Friday, February 17, 2023

Top seeds through to the semi-finals at 2023 IRT Williams Accounting & Consulting Open

Daniel De La Rosa, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), is through to the semi-finals at the 2023 IRT Williams Accounting & Consulting Open in Lilburn, Georgia, as he beat 8th seed Adam Manilla, 15-11, 15-4, in the quarterfinals Friday. De La Rosa is trying to get to his third final in as many IRT events this year. He’s 1-1 in the first two finals of the season.

In the semis, De La Rosa will face 4th seed Alejandro Landa, who defeated 5th seed Samuel Murray, 15-13, 2-15, 11-8. It looked like Murray was going to take the breaker, as he was up 6-2, when Landa went down clutching at his right ankle. It didn't seem there wasn’t any contact between the players or that Landa went over on the ankle, so it was a strange injury. Yet he stayed down for 7 min, but play did resumed after about 9 min.

Murray got two more points to extend his lead to 8-2, and put himself in the driver’s seat to win the breaker and reach his first semi-final of the season.

But he wouldn’t score again, or even serve, as Landa won 9 straight points on as many rallies after switching his serve to a lob nick off the left side wall (i.e., to Murray's backhand).

The first two points were three shot rallies, as Murray left backhand pinch returns up and Landa hit winners off them. Landa got two more winners off more loose shots by Murray, making the score 8-6, so Murray called a timeout.

When play resumed, Landa hit backhand pinch winners on back to back rallies to tie the game 8-8. Murray thought the second skipped, but the line judges upheld the referee’s good shot call.

Landa closed out the game, and match, with three forehand winners back to back to back. The first was a wide angle pass from left centre to the right side putting the ball around Murray. The second was a reverse pinch shot, and the third was cross court kill shot to win the game 11-8, and the match 2 games to 1.

Landa was clearly hobbled by his right leg injury, but Murray didn’t do much to move Landa around the court. And perhaps with the knowledge that he didn’t want to move much, Landa tried to be precise with his shots, and succeeded in doing so, as all 9 points in his comeback were winners. Murray didn’t skip any shots, but he also didn’t make shots that made Landa uncomfortable.

Thus, it was an impressive comeback by Landa, and it will be interesting to see how fit he is in the semi-finals against De La Rosa Saturday night. But first Landa will team up with De La Rosa in the doubles semis against Murray and Jake Bredenbeck Saturday afternoon.

Bredenbeck is in the other singles semi-final, as he beat 11th seed Sebastian Franco, 15-8, 15-3. He’ll play 2nd seed Andree Parrilla in the semis, as Parrilla defeated 7th seed Andrés Acuña, 15-3, 15-4.

You can see the IRT action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The singles semi-finals will be 6 and 7 PM Saturday. The doubles semis are Saturday at noon and 1 PM. 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

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Daniel De La Rosa d. 8) Adam Manilla, 15-11, 15-4
4) Alejandro Landa d. 5) Samuel Murray, 15-13, 2-15, 11-8

3) Jake Bredenbeck d. 11) Sebastian Franco, 15-8, 15-3
2) Andree Parrilla d. 7) Andrés Acuña, 15-3, 15-4

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Daniel De La Rosa v. 4) Alejandro Landa - 7 PM
2) Andree Parrilla v. 3) Jake Bredenbeck - 6 PM

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla v. 4) Sebastian Franco & Adam Manilla - Noon
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Alejandro Landa v. 3) Jake Bredenbeck & Samuel Murray - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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