Friday, January 8, 2021

Landa squeaks into quarters at 2021 IRT Suivant Consulting Pro-Am

Alejandro Landa, the top seed at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2021 Suivant Consulting Pro-Am in Lilburn, Georgia, got pushed to the limit in the Round of 16 Friday by Javier Estrada, as they went to a tie-breaker. But in the end Landa came through, winning 15-11, 1-15, 11-9. Estrada had leads in the breaker at 4-2 and 8-7, and held off three matches points. But Landa got it done.

Landa got the serve back for his fourth match point opportunity with a backhand pinch shot that ended a rally where Estrada had chances to end it, but didn’t. Landa got the last point by driving serving to Estrada’s backhand, and forcing him into a skipping the return.

In other action, 2nd seed Rocky Carson beat Adam Manilla, 15-6, 15-12, to move on to the quarters, where he’ll play 7th seed Conrrado Moscoso, who defeated 10th seed Mario Mercado, 15-11, 15-6.

As in the Round of 32, there were no upsets in the Round of 16. There were two other tie-breakers though to go with Landa’s three game victory. Fifth seed Samuel Murray had to come back from a game down to defeat 12th seed Javier Mar, 6-15, 15-11, 11-7. Also, 6th seed Eduardo Portillo needed three games to get past 11th seed Thomas Carter, 15-5, 11-15, 11-2.

In the quarters, Murray will play 4th seed Daniel De La Rosa, who beat 13th seed Eduardo Garay, 15-7, 15-1, while Portillo faces 3rd seed Andree Parrilla, a straight game winner over 14th seed Andres Acuña, 15-1, 15-4.

Doubles semi-finals

The doubles semi-finals were both gooders with the same storyline. One team lost the first game by a lot, yet then won a close second game, and ran away with the breaker. In the second semi-final, top seeds Jake Bredenbeck and Samuel Murray won the first game only to see Alejandro Landa and Sudsy Monchik come back to win, 5-15, 15-12, 11-3.

In the first, 6th seeds Sebastian Franco and Eduardo Garay came back from a game down and 14-10 down in game two to beat Andree Parrilla and Edurado Portillo, 6-15, 15-14, 11-4.

It looked like Bredenbeck and Murray would win two straight, as they dominated in game one, and then had a big lead in game two at 11-3. But Landa and Monchik called a timeout at that point. Cue the comeback, as they got the serve back after that, and put a couple points on the board.

Bredenbeck and Murray got the serve back leading 11-5, but could only put one more up on the board before surrendering the serve back to Landa and Monchik, who chalked up ten unanswered points to level the match at one game a piece.

In the breaker, they were tied at 1, 2 and 3. It looked like they would be tied 4-4 also, as Landa and Monchik were up 4-3 and then surrendered the serve. However, Bredenbeck skipped shots on the next two rallies, so his side failed to score. A Monchik forehand made the score 5-3, but they gave up the serve again.

Yet again Bredenbeck and Murray couldn’t score, as Monchik hit another forehand winner and Bredenbeck skipped another shot. Landa and Monchik served it out from there with Monchik hitting four winners, including an incredible backhand splat from 39 feet.

In the first doubles semi, Franco and Garay actually scored 16 points in game two, as they were assessed a game delay technical at the start of the game, so began it down 0 to -1. They were down 14-10, when Franco took over the play with some savvy serving. He hit half lob and lob serves in the middle and to the left side, which he and Portillo were playing on, and the variation seemed to put off the younger team.

Franco also hit great shots to help win game two. But then in the breaker, Garay stepped up, and hit seven winners, including a great pinch shot that get them the serve back at 10-4. He followed that up with the match winning wide angle pass shot on the next rally.

The Suivant Consulting Pro-Am matches can be seen via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The singles quarterfinals will begin Saturday at 10 AM with the semi-finals at 5 and 6 PM. The singles final will be noon Sunday. The doubles semi-finals will be Friday at 7 and 8 PM with finals Saturday night at 8 PM. All times Eastern.

2021 Suivant Consulting Pro-Am, January 7-10, 2021
Lilburn, Georgia

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa d. 16) Javier Estrada, 15-11, 1-15, 11-9
8) Jake Bredenbeck d. 9) Sebastian Franco, 15-6, 15-10

5) Samuel Murray d. 12) Javier Mar, 6-15, 15-11, 11-7
4) Daniel De La Rosa d. 13) Eduardo Garay, 15-7, 15-1

3) Andree Parrilla d. 14) Andres Acuña, 15-1, 15-4
6) Eduardo Portillo d. 11) Thomas Carter, 15-5, 11-15, 11-2

7) Conrrado Moscoso d. 10) Mario Mercado, 15-11, 15-6
2) Rocky Carson d. 15) Adam Manilla, 15-6, 15-12

Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Alejandro Landa v. 8) Jake Bredenbeck - 1 PM
4) Daniel De La Rosa v. 5) Samuel Murray - Noon

3) Andree Parrilla v. 6) Eduardo Portillo - 10 AM
2) Rocky Carson v. 7) Conrrado Moscoso - 11 AM

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

4) Alejandro Landa & Sudsy Monchik d. 1) Jake Bredenbeck & Samuel Murray, 5-15, 15-12, 11-3
6) Sebastian Franco & Eduardo Garay d. 2) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo, 6-15, 15-14, 11-4

IRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

4) Alejandro Landa & Sudsy Monchik v. 6) Sebastian Franco & Eduardo Garay - 8 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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