Monday, December 5, 2016

Landa wins twice at 2016 WRT Alamo City Open

Alejandro Landa won twice Sunday, as he successfully defended his singles and doubles titles at the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) Alamo City Open in San Antonio, Texas. Landa defeated top seed Alejandro Cardona in the singles final, 15-6, 15-10, and teamed up with Felipe Camacho to come back from a game down to win the doubles final against Rodrigo Montoya and Andree Parrilla, winning 12-15, 15-13, 11-4.

In the singles final, Landa and Cardona were close early in game one, but after they were tied at 4-4, Landa ran off six straight points to make it 10-4. Cardona did take a timeout during that run, but to no avail. Although it took 21 rallies to finish game one, that six point stretch got Landa an insurmountable advantage, as he won 15-6.

Game two was also close early, and again the move came after they were tied at 4-4. However, it was Cardona who edged ahead to lead 7-4, and 10-7. Cardona looked in control of the game, and it seemed like the match would go to a third game.

But Landa wasn’t have any of that. He held Cardona at 10, while scoring eight unanswered points to win the match in two straight games. Landa’s cause was helped by an avoidable against Cardona, which seemed appropriate, and an service encroachment call that put Landa on match point at 14-10. He won it on the next rally with a backhand cross court shot that Cardona got his racquet on, but couldn’t hit successfully.

Both Landa and Cardona were drive serving throughout the match, and varied serving to the left and right sides. Their second serves were generally lobs, and often to the right side: each player’s forehand side.

In the doubles final, Landa and Camacho got a good start in game one, as they went out to a 9-2 advantage. But Montoya and Parrilla worked their way back into the game, and tied it at 10-10.

A Landa backhand got him and Camacho the serve back, and they got two points, and each of them hit a winning forehand shot; Camacho’s was a pinch. But Camacho was then forced into a skip, and a Montoya backhand pinch got him and Parrilla the serve back at 12-10 for Landa and Camacho.

Montoya and Parrilla ran off four straight points on consecutive rallies, but then Landa hit a backhand winner to put them half down. There was some controversy at that point, 14-12, as Camacho hit a desperate forehand that wasn’t going very fast and seemed to not reach the front wall. But the referee’s view of the shot was blocked, so he had to call it good, as is what’s normally done when a referee’s view is obscured. Thus, Montoya and Parrilla were denied game winning point.

Yet Landa and Camacho couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity they were gifted, as Montoya hit a winning forehand pinch shot and then Landa skipped a backhand reverse pinch. On the next rally, Montoya hit a backhand shot that was a game winner.

After trying a variety of serves, Montoya and Parrilla settled into lob serves to Camacho. Parrilla’s were close to the right side wall, as he was the right side player, while Montoya’s were to the right side of center. Camacho often tried returning the ball by driving it down the right side to jam Parrilla, but Parrilla was generally able to handle the situation, sometimes with help from his partner.

Montoya and Parrilla got the early advantage in game two, as they led 3-0. But Landa and Camacho took over from there, as they scored seven unanswered points to lead 7-3. They maintained a lead until 11-11. From there it was back and forth with ties at 12-12 and 13-13, and 18 rallies played before it finished, 15-13 for Landa and Camacho.

After two close games, often the tie-breaker is not close, and that was the case Sunday, as Landa and Camacho won 11-4. But again it was close early with the teams tied at 4-4 after playing 29 rallies. However, from there Landa and Camacho won seven straight points to end the match.

The WRT ends its 2016 season in Texas, and that will where it begins the 2017 season, as they next WRT event is the 2017 Longhorn Open in Austin, Texas, January 13-16. That tournament will be followed two weeks later by the 2017 WRT West Coast Championship in Concord, California.

2016 WRT Alamo City Open
December 2-4 - San Antonio, Texas

Singles - Final Sunday

6) Alejandro Landa d. 1) Alejandro Cardona, 15-6, 15-10

Doubles - Final Sunday

5) Felipe Camacho & Alejandro Landa d. 2) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla, 12-15, 15-13, 11-4

Follow the bouncing ball….

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