Sunday, October 2, 2022

Beltran & De La Rosa successfully defend IRT Doubles title at 2022 US Open

Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa won the 2022 US Open International Racquetball Tour (IRT) doubles title at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis on Saturday by defeating brothers Jake and Sam Bredenbeck, the 7th seeds, 14-15, 15-10, 11-4. Beltran and De La Rosa’s win was their third in the last four US Opens.

Their win goes with the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Men’s Doubles World Championship Beltran and De La Rosa won for Mexico back in August. It was their 2nd World Championship together.

But in the team competition at Worlds, Sam Bredenbeck did defeat Beltran and De La Rosa in doubles, although his partner then was Charlie Pratt. Still that would have given the Bredenbecks confidence going into the final.

And in the final they started brightly, going out to an early lead at 5-2, and carrying that lead into the end game of game one. But they did stall at 13-9, as the defending champions came back to tie it at 13-13, and then go ahead 14-13.

But Sam Bredenbeck hit a backhand winner to get his side back into the service box. They got to 14-14 when Jake Bredenbeck hit a forehand reverse pinch, and then Sam hit the game winner on the next rally - a forehand cross court kill shot, ending the game at 15-14.

The brothers stayed on the front foot in game two, holding the lead into the mid game, but Beltran and De La Rosa tied it at 7-7. They pushed ahead to lead 11-7. The Bredenbecks got back within two at 11-9, and again at 12-10, but could get no closer as the World Champs won it 15-10.

But the main story of game two was the court conditions. There were long delays to wipe the court floor, so that players were not slipping. Some of The Racquetball Blog staff wondered if they would be able to finish the match on that court.

But they kept playing on the U of M’s Court 1.

In the the tie-breaker, Beltran and De La Rosa got off to a great start going up 7-1. Most of those points were off their winners, not errors by the Bredenbecks, so the lead was well earned. The brothers got a few points back, but after that start the writing was on the wall, and Beltran and De La Rosa completed the story when they won the game 11-4, and the match 2-1.

So the championship goes to Beltran and De La Rosa, but Sam Bredenbeck is the story, as he’s emerged as a strong player on Team USA, competing in Men’s Doubles at both the Pan American Championships and the World Championships this year, medaling at both. One might think he’s a doubles specialist, which is fine, but the odd thing is that such players are usually right side players, and Sam Bredenbeck plays the left side.

If you missed any of the US Open IRT action from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, go to the IRT YouTube channel or their Facebook page.

2022 US Open - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
September 28-October 2, 2022

IRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 7) Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck, 14-15, 15-10, 15-4

Follow the bouncing ball…..

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