USA Racquetball News Pro Tour Recap -- Wo...

Pro Tour Recap -- World Singles and Doubles Open Racquetball Championships

Sept. 15, 2021, 8 a.m. (ET)

World Singles and Doubles Open Racquetball Championships

 

Pro Tour Recap -- World Singles and Doubles Open Racquetball Championships

August 12-15, 2021

Highlands Ranch Rec Center, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

 

Mid-August saw a well-attended event take place in Highlands Ranch. Ten countries and 36 U.S. states were represented by the 297 pro and amateur players (232 men and 63 women) who competed at an altitude of 5,817 feet, an interesting experience for many. 

 

Below, Pro Tour Commissioners T. J. Baumbaugh (LPRT) and Mike Grisz (IRT) recap this Tier 1 event.

 

LPRT

 

The LPRT draw at the World Singles and Doubles Open Championships held all the excitement of a good sports movie. The absence of the #1 tour player opened the door for someone to earn the pro event title. As a result, the matches were fierce and the upsets heartbreaking. Ana Gabriela “Gaby” Martinez (Guatemala), the #11 seed, won the event and her first pro title.   

 

One of many notable matches of the LPRT singles draw was in the Round of 32. Natalia Mendez (Argentina), the #5 seed, was almost upset by LPRT newcomer and #28 seed Erika Manilla (USA).  Mendez was mentally tough and managed to pull out the 11-10 tiebreaker win. Later, in the semifinals, Mendez won over #4 Samantha Salas Solis (Mexico).

 

In the Round of 16, Brenda Laime (Colombia) upset #2 seed Montse Mejia (Mexico). This was probably the biggest surprise (and fantasy bracket buster!) of the tournament as Mejia was picked to win it; she had defeated #1 Longoria in June 2021 to win her first LPRT title.

 

Martinez’ road to the final was not an easy trip. She had to overcome Angelica Barrios (Bolivia) in the 16s, Laime in the quarters, and Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina) in the semis just to get to Alexandra Herrera, the event’s #1 seed. Herrera, playing some of her best racquetball to date, put up a grand fight against the intense Martinez but fell short in the final. Martinez won (12), 9, 4 to become the 30th known pro event winner in the history of the women’s pro tour.

 

Equal prize money was offered to the pro tours for singles, along with a $10,000 Mixed Pro Doubles purse. The victorious team, who came out on top of one of the toughest Mixed Pro Draws in racquetball history, was LPRT player Samantha Salas Solis (Mexico) and IRT player Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico).

 

Micaela Meneses (Bolivia), an up-and-comer and one to look out for on the LPRT, won the Junior Girls division. She fought through two tough USA players and LPRT new additions, Annie Roberts and Erin Slutzky, to win the final. Thanks to the Zurek Sports Foundation for providing the $1,000 prizes to the winners of the Girls 18 & Under and Boys 18 & Under divisions, and thanks to Mike and Karen Grisz for covering all the juniors’ entry fees.

 

Much gratitude goes to Tournament Director Jim Hiser, all the sponsors, and the team of people who put on a successful tournament. Referred to as a “Mini US Open,” the event was full of LPRT and IRT pros, amateur competitors, and great hospitality.  

 

IRT

 

The IRT was relieved and excited in equal measure to play racquetball again in Denver. We had a draw in singles of more than 50 pros. There were competitive matches in the Round of 32, with one of the notables being Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) defeating Adam Manilla (USA).

 

In the Round of 16, Alex Landa (Mexico) beat Acuña in a tiebreaker. Upcoming Eduardo Portillo (Mexico) defeated Jake Bredenbeck (USA), also in a tiebreaker. Andre Parrilla (Mexico), Daniel De La Rosa (Mexico), Carlos Keller Vargas (Bolivia), Mario Mercado (Colombia), Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia), and Rocky Carson (USA) all won convincingly to move to the quarterfinals. Carlos Keller Vargas’ win was an upset of the #3 seed Samuel Murray (Canada).

 

In the quarters, Portillo beat an injured Alex Landa and De La Rosa handled Pariila in two games while Keller Vargas and Moscoso both needed tiebreakers to beat Mercado and Carson. Moscoso came from being down 9-2 in the tiebreaker to pull it out.

 

In the first semifinal, De La Rosa beat Portillo in the tiebreaker, 11-2. What was notable was De La Rosa took a hard fall towards the end of the second game. After an injury timeout, he played superbly in the tiebreaker. 

 

In the second semifinal tiebreaker, Moscoso won a hard-fought two games over his Bolivian countryman Keller Vargas, 15-10, 15-14.

 

The finals pitted De La Rosa against Moscoso. Though still dealing with the effect of the injury sustained in the semis, Daniel played focused and determined to prevail, 15-7, 15-13.

 

There was a Mixed Pro Doubles event featuring the top pros from both tours. With 20 teams in the division, I t came down to two teams from Mexico with Rodrigo Montoya and Samantha Salas Solis defeating Sebastian Fernandez and Alexandra Herrera in the finals in an intense and well-played match.

 

 

Full results can be found at HERE.