Welcome back to tournaments everyone! It’s been a hot minute. It’s kind of weird that scheduling for pickleball tournaments leaves us with limited tournaments at the peak of pickleball season. Nevertheless, this is a $90K prize pool event. That $90K includes senior pros but it is a pretty big prize pool for what has grown into a strong pro event. Looking at the draws, you may notice that Dekel Bar is playing with Regina Franco and Vivienne David is without a partner for this tournament. It sounds like a rift has developed that Dekel and Vivienne to the point they are no longer partnering together for the time being. Obviously things could change but that is a weird one to say the least. Vivienne David has had a pretty meh year that we feel is largely partner based and it will be interesting to see who is able to scoop her up for some of the remaining tournaments. David is also registered for her first singles bracket in a long time and you wonder if she’ll actually play since she doesn’t have a mixed day for this tournament right now. David could be one of the top singles players out there if she wanted to grind it.
We had planned to unveil our 3.0 version of player rankings this week, but life got in the way for us. We are aiming to get a singles, doubles and mixed list out after our takeaways next week. It will look a little bit different as we are going to do a top 10, which we found to be much harder to put together than a top 5.
As a reminder, Slim is up 6 on the year for fantasy and it’s getting to crunch time if Gritty wants to make any sort of move. One neat thing we saw on Instagram this week was a fantasy draft being done at the Beer City Open with kids getting in on the action. Children are the future! Without further ado, please enjoy our fantasy draft (disclaimer: not podium selections) for the Beer City Open.
(1) Parris Todd (Gritty)
(2) JW Johnson (Slim)
(3) Simone Jardim / JW Johnson (Slim)
(4) JW Johnson / Dekel Bar (Gritty)
(5) Andrea Koop / Simone Jardim (Gritty)
Gritty – I had the first pick and went with Parris Todd. She hasn’t played a singles tourney in quite a while and appears to have had quite the mix of pickleball and partying over the past month or so, but her ascent looks to be very real. JW/Dekel did not have quite the showing they wanted the first time they partnered up earlier this year but I still have to believe there’s too much talent in that pairing. Koop/Jardim have been rock solid when paired together and they should be the gold medal team in this field.
Slim – Always bet on JW Johnson is my motto and I stick with him here, taking him in singles and mixed. I expect he and Simone, both rested up a bit will be a dominant team this week, and with a couple weeks off I also expect him to be rejuvenated in singles.
(6) Andrei Daescu / Eden Lica (Slim)
(7) Zane Navratil (Slim)
(8) Jorja Johnson / Dylan Frazier (Gritty)
(9) Zane Navratil / DJ Young (Gritty)
(10) Anna Bright / Jorja Johnson (Slim)
(11) Anna Bright (Slim)
Gritty – I was happy that Slim went with Daescu/Lica as I had Navratil/DJ Young ahead of them on my board. Zane and DJ are a good match together, and Navratil is getting results in doubles no matter who he partners with it seems these days. Jorja Johnson/Dylan Frazier are a strong pairing as Dylan is coming off his near triple crown at the LA Open. Jorja looks to have hit a bit of a wall but her doubles game is still going strong.
Slim – Andrei Daescu and Eden Lica are a team that doesn’t play a ton of tournaments, but they consistently get results when they do. The Zane pick in singles, was basically JW Johnson insurance as Zane is the one guy who has given him trouble this year. Anna Bright and Jorja Johnson have had a lot of success playing together so I was happy to get them with the 10th pick. They probably have more power than any other women’s team in the field. I know Mary Brascia has gotten the better of Anna Bright a couple times in singles, but Anna is still the more proven player so I decided to take her ahead of Mary.
(12) Mary Brascia (Gritty)
(13) Lauren Stratman / Irina Tereschenko (Gritty)
(14) Parris Todd / Susannah Barr (Slim)
(15) Jackie Kawamoto / Jade Kawamoto (Slim)
(16) Federico Staksrud (Gritty)
(17) Andrea Koop / Zane Navratil (Gritty)
Gritty – Mary Brascia has gotten the better of Anna Bright in singles so it’s a coup to get her behind Anna. Lauren Stratman/Irina Tereschenko have success together even if it doesn’t make a ton of sense. I definitely could have gone with the Kawamoto’s at this spot as I am a big fan of their games, but Irina/Lauren have the history of knocking off some upper tier talent. Federico Staksrud has been so consistent and I’m happy to get him here despite a deep men’s singles field once again. Koop/Navratil have been strong together but there’s a bit more higher end competition in this mixed field.
Slim – I go back to back women’s doubles picks here, with Parris Todd and Susannah Barr and the Kawamoto sisters. This is one of the deeper women’s fields we have seen the Kawamotos in, in a while, so it will be interesting to see how they do this weekend. It would not be shocking if they won.
(18) Dylan Frazier / Chuck Taylor (Slim)
(19) Parris Todd / Thomas Wilson (Slim)
(20) Salome Devidze (Gritty)
(21) Lauren Stratman / Julian Arnold (Gritty)
(22) Gabriel Joseph (Slim)
(23) Julian Arnold / Stefan Auvergne (Slim)
Gritty – In all the Parris Todd hoopla, Salome Devidze is a little bit forgotten but she has a real chance to medal in a pretty deep women’s singles field. Lauren Stratman/Julian Arnold are a bit boom or bust, but I had them ahead of the first time partnership of Parris/Thomas Wilson.
Slim – Dylan Frazier will be playing a more dominant role than we have seen him in lately this weekend, playing with Chuck Taylor, but they will be a tough team this weekend. I continue to bet on Parris Todd’s talent and take her and Thomas Wilson here. We don’t often see Gabe Joseph this far from California but he is playing this weekend, and coming off his gold in Los Angeles, he should have some good momentum. Julian Arnold and Stefan Auvergne are an intriguing team that could surprise some people.
(24) James Ignatowich (Gritty)
(25) Julian Arnold (Gritty)
(26) Megan Fudge (Slim)
(27) Susannah Barr / Austin Gridley (Slim)
(28) Daniel De La Rosa / Thomas Wilson (Gritty)
(29) Bobbi Oshiro / Olivia McMillan (Gritty)
(30) Irina Tereschenko (Slim)
Gritty – In a deep singles field, getting the 5th and 6th selections are pretty good as there’s not much difference probably between James Ignatowich and Julian Arnold in comparison with Gabe Joseph, who may not perform as well away from home. I wasn’t as keen getting the final men’s and women’s teams. De La Rosa/Wilson are another first-time pairing with a ton of talent while Oshiro/McMillan are teaming up together after being traded for each other at MLP. Lina Padegimaite and Megan Fudge were an option here as a women’s team, but this is just me over here with my real estate on Oshiro island.
Slim – Megan Fudge may not be the flashiest player but she is very consistent with her singles results and always battles. Austin Gridley and Susannah Barr have shown they they can make podiums. I took Irina with the last pick, but I will be very curious to see how Vivienne David does playing singles this week for the first time in a long time. She looks good at MLP when she is in a Dreambreaker but it’s not the same.
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