Sunday, June 3, 2018

Herrera & Mejia win Women's Doubes, will represent Mexico at 2018 World Championships

There will be new faces on Team Mexico at the 2018 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships after Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia won Women’s Doubles at the Mexican National Team selection event in San Luis Potosi by defeating top seeds Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas Solis in the final, 6-15, 15-9, 11-10.

In the breaker, Herrera and Mejia jumped out to a 5-0 lead, causing the former World Champions, Longoria and Salas Solis, to call a timeout. That did lead to a side out, and Longoria and Salas Solis got on the board after that by getting to within one at 5-4.

But Herrera and Mejia extended the lead again to four points at 8-4. Longoria and Salas Solis responded again, and tied the game at 8-8. They went ahead 9-8, but Herrera and Mejia got the serve back at that point. They scored two points to get to match point, which happened after Salas Solis returned a Mejia lob Z serve into the floor.

Longoria hit a winner to stave off that game point, and get her side the serve back. But first they called timeout. However, they were half down right after play resumed as Herrera hit a forehand rollout winner.

Then on the next rally, Longoria held up for Herrera, and an avoidable hinder was called, which at best seemed very generous. Herrera and Mejia appealed but the line judges upheld the call, which made the score 10-10.

Longoria held up again for Herrera on the ensuing rally, which was called a hinder, although it seemed more like an avoidable than what was called on the previous rally. But Longoria didn’t ask for the avoidable. Perhaps she didn’t because it was match point.

Maybe Longoria should have looked for another avoidable, as Herrera rolled another forehand out on the next rally after Longoria was not able to put the ball down with her backhand. Left-hander Herrera won the match for her side on their second match point with a forehand pinch shot that was flat out of the front left corner, and made the score 11-10. Mejia was the stronger player for her side early in the tie-breaker, but Herrera's three consecutive winners got them over the line to finish the game and match.

Longoria and Salas Solis will be going to Worlds as the Mexican players in Women’s Singles, as they were the finalists in that division, with Longoria defeating Salas Solis, 15-5, 15-7.

There will also be a new face on the men’s side, as Rodrigo Montoya was a finalist in Men’s Singles, although he lost the final to Daniel De La Rosa, 15-0, 15-8, in what seemed to be a very pedestrian match. But as they had qualified in singles by being in the final maybe there wasn’t much to play for, and both Montoya and De La Rosa were also in the Men’s Doubles final.

De La Rosa and veteran Alvaro Beltran won the Men’s Doubles final over Montoya and Javier Mar, 15-13, 13-15, 11-3. Thus, Beltran will have a chance to defend the Men’s Doubles World Championship title he won in 2016 with Javier Moreno.

If Beltran successfully defends the title, then it will be his 4th Men’s Doubles World Championship. The previous three were all won with Moreno: in 2006, 2012 and 2016. Beltran also won Men’s Singles at the 2000 World Championships. He’s the only man to have won both singles and doubles at Worlds.

San Luis Potosi, Mexico - May 30-June 3, 2018

Women's Open

Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria d. 2) Samantha Salas Solis, 15-5, 15-7

Women's Open - Final - Sunday

2) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia d. 1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas Solis, 11-10

Men's Open Singles

Final - Sunday

2) Daniel De La Rosa d. 1) Rodrigo Montoya, 15-0, 15-8

Men's Open Doubles

Final - Sunday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 2) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya, 15-13, 13-15, 11-3

Follow the bouncing ball….

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