Sunday, August 14, 2022

Longoria wins singles, Herrera & Mejia doubles at 1st LPRT event of 2022-23 season

Paola Longoria defeated Montserrat Mejia, 15-12, 11-15, 11-10, to win the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Paola Longoria Grand Slam in Aguascalientes, Mexico on Sunday. It was the first event of the 2022-23 LPRT season. It was the second consecutive final that Longoria and Mejia had played, as they were in the SuperMax Slam final in June, when Longoria was also the winner.

However, Mejia didn’t leave Aguascalientes empty handed, as she and Alexandra Herrera won doubles by defeating Longoria and Samantha Salas, 15-7, 15-7, in the final.

Mejia will likely rue the singles loss, as she had leads late in all three games, but only won one of them. She was up 7-1 and 11-8 in game one, but down the stretch it was Longoria who won 7 points while holding Mejia to just one, and won 15-12.

Mejia was also up 7-1 in game two, and this time went on to win 15-11, forcing a tie-breaker. Mejia hit some backhand winners down the stretch, as she won the last two points with her backhand after earlier getting a sideout following a great backhand shot while on the run.

In the breaker, Longoria never led until the end. They were tied at 2-2 and 4-4, but not again until 10-10. Mejia led 10-7 after Longoria skipped a forehand pinch shot. But Longoria fought off Mejia’s match point with a well measured backhand.

Cue the comeback.

With the serve back, Longoria hit Z serves to the right side - Mejia’s forehand - which had been effective throughout the match. She hit a great forehand to make it 10-8. Then Mejia tried to take two of the Z serves early, and skipped both returns, making the score 10-10.

On match point, Longoria again hit a Z serve to the right, which Mejia returned with a ceiling ball on the right side. Longoria hit a good forehand that Mejia got to, but her shot came big off the back wall, so Longoria was able to move into the front court and hit a forehand pinch for a winner.

The win is Longoria’s first of 2022-23, but the 108th of her career, which is far and away the most career LPRT wins, and more than the combined wins of Lynn Adams (47) and Michelle Gould (43), who are the next two players on the most career wins list.

In doubles, the teams were close early in both games, and were tied at 4-4 in each. But from there Mejia and Herrera pulled away both times. In game one, they ran off 10 unanswered points to lead 14-4. In game two, they went up 10-5, and they ran off five straight points without surrendering the serve to go from 10-7 to 15-7, culminating in a Mejia backhand reverse for the 15th point.

The next event on the LPRT calendar is the LPRT at the Beach event in Chesapeake, Virginia, September 8-10. Of course, many of the players who were in Aguascalientes will be at the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships beginning next Saturday August 20 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, so you can see them there also. If you missed any of the action from this weekend, go to the LPRT YouTube channel to see it.

2022 LPRT Paola Longoria Grand Slam, August 12-14, 2022
Aguascalientes, Mexico

Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria d. 7) Montserrat Mejia, 15-12, 11-15, 11-10

Doubles - Final - Sunday

2) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia d. 1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas, 15-7, 15-7

Follow the bouncing ball….

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