Sunday, September 18, 2022

Portillo gets 1st IRT title by winning 2022 IRT Capitol Classic

Eduardo Portillo defeated Javier Mar, 15-7, 15-3, in the final of the 2022 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Capitol Classic in Millersville, Maryland, ending Mar’s nice run through the field. Portillo is the 43rd player to win an IRT event, and the first since Mario Mercado in November of 2021. He’s fifth Mexican born player to win on the IRT, joining Alvaro Beltran, Daniel De La Rosa, Alejandro Landa and Andree Parrilla.

It was a battle of two tall players, who are primarily shooters. They are also both unafraid to throw themselves around the court in an effort to keep the ball in play.

They were close early in game one, and Mar had leads at 3-1 and 5-3. But he would only get five more points in the match after those initial five points in game one.

The difference between the two players was simple: Portillo killed more balls. Too many of Mar’s shots were up, giving Portillo another opportunity, while Portillo - in similar situations - was putting the ball down, making it difficult - if not impossible - for Mar to get to it.

Portillo was playing his third IRT final, while Mar was in a final for the first time. Mar has played in big matches, but usually in doubles. He’s a former International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champion in Men’s Doubles, winning that title in 2021 with Rodrigo Montoya. But being alone in a final can be different than being with a partner in a final.

Portillo’s first time win goes along with the first time doubles win of Jake Bredembeck and Adam Manilla, who won doubles on Saturday by beating Portillo and Andés Acuña. These results - coupled with the upsets that happened earlier in the weekend - bode well for an interesting US Open, which gets underway in a week and a half in Minneapolis.

If you missed any of the action from the 2022 IRT Capitol Classic, check out the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2022 IRT Capital Classic, September 15-18, 2022
Millersville, Maryland

Final - Sunday

6) Eduardo Portillo d. 17) Javier Mar, 15-7, 15-3

Doubles - Final - Saturday

8) Jake Bredenbeck & Adam Manilla d. 5) Andres Acuña & Eduardo Portillo, 15-5, 15-11

Follow the bouncing ball….

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