Women’s world number one Paola Longoria from Mexico has won her first match at the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships, as the competition began in Costa Rica today.
The three-time world champion began the event at San José with a 15-1, 15-3 demolition of Harumi Kajino from Japan in Group A.
That was the only match to take place in the first group but 12 others went ahead in the other six.
The United States’ Rhonda Rajsich, the world number two, won the only match in Group B 15-2, 15-4 against Lee Young Ock of South Korea, while the first match in Group C went to another Mexican Samantha Salas who is ranked third in the world.
In Group F there was a somewhat surprising result as the world number four Maria Jose Vargas from Argentina lost to the world number five Ana Gabriella Martinez, in straight sets 15-9, 15-6.
The tightest match of the day in the women’s singles came in Group C, where Maria Rene Rodriguez from Argentina beat America's Sheryi Lotts 8-15, 15-6, 11-4.
Paola Longoria (MEX) has won 3 straight @IRFRacquetball World Championships in Women's Singles. Another win & she'll tie Jackie Paraiso (USA) for most IRF World Championship titles at 7 tho all of Paraiso's were in Doubles while Longoria has won 3 in Singles & 3 in Doubles— The Racquetball Blog (@racquetballblog) August 11, 2018
In the men’s singles the defending champion and world number one Rocky Carson is not in the draw, meaning Corrano Moscoso from Colombia, the world number two, will be eying up the title.
He won his first match in Group E, 15-6, 15-4 against Andres Acuna.
Many of the top ranked players are not in the men’s draw, including the number three and fourth ranked players Jose Rojas from the US and Polo Gutierrez from Mexico are also not involved.
It means player further down the rankings such as Samuel Murray from Canada, will fancy their chances.
He beat Kono Michimune from Japan in Group F, 15-2, 15-12.
Matches in both the men’s and women’s group stages are due to continue tomorrow.