Friday, November 4, 2016

2016 IRT Galaxy Custom Printing Atlanta Open - Round of 16

Alejandro Landa knocked off the #2 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) player Rocky Carson in five games, 11-8, 10-12, 11-0, 5-11, 13-11, in the Round of 16 at the Atlanta Pro-Am in Lilburn, Georgia. Carson had his chances to win, as he served for the match three times in game five, only to be held back by Landa, who needed seven match points before finishing off the veteran Carson.

Landa will face Jansen Allen in the quarterfinals, as Allen quickly beat Robert Collins, 11-1, 11-1, 11-7.

On the top of the draw, IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk defeated fellow Canadian Samuel Murray in three straight games, 11-5, 11-3, 11-1. Waselenchuk will play Marco Rojas in the quarters, as Rojas beat Felipe Camacho, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4, in the 16s.

Carson’s loss was only the third time in six years that he’s lost in the Round of 16, although his second this calendar year. Jake Bredenbeck defeated Carson in the March at the Shamrock Shootout, but before that you need to go back to 2010 to find a Carson loss in the 16s. Prior to that Carson lost to Alvaro Beltran in the 16s at the 2010 US Open.

Momentum shifted several times in the Carson and Landa match. Carson started strong in game one, leading 4-0 and 7-4. But Landa tied Carson at 7-7, and then took the lead at 10-7. Landa closed it out at 11-8 with a forehand cross court shot after he’d regained serve with a backhand side-side-front shot.

Game two started just as game one did, as Carson led 3-0 and 7-3. Landa took a timeout at that point, and he did make it close, as he tied Carson at 10-10 after Carson had served for the game twice. They exchanged sideouts, and then Carson got the serve back. He won the game after Landa skipped the ball two rallies in a row, although the second was a forced skip as Carson hit a good down the line backhand that Landa got his racquet on, but couldn’t do anything with.

Game three was all Landa, as he won it 11-0. Carson had scored an early point, but was assessed a technical in the middle of the game, so his point was taken away. In game four, Landa used his momentum from game three to start well, going up 2-0. But Carson responded by scoring three straight points. Then they were tied at 3-3 and 4-4 before Carson pulled away to lead 8-5. A Landa timeout just delayed the inevitable, as Carson won game four 11-5 after a Landa forehand shot skipped.

In the breaker, Landa got off to the quick start, scoring the first four points to lead 4-0. But Carson caught up at 5-5, and then went ahead and got to match point at 10-6. However, we weren’t done there.

Landa got the serve back and scored twice to make it 10-8. But he lost the serve again after skipping a forehand shot that he turned around to take off the back wall. On match point two, Carson skipped a shot, but Landa didn’t score. Carson’s third match point was erased by a Landa backhand cross court return.

At that point, Landa scored three straight points to lead 11-10. Carson saved Landa’s first match point with a backhand cross court that ended a long rally. Landa again got the serve back, but hit a big skip with his backhand on the third shot of his second match point opportunity. Landa’s third match point was ended by a Carson Z ball serve return that Landa couldn’t keep in play even by hitting it to the back wall.

After fighting off five match points, Carson finally scored one himself to make it 11-11. But Landa got the serve back again, and scored to make it 12-11 with backhand down the line shot off a Carson ceiling ball. A Carson backhand got him the serve back, but he wasn’t able to score as a Landa shot hit the back wall crack and fooled Carson.

On his 7th match point, Landa was forced into a second serve after hitting a short drive serve. He served a lob to the left side, and Carson’s backhand return skipped to make a disappointing end to a great match.

The Round of 16 is still in progress, and can be seen live via the IRT Network with the quarterfinals beginning Friday afternoon from 4 PM on. This event has a Saturday final, so the semi-finals will be noon and 1 PM with the final Saturday at 6 PM. All times Eastern. The doubles matches begin Thursday night, and then have their semi-finals Saturday morning at 9 and 10 AM with the final Saturday night at 7 PM.

2016 Galaxy Custom Printing IRT Atlanta Pro-Am - November 3–6, 2016
Lilburn, Georgia

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. Samuel Murray, 11-5, 11-3, 11-1
8) Marco Rojas d. Felipe Camacho, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4

Charlie Pratt d. 5) Mario Mercado, 11-6, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6
4) Alvaro Beltran d. Troy Warigon, 11-3, 11-2, 11-2

3) Daniel De La Rosa d. Jeremy Best, 11-2, 11-3, 11-1
6) Sebastian Franco d. Andres Acuña, 11-5, 11-2, 11-3

7) Jansen Allen d. Robert Collins, 11-1, 11-1, 11-7
Alejandro Landa d. 2) Rocky Carson, 11-8, 10-12, 11-0, 5-11, 13-11

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 8) Marco Rojas
4) Alvaro Beltran v. Charlie Pratt

3) Daniel De La Rosa v. 6) Sebastian Franco
7) Jansen Allen v. Alejandro Landa

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Rocky Carson v. 5) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray
2) Felipe Camacho & Daniel De La Rosa v. 3) Jansen Allen & Charlie Pratt

Follow the bouncing ball….

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