The APP Legacy Open starts on Thursday and it’s the second consecutive tier 1 APP Tour event, which means we’ll get a Championship Sunday again. They didn’t provide any notice prior to Delray that we saw but the APP made a good decision to get away from trying to play the bronze and gold all on Championship Sunday. Keeping the double elimination format is fine but it really didn’t make sense to try to get 10 medal matches in for a single day when there are inevitably players who are going to be competing in multiple events on the Sunday. Not to mention the viewer aspect of things. Now that we are outside of Florida, we are already seeing for a tier 1 APP event a drop in the total depth, especially on the women’s side. There is still a good chunk of talent here, but it will be interesting to see what the lower tier events look like as we head into those dog days of summer.
Slim is 5 up on the year for fantasy after Gritty’s 2nd win of the season last week. Gritty won the toss and elected to pick second.
(1) JW Johnson (Slim)
(2) Jorja Johnson (Gritty)
(3) JW Johnson / Dylan Frazier (Gritty)
(4) Andrea Koop / Vivienne David (Slim)
(5) Lee Whitwell / JW Johnson (Slim)
Slim – My number one fantasy rule is don’t bet against JW Johnson, so I take him in singles first overall. I am a little worried about Vivienne David’s health, but if she is healthy, she and Andrea are clearly the top women’s team. I could’ve gone a number of different directions in mixed but I followed my number one rule of not betting against JDub.
Gritty – I went with the second pick because I was a little bit unsure about Vivienne David and her health. She played the Battle of the Sexes and seemed fine, but having to pull out of Delray as well as the PPA Austin (her hometown) last weekend was concerning. I also thought the #1 overall pick was interchangeable between the Johnson’s so I’m happy to get Jorja and then get brother JW with Dylan in doubles. It should be noted that Jorja has lost to Devidze in the past. JW/Dylan got the best of Dekel/Adam last time so I’m hoping that happens again. If I knew Vivienne was healthy, she would have been the pick in a women’s doubles field that goes only 3 teams deep.
(6) Vivienne David / Dekel Bar (Gritty)
(7) Salome Devidze (Gritty)
(8) Dekel Bar / Adam Stone (Slim)
(9) Zane Navratil (Slim)
(10) Jorja Johnson / Lee Whitwell (Gritty)
(11) Andrea Koop / Dylan Frazier (Gritty)
Slim – Dekel Bar and Adam Stone, have perhaps have had a bit of a disappointing start to the year, but they are clearly a top two men’s doubles team in this field and perhaps this time they can take down JW and Dylan Frazier. Zane Navratil had a disappointing singles performance in Delray missing the podium, but I like him to bounce back this week.
Gritty – I was happy Slim took Lee/JW as I had Vivienne/Dekel #1 on my board in mixed. I may have been a bit ambitious with Devidze as I’m having some buyer’s remorse. Hsieh has only played one pro singles draw but she did get bronze, and she’s a professional tennis player for heaven’s sake. Devidze has shown well though. At this point, I think Jorja has risen to the point that her and Whitwell make up the clear #2 women’s doubles team. I also am regretting going off my board with Andrea/Dylan. In a thin women’s field, I should have gone with Barr/Ansboury who have a bronze floor with upside for more. Andrea/Dylan have a dark horse shot at gold but in a deeper mixed field they could very well be off the podium altogether too. More variance.
(12) Susannah Barr / Sarah Ansboury (Slim)
(13) Yu-Chieh Hsieh (Slim)
(14) Austin Gridley / Rob Cassidy (Gritty)
(15) Susannah Barr / Zane Navratil (Gritty)
(16) Gabriel Joseph (Slim)
(17) Kyle Yates / DJ Young (Slim)
Slim – I have a hard time not seeing Sarah Ansboury and Susannah Barr on the podium this weekend. Yu-Chieh Hsieh is still just figuring out pickleball, but the raw talent and athleticism is there. Gabe Joseph’s results having been a little disappointing of late, but in a mens singles field that isn’t quite as deep as many of late, I like him to podium. DJ Young and Kyle Yates could really surprise some people this weekend. I like the partnership fit.
Gritty – I flip-flopped when I made my board between Austin/Rob and Kyle/DJ. I went with Austin/Rob because of DJ. Life is like a box of chocolates with him. You never know what you’re going to get. Kyle is playing really well though and I could regret this one. I went with Barr/Navratil in mixed as Barr is such a strong mixed player and Zane has had some steady results this year when paired with higher end women.
(18) Chuck Taylor / Todd Fought (Gritty)
(19) Christine McGrath / Cierra Gayten-Leach (Gritty)
(20) Etta Wright / Jaci Reynolds (Slim)
(21) Amanda Hendry (Slim)
(22) Jenny Bond (Gritty)
(23) John Cincola (Gritty)
Slim – Etta Wright is a newcomer on the scene, but we may very quickly adding her name to the list of top Utah pros. Jaci Reynolds is back on the pro scene this year after after some time off. Amanda Hendry has been playing a lot of pickleball lately. This will be her seventh tournament this year.
Gritty – Taylor/Fought got a bronze a couple of PPAs ago and I wanted to go with their upside versus the known in Altaf/Zane. Legacy pro Christine McGrath actually has an outside shot at a podium. Gayten-Leach took Lucy/Callie to the brink last weekend and is talent in spite of her awkward style. Keep in mind when we do these drafts players go higher because we fill up at other spots. We both had women’s singles spots available so Jenny Bond goes here. I then start filling up my men’s singles with Cincola who I had higher than Gabe Joseph by a hair anyway.
(24) Altaf Merchant / Zane Navratil (Slim)
(25) Jorja Johnson / John Cincola (Slim)
(26) Dylan Frazier (Gritty)
(27) Jack Foster (Gritty)
(28) Sarah Ansboury / Rafa Hewett (Slim)
(29) Christa Gecheva (Slim)
(30) Rachel Rettger / Amanda Hendry (Gritty)
Slim – Getting the veteran partnership of Altaf Merchant and Zane Navratil with the 24th pick feels like great value. The partnership of fast rising Jorja Johnson and John Cincola is intriguing with Jorja playing so well. The partnership of Rafa Hewett and Sarah Ansboury often flies under the radar but they are always a legitimate threat.
Gritty – The only other person I considered for a top 6 slot in singles was Rafa Hewett, but I can’t recall the last podium Rafa had. Dylan Frazier has had some back trouble recently but getting him at this point in the draft is great value. Foster hasn’t had a podium in a while either, but he has enough juice to get hot in this field to find his way to a podium too. The final women’s spot could have been Gehrke/Uhl, but I go with the upside that we have been seeing with Rettger.
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