Saturday, October 5, 2019

Moscoso 1st South American in UnitedHealthcare US Open IRT Final

Conrrado Moscoso's Cinderella run through the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) draw at the 24th UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships continued Saturday in Minneapolis, where he created another upset win, taking out IRT #6 Daniel De La Rosa, 15-11, 15-11, in the semi-finals. The win puts Moscoso into the US Open final for the first time, and he's the first Bolivian and first South American player to be a US Open finalist. In the final he'll play IRT #1 and 11 time defending US Open champion Kane Waselenchuk, who beat IRT #4 Alejandro Landa, 15-1, 15-2, in the other semi-final.

The Moscoso / De La Rosa match was closely contended, as they were never separated by more than three points, until the end of each game. In game one, they were tied at 3, 4 and 7. But after 7-7, Moscoso won three straight rallies to lead 10-7. It was lead he wouldn't relinquish.

De La Rosa did get within one at 12-11 after he hit a drive serve ace down the right side. But Moscoso got the serve back with a backhand winner off a lob serve to the left side, and followed that up with a drive serve ace of his own to the left side. A great forehand pinch shot put Moscoso on game point at 14-11.

De La Rosa fought that off with a backhand return cross court winner off a lob to the left side. However, Moscoso did the same thing, except with a forehand cross court winner. He closed out game one emphatically with an ace drive serve to the left side.

Moscoso led through the first half of game two. But De La Rosa tied the game at 8, 9 and 10. He actually led 10-9, and Moscoso called a timeout at that point. When play resumed, Moscoso won the next five rallies with winning shots, taking the serve back and then scoring four points to lead 13-10.

Moscoso reached match point at 14-10 by hitting a backhand cross court with De La Rosa in the front court. However, he made an unforced error by skipping a forehand on the next rally. De La Rosa scored another point, making it 14-11, but was then forced into skipping a forehand shot by Moscoso.

Moscoso's 2nd match point went by as he skipped a backhand shot, which may have been a result of momentary fatigue, as Moscoso dove three times in that rally. He got the serve right back though with a backhand return off a De La Rosa drive serve to the left side.

The next rally - Moscoso's 3rd game point - ended when he and De La Rosa got entangled in midcourt. Moscoso stayed down clutching at his ankle, and when he did get up, it was to hop off the court taking an injury timeout. There was a physiotherapist on hand, who checked Moscoso out, and thankfully, he was able to get back on court after a few minutes.

A hinder was called on that rally, so Moscoso had a chance to serve for the match a 4th time. He made good on that opportunity by ending it with a forehand winner.

Waselenchuk's win over Landa was decisive. Landa's only point in game one came off an ace drive serve to the left side, which is Waselenchuk's forehand, as he's left-handed. That made the score 5-1 for Waselenchuk, and they exchanged a few sideouts after that. It looked like Landa was going to make a game of it.

However, Waselenchuk had other ideas, as he ran the table from there with Landa only serving twice after Waselenchuk made it 6-1.

In game two, Landa served first and got a point on the first rally, so early on it looked like game two would be more of a contest than game one. But after Waselenchuk got the serve back at 3-2, he scored 12 unanswered points to win, 15-2, and take the match in two games. As in game one, Landa only served twice in that stretch, as Waselenchuk hit three aces including one on match point to reach the US Open final for a record extending 12 straight year.

He's won the previous 11 years, and 14 overall. Only Moscoso stands between Waselenchuk and his 15th US Open title.

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 - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 4) Alejandro Landa, 15-1, 15-2
15) Conrrado Moscoso d. 6) Daniel De La Rosa, 15-11, 15-11

IRT - Final - Sunday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 15) Conrrado Moscoso - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball….

No comments: