Sunday, October 2, 2022

Longoria wins LPRT US Open for 12th time

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), won her 12th US Open - and 11th consecutive - on Sunday, when she defeated 3rd seed Erika Manilla, 13-15, 15-5, 11-3, in the final of the 2022 USA Racquetball US Open at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. After the last rally was over, Longoria jumped for joy.

Manilla is first player to win the first game of a US Open final against Longoria, so Longoria had to play from behind to win her 12th title.

Manilla took the early lead in game one at 4-0, but Longoria came back to tie it at 4-4. She led for most of the mid game, at 5-4 and 8-6. But Manilla then got five straight points to lead 11-8. She maintained that lead to win game one 15-13, when Longoria was unable to keep a rally going after Manilla hit a forehand down the right side.

We expected a response from Longoria in game two, and we got it, as she went out to a 7-0 lead. Manilla served three times in that period, but couldn’t score. She also took a timeout at 5-0, but that didn’t stop Longoria’s streak.

However, there’s no quit in Manilla, and once she did score, she kept scoring and got within two at 7-5. There was an exchange of sideouts at that point, which ended when Longoria hit a service winner to the left side to make it 8-5.

Six more points followed on as many rallies, as she went from 7-5 to 14-5. Manilla did fight off the first game point with a backhand winner off a lob serve to left side, but Longoria immediately got the serve back with a forehand pinch shot. On the second game point, Longoria hit a forehand down the line to end the game at 15-5.

Manilla was likely disappointed to not win game two, but at the same time, she was 11 points from her first US Open title. However, standing in her way was the 11 time champion Longoria, who similarly 11 points from her 12th title.

The tie-breaker started slowly. Sixteen rallies in and it was just 2-2. Longoria took control from there, as she put up six unanswered points. Manilla took both her timeouts during that stretch, but didn’t stop it.

She did get a point to make it 8-3, but was then forced into a skipping a forehand shot by Longoria, who then called timeout. When play resumed Longoria won the next three rallies, with the last two coming directly off drive serves to the left side - Manilla’s backhand - and the game and match were over, as Longoria won her 12th US Open title.

This was the 26th US Open, and Longoria has won almost half of the women’s pro titles. Astonishing.

If you missed any of the LPRT US Open action from Minneapolis, you can watch it by going to the LPRT YouTube channel or their Facebook page.

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

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria d. 3) Erika Manilla, 13-15, 15-5, 11-3

Follow the bouncing ball…..

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