Paola Longoria

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Longoria and the second or maternal family name is López.
Paola Longoria
Personal information
Born (1989-07-20) July 20, 1989 (age 25)
Mexico San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Sport
Sport Racquetball
Coached by Fran Davis

Paola Michelle Longoria López (born July 20, 1989) is a Mexican racquetball player. She's the two time reigning International Racquetball Federation World Champion in both Women's Singles and Doubles, the first player to hold both titles simultaneously. Longoria is also the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) tour, and was the first Mexican woman to attain the #1 pro ranking, doing so at the end of the 2008-09 season. She repeated the feat at the end of 2009-2010 season, and has been #1 for the last three seasons. Longoria's style is characterized by a semi-western grip of the racquet, which is unusual for racquetball; Longoria is the only pro player using this grip style.

Professional career[edit]

Longoria was undefeated on the LPRT for three and a half years, from May 2011 to October 2014. Overall, she's won 48 Tier 1 or Grand Slam events on the LPRT, including five US Opens in 2014, when she beat Maria Jose Vargas in the first US Open final to feature two non-American players, 2013, 2012 and 2011 when she defeated Rhonda Rajsich in each of those finals, and 2008[1] when she beat Cheryl Gudinas in the final, becoming the first Mexican - woman or man - to win that event or even reach the US Open final.

Her first women's pro tournament win was the Outback Steakhouse Blast It! tournament in Fayetteville, N.C., September 13-16, 2007, when she defeated Rajsich in the final, 12-14, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7.[2]

Longoria finished as the #1 pro player at the end of five pro seasons: 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14.[3]

International career[edit]

Longoria won both Women's Singles and Doubles at the 2014 World Championships in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, where she defeated American Rhonda Rajsich in the singles final and with Samantha Salas beat Americans Aimee Ruiz and Janel Tisinger. This was a successful defense of the titles she first won in 2012 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where Longoria defeated Canadian Jennifer Saunders in the singles final[4] to become the first Mexican woman to be World Champion.

Her 2014 doubles win was the third World Championship for her and Samantha Salas, as they also won in 2012 and 2010, which was the first time a Mexican team had won Women's Doubles at Worlds. In the 2012 final, they defeated the Chilean team of Angela Grisar and Carla Muñoz, while in 2010, they beat the American pair of Aimee Ruiz and Jackie Paraiso in the final.

Longoria won three gold medals for Mexico at the 2011 Pan American Games in both singles and doubles as well as the team competition[5] in what was her first Pan Am Games appearance. Samantha Salas was her doubles partner.

Longoria won the Pan American Championships in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013.[6] She's also won gold at the Pan Am Championships in doubles with Salas in 2011 and 2012. Her six Pan Am Championship titles are tied for second most by a woman with American Michelle Gould and trailing American Jackie Paraiso, who's won ten.

Longoria is the two time Central American and Caribbean Games gold medalist in Women's Singles, winning in 2010, and 2014, when she also won gold in Women's Doubles with Salas.

Longoria has won two gold medals at the World Games. In 2009, she defeated American Rhonda Rajsich in the final and in 2013, beat Cristina Amaya in the final.

Also, Longoria won eight consecutive International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Championships from 2001 to 2008, winning twice in each age category: 12 and under, 14 and under, 16 and under, and 18 and under.[7]

Other honors[edit]

Longoria received the 2010 National Sports Award from the Mexican government. Mexican President Felipe Calderón presented Longoria with the award.[8]

In 2013, Forbes Magazine's Mexico edition named Longoria as one of the 50 most influential women in Mexico.[9]

References[edit]

See also[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Rhonda Rajsich
Rhonda Rajsich
#1 Women's Pro Racquetball Player
2008-2010
2011-2014
Succeeded by
Rhonda Rajsich
Current