Live thoughts throughout the weekend on the tournament. Check out the fantasy draft preview for our take on the field
Sunday, January 23rd – Medal Match Sunday
9:35 pm EST (Gritty) – Revenge for Dekel from MLP? Either way, it’s 2 good mixed performances from Dekel in a row. More stuff coming in takeaways tomorrow.
6:28 pm EST (Gritty) – Dekel and Adam have to use the game to 15 to get it but they do against Andrei and Eden. That’s a top level team for Andrei/Eden to be right there with. Dekel now has his chance to go for double gold in mixed.
5:22 pm EST (Gritty) – Tight match but Simone/Koop prove to be too much. The Kawamoto’s probably need to find some more weapons. I wonder if Jackie can also start rolling her backhand dinks at some point. If her and Jade both did that consistently, it would make things very difficult at the kitchen line for opposing teams.
2:56 pm EST (Gritty) – Whitwell/Johnson made a handful of errors to give the 2nd game away to Jade Kawamoto/Frazier, but it really felt like they were in control of this whole match. They won 11-3 in the third. Whitwell is a steady force, especially with these APP draws, when she is paired with an elite partner in either mixed or women’s.
1:56 pm EST (Gritty) – After blowing a 10-6 lead to close out the match in game 2, Lica/Daescu rolled 11-1 in the third against Frazier/Navratil. I liked Lica/Daescu this tourney but not as much as Cassidy/Frazier. I probably underestimated Lica. Despite his game not evolving as quickly in the past 6-8 months, pair him with Daescu and the elite hands and patience make him so formidable as a beta player.
12:00 pm EST (Gritty) – The Kawamoto’s are on to the gold. A lot of long points but they prevail ober Ansboury/Esquivel. The Kawamoto’s are not weapon heavy. Rather, they are steady, provide great defence and have quick hands. This makes them very tough for a team without elite weapons to beat.
11:04 am EST (Gritty) – It’s a Johnson double gold in singles. Jorja gets bronze after Andrea Koop pulled out after game 1 ans JW fights hard with Zane Navratil to win in 3. JW noted the side was important in Boca but he has really had Zane’s number in recent matches.
Saturday, January 22nd – Mixed
8:53 pm EST (Gritty) – Jade Kawamoto and Dylan Frazier with a very solid win against Koop/Navratil to get into the bronze match Sunday. The Kawamoto’s are so impressive. Curious if the PPA even made contact with them.
6:02 pm EST (Gritty) – Dekel and Vivienne dominate 11-4, 11-2 en route to the gold medal match. If Dekel can keep this up in mixed with these softer APP fields, it could be a lucrative year for the big man.
5:35 pm EST (Gritty) – It’s going to be David/Bar versus Whitwell/JW in the winner’s bracket final. The draw was fairly kind to JW/Whitwell but to be able to go through Esquivel/Yates then getting Carr/Auvergne in straights is solid. David/Bar continue their strong run and we should expect to see them in the gold on Sunday.
3:30 pm EST (Gritty) – Some to catch up on with a late rain delay start. Corrine Carr major win over old friend Simone Jardim with her partner Stefan Auvergene. Stefan had a good win over Frazier/Cassidy in men’s yesterday but beating Jardim/Gabrielsen is huge. Is Simone healthy? She withdrew from the backdraw.
Whitwell/JW nice looking easy win kind of over Esquivel/Yates. JW is monstrous. Kawamoto’s both looking good in mixed, but David/Bar and Koop/Navratil are playing each other to go to the semis now.
Friday, January 21st – Doubles
7:45 pm EST (Gritty) – Both Frazier/Cassidy and Gridley/Yates with strong runs today after surprising early losses to play each other to go to bronze. Frazier/Cassidy prevail and they will go onto face Lica/Daescu in the bronze match on Sunday.
The Kawamoto’s are in the bronze as well with a 16-14 win over Carr/David as they prove they fully belong in the pro ranks. Tight loss then a tight win later on. Strong mental fortitude from the stoic pair.
6:04 pm EST (Gritty) – Jardim/Koop barely squeak through the Kawamoto’s in 3 very close games, including 14-12 in the third. It is still unclear to me how much the Kawamoto’s will play this year, which is why I didn’t take them as breakthrough players this year. I continue to believe they are for real and this seems to show it. Moral victories aren’t fun but this fits as a moral victory.
5:26 pm EST (Gritty) – Rain delays and trying to schedule a bunch of matches on center court equal a long day. There were long rallies as well in both men’s semis. Despite it being 4 and 6, Lica and Daescu had a grind of a match against JW/Gabrielsen. Ultimately, Gabrielsen just didn’t hold up against Andrei as well as Eden did against JW. Not the best matchup for JW/Wes. Gabrielsen/JW have followed that up with a loss to Ryler DeHeart (again, name to watch out for) and Joey Farias 15-13 – rough showing for Gabrielsen after JW won with Gridley last week.
Dekel/Adam had quite the scare against Zane/Altaf as they battled hard for 2 games before cruising a bit in the third. Dekel and Adam were being outplayed and were simply making more mistakes for a good chunk of the match. That should be a good matchup with Andrei/Eden.
Esquivel/Ansboury beat Carr/David in 2, which is not that surprising or not surprising at all depending on who you ask. A lot of times these matchups come down to who is the worst player out there and right now that’s Corrine Carr.
3:25 pm EST (Gritty) – Another more minor upset. Yates/Gridley lose to Greg Dow/Anderson Scarp, who are a very steady team that get wins at the pro level but this is a breakthrough of sorts for them. Has to be a disappointing loss for Gridley after his win with JW last weekend, but Yates just isn’t the same player as JW. We didn’t get to watch this match though.
On the women’s side, the Kawamoto’s beat Whitwell/Johnson. The Kawamoto’s are so steady and both of us had them ranked higher on our draft boards than Whitwell/Johnson. Close match though nonetheless.
1:55 pm EST (Gritty) – Wow, Brandon Nsekpong and Stefan Auvergne beat Frazier/Cassidy in 2 games. Nsekpong and Auvergne have decent results together but that’s just a ginormous win for them. Nsekpong had a good weekend last week with Shelton. It’s just showing again that the early rounds are harder and harder in these pro draws.
1:15 pm EST (Gritty) – There has been a 2 hour rain delay so everything has been pushed back. Some of the first round matches are still finishing. Keep an eye out that the Youtube stream ends at 4:00 pm EST and the stream starts on ESPN+ at 5:00 pm EST.
Thursday, January 20th – Singles
4:27 pm EST (Gritty) – Waiting on one final result between Pablo Tellez and John Cincola to see who plays in the bronze Sunday. Pablo with a huge day as he’s always been just a guy who gets some wins but never has been a medal threat until today, getting some revenge over Jack Foster 16-14 in the back draw.
JW beat Zane after going down 6-0 in the first. He commented after the match the conditions in Boca are helpful as the ball doesn’t really move and I interpret that as not being good for Zane’s almost exclusive ground stroke predicated game.
Andrea Koop won over Jorja Johnson. The stream cut out (two weeks in a row for the APP not ideal) so couldn’t watch most of this match. Johnson faces Hseih in the bronze which could be interesting. I still haven’t actually watched Hseih play singles.
3:05 pm EST (Gritty) – JW barely gets one over Cincola. He was down 6-0 at the switch in the third and takes it 11-7. Gutty win for JW who is probably less phased than most by a situation like that. Cincola is just not a great matchup for JW clearly. The winners final with Zane should be good and we’ll see how my choice to go JW over Zane works out.
1:50 pm EST (Gritty) – I think this women’s day is a reminder these top tennis players don’t necessarily translate right away. They usually don’t like to come to the net. Although Hseih has had a strong showing so far, Amanda Hendry smoked Laura Bryan and Jorja Johnson is beating Megan Fudge quite easily. The transition isn’t quite as simple, especially if you don’t come to the net.
Foster beat Scarpa easily it looks like. Sherry had a rough day losing to Tellez in the back draw. Is the mental training not enough anymore?
12:40 pm EST (Gritty) – We are still early in the day and lots of pickleball to be played. Jack Foster was on the verge of a rough loss before rolling off 4 straight points against Pablo Tellez down 10-8 in the 2nd of a bit of a chippy match. Foster seems to be better when there are less expectations on him but it could be a catalyst to help him win a close match like that.
Anderson Scarpa who gets results, but not podiums, starts the day with a couple of long wins, including over Ryan Sherry. Scarpa was just training with Tyson on the west coast and now he’s in Florida playing this tournament. A bit of a breakout possibly for him. He will play Foster now for a shot at Zane Navratil.