Saturday, October 8, 2016

2016 UnitedHealthcare US Open LPRT Semi-finals

Samantha Salas upset Frédérique Lambert, the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour's (LPRT's) #2 player, 12-10, 4-11, 11-7, 11-3, in the semi-finals of the 2016 United Healthcare US Open, so Salas will play in her first ever US Open final on Sunday.

Salas started well in game one, going up 3-0, and she led for most of the game. But Lambert caught up at 9-9. Lambert got to game point with a backhand pinch shot, but on that game point she skipped forehand shot that seemed like a makable set up off the back wall. Salas proceeded to score three straight points on consecutive rallies ending with an ace drive serve to the left side - Lambert's backhand.

In game two, Lambert was in control the whole way, as she got a 3-0 lead, and went on to win 11-4. Lambert scored the first two points of game three also, but Salas got the next five to lead 5-2. Lambert drew within two at 9-7, but a forehand skip gave Salas back the serve, and as in game one, she closed it out on her first opportunity, winning the next two rallies. Game point came as Lambert skipped a backhand return shot.

Although she was down 2-1 in games, Lambert got the first three points of game four to lead 3-0. However, that was all she got, as Salas scored eleven unanswered points to win game four 11-3, and take the match 3-1.

Thus, Salas will be in her first US Open final Sunday. She'd played in four US Open semi-finals previous in consecutive years from 2010 to 2013, but today was the Salas's first US Open semi-final win.

Salas's opponent will be a familiar one: 6 time US Open Champion Paola Longoria, who is Salas's doubles partner. Longoria defeated 5th seed Jessica Parrilla, 11-0, 11-3, 11-2, in the other semi-final. That match was brief, and clearly frustrating to Parrilla, who didn't score a point until Longoria had 3 in game two. Parrilla did get the first points of game three, but Longoria didn't let her get any more, winning that one 11-2.

Unofficially, we have Longoria with 9 aces or service winners in the match.

By the time they face off in the LPRT Women's Singles final, they may already be US Open Champions, as Longoria and Salas are in the LPRT Women's Doubles final against Lambert and Veronica Sotomayor, which will be played Saturday evening.

The LPRT Women's Singles final of the 2016 UnitedHealthcare US Open will be Sunday at 10 AM at the Life Time Athletic Target Center club in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can watch it via the IRT Network.

2016 UnitedHealthcare US Open
Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 5-9, 2016

LPRT Singles Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria d. 5 Jessica Parrilla, 11-0, 11-3, 11-2
6 Samantha Salas d. 2 Frédérique Lambert, 12-10, 4-11, 11-7, 11-3

LPRT Singles Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria v. 6 Samantha Salas - 10 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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