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.