Sunday, November 14, 2021

Mercado wins 1st IRT title by defeating De La Rosa in the 2021 IRT Arizona Open final

Mario Mercado won his first International Racquetball Tour (IRT) title Sunday by claiming the 2021 IRT Arizona Open in Tempe, Arizona, and he had to do it against the #1 IRT player in Daniel De La Rosa. Moreover, Mercado had to come from behind for the victory, as De La Rosa won game one of the final. But Mercado was up to the task, as he defeated De La Rosa, 6-15, 15-12, 11-0. Mercado is the 42nd player to win an IRT event and just the 2nd Colombian and 2nd Bolivian born player to do so.

”I cannot believe this,” Mercado said afterwards. But he’s “super happy” to win his first IRT event.

Mercado served well in the match, and said “one of my best things is my serve.” He’s also very good at putting the ball into the front left corner, which he did many times for winners to force De La Rosa to lunge forward to try to keep the ball in play.

After De La Rosa won game one, he went up 4-1 in game two, and you thought maybe he would win his 4th IRT title in a row. However, Mercado won eight unanswered points to lead 9-4. He wouldn’t give up the lead from there, although De La Rosa did made it close, as he get within one point at 13-12.

De La Rosa had a chance to tie the game at 13, as he had a forehand set up. But he skipped that shot. And De La Rosa didn’t score again in the match.

Mercado won game two on a backhand cross court, and then won eleven unanswered points to blank De La Rosa in the tie-breaker.

The IRT will be in action next weekend, when they play at the Sarasota Open in Florida. If you missed any of this weekend’s matches, check out the IRT YouTube channel..

Arizona Open Racquetball Championships
November 11-14, 2021 - Tempe, Arizona

IRT Singles - Final - Sunday

10) Mario Mercado d. 1) Daniel De La Rosa, 6-15, 15-12, 11-0

Follow the bouncing ball….

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