which was in her age 13 season in 2017. Keep an eye on Rico; the list of recent Mexican junior 18U titlists reads like a list of players you’ll be seeing playing weekend matches on the LPRT: Ana Laura Flores, Montse Mejia, Erin Nocam Rivera, Montse Perez, Lucia Gonzalez, Alexandra Herrera and Diana Aguilar are the 18u winners from the last decade.

A third title for Ortega (she previously won in 2015 and 2017) and for Trujillo (she won previously in 2017 and 2019). All our other winners are new

fyi; the format for the Mexican draw was as follows (as far as I can tell): a single-elimination draw to determine the champion, then a loser’s bracket draw, the winner of whom was crowned the 2nd place finisher. This will present somewhat of a challenge for my database; its the first time that the “finalist” wasn’t necessarily the “2nd place finisher.” I’m not sure how i’m going to address this in the code.

Also, unlike in other jurisdictions Mexico does not hold a separate doubles competition, generally just naming the doubles team from the two singles reps.

Congrats to Favio Soto for another successful Mexican national tournament.
International Racquetball Tour
LPRT
@federacion mexicana de raquetbol
International Racquetball Federation – IRF