Sunday 14th November, Logrono
MARTINEZ DE IRUJO beat TITIN III 22-17
Cuatro y Medio Semi Final
Titin III took on Martinez de Irujo in the Riojan fortress of Adarraga yesterday, and must have hoped that the baying home fans would give him the vital edge he required over the tournament favourite. For a few fleeting moments of optimism, it looked as if victory might be on the cards for the tireless veteran, but Irujo, lethal when he comes from behind, put well and truly paid to any false hopes.
Irujo started as he meant to go on, with precision, speed and venom. The man from Ibero put eight points past the local favourite to only two in reply, showing the full range of his shot play and landing winners with incredible accuracy. Titin survived remarkably error free, but had little answer to the onslaught of Irujo. Titin slowly clawed his way back into the game however, taking advantage of seven errors in the match from Irujo, who allowed his rival to close to 7-10, 8-11 and 12-12. From parity at 14-14, Titin surged forward with new found confidence, to lead at 17-14. However, it was not to be, much to the chagrin of the crowd of over 1000, as Irujo showed why he is the best in the game. The Manomansita champion pulled seven straight winners out of the fire, relentless and devastating.
Irujo made significantly more mistakes than Titin across the match, seven to only one, but he also piled up an astonishing seventeen winners, eleven more than his opponent, and it was this which swayed the match. In the middle period, many shots which would earlier have curled inside the line, went out by millimetres, but he relocated his radar in the nick of time, and there was nothing Titin could do in reply. He will now meet Barriola at Labrit on Sunday, while Titin plays this week’s other loser, Gonzalez, back in the bear pit of Adarraga.
Scoring sequence: 0-1, 6-1, 6-2, 8-2, 8-5, 10-5, 10-7, 11-7, 11-8, 12-8, 12-12, 14-12, 14-17, 22-17.
Winners: Irujo 17, Titin 6
Errors: Irujo 7, Titin 1
Service winners: Irujo 2, Titin 3
Service errors: Irujo 0, Titin 0
4 ½ line errors: Irujo 1, Titin 0
Source: Diario de Navarra
Image from: Kiroljokoa
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