Xala finds himself eliminated from the Manomanista Championship without so much as hitting a ball in anger. The planned match between he and Juan Martinez de Irujo, scheduled for Saturday at Bizkaia, failed to take place as the defending champion succumbed to acute low back pain on Friday night. The problem became worse during a workout on the fronton on Saturday morning. This misfortune means that Irujo progresses to the semi-finals, where he will meet Mikel Idoate, unimpeded. Xala has not had a good time of late. On the heels of losing the Pairs final came the flu which forced the postponement of this match for the first time. However, this new ailment came too late for any further delay to the match, and Xala’s title defence is over before it started.