Saturday, November 9, 2013

Beltran wins 2013 Red Swain Shootout for his 1st career victory

Alvaro Beltran has won is first Tier 1 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event after 26 tries, as he defeated fellow Mexican Daniel De La Rosa in the final of the Red Swain Shootout in Davison, Michigan, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4. It was the first IRT event with two Mexican players in the final.

Beltran said afterwards he "will never forget this club and this city." He was "so happy it happened" after "fifteen years on tour." Beltran didn't want to be a player never to win an event.

In three IRT events this season, there have now been three different winners: Jose Rojas in Stockton, Kane Waselenchuk in Minneapolis and now Beltran. This hasn't happened since the 2007-08 season when Rocky Carson, Jason Mannino and Jack Huczek won the first three events of that season.

The match was very even with both players using a variety of serves. Beltran often hit his characteristic lob to the right, which was a glass side wall, and De La Rosa did have some trouble with it, including skipping the return on game point in game one.

But Beltran also hit drive serves, and some off speed serves in game three, two of which went for aces.

De La Rosa was best when he was drive serving, which he did to both sides of the court. And he seemed especially confident when he drove serve on second serve also, which he did at the end of game two, which he won.

In game three, Beltran had an early lead at 5-0, but De La Rosa fought all the way back and took the lead at 8-7. It looked like the young gun might deny the veteran his long sought after prize. But Beltran got the serve back, and went back to the lob to the right, and made winning shots in the rallies to win it, 11-8.

They were close again in game four, when it was 3-3. But Beltran ran four points with several different serves - lob left, lob right, drive right, drive left - to make the score 7-3, and he never looked back, going to win 11-4 with match point coming off a back hand pinch shot to the left corner that was the third shot of a rally that began with a lob to the right side that De La Rosa returned cross court.

The night belonged to Beltran, who is no longer a contender for title of "Best Player to Never Win a Tier 1 IRT Event."

The next IRT Tier 1 event is next weekend in Garden City, Kansas at the 23rd Annual Turkey Shootout. Action begins on Thursday.

2013 Red Swain Shootout
Davison, Michigan


Alvaro Beltran d. Daniel De La Rosa, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4

Follow the bouncing ball…

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