Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Doubles draws at 2018 IRF World Championships

The doubles medal rounds will begin on Thursday at the 19th International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in San José, Costa Rica, as there are so many singles matches to go through on Wednesday. For those unfamiliar with international doubles in recent years, know that it has become kind of a crap shoot, as there are several strong teams in both Men’s and Women’s Doubles, so while it might not be true that anyone could win, there are a few strong championship contenders.

That said, top seeds Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa of Mexico are the favorites to win Men’s Doubles. But they’ll probably have to beat Bolivians Roland Keller and Conrrado Moscoso in the semi-finals, which will not be easy, and then defeat whoever comes out of the bottom half of the draw.

On the bottom half is the US team of racquetball greats Rocky Carson and Sudsy Monchik, seeded 3rd. They’ll likely be challenged by Colombians Sebastian Franco and Mario Mercado in the quarterfinals, although Colombia took an injury default in their last Group Stage match. If that injury is serious, it could make it easier for the US.

If Carson and Monchik get to the semi-finals, then waiting for them will likely be either Argentine veterans Fernando Kurzbard and Shai Manzuri, who upset the Colombians in the Group Stage en route to claiming the 2nd seed, or Canadians Tim Landeryou and Samuel Murray. The Argentina win over Colombia - a team of two top 10 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) players - is proof of how doubles match outcomes are uncertain.

Women’s Doubles is even more uncertain than the men’s, as the top seeds are a young Mexican team of Monserrat Mejia and Alexandra Herrera, who beat Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas in the Mexico Team qualifying event to make it to Worlds. They were also US Open doubles finalists a couple of years back, so they are a strong team, but without the proven record of Longoria and Salas, who have won three Women’s Doubles World Championships. Mexico will have to face the winner of 8th seeds Maria Paz Muñoz and Veronica Sotomayor of Ecuador and 9th seeds Frédérique Lambert and Jen Saunders of Canada in the quarterfinals, and then likely 4th seeds Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros of Colombia.

But the favorites to win Women’s Doubles in San José may be the Guatemala team of Maria Renee Rodriguez and Gabriela Martinez, as they were runners up to Longoria and Herrera at this year’s Pan American Championships. Also, they were 2nd at the Central American and Caribbean Games last month after losing to Longoria and Salas in a tie-breaker.

To get to the final, Guatemala will probably have to defeat Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas of Argentina and then one of Valeria Centellas and Yasmine Sabja (Bolivia), Carla Muñoz and Josefa Parada (Chile) or Sheryl Lotts and Rhonda Rajsich (USA).

If you need to get a racquetball fix on Tuesday, watch some of the Group Stage matches you missed on the IRF Facebook page.

18th IRF World Championships
August 10-18, 2018
San José, Costa Rica


Men's Doubles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa (Mexico) v. 16) Rodrigo Salgado & Francisco Troncoso (Chile)
8) Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) v. 9) Luis Perez & Ramon De Leon (Dominican Republic)

5) Gabriel Garcia & Alexander Pirie (Costa Rica) v. 12) Yuki Nakano & Hiroshi Shimizu (Japan)
4) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) v. 13) Ken Cottrell & Eoin Tynan (Ireland)

3) Rocky Carson & Sudsy Monchik (USA) v. 14) Daeyong Kwon & Moon Gyun Kim (South Korea)
6) Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala) v. 11) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado (Colombia)

7) Tim Landeryou & Samuel Murray (Canada) v. 10) Ricardo Gomez & Luis Felipe Zea (Venezuela)
2) Fernando Kurzbard & Shai Manzuri (Argentina) v. 15) Alok Mehta & Thirumurugan Thyagarajan (India)

Women's Doubles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Monserrat Mejia & Alexandra Herrera (Mexico) - BYE
8) Maria Paz Muñoz & Veronica Sotomayor (Ecuador) v. 9) Frédérique Lambert & Jen Saunders (Canada)

5) Jin Seok & Mi Ok An (South Korea) v. 12) Alejandra Jimenez & Merynanyelly Delgado (Dominican Republic)
4) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia) v. 13) Majella Haventry & Katie Kenny (Ireland)

3) Maria Renee Rodriguez & Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) - BYE
6) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina) v. 11) Maiko Sato & Naomi Wakimoto (Japan)

7) Valeria Centellas & Yasmine Sabja (Bolivia) v. 10) Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile)
2) Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich (USA) - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball....

Monday, August 13, 2018

Singles draws at 2018 IRF World Championships

The medal round in Men’s and Women’s Singles begins Wednesday at the 19th International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in San José, Costa Rica. Mexicans and USA players dominate the top 4 seeds in both the women’s and men’s draws.

In Men’s Singles, David Horn is the #1 seed with team-mate Charlie Pratt #3. Mexicans Daniel De La Rosa and Rodrigo Montoya are the #2 and #4 seeds, so there can’t be either all USA or all Mexico match until the final. That is the reward the players have for winning all their Group Stage matches. But there should be plenty of good matches prior to the final, including a potential rematch between Colombian Mario Mercado, seeded 8th, and Canadian Coby Iwaasa, seeded 9th, who met in the Group Stage with Mercado winning by an 11-10 tie-breaker.

In Women’s Singles, Mexican Paola Longoria - the 3 time defending champion, is the #1 seed with her team-mate Samantha Salas #3. Rhonda Rajsich of the USA is 2nd seed with Guatemalan Maria Renee Rodriguez 4th seed. Rodriguez’s seeding gets her a bye in the Round of 32, but she’ll likely have to face Maria Jose Vargas of Argentina in the Round of 16. Vargas is a former #2 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and won an LPRT event this past season, so it's not the most favourable draw for Rodriguez.

If you need to get a racquetball fix on Tuesday, watch some of the Group Stage matches you missed on the IRF Facebook page.

18th IRF World Championships
August 10-18, 2018
San José, Costa Rica

Men's Singles - Round of 64
- Wednesday

1) David Horn (USA) - BYE
32) Mark Murphy (Ireland) v. 33) Alberto Rojas (Switzerland)

17) Shai Manuzi (Argentina) - BYE
16) Edwin Galicia (Guatemala) - BYE

9) Coby Iwaasa (Canada) - BYE
24) Daeyong Kwon (South Korea) - BYE

25) Luis Felipe Zea (Venezuela) - BYE
8) Mario Mercado (Colombia) - BYE

5) Conrado Moscoso (Bolivia) - BYE
28) Christian Wer (Guatemala) - BYE

21) Christian Chavez (Ecuador) - BYE
12) Felipe Camacho (Costa Rica) - BYE

13) Ramon De Leon (Dominican Republic) - BYE
20) Kono Michimune (Japan) - BYE

29) Yash Doshi (India) - BYE
4) Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) - BYE

3) Charlie Pratt (USA) - BYE
30) Johan Igor (Chile) - BYE

19) Ricardo Gomez (Venezuela) - BYE
14) Fernando Kurzbard (Argentina) - BYE

11) Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) - BYE
22) Moon Gyun Kim (South Korea) - BYE

27) Aaron Booker (Puerto Rico) - BYE
6) Samuel Murray (Canada) - BYE

7) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) - BYE
26) Francisco Troncoso (Chile) - BYE

23) Ryoki Kamahara (Japan) - BYE
10) Sebastian Franco (Colombia) - BYE

15) Luis Perez (Dominican Republic) - BYE
18) Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) - BYE

31) Alok Mehta (India) v. 34) Johnny O’keeney (Ireland)
2) Daniel De La Rosa (Mexico) - BYE

Women's Singles - Round of 32 - Wednesday

1) Paola Longoria (Mexico) - BYE
16) Young Ock Lee (Korea) v. 17) Jenny Daza (Bolivia)

9) Adriana Riveros (Colombia) v. 24) Josefa Parada (Chile)
8) Cristina Amaya (Colombia) v. 25) Lilian Zea (Venezuela)

5) Yasmine Sabja (Bolivia) - BYE
12) Carla Muñoz (Chile) v. 21) Merynanyelly Delgado (Dominican Republic)

13) Naomi Wakimoto (Japan) v. 20) Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina)
4) Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) - BYE

3) Samantha Salas (Mexico) - BYE
14) Jin Seok (South Korea) v. 19) Alejandra Jiménez (Dominican Republic)

11) Sheryl Lotts (USA) v. 22) Jen Saunders (Canada)
6) Ana Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) - BYE

7) Natalia Mendez (Argentina) v. 26) Donna Ryder (Ireland)
10) Frédérique Lambert (Canada) v. Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica)

15) Harumi Kajino (Japan) v. 18) Aisling Hickey (Ireland)
2) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball....

Day 3 at the 2018 World Championships

Monday the Group Stage of play wrapped up at the 19th International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in San José, Costa Rica, and there were few surprises. Indeed across the whole day there was only one tie-breaker, which came in Group D of Women’s Singles, when Maria Renee Rodriguez of Guatemala was pushed to three games by Aisling Hickey of Ireland before winning 11-15, 15-6, 11-7. They were tied at 7-7 in the breaker before Rodriguez was able to finish it off.

There will now be an off day on Tuesday, and then the medal round will be on Wednesday in all divisions. We’ll have those draws for you soon.

You can see some of the Group Stage matches on the IRF Facebook page.

18th IRF World Championships
August 10-18, 2018
San José, Costa Rica

Men's Singles

Group A


David Horn (USA) d. Moon Gyun Kim (South Korea), 15-7, 15-4
Luis Perez (Dominican Republic) - BYE

Group B

Daniel De La Rosa (Mexico) d. Ramon De Leon (Dominican Republic), 15-6, 15-1
Daeyong Kwon (South Korea) - BYE

Group C

Charlie Pratt (USA) d. Luis Felipe Zea (Venezuela), 15-6, 15-13
Felipe Camacho (Costa Rica) d. Johnny O’keeney (ireland), 15-7, 15-14

Group D

Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. Fernando Kurzbard (Argentina), 15-1, 15-10
Ryoki Kamahara (Japan) d. Alberto Rojas (Switzerland), 15-1, 15-1

Group E

Conrado Moscoso (Bolivia) d. Ricardo Gomez (Venezuela), 15-2, 15-8
Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) d. Mark Murphy (Ireland), 15-7, 15-2

Group F

Samuel Murray (Canada) d. Shai Manuzi (Argentina), 15-8, 15-2
Kono Michimune (Japan) d. Alok Mehta (India), 15-10, 15-1

Group G

Carlos Keller (Bolivia) d. Edwin Galicia (Guatemala), 15-7, 15-6
Christian Chavez (Ecuador) d. Johan Igor (Chile), 15-3, 15-3

Group H

Mario Mercado (Colombia) d. Yash Doshi (India), 15-1, 15-4
Coby Iwaasa (Canada) d. Aaron Booker (Puerto Rico), 15-5, 15-10

Group I

Sebastian Franco (Colombia) d. Christian Wer (Guatemala), 15-14, 15-3
Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) d. Francisco Troncoso (Chile), 15-1, 15-8

Women's Singles

Group A


Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. Jin Seok (South Korea), 15-6, 15-4
Harumi Kajino (Japan) - BYE

Group B

Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. Naomi Wakimoto (Japan), 15-2, 15-3
Young Ock Lee (Korea) - BYE

Group C

Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. Carla Muñoz (Chile), 15-3, 15-5
Jenny Daza (Bolivia) d. Donna Ryder (Ireland), 15-4, 15-7

Group D

Sheryl Lotts (USA) d. Lilian Zea (Venezuela), 15-5, 15-3
Maria Rene Rodriguez (Guatemala) d. Aisling Hickey (Ireland), 11-15, 15-6, 11-7

Group E

Yasmine Sabja (Bolivia) d. Alejandra Jiménez (Dominican Republic), 15-3, 15-5
Frédérique Lambert (Canada) d. Josefa Parada (Chile), 15-2, 15-1

Group F

Ana Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) d. Adriana Riveros (Colombia), 15-3, 15-7
Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina) d. Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica), 15-1, 15-3

Group G

Natalia Mendez (Argentina) d. Merynanyelly Delgado (Dominican Republic), 15-8, 15-1
Cristina Amaya (Colombia) d. Jen Saunders (Canada), 15-4, injury forfeit

Men's Doubles

Group A


Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa (Mexico) d. Yuki Nakano & Hiroshi Shimizu (Japan), 15-3, 15-6
Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala) d. Alok Mehta & Thirumurugan Thyagarajan (India), 15-9, 15-6

Group B

Fernando Kurzbard & Shai Manzuri (Argentina) d. Rodrigo Salgado & Francisco Troncoso (Chile), 15-0, 15-0 - injury forfeit
Gabriel Garcia & Alexander Pirie (Costa Rica) d. Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado (Colombia), 15-6, 8-1 - injury forfeit

Group C

Rocky Carson & Sudsy Monchik (USA) d. Ricardo Gomez & Luis Felipe Zea (Venezuela), 15-2, 15-2
Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) d. Ken Cottrell & Eoin Tynan (Ireland), 15-4, 15-3

Group D

Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) d. Luis Perez & Ramon De Leon (Dominican Republic), 15-12, 15-7
Tim Landeryou & Samuel Murray (Canada) d. Daeyong Kwon & Moon Gyun Kim (South Korea), 15-5, 15-3

Women's Doubles

Group A


Monserrat Mejia & Alexandra Herrera (Mexico) d. Alejandra Jimenez & Merynanyelly Delgado (Dominican Republic), 15-1, 15-6
Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina) - BYE

Group B

Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. Jin Seok & Mi Ok An (South Korea), 15-10, 8-15, 11-0
Maiko Sato & Naomi Wakimoto (Japan) - BYE

Group C

Maria Renee Rodriguez & Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) d. Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile), 15-7, 15-4
Maria Paz Muñoz & Veronica Sotomayor (Ecuador) - BYE

Group D

Valeria Centellas & Yasmine Sabja (Bolivia) d. Majella Haventry & Katie Kenny (Ireland), 15-4, 15-7
Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia) d. Frédérique Lambert & Jen Saunders (Canada), 15-9, 15-12

Follow the bouncing ball....