Sunday, October 8, 2017

Longoria defeats Lambert for 8th title at 2017 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Paola Longoria won her 8th US Open Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) title by defeating Frédérique Lambert, 11-7, 11-4, 2-11, 11-3, at the 2017 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis on Sunday. The win is Longoria's 7th straight US Open title and 10th consecutive US Open final. Lambert was a first time US Open finalist.

Longoria started well in game one, going up 6-1. But Lambert settled into the match, and got within one at 7-6. That prompted Longoria to call a timeout. Ten rallies later and they were still separated by one at 8-7. Longoria called her second timeout.

When play resumed, Lambert hit a backhand pinch serve return that a skipped big: 9-7. Longoria then got a service winner on a drive jam serve to the left side: 10-7. She got the game winner on the next rally with a ceiling ball that was tight to left wall, and Lambert swung and missed it.

In game two, Lambert got the good start with a 3-1 lead. But to defeat Longoria it's essential to prevent her going on scoring streak, but that's what Longoria did at that point, as she put together eight unanswered points to lead 9-3. Longoria closed it out at 11-4 with a backhand cross court shot.

Up 2-0, it seemed that Longoria would cruise to her 8th title. But Lambert had other ideas, as she came out strong in game three, taking a 6-0 lead. Longoria took a timeout, and managed to score two points, making it 6-2. But that was all she got, as Lambert got the serve back with a backhand cross court, and then scored five points on consecutive rallies. Longoria did call a timeout at 9-2, but that didn't stop Lambert, who took the game 11-2.

They were close early in game four, and tied 3-3. Then Longoria went on another scoring streak, getting eight points over eleven rallies. Lambert served once in that stretch, hitting a drive serve short, and then having Longoria hit a winning return of her lob that nicked off the side wall. Longoria won the match with a forehand reverse pinch into the front left corner.

The LPRT has two events before the end of the year. They will play next at The Boston Open in Boston, Massachusetts, October 27-29, and then at The Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland, December 8-10.

2017 UnitedHealthcare US Open
Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 4-8, 2017

LPRT - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria d. 3 Frédérique Lambert, 11-7, 11-4, 2-11, 11-3

Follow the bouncing ball….

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