Friday, October 4, 2019

IRT Quarterfinals at 2019 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Alejandro Landa claimed the first spot in the semi-finals of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) competition at the 24th UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships with a win over Alvaro Beltran, 15-9, 15-13. Landa, the IRT's #4 ranked player, will play his 3rd career US Open semi-final Saturday against IRT #1 and 11 time defending US Open champion Kane Waselenchuk, who beat Javier Mar in two straight games, 15-5, 15-3.

Landa generally controlled the first game against Beltran, as he went up 12-5. But then a few skips from Landa let Beltran back into the game, as he closed the gap to 12-9. Landa got the serve back with a forehand cross court from the left side.

He then put together three straight points to close out game one, winning it with a forehand pinch shot.

They were close early in game two and then Beltran pulled ahead 8-4 and then 9-5. Landa started his comeback with a drive serve ace to the left side, 9-6, and followed that up with three points on consecutive rallies to tie the score 9-9.

Beltran went back ahead 11-9 only to see Landa tie it again at 11-11. Landa went ahead, 12-11, with a backhand winner, and held the lead from there. But it took 20 rallies to get the last three points, as Beltran kept fighting to push the match to a tie-breaker. Landa ended it in style, as he hit a drive serve ace to the left side.

Daniel De La Rosa, who was a finalist last year in Minneapolis, defeated Andree Parrilla, 13-15, 15-5, 11-7, in a hotly contested match. It looked like De La Rosa would win game one, as he led most of the way, although never by a lot. But they were tied late at 11-11 and 13-13, when Parrilla got the serve back with a backhand winner.

He got 14 after appealing for an avoidable, and it was given by the line judges. De La Rosa skipped a forehand shot on the next rally to end the game in Parrilla's favour, 15-13.

Game two was all De La Rosa, as he took a 9-1 lead, and cruised to a 15-5 win. Game three was a different story. Parrilla took the early lead 4-0, but De La Rosa tied it at 4-4. Those 8 points took 35 rallies to get, as both players seemed to be feeling the weight of a US Open semi-final berth.

They also tied at 5-5 and 6-6. But after De La Rosa got to 7 with a backhand winner, he never trailed again. Parrilla called a timeout at that point - trailing 7-6 - and when play resumed he hit an overhead cut forehand reverse pinch, which was an incredible "no guts, no glory" kind of shot.

Sadly, it didn't lead to points for Parrilla, as he would only score one more before De La Rosa ended it with a forehand pinch shot from the front court. Credit Parrilla for fighting off three match points before the end, but big props to De La Rosa, who's slipped down the rankings to #6, behind his fellow Mexicans, Parrilla, Landa and Beltran.

But De La Rosa is in the US Open semi-finals, and they can't all say that.

In the semis, De La Rosa will play IRT #15 Conrado Moscoso, who was a straight game winner over Sebastian Fernandez, 15-4, 15-4.

Check out the action from Minneapolis via the IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2019 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 2-6, 2019

IRT - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. Javier Mar, 15-5, 15-3
4) Alejandro Landa d. 5) Alvaro Beltran, 15-9, 15-13

6) Daniel De La Rosa d. 3) Andree Parrilla, 13-15, 15-5, 11-7
15) Conrrado Moscoso d. Sebastian Fernandez, 15-4, 15-4

IRT - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 4) Alejandro Landa - 2 PM
6) Daniel De La Rosa v. 15) Conrrado Moscoso - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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