Nationals has already started with the amateurs and split pro age brackets. It’s a shame that none of the split pro matches were streamed. That stuff is fun to watch and it seems if you are going to put those events on, you should be trying to get that content out to the masses in some capacity. It also sounds like there are a lot of very unhappy amateur tournament participants to start the week, which isn’t all that surprising considering the incredibly massive number of people registered to play.
The center court streaming looks like it is going to be on the new Pickleball TV and Tennis Channel – here is the link to Pickleball TV that you should be able to watch on your computer. Remember, the schedule is very different for the pro events. The tournament starts today (Wednesday) and one round from all 5 pro draws will be played each day until the finals on Sunday.
We are all tied up going into the final two months of the year for fantasy. Gritty won the toss and elected to pick first.
(1) Anna Leigh Waters / Ben Johns (Gritty)
(2) Anna Leigh Waters / Catherine Parenteau (Slim)
(3) Anna Leigh Waters (Slim)
(4) Ben Johns / Collin Johns (Gritty)
(5) Ben Johns (Gritty)
Gritty – It is hard to see anyone out there that’s going to take down Anna Leigh and Ben in mixed. They are both going to be very focused at the biggest event of the year I expect. Ben has more competition than Anna Leigh for his gold medals but, again, I have to like a focused Ben coming into Nationals where he is going to want to show out at his best.
Slim – Anna Leigh is still yet to lose in women’s doubles this year, and in this below average women’s doubles field this week, it is tough to see that happening. Anna Leigh also is a pretty safe bet in singles.
(6) JW Johnson / Dylan Frazier (Slim)
(7) Catherine Parenteau (Slim)
(8) Anna Bright / Jade Kawamoto (Gritty)
(9) Christian Alshon / Riley Newman (Gritty)
(10) Parris Todd / Riley Newman (Slim)
(11) Anna Bright / James Ignatowich (Slim)
Gritty – Anna Bright and Jade Kawamoto are the best of the rest in this surprisingly soft women’s doubles field. There’s a number of key players missing from this field like Jackie Kawamoto, Lea Jansen and Lucy Kovalova, and then you have other less ideal partnerships in this draw. Big opportunity for Bright/Kawamoto, who finally get to be on the same side of the net together. Raise your hand if you’re excited for Alshon/Newman to play a tour event after their success at MLP. Okay, everyone’s hand is raised.
Slim – The question for JW and Dylan is whether they can really start closing the gap on the Johns brothers. They seem to have extended the gap over the rest of the field this year with the Riley/Matt breakup. Catherine Parenteau has been the second best women’s singles player this year.
(12) Tyson McGuffin (Gritty)
(13) Connor Garnett (Gritty)
(14) Lacy Schneemann / Vivienne David (Slim)
(15) Megan Fudge (Slim)
(16) Jorja Johnson / JW Johnson (Gritty)
(17) Federico Staksrud / Pablo Tellez (Gritty)
Gritty – We did this draft without seeing any draws but these picks look even better with Tyson as the #2 seed and Garnett as the #3 seed, avoiding Ben’s side of the bracket. Jorja/JW are not a consistent pair but they might be the only mixed team that has gold medal upside without needing another team to beat ALW/Ben. Federico/Pablo have been such a consistent team this year. An argument could be made for Tyson/Andrei in this spot, but I’ll take the tried and tested team to hopefully breakthrough.
Slim – Lacy Scheeman and Vivienne David fit well together, and in a women’s doubles field missing some top players, and with some odd partnerships, I would expect to see them on the podium. Megan Fudge has really upped her singles game of late on the APP tour so it will be interesting to see if that can translate against the PPA players.
(18) Tyson McGuffin / Catherine Parenteau (Slim)
(19) Callie Smith / Allyce Jones (Slim)
(20) Salome Devidze (Gritty)
(21) Jessie Irvine / Parris Todd (Gritty)
(22) Christian Alshon (Slim)
(23) Andrei Daescu / Tyson McGuffin (Slim)
Gritty – Salome Devidze continues to be very consistent as a women’s pro singles player. The draw sets up nicely for her to have a bronze medal run, which is as much as I could have hoped for. Jessie/Parris are not the best fitting team but they shouldn’t be a free win for anyone either. Maybe they can surprise?
Slim – Tyson McGuffin and Catherine Parenteau, may not be the most exciting team, but you know what you are going to get and they should be in contention for a podium. Callie Smith and Allyce Jones have been disappointing in in MLP, but they are one of the veteran teams this weekend. Chrisitan Alshon has not been getting singles results of late, but I am hoping for a post MLP MVP bump. Andrei and Tyson, again may not be flashy, but this team will be a very tough out.
(24) Dominique Schaefer (Gritty)
(25) Hurricane Tyra Black / Christian Alshon (Gritty)
(26) Hunter Johnson (Slim)
(27) Thomas Wilson / Julian Arnold (Slim)
(28) Mary Brascia / Maggie Brascia (Gritty)
(29) Judit Castillo (Gritty)
(30) Quang Duong (Gritty)
Gritty – Dominique Schaefer has surely been putting in the work and grinding her game since the last time she played a tournament. Let’s see if all that hard work on the court translates to another PPA medal. Is the post-MLP championship bump a real thing? If Tyra/Christian somehow find their way to a podium, I’m calling it a thing. It leaves David/Wilson undrafted, which could be foolhardy.
The Brascia’s normally lack some upside as a pair but I decided to go with them on the chance their familiarity allows them to sneak through this soft draw. They are a sneaky good doubles team. I was very close to drafting Fudge/Barr or Valdes/Rohrabacher – Glozman/Stratman were in the running as well. Judit Castillo gets the nod for my final pick leaving Mary Brascia and Jorja Johnson on the board.
Slim – Hunter Johnson remains a talented singles player even if he hasn’t been playing as much singles of late. Quang Duong has gotten some tough PPA singles draws, but he is both extremely talented and continuing to improve, so he is great value with the last pick. JW Johnson is left on the board, which actually was just an oversight on my part.
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