Sunday, October 28, 2018

Longoria wins singles & doubles at 2018 LPRT Boston Open

Paola Longoria proved herself once again as the best women’s racquetball player in the world, as she won both singles and doubles Sunday at the 2018 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Boston Open. Longoria, the #1 LPRT player, defeated Samantha Salas in the singles final, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6, and then teamed up with Salas to take the doubles title by beating Alexandra Herrera and Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-7, 15-2. Longoria’s wins maintain her undefeated season.

Longoria started well in the singles final, taking a 6-2 lead on Salas in game one. Salas took a timeout at that point, and then closed the gap, getting within one at 6-5, when Longoria chose to call a timeout.

That stoppage didn’t halt Salas’s run, however, as she tied it, 6-6, and then went ahead 8-6 on an ace drive serve to the right side. But Longoria stopped Salas there, and proceeded to score three points on consecutive rallies to lead 9-8, which led to Salas’s 2nd timeout.

When play resumed, Longoria got the last two points to close out game one, 11-8, ending it with a backhand winner. She carried the momentum into game two, and went up 6-0. Salas got the serve back at that point, and got her first point with a great backhand pinch shot.

But Longoria held Salas at 1 while adding a couple more points to lead 8-1, so Salas called a timeout. She took the serve back with a forehand winner when play resumed, and then scored three points to make it 8-4.

Salas dove on the next rally to keep the ball in play, but Longoria hit a forehand to win the rally. Longoria called a timeout, and after exchanging sideouts, scored two points to reach game point at 10-4. But she skipped a backhand shot on her first game point.

Back in the service box, Salas scored two points, including an ace drive serve to the left, that made the score 10-6. But Longoria stopped her there with a sideout, and a forehand shot won Longoria the game at 11-6, and put her up 2-0.

Being down 2-0 against anyone is not good, but when you’re down 2-0 against the #1 player, it’s even worse. Yet Salas’s two victories over Longoria in the last two years both came after she was down 2-0.

So it wasn’t a surprise when Salas came out undaunted in game three, and took leads at 3-0 and 6-3. Longoria called a timeout at that point. On the next rally, Salas took a shot on the left side of the court with her forehand, and skipped it, which gifted the serve back to Longoria.

Longoria took full advantage of the gift, as she scored seven points on the next seven rallies to get to match point at 10-6. Salas called a timeout at 6-6, but to no avail. Salas did Longoria another favour in giving her the 10th point by skipping a poor backhand shot.

Salas denied Longoria her first match point with a winning backhand shot. She fought off a 2nd match point helped by another diving get. But after that Salas drove serve to the left, but the ball came well out of the back corner, which allowed Longoria plenty of space to hit a winning backhand pinch shot.

Longoria ended the match on the next rally with a backhand cross court winner making the final score 11-6.

Longoria and Salas took a 6-0 lead in game one of the doubles final, but Herrera and Rodriguez came right back to tie it 6-6. It looked like it would be a really competitive final between the three time World Champions in Longoria and Salas and two players who were playing together for the first time, but had each beaten Longoria and Salas with their regular doubles partners.

However, after 6-6 in game one, Herrera and Rodriguez only scored three points the rest of the way. Thus, it was another dominating doubles performance by Longoria and Salas.

If you missed the action from Boston, check out the matches at the LPRT LiveStream channel. The LPRT will next be in action in Chicago at the 2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot Pro-Am, November 16-18.

2018 Boston Open
Boston, Massachusetts - October 26-28, 2018

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria d. 3 Samantha Salas, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6

LPRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 2 Alexandra Herrera & Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-7, 15-2

Follow the bouncing ball….

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