Saturday, January 7, 2023

Top seeds through to the final of 2023 IRT Longhorn Open

Both top seeds - in singles and doubles - are through to the finals at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2023 Longhorn Open in Austin, Texas. In singles, Daniel De La Rosa - the IRT’s #1 player - beat IRT #4 Eduardo Portillo, 15-8, 15-7. He’ll play IRT #3 Conrrado Moscoso in the final Sunday, as Moscoso defeated 15th seed Javier Mar, 15-10, 15-12.

Moscoso will have a chance to win twice Sunday, as he’s also in the doubles final. He and Alejandro Landa, the 2nd seeds, beat Andés Acuña and Portillo in the semis, 15-8, 15-4. Moscoso and Landa will face the top seeds in the final: Mar and Rodrigo Montoya, as Mar and Montoya defeated De La Rosa and Sebastian Fernandez, 15-14, 14-15, 11-5 on Saturday.

De La Rosa and Moscoso were the only two players to win twice on the IRT last year. Thus, their meeting in the final Sunday is highly anticipated.

In the semis, De La Rosa pretty much led wire to wire against Portillo. Portillo got within one of De La Rosa at 6-5 in game one, but was never closer than that at any other point in the match.

Moscoso was pushed harder by Mar, who actually had an 8-0 lead in game two. But Moscoso came back and tied it at 9-9, and pushed on to win it. After trailing 8-0, Moscoso outscored Mar 15-3 to win the match in two games.

De La Rosa had a chance to get to the doubles final, even though he and Fernandez trailed Mar and Montoya in game one of their semi-final, 8-4 and then 14-10. De La Rosa and Fernandez held off Mar and Montoya at game point seven (7!) times. In doing so, they came back and got to 14 themselves. On their first game point, De La Rosa had a set up to hit a forehand pinch shot, but he skipped it.

On the next rally, De La Rosa and Fernandez’s second game point, Montoya hit a backhand winner that gave his side the serve back. Montoya followed that up with a backhand pinch shot to close out game one on their 8th opportunity.

In game two, De La Rosa and Fernandez led at 7-2 and 13-8, but they stalled there, and Mar and Montoya took advantage, scoring six points in a row on seven rallies to get to match point at 14-13. Montoya skipped a forehand shot that was an unforced error, and his side didn’t get another chance, as De La Rosa and Fernandez got two points to close out game two and force a tie-breaker.

The tie-breaker was close early, as they were tied 3-3. Then Mar and Montoya edged ahead to lead 7-3. De La Rosa and Fernandez came back to get within two at 7-5, but they wouldn’t score any more as Mar and Montoya when on to win the game 11-5 and the match 2-1.

You can see the Longhorn Open finals via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The singles final is Sunday at noon Central time with the doubles to follow.

2023 IRT Longhorn Open
January 5-8, 2023 - Austin, Texas

Men’s Singles

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Daniel De La Rosa d. 4) Eduardo Portillo, 15-8, 15-7
3) Conrrado Moscoso d. 15) Javier Mar, 15-10, 15-12

Final - Sunday

1) Daniel De La Rosa v. 3) Conrrado Moscoso - Noon

Men’s Doubles

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. 4) Daniel De La Rosa & Sebastian Fernandez, 15-14, 14-15, 11-5
2) Alejandro Landa & Conrrado Moscoso d. 3) Andrés Acuña & Eduardo Portillo, 15-8, 15-4

Final - Sunday

1) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya v. 2) Alejandro Landa & Conrrado Moscoso - 12:50

Follow the bouncing ball….

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