Friday, May 8, 2015

Cardona & Parrilla to meet in final of 2015 WRT Cali Open

Two great semi-final matches at the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) Cali Open in Cali, Colombia. Third seed Alejandro Cardona defeated 2nd seed Jake Bredenbeck, 15-10, 12-15, 11-10, and 8th seed Andree Parrilla beat 13th seed Gerardo Franco, 8-15, 15-6, 11-9.

Game one of Cardona and Bredenbeck was as streaky as could be. Cardona led 5-0. The Bredenbeck led 9-5, and Cardona won 15-10, as both players scored in bunches and it was Cardona who got the last bunch.

Throughout the match Cardona drove serve both to the right and the left, and hit lob serves on second serve. Bredenbeck used a greater variety of serves, including lobs, which were effective against Cardona last week when they played in Minneapolis and Bredenbeck won. The lob was also effective in Cali, but Bredenbeck mixed it in with other serves, including backhand drive serves to both sides.

Bredenbeck was still feeling the effects all the racquetball last weekend, when he won the event in Minneapolis, so he wasn’t 100%. He never drove serve full out against Cardona, yet still managed to be effective at perhaps 80% of his maximum power.

After the streaky first game, Bredenbeck took a big lead in game two at 12-4 and then 14-7. But Cardona kept fighting and as he narrowed the gap to 14-12 it looked like he might close it out in two straight.

However, Bredenbeck got the serve back as he turned around to use his forehand to return a drive serve to the left by Cardona that came off the back wall. On the next rally, his second game point, Bredenbeck hit a forehand winner to force a tie-breaker.

In the breaker, it again got streaky. Bredenbeck was ahead 3-0. Cardona tied it at 4-4 and went ahead 7-4. Bredenbeck tied it at 7-7 and went ahead 10-7 hitting two service winners and an ace with his backhand drive serve.

But Cardona got the serve back with a backhand cross court serve return, and then scored four consecutive points that were all winners by Cardona, including an ace and a service winner. The winning point was a Cardona backhand cross court shot.

In the second semi-final, Parrilla started well with a 3-1 lead in game one. But Franco responded by scoring a string of points to lead 11-4. Parrilla scored a few points before Franco ended it at 15-8.

Game two started more slowly with 22 rallies needed to get to 4-4. Parrilla then went up 9-4 quickly. Franco held him there for seven rallies, but couldn’t score himself. Parrilla broke through that plateau and went on to win 15-6.

In the breaker, Parrilla again led early at 3-0. But Franco got a sideout and scored four straight winners to lead 4-3. Parilla got the served back, and scored three more, making it 7-4. From there, Parrilla never trailed, although Franco did tie it at 7-7 and 9-9.

Franco got the serve back on Parrilla first match point, and on the ensuing rally he hit two great backhand down the line shots that Parrilla managed to hit ceiling balls off of. Franco tried it a third time, and that shot came off the side wall just a little, which gave Parrilla an opportunity to hit a backhand pinch shot for a winner.

On his second match point, Parrilla won it with a backhand cross court.

It’s difficult to believe that Parrilla and Franco are both teenagers, because they play with great skill and poise. Also, they are both control players rather than power players, and with the control they already have they should both have bright futures in the game.

The WRT webcast the singles final Saturday afternoon at 1 PM with the doubles final to follow immediately afterwards. Find the link at the WRT Facebook page.

2015 WRT Cali Open
Cali, Colombia


8) Andree Parrilla d. 13) Gerardo Franco, 8-15, 15-6, 11-9
3) Alejandro Cardona d. 2) Jake Bredenbeck, 15-10, 12-15, 11-10


3) Alejandro Cardona v. 8) Andree Parrilla - 1 PM CDT

Doubles - Semi-finals

1) Alejandro Cardona & Polo Gutierrez d. 5) Mario Mercado & Andree Parrilla, 15-13, 15-4
2) Jake Bredenbeck & Sebastian Franco d. 6) Jose Daniel Alvarez & Fernando Rios, 15-8, 15-11

Doubles - Final

1) Alejandro Cardona & Polo Gutierrez v. 2) Jake Bredenbeck & Sebastian Franco

Follow the bouncing ball….

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