Tuesday, July 21, 2015

2015 Pan American Games - Singles Day 3

Frédérique Lambert of Canada won the marquee singles match of the day at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, when she beat Marie Jose Vargas of Argentina, 15-9, 15-9. "I played great," Lambert said afterwards, adding that she didn't think Vargas "played bad."

Lambert used a variety serves in the match, and said she didn't have a favourite, so long as the serve is leading to a weak serve return that leads to points, that's all that matters to her. She happy to drive the ball or lob or hit a Z serve, whatever works. "I have a very aggressive game style," so "I just play that style. If it doesn't work, I'll change something," but it all worked against Vargas today.

Jennifer Saunders, Lambert's Canadian team-mate, also won, although she didn't make it easy on herself, as she dropped the first game against Mariana Tobon of Venezuela before coming back to win in a tie-breaker, 7-15, 15-8, 11-6.

After the first game, Saunders said her coach, Michel Gagnon, gave her "a stern talking to" about "upping my intensity, and playing my game." It seemed to do the trick. Also, Saunders admitted to being a little nervous in game one, as it was the first day of the competition that she's had family out to watch her play.

Saunders was in control throughout game two, and took a 6-0 lead in game three. But Tobon came back and cut the lead to two at 7-5 and 8-6. Saunders said that at those points she just tried to "stay rally to rally and do the same good things over and over again."

2011 Pan Am Games gold medalist in Women's Singles, Paola Longoria, defeated Mariana Paredes of Venezuela, 15-1, 15-1, to claim the top spot in the group, and the #1 seeding for the elimination round beginning on Wednesday. Similarly, American Rocky Carson, the 2011 Pan Am Games gold medalist in Men's Singles, also remained on track to win gold again, as he defeated Jose Alvarez of Ecuador, 15-11, 15-2, clinching the top spot for the elimination round. There's no doubt that Longoria and Carson are the players to beat for gold this week.

It wasn't such a good day for the Canadian men, as both Coby Iwaasa and Mike Green lost their respective matches. Iwaasa fell to Conrado Moscoso, 15-11, 15-6, and Green lost a heartbreaker to Alejandro Herrera of Colombia, 15-13, 9-15, 11-9.

Both were disappointed afterwards. Iwaasa felt he hasn't played well yet in Toronto. He likes the speed of the glass court but said the ball did seem to slide a bit on the walls, which might have helped his opponent's lob serve.

Green said he needs to hit more "consistent serves," and he's "living and dying with it." But he's not getting as many serves in as he'd like, which has led to losses against Herrera and yesterday against Alvaro Beltran of Mexico.

Generally, Green feels great, although he did have problems with his knee, and recently had a cortisone shot in his knee that is allowing him to play this week. But the lack of playing leading up the event has left Green less prepared than he'd like, and as a result, Green is not as relaxed as he'd like.

The elimination round of Men's and Women's Singles begins Wednesday morning, and runs until Friday morning (July 24) and a team competition, which will run Friday afternoon 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. 11) Mariana Paredes (Ven), 15-1, 15-1
10) Cristina Amaya (Col) d. 20) Maria Rene Rodriguez (Gua), 15-6, 15-4

Group B

2) Veronica Sotomayor (Ecu) d. 12) Carolina Gomez (Col), 15-7, 15-8
19) Jennifer Saunders (Can) d. 9) Mariana Tobon (Ven), 7-15, 15-8, 11-6

Group C

3) Samantha Salas (Mex) d. 13) Adriana Riveros (Bol), 15-3, 15-1
8) Michelle Key (USA) d. 18) Ana Gabriela Martinez (Gua), 15-14, 15-2

Group D

17) Frédérique Lambert (Can) d. 7) Maria Jose Vargas (Arg), 15-9, 15-9
4) Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecu) d. 14) Angela Grisar (Chi), walkover

Group E

6) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. 16) Carla Munoz (Chi), 15-6, 15-9
15) Carola Loma (Bol) d. 5) Veronique Guillemette (Arg), walkover

Men Singles

Group A

1) Rocky Carson (USA) d. 11) Jose Alvarez (Ecu), 15-11, 15-2
10) Felipe Camacho (Crc) d. 20) Cesar Castro (Ven), 15-8, 15-11

Group B

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

Group C

3) Jake Bredenbeck (USA) d. 13) Luis Perez (Dom), 15-7, 15-12
18) Cesar Castillo (Ven) d. 8) Set Cubillos (Col), 15-7, 15-14

Group D

7) Daniel De La Rosa (Mex) d. 17) Christian Wer (Gua), 15-2, 15-2
4) Conrado Moscoso (Bol) d. 14) Coby Iwaasa (Can), 15-11, 15-6

Group E

5) Alvaro Beltran (Mex) d. 15) Ramon De Leon (Dom), 15-9, 15-4
6) Alejandro Herrera (Col) d. 16) Mike Green (Can), 15-13, 9-15, 11-9

Follow the bouncing ball....

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