Alvaro Beltran is seeded 38th in this week's Juarez Open, the World Racquetball Tour's first summer event. Beltran is currently ranked #3 on the International Racquetball Tour. Knowing he hasn't been able to play WRT events gives watchers an understanding of why he's ranked were he is this week in Juarez.
Alvaro is arguably Mexico's greatest male player ever, and he'll be playing in a field that is pretty filled with some serious young talent. If you look at the draw, and you know who some of these lesser-known guys are, you can't help but be interested to see what happens.
To save on going on and on, I'll just point out some interesting things... just looking at the draw.
- Alvaro plays into Anthony Herrera if/when he gets by his first match.
- IF he gets by Anthony, he should get by another WRT regular Jose Daniel Ugalde to possibly meet WRT #3 Alex Cardona, who himself will have to get by either Roland Keller or Alex Almeda. (I wouldn't be too surprised if either of them upset here.)
- Alvaro, if/when he gets this far, will then play into WRT's #2 and US National Champ Jake Brendenbeck, who himself won't have a walk through.
- Alvaro, if/when he gets by Jake will find himself in a final with either the WRT's #1 seed Polo Gutierrez, effectively playing the WRT's #3, #2 and #1.
- Wait. On Polo's side you got Alex Landa. If you've read my blog regularly, you'd know what I think this kid can do. So, I like him in the final. And Alvaro will have to play him. And probably play him after having tough matches.
- But wait... just look at the draw on the Polo and Landa side. Anything can happen.
- Makes me wonder... why didn't Daniel De La Rosa take this opportunity to play in his home country?
- Back to Alvaro... What saves Alvaro is that they only play 3 games. Yes, they play 15 point games, but mentally, which means physically, it's easier than 3 out of 5. BUT, that also means Alvaro can't take his time getting into a match as he sometimes does.
- If he doesn't win the whole thing, people will read into either how good he is, or how good the WRT as a whole is... or someting to that affect.
- Alvaro will be playing with his new racquet.
- There will be some players, who he actually will be playing also using his new racquet. (Think "I beat him with his own racquet.")
Alvaro is going to have to work if he really wants to win.