Monday, July 20, 2015

2015 Pan Am Games - Singles Day 2

It's day two of the singles competition at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, and there were some close matches, but few upsets.

However, one of the upsets was Andres Acuña of Costa Rica beating Fernando Rios of Ecuador, 15-4, in game one, and then Rios retired before playing game two. Rios reportedly picked up an injury during his doubles match last night, which Ecuador ended up defaulting prior to playing a tie-breaker with Canada.

It seems Rios wasn't fully fit in playing today, so had to retire from his singles match. That is unfortunate as he had defeated Bolivian Carlos Keller yesterday, and Keller was the 2nd seed, so Rios could have gotten himself that seeding if he had beaten his other opponents, including Acuña, during the group stage, but he has failed to do so.

Rocky Carson of the USA - the defending Pan Am Games gold medalist in Men's Singles - won his match against Cesar Castro of Venezuela, 15-2, 15-0 - retired. Jake Bredenbeck, Carson's teammate, also won, but needed a tie-breaker to do so against Venezuelan Cesar Castillo, 15-7, 13-15, 11-0.

Bredenbeck, who's known for his powerful drive serves, only hit a few drive serves in the match. "I'll drive serve if I have to," Bredenbeck said afterwards. He knows it's a long event, so Bredenbeck's trying to conserve energy when he can to maintain his effectiveness through the event.

The marquee match of the day could have been Daniel De La Rosa of Mexico and Coby Iwaasa of Canada. We expected it would be close. But De La Rosa "played really well," according to Iwaasa, and used primarily lob serves to defeat the Canadian, 15-6, 15-9.

Afterwards, Iwaasa - the 2nd youngest player in the competition - said it was a "tough" match, as he felt De La Rosa's shots were "like a magnet to the wall."

De La Rosa said wasn't planning to lob serve in every match of the tournament, but it worked well for him today. For De La Rosa, the Pan Am Games is one of the most important tournaments of the year - along with the US Open, and he wants to do well for his country in Toronto.

Finally, Canadian Mike Green gave the hometown fans something to cheer for as he took Mexican Alvaro Beltran to a tie-breaker, but in the breaker it was all Beltran, who hit kiss lobs to the left side - Green's backhand - and followed them up with winning pinch shots to take the match, 15-13, 14-15, 11-0.

Paola Longoria of Mexico celebrated her birthday by winning her match against Guatemala's Maria Rodriguez, 15-3, 15-4. Longoria turns 26 today, and is the defending Pan Am Games gold medalist in Women's Singles, Women's Doubles and the Women's Team event.

Only one Women's Singles match went a tie-breaker. Bolivian Adriana Riveros needed three games to defeat American Michelle Key, 13-15, 15-11, 11-8. Early in third game, Riveros had to take some injury time to get treatment on her right arm (she's right handed).

That was at 2-1 for Key, and when play resumed, it was Key who took the lead, going up 7-3. But Riveros responded with six straight points to lead 9-7. A Key timeout led to another point for her, making the score 8-9.

But that was as many as Key got, as Riveros got the serve back, and score two straight points to win it. She won the match with a forehand shot that cracked off the right wall.

The Men's and Women's Singles racquetball competition continues Tuesday morning, and runs until Friday (July 24) and a team competition, which will run Friday July 24 to Sunday July 26.

For updates during the event - between postings on the website - follow us on Twitter: @racquetballblog.

2015 Pan American Games - Toronto, Canada

Group Stage

Women Singles

Group A

1) Paola Longoria (Mex) d. 20) Maria Rene Rodriguez (Gua), 15-3, 15-4
10) Cristina Amaya (Col) d. 11) Mariana Paredes (Ven), 15-4, 15-2

Group B

2) Veronica Sotomayor (Ecu) d. 19) Jennifer Saunders (Can), 15-9, 15-5
9) Mariana Tobon (Ven) d. 12) Carolina Gomez (Col), 15-6, 15-11

Group C

3) Samantha Salas (Mex) d. 18) Ana Gabriela Martinez (Gua), 15-10, 15-2
13) Adriana Riveros (Bol) d. 8) Michelle Key (USA), 13-15, 15-11, 11-8

Group D

7) Maria Jose Vargas (Arg) d. 14) Angela Grisar (Chi), 15-4, 15-0, retired
17) Frédérique Lambert (Can) d. 4) Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecu), 15-10, 15-2

Group E

6) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. 15) Carola Loma (Bol), 15-7, 15-7
16) Carla Munoz (Chi) d. 5) Veronique Guillemette (Arg), walkover

Men Singles

Group A

1) Rocky Carson (USA) d. 20) Cesar Castro (Ven), 15-2, 15-0 - retired
10) Felipe Camacho (Crc) d. 11) Jose Alvarez (Ecu), 15-5, 15-9

Group B

12) Andres Acuña (Crc) d. 9) Fernando Rios (Ecu), 15-4, 15-0, retired
2) Carlos Keller (Bol) d. 19) Edwin Galicia (Gua), 15-5, 15-3

Group C

3) Jake Bredenbeck (USA) d. 18) Cesar Castillo (Ven), 15-7, 13-15, 11-0
13) Luis Perez (Dom) d. 8) Set Cubillos (Col), 13-15, 15-10, 11-2

Group D

7) Daniel De La Rosa (Mex) d. 14) Coby Iwaasa (Can), 15-6, 15-9
4) Conrado Moscoso (Bol) d. 17) Christian Wer (Gua), 15-10, 15-3

Group E

5) Alvaro Beltran (Mex) d. 16) Mike Green (Can), 15-13, 15-14, 11-0
6) Alejandro Herrera (Col) d. 15) Ramon De Leon (Dom), 15-12, 10-15, 11-9

Follow the bouncing ball....

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