Battle at the Alamo
San Antonio, Texas
Sweet Caroline Open
Greenville, South Carolina
LPRT at the Beach - Season Finale'
Season of Upsets Continues at Frontline Boston Open
The Boston Open continued the trend of 2022-2023 season: the season of upsets. Thirteen seeded Valeria Centellas (ARG) started the drama when she defeated her doubles partner and four seed Natalia Mendez (ARG) in the round of 16 for the first time on tour. Of the eight matches in the round of 16, four were upsets by seed. In the bottom half of the draw, second and third seeds Montserrat Mejia (MEX) and Erika Manilla (USA) both advanced to the semifinals. However, in the upper half, 12 seed Maria Jose Vargas (ARG) continued her fine form after time away for family and advanced to the semifinals.
Also in the upper half, world number one Paola Longoria (MEX) looked to be in cruise control early against Angelica Barrios (BOL) taking game one and leading in game two. But Barrios found some momentum and ensured that the most dominant female player over the last dozen years went home without a singles title again this season. This must be the hardest season Longoria has had on tour, and the invincibility that she once seemed to hold over others on tour has faded.
Mejia Wins Again in Arizona
The Sun Devil’s Fitness Complex at Arizona State University always produces some surprising results. This weekend's LPRT event presented by HD Solutions, LLC was no exception, with tiebreakers and upsets busting fantasy brackets early. Perhaps it was a few months respite in the middle of the season or perhaps it was the dry air and altitude, but high seeds fell early and often on the 12 courts at ASU. Maria José Vargas, returning from an extended period away with the birth of her third child, was expected to be a little rusty. As the #16 seed, no one expected too much, but she stormed through the field to the final, taking out World #1 Paola Longoria in the process. Number two seed Alexandra Herrera fell in the quarterfinals to #10 seed Angelica Barrios, but neither Barrios nor Vargas had any answer for the consistency of #3 seed Monserrat Mejia, who cruised to another title, her second consecutive. Mejia has proved that her early talent as a junior has matured into one of, if not the best in the world.
Another loss for #1 Paola Longoria will be a shock, but Longoria’s aura of invincibility over the past 12 months has waned. Yet, she still remains firmly entrenched at the top of the rankings, and proved she still wants to win with a fine display of doubles, taking the title with veteran Rhonda Rajsich. Another division full of upsets, Longoria and Rajsich were tested throughout the draw, overcoming Argentine pair Natalia Mendez and Valeria Centellas in the final. Speaking of Centellas, the young pro claimed the U21 title at this event, overcoming Erin Slutsky in two games.
Having not competed on tour since the beginning of December, this event was a litmus test for what will be a busy several months for these athletes, many trying to peak for the Pan Am Games in October. For some, their results suggest their path is clear. For others, it’s a chance to regroup and refocus. Only time will tell.
Mejia Wins 3rd Title at 30th Annual Christmas Classic
Montse Mejia (MEX) earned her third pro title at the annual Christmas Classic event hosted at the Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness Club in Millersville, Maryland. This was Mejia’s second title in a row after winning at Chicago’s Turkey Shoot in November, and in both events, she took out #1 Paola Longoria (MEX) and #2 Alexandra Herrera (MEX) to do so.
With her third title, Mejia joins an elite group with the same number of pro wins including current LPRT players Samantha Salas (MEX), Herrera, and Maria Jose Vargas (ARG).
There is no question why this seasonal, festive tournament has been around for so long even though the location has changed three times. The local players and fans are as warm and friendly as they come, so thank you to everyone who came out to watch and cheer for the LPRT athletes. The LPRT would also like to thank AGE Solutions and all the sponsors for supporting the 30th Annual Christmas Classic. We also give a big shout out to our generous tournament directors/sponsors, Karen and Mike Grisz, who give back to this sport in so many ways including their support of the LPRT for this event.