35th Annual KWM Gutterman Shamrock Shootout Recap
35th Annual KWM Gutterman Shamrock Shootout presented by MyPillow Recap
By: IRT CEO, Mike Grisz
The 35th Annual KWM Gutterman Shamrock Shootout presented by MyPillow is in the books. Before I recap, let me say it was a difficult decision to play the event with the coronavirus concerns. The world seemed to freeze up just as the tournament began. We had players from all over Mexico and Latin America who had come to play. It would have been a hardship to send everyone home at that point. The pros, almost unanimously, wanted to play. We don’t know what the immediate future holds, and as soon as decisions are made for the remaining Tier 1/Grand Slam events, we will let everyone know.
The tournament itself had both singles and doubles. We saw very high-level play with the favorites prevailing. Overall, the strength of the tour continues to deepen and improve. As good as this is, Kane in singles, and Alvaro and Daniel in doubles, continue to win.
Singles: Notable matches in the round of 32 included Sebastian Fernandez defeating Andres Acuna in a tiebreaker. These are two players on the rise. Jaime Martell of Mexico beat Mario Mercado, a finalist in Wisconsin in two quick games, and Adam Manilla showed his continuing growth by defeating Javier Mar in straight games. Again, the fact that these six players played each other this early in the draw is a testament to the strength of the tour.
In the ‘16’s, the top half held form with straight-set wins for Kane over Fernandez, Portillo over Martell (though close games), Parrilla over Gerardo Franco, and Alvaro Beltran over Thomas Carter. The bottom half had three tiebreakers, Rocky Carson over Eduardo Garay (11-7), Daniel De la Rosa over Jake Bredenbeck (11-10), and Alex Landa over Manilla (11-10). Only Sam Murray, over Rodrigo Montoya, had a two-game win in the bottom half of the draw.
The quarterfinals were a little more sedate with Waselenchuk over Portillo, De La Rosa over Carson, and Landa over Murray, all with routine wins. Only Parrilla vs. Beltran went to a tiebreaker, in which Andre prevailed in a come from behind victory.
In the semifinals, Waselenchuk, again fairly quickly over Andree Parrilla while Landa won in a tight three-game match, 11-7 in the tiebreaker, over De la Rosa.
The finals were a dominating performance by Waslenchuk winning 3 and 5 over Landa. No one broke ten on Kane in the tournament. Our tour is deep and talented, but, fortunately for us, we are experiencing the greatest player of all time playing his best.
Now to doubles: We had ten teams. Kane did not play. But we had four of the top teams, De la Rosa and Beltran, Portillo and Parrilla, Montoya and Mar, and finally Landa and Murray. All of these four made it to the semifinals relatively easily, two tiebreakers in quarters but not close ones. Of course, I say that, and these matches are still tough and exciting. Long rallies, dives, along with unbelievable reflexes. It’s understandable why doubles are such a fan favorite.
In the semifinals, the #1 seed team of De La Rosa/Beltran defeated #4 Parrilla/Portillo in three long games, which went 11-6 in the tiebreaker. On the other side of the draw #3 Montoya/Mar beat #2 Landa/Murray in straight games.
The finals were a rematch of the Mexican Nationals, which Montoya/Mar beat De La Rosa/Beltran. This time, in two games but close ones, De La Rosa/Beltran won 15-12, 15-12. These are the two top doubles teams in the world right now.
As mentioned, we will keep you posted on any changes to the remaining 2019/2020 season.
Photos By Ken Fife