Saturday, February 18, 2023

Controversy in doubles semis at 2023 IRT Williams Accounting & Consulting Open

The top seeds in doubles will meet in the final of the 2023 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Williams Accounting & Consulting Open in Lilburn, Georgia on Sunday, although one team should consider themselves lucky to be there. Top seeds Rodrigo Montoya and Andree Parrilla beat 4th seeds Sebastian Franco and Adam Manilla, 15-8, 15-9, in one semi-final, and 2nd seeds Daniel De La Rosa and Alejandro Landa narrowly defeated 3rd seeds Jake Bredenbeck and Samuel Murray, 12-15, 15-12, 11-9.

But at 10-9 in the breaker, Bredenbeck hit a shot that went high and wide around the court, so De La Rosa followed it around, and then held up as it got to the right side where Bredenbeck was. An avoidable, or penalty hinder, was called, but Murray and Bredenbeck appealed, as an avoidable call would end the match at 11-9.

The line judges were split: one disagreed, one didn’t see it, so the result was a replay, as one official thought it was an avoidable, one didn’t and one was neutral. The Racquetball Blog staff thought the avoidable call was fair enough.

But what happened next wasn’t.

After the appeal outcome was determined to be a replay, Landa picked up the ball and slammed it at the backwall, narrowly missing Murray. Presumably, Landa was hitting in the direction of one of the line judges.

That kind of behaviour demands a technical, and in an international match it would have gotten one. Indeed, we thought more than one technical could have been assessed, and possibly a match dismissal, because that kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable. Doing such a thing really warrants a match forfeit, and if Landa had received such a penalty, he should have no complaints.

Yet it’s Bredenbeck and Murray who should have complaints, as Landa was assessed no penalty for slamming the ball into the back glass. Landa got nothing, when he should have got a straight red card, to use a soccer analogy.

On the next rally, Murray skipped a backhand shot after Landa hit a forehand cross court to the left side, and that ended the game, 11-9, and match, 2-1.

Landa does have a history of angry outburts on court, and he was forfeited out of the semi-finals of Mixed Doubles at last year’s Pan American Championships for bad behaviour. So, if he had been dismissed from today’s semi, it wouldn’t have been his first time.

Singles semi-finals

Landa defaulted his singles semi-final to De La Rosa, as he’s still hobbling from the right ankle injury he picked up during his quarterfinal match with Murray. Thus, he chose to save himself for the doubles final rather than play the singles semi.

In the other semi, 3rd seed Jake Bredenbeck came back from a game down to upset 2nd seed Andree Parrilla, 7-15, 15-11, 11-8, and put him in Sunday’s final against De La Rosa. It’ll be Bredenbeck’s 4th career IRT final, and he’s won one of the previous three.

De La Rosa holds the edge over Bredenbeck on tour, as he’s won 10 of their 12 meetings. Four of their last six matches went to tie-breaker, but De La Rosa won in two straight games in their most recent match at last month’s Lewis Drug Pro-Am. Bredenbeck hasn’t beaten De La Rosa since May 2019.

You can see the IRT action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The singles final is Sunday at 11 AM with doubles to follow at noon. All times Eastern.

2023 IRT Williams Accounting & Consulting Open
February 16-19, 2023 - Lilburn, Georgia

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Daniel De La Rosa d. 4) Alejandro Landa, forfeit
3) Jake Bredenbeck d. 2) Andree Parrilla, 7-15, 15-11, 11-8

Final - Sunday

1) Daniel De La Rosa v. 3) Jake Bredenbeck - 11 AM

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla d. 4) Sebastian Franco & Adam Manilla, 15-8, 15-9
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Alejandro Landa d. 3) Jake Bredenbeck & Samuel Murray, 12-15, 15-12, 11-9

IRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla v. 2) Daniel De La Rosa & Alejandro Landa - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball….

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