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IRT JMB Produce SoCal Open 2024 Recap

by Karen Grisz and Todd Boss

The IRT was once again in Canoga Park, California thanks to Tournament Director Cindy Tilbury, title sponsor JMB Produce and all of the event’s sponsors, May 23-26th. You can see them all here - https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-sponsors.asp?TID=42331

Congratulations to the IRT winners over the weekend:

– Singles: Conrrado Moscoso
– Doubles: Rodrigo Montoya and Erick Trujillo

This tournament drew many Latin American players who aren’t necessarily regulars on the tour, but play internationally for their countries at world championships. We also had quite a few young players who are well known on the junior circuit testing their skills at the pro level.

Singles Recap

In the 32s:

Former #1 Rocky Carson, who hasn’t been playing as regularly as past years, topped Chilean Rafael Gatica to move into the 16s and setup a match with #1 Moscoso.

#9 Carter Thomas got a very solid win over Alejandro Cardona , who continues to be a dangerous opponent when he enters an event.

U.S. Junior Cole Sendrey got a tiebreaker win over #13 Carlos Ramirez to make the round of 16 for the first time in his pro career.

#11 Jaime Martell took out the up and coming Elias Nieto in a tiebreaker.

#23 Diego Gastelum , a strong Mexican junior, took out countryman #10 Erick Cuevas to make his first round of 16 in a pro event.

The match of the event, and perhaps of the season, was the shock upset of #3 Kane Waselenchuk at the hands of #30 Jordy Alonso. Kane won game one 15-7 and was up 7-2 in the second, and then Jordy made people take notice with a 15-12 win in game two to force a tiebreaker. He then easily won 11-1 in the tiebreaker. Alonso’s drive serve was 100% “on,” and he was putting pressure on Kane for the entire second half of the match that Kane doesn’t normally see from most players on tour. Alonso pounded drives to Kane’s backhand, got aces, forced weak returns, and he hit really unbeatable pinch shots once his feet were set. Kane really couldn’t do anything to stop the train of points in the tiebreaker.

If you haven’t seen him play, Alonso, although not widely known in the U.S, has a slew of solid wins on his resume; but he rarely tours. This is just his 12th pro event and he turns 27 in early June. But this is the first time Kane’s EVER lost on the court prior to the round of 16 in his 20-something year career (He has one round of 64 forfeit loss from last August).

In the 16s:

Moscoso was forced to mount a massive comeback in game one to top Carson 15-14. Carson couldn’t recover, and lost handily in the second game, 15-1.

In the 8/9 matchup, Alan Natera eased past Thomas Carter 15-8, 15-6 to advance. He achieves his second quarterfinal of the season, having only ever made the quarters twice in nearly 30 previous pro events.

Alonso made fast work of #14 Robbie Collins 15-2, 15-7, facing his second straight lefty and using the same strategy to move on. He makes his first ever pro quarterfinal.

#11 Martell shocked #6 Andres Acuna in an 11-10 tiebreaker to make his first quarter of the year.

Erick Trujillo easily beat Diego Gastelum, who had several head-to-head wins over Erick in Mexican nationals of late, to move into the quarters.

In the Quarters

#1 Moscoso cruised past #8 Natera 15-3, 15-9.

#4 Jake Bredenbeck got revenge from the US Nationals qualifying loss last year against #5 Adam Manilla , defeating the lefty 15-4, 15-9 to move into the semis.

#30 Alonso came from a game down to drop #11 Martell in a battle of Mexican Cinderellas.

#2 Rodrigo Montoya, who saw his side of the draw open up nicely with Kane’s loss, ground out a win against his doubles partner Trujillo to move on.

—————

In the Semis

Jake pushed Conrrado but couldn’t break him, losing 15-12, 15-8.

Alonso continued his amazing weekend with perhaps his biggest achievement yet, coming down from 5-10 in the tie-breaker to shock #2 Montoya 11-10 to move into the final.

As the #30 seed, Alonso becomes the 2nd highest seeded player to EVER make a pro tour final. The highest ever seed? #39 Waselenchuk, who was seeded dead last at the 2008 Motorola Championships when he came off his 2-year break.

In the Finals, Alonso’s run came to a relatively unheralded end, as Moscoso beat the Mexican 15-3, 15-5 to take the title. It’s Moscoso’s 9th career IRT win.

IRT JMB Produce SoCal Open 2024 Recap
International Racquetball Tour

Doubles Review

There were some interesting pairings in the doubles – Thomas Carter and Jaime Martell lost to the eventual winners in tiebreaker in the quarterfinals. The Bredenbeck brothers eked out an 11-8 win over Manilla and Cuevas in the quarters. But, in the end, #1 ranked IRT doubles player Rodrigo Montoya made his fourth pro doubles final out of four held this season and won it with Erick Trujillo over the Bolivian team of Moscoso/Carrasco in a tiebreaker.

IRT JMB Produce SoCal Open 2024 Recap
International Racquetball Tour