Longoria Hosts Successful Event in Aguascalientes
Aug 14, 2022
To kick off the 2022-2023 season, the LPRT returned to Mexico for a very special event. What really set this tournament apart was how the government and the people of the city of Aguascalientes embraced the event. Dignitaries, fans, and families were in attendance all weekend to enjoy the spectacle of Paola Longoria’s glass court and the amazing athletes of the LPRT, who did not disappoint!
The 2022 Paola Longoria Experience was an athletic showcase where the all-glass court was placed in an outdoor environment for maximum viewing. Crowds were substantial, including Governor Martin Orozco Sandoval, and Mayor Leonardo Montanez Castro. The final of the singles turned out to be an instant classic, where Longoria defeated fellow Mexican Montse Mejia 11-10 in the tiebreaker in front of a raucous crowd, split in loyalty to the two players. The doubles final was also an all-Mexican affair, where the #2 seeds Mejia and Alexandra Herrera upset the #1 pairing of Longoria and Samantha Salas.
Here is the full event recap thanks to Todd Boss of ProRacquetballStats.com:
Paola Longoria Experience Wrap-up!
Congrats to your winners on the weekend:
- Singles: Paola Longoria
- Doubles; Alexandra Herrera & Montse Mejia
This was a unique tournament featuring Paola's "personal" portable court, which was setup on a covered court outside of the Deportivo Ferrocarrilero club in Aguascalientes, AG, Mexico.
It is a spectacle of a court, but the outdoor setting features very difficult sight-lines for players, especially in the later afternoon where the sun glared into the court from all sides. This seemed to really vex some players, as we saw all kinds of upsets in this event. They had to have a thunder delay midway through the event, something I can't quite say i've heard of before.
R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=39838
Let's review the notable matches in the Singles draw.
Singles Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/k9q
In the 32s, no surprises from the 5 relative newbies to the LPRT tour.
In the 16s, we started to get some surprises.
- In the 8/9 match, @Samantha Salas Solis got a solid win over top10 rival @Carla Munoz 5,13. Is this the return of Salas to the top 10?
- #5 Angelica Barrios escaped by the skin of her teeth, winning 11-10 over #12 Sheryl Lotts.
- The shock result of the round of 16 was former top10 player Nancy Enriquez blasting #4 Erika Manilla 10,4 to move on. Not a good start to Manilla's pro season.
- #6 Jessica Parrilla was stretched to an 11-7 breaker win over #11 @Maria Renee Rodriguez
In the Quarters
- #1 @Paola Longoria topped her doubles partner Salas 8,4 to move on. These two have met more than 70 times now on the pro tour, by far the most frequent rivalry in the tour's history.
- #5 Barrios had a comprehensive win over upset-minded Enriquez 11,5 to move into the semis.
- #6 Parrilla continued her recent record over #3 Natalia Mendez, advancing to the semis.
- #7 @Montse Mejia dominated her doubles partner and #2 player @Alexandra Herrera 7,5. This is the most significant result of the round; Mejia is one of just a handful of players who have ever gotten a win over Paola, and this result spurred her into the finals.
In the Semis
- Longoria flew by Barrios 3,6 to move into the finals in her namesake tourney. In 6 games she's given up a grand total of 23 points and looks unstoppable as always.
- Mejia had little trouble over her country-woman Parrilla, moving into the finals 5,6. Mejia definitely looks "on" this weekend.
In the Finals, a great back and forth match between Mejia, a young player who when "on" can beat anyone in the world, and Longoria, the veteran who has proven time and again she knows how to win. Mejia raced out to an early lead in game 1, but Paola came roaring back to win it. Instead of being deflated, Mejia returned the favor in game two to force the tiebreaker. In the breaker, Mejia was first to match point but could not convert, then Longoria worked the last two points to win 11-10 in the final. The fans could not have asked for a better single's final.
Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/hu4
The 8-team doubles draw resulted with the expected 1-2 final. The two top ladies' doubles teams in the world (Longoria/Salas and Mejia/Herrera) met in the final just after the singles final, and the losing single's finalist Mejia helped power her team to a comprehensive finals win, beating the #1 seeds 7,7.
Herrera is on quite a roll in doubles; she has won 4 of the last 5 pro doubles titles now and has done it with multiple partners as Mejia does not always travel. It seems likely Paola will lose her #1 doubles ranking soon.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Maria Renee Rodriguez.