Pro Racquetball Stats

2018 LA Open Preview from Pro Racquetball Stats

Pro Racquetball Stats published this article on Facebook on January 4, 2018.


2018 LA Open Preview from Pro Racquetball Stats

We’re back; first weekend in the new year, and first IRT tourney. We have a 31 person pro draw in this tournament; the only active top 20 player missing is Thomas Carter.

Thanks to a rolling rankings points gap, Rocky Carson was seeded 1st in this tournament over Kane Waselenchuk, and Alvaro Beltran has climbed all the way to #3 (just his luck that his ascention puts him against Kane “early” … tough break for him), Here’s a preview of the tournament and a look at what might be some fun matches to watch (if projections/predictions hold of course):

Round of 64:

Adam Manilla – Daniel Lavely; I don’t have Lavely playing on IRT tour in nearly 3 years (though he has played a few WRT events in the interim). But he has proven to be a tough out when he has played; he’s seeded 2nd to last as a result … and thus Manilla gets a tough round of 64.

Nick Riffel– Daniel Neri: not much is known about Neri; he hasn’t appeared on the IRT in 6+ years and has played just two WRT events in the past two years. Sometimes its the devil you know versus the devil you don’t.

Round of 32:

Sebastian FrancoDylan Reid: Franco just misses out on a protected seed … and is forced to play the dangerous Reid in the round of 32 just to qualify. I see a tough match here … but the winner will have a decent chance to advance to the quarters. Remember; Reid took Pratt to 5 games in the qualifiers last tournament … and then Pratt won the tourney.

– Sebastian Fernandez – Felipe Camacho; the reigning 16U Mexican and World champ Fernandez faces off with tour veteran Camacho … who played his first IRT event in 2008 when Fernandez was probably still playing multi-bounce. I’m not sure if Fernandez has the firepower to take out Camacho but it could be an interesting match to watch.

Charlie Pratt – Nicholas Riffel: Riffel has played every event so far this season and made a couple of main draws, but faces a tall order in the previous event champ Pratt.

Andree ParrillaDaniel Rojas; another tough matchup here; Rojas is committed to the tour going forward after his 18U junior world title earlier this year .. but matches up with the dangerous Parrilla who made a final last season and has multiple WRT wins. As always, if Rojas has his drive serve going, he’s tough to beat.

Round of 16:

– Carson – Jake Bredenbeck; well, getting the #1 seed did Rocky no favors; he likely faces Bredenbeck, who beat him in March 2016 and whom has a number of wins over top 4 players on his resume.

– Franco – Murray: the 8/9 match-ups are always close; Murray beat Franco in March 2017 in a 5-gamer, but Franco beat Murray in an IRF event recently.

De La Rosa – Pratt: Can Pratt catch lightning in a bottle again? He has improved his seed one from the previous tourney and runs into #4 seed DLR in the round of 16. DLR holds a 2-1 career record over Pratt so there’s not a ton of history to go on.

David HornMario Mercado; Horn is 3-0 over Mercado across IRT and WRT events, so look for an “upset” by seeding here.

Alex Landa – Parrilla; these guys know each other well, having faced each other on the IRT, WRT and in Mexican nationals. Landa holds the advantage 7-2 across tours and should advance here.
Quarters; its hard to project to the quarters fully given the close matches that might be happening above, but here’s some squinting at possible match-ups:

– Carson-Franco: again, getting the #1 seed does Rocky no favors. Carson has never lost to Franco (5-0 on IRT) but they played twice in consecutive events in November and Franco stretched him to 5 games once, so this could be competitive.

– DLR – Jansen Allen: Allen has played well lately, but I can’t see him beating Daniel here. DLR holds a 9-1 h2h advantage.

– Beltran – Horn: another chance for Horn to put a loss on an IRT elite player. Beltran is 5-0 lifetime on the IRT versus Horn so his work is cut out for him.

– Kane – Landa: Landa has faced Kane 11 times on the IRT and holds one injury forfeit win, so the odds of an upset here seem low. Heck; the odds of anyone beating Kane are low, so that’s not an insult.

Semis and Finals: sounds boring but I’m going chalk; Rocky over DLR, Kane over Beltran with yet another Kane-Rocky final.

One last note: there’s a big doubles draw with 13 teams entered, so that should be fun to watch play out. No Kane in the doubles, but strong teams Beltran/DLR and Jake/Diaz head up the seedings.