Tuesday, March 26, 2019

2019 LPRT Boliva American Iris Open - Preview

The Bolivia American Iris Open begins Thursday in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and it’s both a Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and an International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event, so it’s a true Grand Slam. The LPRT draws are out now, and surprisingly, LPRT #1 Paola Longoria is not in the draw. We understand that Longoria has a shoulder injury, and her doctor has advised her to pass on this event so that she is ready to play at the Pan American Championships next month as well as the LPRT Battle at the Alamo in late April.

Thus, LPRT #2 Samantha Salas is the top seed in a draw that is now without the player who has won the last seven LPRT events. Salas is the last player to win on tour not named Longoria, when she defeated Longoria in San Antonio last April. That sound every LPRT player is hearing is opportunity knocking.

Eight of the top 11 LPRT players are in Bolivia, and each will be hoping that she can answer opportunity’s knock. Along with Salas, Vargas won an event last season, when she captured the Peachtree Open in March. Vargas is the 3rd seed this weekend, with Alexandra Herrera 2nd seed and veteran Rhonda Rajsich 4th seed.

As per usual the LPRT will be playing doubles in Bolivia, and the best match of the tournament might happen right off the bat as the top seeds Rajsich and Salas will play the current Women’s Doubles World Champions Valeria Centellas and Yazmine Sabja in the quarterfinals. The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champs are the lowest seeds in the event, because they don’t play the LPRT much; both are Bolivians, and Centellas is still a junior, so they have not played many LPRT events, though Sabja played the US Open last year - losing in a tie-breaker to Frédérique Lambert in the quarterfinals and reaching the semi-finals in doubles with Nancy Enriquez.

That should be a great match, and the winner of it could be the favourite to win the title, although the other top seeds - 2nd seeds Nancy Enriquez and Alexandra Herrera, 3rd seeds Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas, and 4th seeds Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros - will have something to say about that.

The tournament starts Thursday morning with the Round of 32. The Round of 16 will be Thursday afternoon and evening. The quarterfinals will be Friday afternoon and semi-finals Saturday at 11 AM and 1 PM. The singles final will be Sunday at 1 PM with the doubles final scheduled for 6 PM Saturday. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or its LiveStream channel.

2019 LPRT Open Bolivia American Iris
Cochabamba, Bolivia - March 27-31, 2019

LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1 Samantha Salas - BYE
16 Micaela Meneses v. 17 Andrea Michelle Quiroga Aparacio - 11 AM

9 Yazmine Sabja - BYE
8 Cristina Amaya - BYE

5 Nancy Enriquez - BYE
12 Angelica Barrios v. 21 Nineth Rodriguez - 10 AM

13 Jenny Daza v. 20 Gabriela Del Granado - 10 AM
4 Rhonda Rajsich - BYE

3 Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
14 Valeria Centellas v. 19 Andrea Garcãa - 10 AM

11 Brenda Laime v. 22 Camila Rivero - 10 AM
6 Natalia Mendez - BYE

7 Adriana Riveros - BYE
10 Masiel Rivera v. 23 Melissa Edith Mazuelos Saavedra - 11 AM

15 Daniela Molina v. 18 Romina Rivero - 11 AM
2 Alexandra Herrera - BYE

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1 Rhonda Rajsich & Samantha Salas v. 8 Valeria Centellas & Yazmine Sabja - 8 PM
4 Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros v. 5 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera - 8 PM

3 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 6 Angelica Barrios & Jenny Daza - 7 PM
2 Nancy Enriquez & Alexandra Herrera v. 7 Nancy Enriquez & Andrea Garcãa - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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