Saturday, October 5, 2013

2013 United Healthcare US Open LPRT Semi-finals

It will be Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) #1 Paola Longoria and #2 Rhonda Rajsich in the final of the 2013 United Healthcare US Open in Minneapolis Sunday, as they won their respective semi-finals on Saturday. The final will be their fifth consecutive US Open final against each other. Rajsich won in 2009 and 2010 with Longoria winning the last two years.

Longoria defeated her doubles partner, Samantha Solas Solis, in the semi-finals, 11-1, 11-4, 11-3, in what was a straight forward match for her. Longoria's now won 89 straight LPRT matches in Tier 1 or Grand Slam events dating back to May 2011. A win Sunday would make it an even 90.

Rajsich will be trying to stop that streak, and earned that opportunity by beating 3rd seed Susana Acosta, 4-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4.

Acosta started on fire, going up 6-0 in the first game helped by two ace serves. Rajsich closed it to 6-4, but Acosta held firm, not letting Rajsich get any more points and serving another ace as she took game one by a comfortable margin.

In game two, the roles were reversed, as Rajsich went up 8-1 and cruised to an 11-4 win. Game three started off with the players trading points back and forth until Acosta got a lead at 7-3.

But Rajsich replied with five straight points to make it 8-7 in her favour. Then they tied at 8-8 and Acosta hit another ace making it 9-8. However, Rajsich regained the serve and called a timeout.

When she came back in, Rajsich served the game out, including an ace to the back left corner - the left-hander Acosta's forehand side.

In game four began with back and forth play but then Rajsich got ahead 5-2. Acosta called a timeout and that halted Rajsich's momentum for a few rallies as they were stuck at 5-2 for four rallies. Then Rajsich scored a couple more points to make it 7-2, and then it became 10-3.

They stalled there for seven rallies - Rajsich served for the match four times in that period. Then Acosta got another point to make it 10-4. But on the rally Rajsich got a hideout and finally finished the game off at 11-4 and the match in four games.

What can happen with two serves

A funny play happened when they were at 4-1 in game two. Acosta served and Rajsich put her hand up indicating she thought the serve was short, but there was no call from the referee, so the rally was played out and Rajsich won it.

There were line judgesfor the match though, and Acosta appealed that her serve was short, and the line judges disagreed with the referee's call that the serve was good, so that made it second serve and Acosta got another chance to play a rally that she had lost. Unfortunately for Acosta she didn't win it the second time either.

The LPRT final will be Sunday at 11:30 AM CDT.

2013 United Healthcare US Open Championships, Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Semi-finals - Saturday (with seeding)

1 Paola Longoria d. 4 Samantha Salas Solis, 11-1, 11-4, 11-3
2 Rhonda Rajsich d. 3 Susana Acosta, 4-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-2

LPRT Finals - Sunday (with seeding)

1 Paola Longoria v. 2 Rhonda Rajsich - 11:30 AM CDT

Follow the bouncing ball…

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