Sunday, January 22, 2017

De La Rosa a double winner at 2017 IRT Lewis Drug Pro-Am in Sioux Falls

Daniel De La Rosa won singles and doubles Sunday at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2017 Lewis Drug Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He defeated Alvaro Beltran in the singles final, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7, and then teamed up with Beltran to win the doubles final against Rocky Carson and Jose Diaz, 15-12, 15-14. It was De La Rosa’s second tour win, and both have come at the expense of Beltran. His first win was in 2014 at the New Jersey Open.

De La Rosa has now been in 10 IRT finals, winning twice, and losing to Beltran once, Carson once, and Kane Waselenchuk six times. His two tour victories put his 25th on the all time list of career wins, and tied for 4th among active players with Jose Rojas.

De La Rosa started the singles final well, as he went up 5-0 before Beltran even served. Beltran did work his way into the game, though, as he drew within one at 5-4. But De La Rosa again extended his lead, and got to game point at 10-4. However, the veteran Beltran kept plugging away, fighting off three game points to get within one again at 10-9. But a forehand skip by Beltran gave the serve back to De La Rosa who hit a lob to the right side that resulted in another Beltran skip on the serve return, ending the game at 11-9.

De La Rosa’s control of the match continued in game two. After Beltran scored the first point of the game, De La Rosa got the next five, and from there Beltran was never within three of De La Rosa, who won it 11-4.

Game three was closer, as they went back and forth early. Beltran even led 6-4. However, he skipped a forehand reverse pinch shot, which gave the serve back to De La Rosa, who scored the next six points, reaching match point at 10-6. But an avoidable hinder against De La Rosa put Beltran back in the service box. However, Beltran could only score once before giving up serve to De La Rosa, who ended the match on his second match point opportunity with a forehand pinch shot.

The doubles final was closely contested. Game one was back and forth early, as Carson and Diaz led by four at 7-3, and then Beltran and De La Rosa led by two at 10-8. Carson and Diaz retook the lead at 12-10, but with the serve back Beltran and De La Rosa scored five straight points. There was a bit of controversy at 14-12, as Diaz held up for a shot with the ball in the middle of the court. The referee called an avoidable, as he seemed to think De La Rosa was in the way of Diaz shooting to the front wall, although the view via the IRT Network suggested Diaz actually had enough room to swing, so the avoidable call seemed harsh. But that only put Beltran and De La Rosa half out, and on the next rally Carson skipped a backhand shot, giving the game to Beltran and De La Rosa, 15-12.

In game two, Beltran and De La Rosa led from the start, and went up 11-5. But Carson and Diaz fought back to tie it at 11-11. However, Beltran and De La Rosa were able to squeak out the victory by winning game two 15-14, and taking the match in two straight games.

The next IRT Tier 1 event will be March 16-19 in Chicago, where the Shamrock Shootout Pro-Am takes place. That will be followed the next weekend by the Raising Some Racquet for Kids event in Dayton, Ohio, March 23-26.

2017 IRT Lewis Drug Pro-Am, January 19-22
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Final - Sunday

2) Daniel De La Rosa d. 4) Alvaro Beltran, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7

IRT Doubles Final - Sunday

2) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 1) Rocky Carson & Jose Diaz, 15-12, 15-14

Follow the bouncing ball….

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