APP Tour Beer City Open – Live Random Thoughts
Here we’ll have some live thoughts throughout the weekend from Grand Rapids, Michigan at the tournament run by Andrea Koop. For our fantasy draft preview, check it here.
Saturday July 23 – Gender Doubles
8:30 pm EST- Simone Jardim and Andrea Koop take gold over Parris Todd and Susannah Barr, 11-9, 11-0 in the gold medal match. Koop/Jardim has been the dominant women’s team on the APP this year when they play together. It was also an impressive showing on the day for Todd/Barr.
On the men’s side it has been a huge day for Travis Rettenmaier and Gabriel Tardio as they have reached the bronze medal match, defeating Auvergne/Arnold 15-13, after beating Navratil/Young 16-14. It is often such a fine line in these loser’s brackets between a bad day and a great day. In this field, this a huge podium for both Tardio and Rettenmaier, and despite their significant age gap, they are two guys, whose games are definitely on the rise. I also have to think that Rettenmaier’s athletic and competitive experience, is a good influence for Tardio.
5:10 pm EST – The women’s bronze medal match is set with Tereschenko/Stratman taking on Todd/Barr with Koop and Jardim waiting in the gold. Unfortunately in the winner’s semi-final against Koop and Jardim, Jade Kawamoto’s wrist got injured from friendly fire with Jackie’s paddle hitting her and the Kawamotos were not able to finish the day. I had been curious to see how they would do today. Hopefully, Jade is alright.
On the men’s side of the bracket, JW and Dekel are waiting in the winner’s bracket final to play the winner of Frazier/Taylor versus Navratil/Young. A notable, actors earlier in the draw was Tardio/Rettenmaier knocking off Luca/Daescu. The evolution of pickleball continues to happen very quickly.
Friday, July 22nd – Mixed
10:30 pm EST – Koop and Navratil were able to work their way back to the gold after a tough semis loss as Koop got some sister revenge in the bronze. They barely made it through with an 18-16 win to go to bronze against Kawamoto and Cassidy. It’s another really good result for the pair as they gave JW and Simone a run for their money in the gold, ultimatey losing in 3.
4:35 pm EST – Let’s get into some action today. The least surprising thing is JW and Simone in the winners bracket final. They were pushed by Gridley and Barr, but they find themselves there after beating Dekel and Meg Charity easily. After barely winning their first match, Dekel and Charity have had a day getting through Kawamoto and Cassidy as well as Bright and Ignatowich. Dekel showing he can play mixed well?
One big surprise today has been Jorja and Dylan Frazier losing early to Bright and Ignatowich. It was 13-11 in the third but they were our #2 mixed team going into the day.
On the top side, it’s Remynse and Daescu with the day as they continue to be a good partnership together. Stratman/Arnold was the big win but also getting it over Oshiro/Long, who had a couple good wins themselves. Then in the sister matchup Maggie and Andrei get the best of Zane and Andrea, 11-9 in the third. What a day for those two.
Todd and Wilson had a rougher day than expected. They lose to Stratman/Arnold on the backside as Stratman/Arnold are going through still. The big surprise on the backside is Rettger and Rettenmaier getting a run in as they tuned up Bright/Ignatowich, 15-4.
Thursday, July 21st – Singles
1:25 an EST – Two close two game gold medal matches. Ignatowich over Zane is quite the day for him as he gets the best of Zane and his serve twice. We have commenters in the blog point this out but this is a guy who has been playing less than a year to come and make this noise in the sport. Salome Devidze and Parris Todd are both newcomers as well but Todd prevails as the favorite. Todd isn’t so much better than the firld but clearly a step above still.
7:27 pm EST – I have no clue why they are playing bronze medal matches to 15. Seems ridiculous for a higher end pro tournament unless rain is in thr forecast. Anyway, Zane gets back to the gold and will get another run against Ignatowich. If Iggy can pull this gold out, it would be a huge day for him. Obviously.
Salome got the better of Jorja and is playing Parris right now. It looks like Parris is on a different level at these events for the time being though.
6:30 pm EST – James Ignatowich gets the best of Federico in 3 tight games and he’s playing Zane in the winners bracket final. There is no Championship Sunday for the Beer City Open and with the late start today this will be going into the night. ESPN+ is where you can find the matches, if you are able to of course. Dylan Frazier didn’t come close against Zane but was able to beat Gabe Joseph, 15-5, and then narrowly lost to Federico, 17-15, to go to bronze. That’s a good day from Dylan regardless. JW Johnson lost to Gabe Joseph in a tight one so we don’t see JW near a podium yet again. It’s also another podium for Federico.
Salome Devidze gets revenge against Irina, 15-4, after losing to her earlier today. Devidze continues to be an unassuming force in these APP women’s singles fields. We do forget that she is younger than Irina in age and she is not faltering later in the days as she was earlier in the year. She should have a very good shot to beat Jorja Johnson.
3:44 pm EST – People want to anoint JW as the #1 player but he can’t be losing consistently to guys other than Ben Johns. It’s understandable that he may still be fatigued but that’s a scheduling thing he will have to sort out. He almost lost to Rettenmaier and then loses to Ignatowich in 3. He could still come through the back draw, of course. While the talent wasn’t quite the same when Ben was on his massive winning streak, it puts his streak in perspective as to how hard it is to never lose a match.
Speaking of not losing, Federico Staksrud coming through with another solid run so far. He is into the semi-finals to face Ignatowich after getting through Gabe Joseph in a tough one, 11-8, 12-10. Dylan Frazier continuing his good singles run as he’ll face Zane after beating John Cincola in two games.
On the women’s side, Parris Todd is over Jorja Johnson, 11-0 and 12-10, trying to show that you do not need to come to the net to win in singles. Salome will face Irina for the chance to go to bronze and that person will have a very good shot to get to the gold match.
2:07 pm EST – Jorja Johnson got by Jenna Hessert quite easily and will face Parris Todd in the final. It’s a soft draw for Jorja but you do wonder if a couple of weeks off is very beneficial for her energy overall. From the loser’s side, Mary Brascia has a rough day as she goes down to Lauren Stratman, 15-8. Salome Devidze got the best of Anna Bright, 16-14, and gets the benefit of a Hessert withdrawal, which should be good from a fatigue standpoint.
JW almost lost to Florida Smash teammate, Travis Rettenmaier, as he wins 11-8 in the third. The other result to discuss is Dylan Frazier over Julian Arnold, 11-5 and 11-9. Frazier’s singles results had been declining but this is a continuation of more good results from the LA Open.
11:20 am EST – A unique day with the women going first in pro singles and a unique draw. Those World Pickleball Rankings are problematic when it comes to giving a decent draw as well. 5 of our 6 fantasy picks were in the top half of the draw and the only one who was on the bottom side, Anna Bright, loses to Jenna Hessert. Hessert beat Jorja a few weeks ago and that is a notable win for her.
Salome Devidze played Mary Brascia and just tuned up her 11-4, 11-2. The win is not surprising but the way it was done is. Irina ended up beating Salome and it just goes to show how tough that half of the draw is today. Parris versus Irina to go to the winners bracket final there.
44 thoughts on “APP Tour Beer City Open – Live Random Thoughts”
Any comments on how boring is to watch Navratil in singles due to his serve?
Missed returns, 90% of his third shots are hit from inside the baseline, Rallies rarely go past the 5th shot and there is no strategy, just hit the ball as hard as possible to the open space. Killing the singles game for the viewer.
His singles game is not super pleasing to watch just banging from the back but that is how you can play. It will be interesting to see how he fares once the serve is gone
with all due respect to AG, the “austin gridley is better at pickleball than James ignatowich” takes that were pervasive here are going to look laughable wrong as the year progresses. Analysts are supposed to be “analytical” and dare I say forward thinking. Unfortunately the analysis of this trade was firmly rooted in the “present”.
We’ll still say that MLP is about present not the future so I don’t think it’s fully correct to say we are wrongly living in the present when the analysis is about the present there. James clearly has big long term upside
I wish Ben Johns would play either Frederico or James. That would give me a better idea if PB singles is moving in the direction of Tennis or the older-school style of playing at the net is still the best.
Also I would bet decent money that Ben Johns might start forgoing singles in the near future with all this new talent coming in…
They’ll be at TOC in August so we’ll see. JW not signed up for it. So it’ll be up to Staksrud and James I to give Ben some new competition.
That will be fun to see
That is quite possible
i have to agree with you on those Anointing JW. It was way premature. The singles game is in such a state of flux with new players coming in on a weekly basis, with more on the way. JW confidence, something I was focused on weeks ago, is not where it needs to be. If a mid level college tennis player from Vandy can come in and reach the upper echelon of the sport inside of a year, stay tuned. Can’t wait to see ALL the players at the same venue. Unfortunately, if you are a singles player in the PPA, especially one that plays only half the events, you aren’t testing yourself against the best in the sport. And that could be a problem for you down the road.
Agree with all of this
At this point it is starting to feel like the PPA is paying the top pros not to play pickleball at a time where there’s an influx of people starting to watch to see if its as fun to watch as it is to play. Their hiatus has been pretty long and pickleball isn’t that physically demanding of a sport, It would be fun to see the entire pickleball world competing in these events, particularly MLP, but the PPA insisted on prematurely locking up their slice of the pie instead of allowing it to grow first.
No doubt about that. Still seems summer is a weird time to have a hiatus
Pure speculation, but I wonder if the crows want more of their summer free for clinics/camps/etc, which are guaranteed income instead of hoping that they place top 3. In my area, these things mostly happen in summer because gym rentals are so expensive and tough to get in the Winter
That’s a good point here. They do have room to do those things
Playing bronze to 15 may have been time constraints on the broadcast station. Better to go to 15 than not be able to see the finish of the gold – which has happened before on both ESPN and Tennis Channel.
I wonder if JW is just a little bored. Not with his opponents but it’s gotta feel like the same ole grind over and over sometimes. Ben Johns mentioned once that he had gotten to a point where he was bored — then something changed – maybe it was the PPA.
Good points about time constraints. JW could be bored for sure with the grind. It’s hard to focus every week, which is why he should probably cut that schedule down
Check out the Facebook video of the gold indoors. When they were in winners bracket final, Zane got James on a couple spin serves. In the gold match, it looked like James knew where the ball was spinning – every single time. He was even preparing his paddle prematurely once he saw Zane’s toss. Think he missed 1 or 2 returns the entire match. He played Zane very smartly both matches.
Thanks for the insightful comment. We used it in the post if you didn’t see
anna and james beat Dylan and Jora.
the future is NOW
Since the future is now, I watched the Charity/Bar vs Bright/Ignatowich match – which Charity/Bar won in three. Agree that Ignatowich is a really good player, but he has a ways to go with patience and consistency for doubles. IMO singles has become mini-tennis so it makes sense that tennis players can come in and have success very quickly. Doubles is a very different game. Ignatowich has the hand skills and a wicked little backhand, but he needs more experience versus better players to improve – how many times did Charity erne him today? He will no doubt get better, but elevating him to the top at this point is premature. Let’s see how the next six months go – how he adjusts his game, and how other players decide to play him – and then we can properly evaluate his “place” in the pickleball hierarchy.
we will know more in the not too distant future. place your bets.
We’ll see very soon as they will be playing more together
This is something I would agree with. It’s that bell curve of improvement for players and it goes quick to start
This may have come too early after their next match
Putting the finals behind a paywall when they’re trying to find their audience and grow a sport is a really bad decision.
Continue to agree with this
Can anyone tell what paddle JW is using right now?
The broadcast mentioned a new Franklin Paddle. However, I don’t see it mentioned anywhere on the Franklin website.
We have heard Franklin is coming out with a new carbon fibre paddle
I guess you guys are not going to routinely provide the scores of matches you comment on. Unfortunate, and so we are left with the shitshow that is pbt.com, if we decide to go to the trouble. (I usually don’t.) I get that this is a hobby and not your job (yet), but I think it would be a service to your readers to provide basic factual information, followed by your fine commentary. You might even draw more eyeballs.
To — old —
The PBT website is horrible but it gives you the advantage of seeing the full bracket. NML could post the scores but wouldn’t you get more out of seeing the full bracket than hearing a score. You only have to look it up at the start of the day then refresh your screen on the bracket page through-out the day to get updated scored and team progress as they work their path through to the end.
Honesty I think it is a lot to expect the nml puckleball blog to also post all the scores and brackets. I would rather them do a better job at analysis than spend all their time updating scoring.
PBtournaments is a terrible website. It reminds me of the worldwide web circa 2005; however it takes me only a few minutes to find what I’m looking for- not much a burden. Also, they were recently bought by a billionaire so maybe things will change soon on the website.
We know you have commented that but it’s a lot for us when we have limited time for updates unfortunately and constantly adding scores becomes too much. You are probably right but we are finding it too difficult for every match
Ignatowich – Sobek defeat Cassidy,Rob-Yates,Kyle… future is now
That’s a good win but not necessarily a future is now win
I’m honestly surprised Dekel and JW won Gold 11-8, 11-2. In their previous tournaments together, it looked like they had no chemistry. Gritty made a good choice after all in choosing them in first round. Sorry, Gritty! My bad thinking that was a mistake.
Bracket says By retirement. Did Dylan or Chuck start cramping?
Haha well this was a much softer field than the PPA they faced. Didn’t see what happened here but JW/Dekel have so much talent tough to beat
To -young- err, -Jan-
This will be moot as soon as ESPN starts covering pb as an actual sport, not as a less remunerative version of cornhole. When do you think, a year or two? When that day arrives, boxscores and stats will be readily available, and one would not have to ask two articulate British Columbians to provide scores in order to save time tracking them down in the “newspaper of record” for pb: pbt.com. I get your point that the information is available elsewhere. Its just too much trouble on a busy summer weekend.
I thought today’s MLP were better matches than anything I saw on the regular YT broadcast for the tournament. Looks like MLP/DUPR changed up when the opponent team’s rally scoring freezes. Now at 18 or 19 if the other team reaches 20. They heavily promoted the Waterfall format at Newport Beach.
We did not see this one. Interesting to change up rally freeze
Towards the end of gold medal match against ignatowich, Zane said, “does anyone have a spare Joola paddle? I can’t win with a Franklin” pretty sure everyone at the venue heard, and many on live stream heard as well. What does Franklin think about this??
Maybe Zane will need to use the new Franklin carbon fiber for singles. And Christopher Yu of Pickleball Studio will need to a spin test on it sooner rather than later (like he’s done with Joola, CRBN, 002, and many others).
Curious to see what comes of that
They do have a carbon fibre paddle coming out but probably don’t love it