Sunday, June 18, 2017

Montoya defeats Landa to win 2017 WRT Paola Longoria Challenge

Rodrigo Montoya confirmed his position as the #1 player on the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) Sunday by defeating Alejandro Landa, 15-12, 5-15, 11-2, in the final of the Paola Longoria Challenge in Chihuahua, Mexico. Montoya’s now won three WRT this year.

Early in game one it looked like Landa would carry the day, as he took a 5-0 lead. But Montoya came back to tie it at 5-5, and they were close after that with ties at 8-8 and 12-12. Then Landa swung at a ball that was close to the right side wall, and completely missed it. They were playing in an all glass, portable court, which may have been a factor in the error, which gave Montoya a 13-12 lead.

Montoya made it 14-12 when he drove the ball to the left for an ace, as Landa had guessed Montoya was driving it right and moved to the right side. Montoya converted his first game point by again driving the ball to the left side. Landa’s backhand return came off the backwall setting up Montoya, who put the ball away with the backhand pinch shot.

In game two, Landa again took a 5-0 lead, but this time Montoya didn’t have a response, as Landa extended the lead to 8-0. Montoya did cut the lead to four, when he trailed 9-5, but a Landa timeout resulted in a sideout, and then six points on as many rallies to force a tie-breaker.

In the breaker, they went back and forth to 2-2. Then Montoya scored three straight points to lead 5-2, and Landa called a timeout. Often the player calling a timeout wins the ensuing rally, but not this time, as Montoya hit another drive serve ace to the left side when play resumed.

Landa had a chance to get the serve back on the next rally, as he had a backhand set up, but Landa skipped his shot, so Montoya led 7-2. A drive serve ace to the left side made it 8-2, and Landa seemed to sag as the writing was on the wall.

Four more rallies - including one for a broken ball - and it was over. Montoya won it with a backhand pinch shot, which is one of his favourite shots that he won many rallies with in the final.

The next WRT event is the Lifetime Denver Open, August 3-6 in Centennial, Colorado.

2017 WRT, Chihuahua, Mexico June 15-18, 2017

Singles - Final

1) Rodrigo Montoya d. 6) Alejandro Landa, 15-12, 5-15, 11-2

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla v. 2) Alejandro Cardona & Erick Sandoval - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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