Saturday, March 30, 2019

Carson & Moscoso to square off in IRT final, Keller & Moscoso win IRT doubles at 2019 American Iris Bolivia Open

Rocky Carson, the top seed at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 Bolivia American Iris Open in Cochabamba, Bolivia, needed three games to win his semi-final match with Mario Mercado, coming out on top 15-8, 6-15, 11-6. Carson will play Conrrado Moscoso in the final, as Moscoso was an upset winner in the other semi-final over 3rd seed Alvero Beltran, 15-10, 15-6.

Moscoso is already a Boliva Open champion, as he and Roland Keller defeated Carson and Felipe Camacho, 15-9, 15-9, to win the IRT Doubles title. The first game was close early, but then Moscoso and Keller pulled away in the end game, leading 10-8. They were able to finish it out from there.

In game two, Moscoso and Keller got ahead early, and went out to a 12-3 lead. Camacho and Carson came back and made it close at 12-9, but that was as close as they could get. Moscoso and Keller got the final three points on as many rallies. Moscoso got their 13th point with a forehand cross court shot. A Keller down the line kill shot was point 14, and then Camacho skipped a forehand shot in the middle of the court, which ended it, 15-9.

In the Carson-Mercado semi, it seemed like it would go the other way, as Mercado led in game one 8-4. But the veteran Carson is the #2 IRT player for a reason, and he held his young opponent at 8 while scoring 11 unanswered points to take game one.

You’d be excused for thinking that Carson’s run would lead to an easy game two. But Mercado wasn't going to just roll over, and he again came out strong. He went up 4-1 and 9-2. Carson came back to 9-7, and it looked like game one all over again. But Mercado held firm this time, and went on to win 15-6. (Carson lost a point on a technical for leaving the court when he didn’t have a timeout when Mercado led 13-7).

The tie-breaker was close early. Mercado led 2-0 and 3-1, but then Carson tied it at 3-3. He then took a small lead at 5-3, only to see Mercado tie it, 5-5, with a great backhand winner. Another great backhand shot put Mercado ahead 6-5. But unfortunately for him that would be the last point he’d score.

Carson got the serve back with a forehand winner, and tied it 6-6 with another forehand winner. They exchanged two sideouts before Carson got three points on consecutive rallies to lead 9-6. Then there was another exchange of sideouts via forehand winners from each player.

Then Carson hit a forehand winner down the left side to reach match point, and then Mercado hit a poor backhand shot that skipped to end the game, and give the match to Carson. On the last two rallies, Carson hit an off speed Z serve, which is one of his typical serves, but not one he’d used much prior to that in the breaker.

Sunday’s final will be a repeat of the 2014 International Racquetball Federation World Championship Men’s Singles final that was won by Carson in two straight games. It was the 4th of Carson’s 5 Men’s Singles World Championships. But Moscoso was only 18 then. He’s got a lot more experience under his belt now, so Carson can’t expect he’ll face the same player on Sunday.

The singles final will be 1 PM Sunday. The time in Cochabamba is the same as Eastern time in North America. Look for the action via the usual IRT sources: the IRT Facebook page or the IRT YouTube channel. Matches are also archived there, so if you missed the action, you can watch it on replay.

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

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson d. 5) Mario Mercado, 15-8, 6-15, 11-6
Conrrado Moscoso d. 3) Alvaro Beltran, 15-10, 15-6

Final - Sunday

1) Rocky Carson v. Conrrado Moscoso - 1 PM

IRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

6) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso d. 5) Felipe Camacho & Rocky Carson, 15-9, 15-9

Follow the bouncing ball….

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