APP Tour Atlanta Metro Open – Random Thoughts

It’s a busy weekend for the two of us so getting a live blog is close to impossible. We’re going to just post some random thoughts here from the tournament as there’s already some fascinating day 1 results.

Sunday, September 19th – Singles

1:34 pm EST (Gritty) – Ben playing 3 games against random players does not bode super well but we have seen this movie before. It just feels a bit different when he has been actually losing recently.

Jack Foster continues to be close but no cigar losing at 12-10 and 11-8 in the second and third against JW Johnson. He will have to breakthrough at somw point I would think. John Cincola easily handling Dylan Frazier is a nice win too as Cincola continues to assert he is a force on any given day.

Saturday, September 18th – Gender Doubles

10:40 pm EST (Gritty) – That’s a very good silver for JW and Dylan. Their path was a bit easier with Adam Stone on the other side rather than Pat Smith, but that’s still really solid for them. It sounds like we’ll be seeing more of this partnership in 2022 and I like the ceiling of the team.

Koop and Stratman get the gold after having to play the game to 15. I’m sure Carr and Ansboury are not happy as Carr basically called Jansen and Esquivel out publicly for not wanting to play that match. It’s only one side of the story and it appears there’s a bit more to this one, but clearly there’s some animosity in this.

6:18 pm EST (Gritty) – A lot of crazy stuff going on as Carr and Ansboury were winning going into a rain delay but have to forfeit after Carr left the venue and didn’t make it back in time. I think the right thing to do is so hard in these situations. It sounds like extra time was given but it’s a no win really as the team waiting is going to be pissed and the team that is late wants more time, especially if it’s something out of their control. Very fact dependent for the right answer, if there even is one. The one thing is that it is not good for the tourney not to have a bronze match.

What isn’t good is they put out a notice that with the rain they have to go to the covered courts and can’t stream from there. I get lack resources, weather out of control, at least you get the matches in. But not a great look when you are supposed to be on ESPN plus. Although, is there really much of a difference in viewership with this change? Just kidding…well, not really.

5:11 pm EST (Gritty) – I think the two bigger stories from today are good days from Zane and Altaf, and Carr/Ansboury. The convincing 15-2 win over the Rob’s is a good look for Zane and Altaf, and they continue their solid run. Navratil’s doubles game appears to be on the right trajectory, especially after his big W with Koop in mixed yesterday.

Carr and Ansboury are a solid team, and they have beaten Lea Jansen and Michelle Esquivel, then gone 12-10, 12-10 against Koop and Stratman. It was a mistake that I knew I made when I took Barr and Whitwell over them. They are solid without big weapons but that’s enough in this field to make noise.

Friday, September 17th – Mixed Doubles

9:53 pm EST (Gritty) – It’s curious what is going on with Ben Johns. Stratman would seem to be far more than good enough for Ben to walk to a gold yet they lost in 2 to Koop/Navratil then lost in 3 to Jay and Lea. It’s a very quality W from Lea and Jay, but this is still weird. That’s another week without a gold medal match for Ben. Is he hurt? Bored? Teams figuring out what to do against him finally? Other teams just being better? Just not playing well?l Ben basically refuses to talk about his losses on his podcast, unlike Tyson, so we won’t get the answer from him. Whatever it is, this didn’t seem fathomable a couple of months ago.

6:30 pm EST (Gritty) – Apparently USA Pickleball is calling this their third major of the year so there’s that. But what about today? Barr and Cassidy were my #3 team and go 0-2 today, once again demonstrating how hard it is to be consistently good week in and week out.

Koop and Navratil having a day so far. Taking down Jansen/Devilliers is one thing but then Stratman/Johns. Both in straight games. Navratil is continuing the momentum from Chicago and these are the biggest wins for Koop in recent tournaments for her where she has had inconsistent results. I still would expect only a silver here for this team but I had them off the podium to start the day.

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