The PPA is back with the PPA Championships from Las Vegas. People are very happy to make a trip out of Las Vegas and toss their money into a pro draw as we have some massive “pro” draws for this event. This is one of the bigger PPA events of the year but it is genuinely hard to distinguish between events despite attempts to create the Majors distinction by the PPA. Interestingly, the PPA continues to push this pickleball TV channel thing they have going on with the Tennis Channel as the Commish himself, Connor Pardoe, posted about a new TV studio earlier in the week.
Slim is now 2 up on the year in fantasy and this could be a huge swing week as we head into the final events of the year. Slim won the toss and elected to pick first.
(1) Anna Leigh Waters / Ben Johns (Slim)
(2) Anna Leigh Waters / Catherine Parenteau (Gritty)
(3) Anna Leigh Waters (Gritty)
(4) Ben Johns / Collin Johns (Slim)
(5) Ben Johns (Slim)
Slim – Anna Leigh in women’s doubles is probably the safer pick here but I feel like she is almost due for a loss, so I went with ALW and Ben,
Gritty – Anna Leigh in her 2 remaining events were the obvious picks here. She has lost twice in singles and has not lost in women’s doubles in 2023.
(6) Catherine Parenteau (Gritty)
(7) JW Johnson / Dylan Frazier (Gritty)
(8) Jessie Irvine / Riley Newman (Slim)
(9) Lea Jansen / Anna Bright (Slim)
(10) Federico Staksrud (Gritty)
(11) Tyson McGuffin (Gritty)
Slim – Riley and Jessie are the second best mixed team, but they have struggled to challenge Ben and Anna Leigh. Lea and Anna on paper are a good team, but it will be very interesting to see how they play together. They did have a good moneyball run together at Beer City.
Gritty – Catherine might be a slight reach at this spot considering Tyra is in the draw. We have only seen Tyra do it once so far, though. JW/Dylan are the closest thing to a lock for that silver medal without Riley Newman/Matt Wright partnering anymore. Federico and Tyson make sense back to back in this field. Both are playing so well and are exhibiting so much consistency.
(12) Hurricane Tyra Black (Slim)
(13) Anna Bright / James Ignatowich (Slim)
(14) Riley Newman / AJ Koller (Gritty)
(15) Lucy Kovalova / Callie Smith (Gritty)
(16) Matt Wright / James Ignatowich (Slim)
(17) Meghan Dizon / Lauren Stratman (Slim)
Slim – We have not seen Tyra play singles in a while. The big question is whether she can bring the same level that she did when she beat Anna Leigh on a consistent basis. Anna and James have not made a championship Sunday in a little while. I’ll be curious to see who plays on the right and left with Matt and James, or if they play straight up. I expect James to be on the left to start.
Gritty – Riley and AJ have not put it together in a couple of tournaments, but that upside is always there for the Takeya boys. When I’m looking for someone to make a Sunday, I had them slightly ahead of James/Matt even though that is another intriguing team. Lucy/Callie here is solely a draw based pick. The pair keep getting good draws and can still find medals on the right day. To her credit, Callie is making gradual strides with that backhand.
(18) Pablo Tellez / Federico Staksrud (Gritty)
(19) Jackie Kawamoto / Rachel Rohrbacher (Gritty)
(20) Connor Garnett (Slim)
(21) JW Johnson (Slim)
(22) Yana Newell (Gritty)
(23) Catherine Parenteau / Tyson McGuffin (Gritty)
Slim – Connor and JW both have gold medal potential in men’s singles so getting them with the 20th and 21st pick is great value.
Gritty – Pablo/Fed had match points against Ben/Collin last tournament. Jackie/Rachel are both coming off of outstanding MLP events. They have a crummy draw with Allyce/Etta and then on ALW’s half of the bracket, but this is such an interesting team so I wanted to pick them. With the only spot weren’t full at this point in the draft being in women’s singles, I go with Yana Newell who has some recent medals. Catherine/Tyson in mixed are always in the running for a podium these days.
(24) Etta Wright / Allyce Jones (Slim)
(25) Dominique Schaefer (Slim)
(26) Meghan Dizon / Julian Arnold (Gritty)
(27) Vivienne David / Thomas Wilson (Gritty)
(28) Dekel Bar / DJ Young (Slim)
(29) Mary Brascia (Slim)
(30) Christian Alshon (Gritty)
Slim – Etta and Alyce are a very intriguing partnership and I would have been higher on them if they were on the other side of the draw. It will be interesting to see how Dominique Schaefer does in a PPA draw after her recent APP failure to podium.
Gritty – Meghan/Julian are an intriguing duo. I’m still wondering if Meghan is working on her way back from that concussion and isn’t fully in form yet. This will be a good test for Arnold/Dizon. Vivienne/Thomas are on the ALW half of the bracket, but they are playing great pickleball these days. Christian Alshon’s singles results have been on the decline lately. Alshon still has the talent to beat the best players out there.
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