Thursday, November 11, 2021

2021 LPRT Arizona Open - Preview

The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) will return to action this weekend at the 2021 Arizona Open in Tempe, Arizona. For the second time in three months they’ll play Mixed Doubles with the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), as the Arizona Open is both a LPRT and an IRT event.

Paola Longoria, the LPRT’s #1 player, leads the Arizona field of 31 players, which is missing a couple of the top players in Montserrat Mejia (LPRT #5) and Samantha Salas (#7). But 16 of the top 18 players will be in Tempe.

Intriguingly, Longoria’s first match could be against the woman who had her on the ropes at the US Open last month in Erika Manilla. Manilla had an outstanding run at the Open, going from the qualifying rounds to the semis, and was playing well against the the 10 time defending US Open champion.

Then Longoria hit Manilla in late in game two, with Manilla up 10-8. Manilla didn’t score another point, as Longoria came back to win the match in two games and then win her 11th US Open with a decisive victory over Maria Jose Vargas in the final.

How Manilla plays this weekend after her wonderful US Open is of great interest. However, Manilla’s ranking was so low prior to US Open that her semi-final result hasn’t raised her into the top 20, let alone the top 10. She’s still just 21st, and is actually the slight underdog in her first match as Manilla is seeded 17th and plays fellow 16th seed and fellow American Sheryl Lotts in the Round of 32.

Rounding out the top seeds are LPRT #2 Vargas, #3 Alexandra Herrera and #4 Gabriela Martinez. Also, notable in the draw is Mexican veteran left-hander Susana Acosta, who is seeded 19th and will play 14th seed American Kelani Lawrence with the winner to likely face Herrera in the Round of 16.

Finally, Brenda Laime, who has upset the 2nd seeds in the Round of 16 in the last two LPRT tournaments (she beat Herrera at the US Open and Mejia in Colorado), won’t be able to do that this weekend, as she’s seeded 11th, rather than 15th. Laime faces 22nd Annie Roberts in the 32s, and if she wins that, she’ll play the winner of 6th seed Angelica Barrios and 27th seed Michelle De La Rosa.

The LPRT matches begin Friday morning with the Rounds of 32. The Round of 16 will be Friday afternoon at 4 and 5 PM with the quarterfinals Saturday morning at 10 and 11 AM. The semi-finals will be Saturday 3 and 4 PM with the final Sunday at 11:15 AM. All times are Mountain. Look for the action via the LPRT YouTube channel, as well as the LPRT Facebook page.

Arizona Open Racquetball Championships
November 12-14, 2021 - Tempe, Arizona

LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria - BYE
16) Sheryl Lotts v. 17) Erika Manilla - Noon

9) Rhonda Rajsich v. 24) Lexi York - Noon
8) Valeria Centellas v. 25) Naomi Ros - Noon

5) Natalia Mendez v. 28) Stephanie Synhorst - 9 AM
12) Carla Muñoz v. 21) Daniela Rico - 9 AM

13) Cristina Amaya v. 20) Maria Paz Riquelme - 9 AM
4) Gabriela Martinez v. 29) Carlee Jansz - 9 AM

3) Alexandra Herrera v. 30) Estefania Perez Picon - 10 AM
14) Kelani Lawrence v. 19) Susana Acosta - 10 AM

11) Brenda Laime v. 22) Annie Roberts - 10 AM
6) Angelica Barrios v. 27) Michelle De La Rosa - 10 AM

7) Jessica Parrilla v. 26) Aisling Hickey - 11 AM
10) Nancy Enriquez v. 23) Shane Diaz - 11 AM

15) Maria Renee Rodriguez v. 17) Erin Slutzky - 11 AM
2) Maria Jose Vargas v. 31) Andrea Perez Picon - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

No comments: