Sunday, October 11, 2015

Longoria wins 6th US Open & 5th consecutive

Paola Longoria won her 6th US Open Racquetball Championship - and 5th consecutive - Sunday in Minneapolis, as she defeated Rhonda Rajsich in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT final, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9. It's the 20th Anniversary of the US Open, and Longoria's won 30% of the women's titles, more than any other woman. Rajsich is 2nd with four titles.

Afterwards, Longoria said it's "still the same happiness" as when she won her first US Open, adding "it's amazing to be back here."

Longoria started strong, as she took a 9-4 lead in game one, and pushed on to win 11-7. That continued in game two, as she led 9-0 before Rajsich got on the board.

But Rajisch scored five points before the second game ended, and she carried that momentum over into game three, building a 7-2 lead. However, that lead evaporated as Longoria tied it at 7-7. They went back and forth from there, and it was 21 rallies before Rajsich came out on top, 11-9, forcing a fourth game.

Game four started slowly, as the first point wasn't scored until the fifth rally. Rajsich got on the board first, and went up 3-0.

Longoria was clearly frustrated, and that was evident at 3-0, when she disagreed with a hinder call that she appealed and was upheld based on one of the line judges agreement with the referee. She hit a winning return on the next rally, and gestured to the line judge as if to indicate justice was served.

Longoria then scored three points to tie the game at 3-3, but Rajsich again went ahead 7-3, which led to a Longoria time out.

When play resumed, there was long rally that included one of the many diving gets by Rajsich, but ended when Longoria hit a winning forehand pinch shot. With the serve back, Longoria hit her third ace of the match - a drive serve to the left (Rajisch's backhand), and her fourth ace ended a six point run that put Longoria up 9-7.

They battled back and forth from there. Longoria got to match point at 10-8. Rajsich fought off two match points, and scored one to make it 10-9. But at that point, Rajsich's serve started another long rally that ended when Rajsich was unable to return a ball at the back.

On the next rally, Longoria drove serve to the left, and Rajsich skipped her serve return, ending the match.

Longoria's win is her 6th in 12 appearances at the US Open. She's been a finalist 8 times.

Despite the loss, Rajsich's US Open record is impressive. A four time US Open Champion, she has competed in 15 of the 20 US Opens, and been in the final 11 times, which is the most for a woman.

And afterwards Rajsich, who turned 37 on the first day of the tournament, said, "I'm not done."

2015 United Healthcare US Open - LPRT Draws
Minneapolis - October 7-11, 2015


1) Paola Longoria d. 3) Rhonda Rajsich, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9

Follow the bouncing ball….

No comments: