Sunday, January 10, 2021

Murray gets 1st IRT win at 2021 Suivant Consulting Pro-Am

Samuel Murray won the 2021 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Suivant Consulting Pro-Am in Lilburn, Georgia Sunday as he defeated 7th seed Conrrado Moscoso in the final, 15-7, 8-15, 11-9. The win is Murray’s 1st IRT title, and he becomes the 41st player to win an IRT event. Murray’s the first new IRT winner since Moscoso won his first in March 2019 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Afterwards, Murray said he was “trying to stay in the moment,” and “take one point at a time,” and really didn’t know how he was able to win. But Murray was “really happy” he was able to make it to Lilburn, as there are some travel rules going to and from Canada because of the COVID pandemic.

Murray has been able to play at home, as some courts were open. His brother also plays, so the two of them did some training together, and Murray tried to stay in shape generally, hoping for a racquetball event to happen.

His hopes were answered, and the result? “C’est incroyable,” said Murray.

Early on, it looked like it would go the other way, as Moscoso scored the first four points of the match. But Murray got on the board with a drive serve ace to the right side, one of the few drive serves he hit in the match. Murray relied on a variety of lob serves and a Z serve to the left side - Moscosco’s backhand.

But Murray went from 4-0 and 5-2 down to 11-5 up. Moscoso got a couple points more before Murray closed out game one, 15-7.

Moscoso did what great players do after losing a game. He stepped it up in game two, again going to a 5-2 lead. Yet again Murray responded, as he scored six straight points to take the lead 8-5.

But Murray didn’t score any more points in game two, as Moscoso put up 10 unanswered points to level the match at a game a piece.

The breaker was close all the way with the lead going back and forth. Murray led 3-1. Moscoso led 6-3. Murray led 7-6. And Moscoso led 9-8. Murray called a timeout.

He got the serve back with a forehand return of a lob serve that he short hopped. Murray tied the game with a backhand that ended a scramble rally. They went back and forth, and then Moscoso got hit by the ball that gave Murray his 10th point.

On his first match point opportunity, Murray lob served to the left, so Moscoso drove the ball hard and low cross court. Murray dove forward to get the ball and rekilled it for the match winning point. A great end to a great match.

Murray is the 2nd Canadian player, after Kane Waselenchuk, to win an IRT event. He did so in his second IRT final. He was also a finalist in Laurel, Maryland, where Murray lost to Rocky Carson.

If you missed any of the Suivant Consulting Pro-Am action, check out the IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. There were some great matches that are well worth seeing - or seeing again.

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

Final - Sunday

5) Samuel Murray d. 7) Conrrado Moscoso, 15-7, 8-15, 11-9

Follow the bouncing ball….

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