2017 US OPEN LPRT REVIEW
PAOLA TAKES THE EIGHT
With her 2017 US Open win, Longoria proves the attention and notoriety is worth it.
Mexico's Paola Longoria has taken her eighth US Open title and fulfilled the goal she set out for during her trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota this year. With Paola, there is always a deep and long lasting goal with her professional play. For Longoria, this was no different in the way she approaches LPRT events. The draw wasn't an easy one for her and indeed may have been the toughest this season. She has her mindset and with that, managed to take both the LPRT Pro Singles and LPRT Pro Doubles divisions at this year's US Open of Racquetball.
Longoria was determined all weekend, and fought through some tough competition. She faced Rhonda Rajsich in the semifinal and Frederique Lambert in the final. These two players represent some of the toughest obsticles in any LPRT draw. Despite the hurdles, Paola prevailed again this year.
Frederique Lambert (Canada) was set at the #2 spot in the rankings at the start of the season. Lambert is a fourth year Medical Student at the Université de Montréal, and had to miss this season first LPRT Tour events. Jessica Parrilla had taken over the #2 spot going into this year's US Open. Frederique, though committed to her studies, was able to squeeze into this year's draw to effectively take back her number two ranking with her fight through the draw and make this year's final.
Paola and Frederique battled in the final and Lambert managed to take the fourth game from the usually dominant Longoria. In the end the final was as dramatic as it was professional. These two players have a ton of respect for one another and it showed on the main court this year in Minneapolis. (Scroll though some of the images above.)
The season's biggest US event always produces play that is expected from the top players as well as opportunities for players looking to make their mark on the LPRT. This year's US Open didn't disappoint.
#8 Ranked Natalia Mendez (Argentina) fought through some tough matches and even upset the division's #2 seed Jessica Parrilla. Natalia met Frederique in the semifinal where Frederique managed to just get the win with an 11-8 tiebreaker. With this performance, Mendez managed to hold on to her #8 spot despite a ton of jostling in the upper end of the rankings.
5-time US Open champion Rhonda Rajsich (USA) always shows up to the US Open determined. For Rajsich, this event is indeed special. This was the first time ever her dad wasn't in attendance, which presented a special meaning for her. Rhonda was on point and she played in some big matchups this year where she didn't disappoint to get to another meeting with Paola in the semifinal.
Quarter Final Mentions
• Alexandra Herrera (Mexico) managed to use the 2017 US Open to slide up a spot in the rankings. Her continued steady play moved her to the #4 spot on the LPRT top list.
• Jessica Parrilla (Mexico) no doubt felt the sting of disappointment having her run end at the Quarters. She remains in the top 3 of the tour's rankings though, having slid down a spot.
• #6 ranked Cristina Amaya (Colombia) managed to hold steady to her spot in the rankings with a solid run to the quarters.
• With her run to the Quarters, Adriana Riveros (Colombia) finds herself knocking on the top eight door with a bump up to the #9 ranking on the LPRT.
Gaby Martinez (Guatemala) won the US Open LPRT Doubles Championship, partnering up with Paola Longoria and becoming one of the youngest US Open champions in division history.
There were fireworks early in the draw, with players having to battle through what was a qualifying draw that was tougher than most years. International professionals make the US Open a priority every year, yet, with the LPRT experiencing the biggest influence it's ever seen from international players, this year's competition was fierce.
Former #2 Ranked Maria Vargas, who has not competed in competitive play in over two years, made an appearance this year. She's made finals and semifinals in the past and found it may take some time to make her way back to the top of the LPRT rankings. She met Rhonda Rajsich in the round of 32s, having made it out of qualifying. Rhonda held the LPRT to a truly high level of play. Vargas, despite the early exit, seems intent on making a play for the top of the rankings.
This year's US Open seemed to be fitting for the type of season the LPRT is currently having. With plenty of international top-tier competition setting their goals for success on the tour, the rest of the season has set up for some real drama. This year, Minneapolis was rocking and these athletes, fresh with momentum and motivation, will be shaking up the rankings for the rest of the season.
The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour experienced more growth this year that was on full display at this year's open. Some of our professional women are also professional moms now. The LPRT has it's share of moms and this year that number is growing. The professional tours are well represented here.
Linda Tyler, Michelle De La Rosa, Sarah Croft and Ashley Herrera with their future racquetball stars.
And be sure to follow us on Instagram! You'll see tons of photos from us and LPRT players from the US Open as well as all the places our players visit. #professionalwomen #womenathletes #racquetball #prosport #fitsport #fitspiration