APP Tour Houston Open – Live-ish Random Thoughts

We’re still giving some thoughts here and there, but it remains difficult to give thoughts throughout the day when there is no streaming on the weekdays.

Saturday, October 28th – Doubles

3:00 pm EST – It is very clear that outside of the top teams at the APP there really is nothing settled. Scarpa/Dow won a silver medal at the last event and lost first round to Spencer Lanier/Jason Bock in 2 games. It was probably a mistake to leave Fought/Stone undrafted, and they made it all the way to the winners semi-final where they played Nunnery/Daescu close, losing 9 and 8. Cincola/Munro are playing Long/Auvergne after handling the Johnson twins with ease.

On the women’s side, Barr/Fudge and Glozman/Truong haven’t been pushed but we’re seeing some notable results of non-challenger players taking down challenger women. Phillips/Bates lost to Gecheva/Rettger in two fairly tight ones. Castillo/Radzikowska getting beat 7 and 4 by Lee Whitwell/Amanda Hendry is a very surprising result. These quarter-final matches on the women’s side have some very interesting matchups. We’ll have to see how expected the results are.

6:33 pm EST – Mari Humberg/Tammy Emmrich vs. Alix Truong/Vivian Glozman in the winners bracket final. Just like we all thought. Humberg is getting massive spin from that ProXR paddle she is using and Tammy Emmrich having a heck of a weekend as they won in two close games over Gecheva/Rettger. Truong/Glozman continue their strong work as they beat Grambeau/Oshiro 12-10 and 11-6. Oshiro/Grambeau had chances in game 1 but couldn’t close the deal. An interesting bad day was from Harris/Ackerman as they lost pretty handily to Humberg/Emmrich and then went down 15-5 to Radzikowska/Castillo. Notably, Barr/Fudge making their way through the backdraw and we’d have to expect they get back to the bronze medal match. 

We’ll call this winners bracket final going to Nunnery/Daescu. As of writing this, they are up 9-1 in game 1 over Auvergne/Long. It’s another podium for Long/Auvergne, but Munro/Cincola gave them all they could handle in the semi-final (11-8 in the third). 3 guys who know each other very well in rec practice in Austin, Munro is the newcomer getting good results this weekend. They go down to Martinez Vich/Yates though, who are making quite the run in the backdraw. They play Fought/Stone to go to bronze. Lots of fresh names and faces in contention in these draws over the weekend.

1:53 am EST – Barr/Fudge being pushed more in recent events. The competition is getting better out there. They win in 3 over Humberg/Emmrich but a pretty tight one. Long road back to the gold match as Barr will have two double dip opportunities on Sunday.

Good day for Martinez Vich/Yates as they tune up for MLP. They get a strong bronze medal in a field that was very open for a podium. Auvergne/Long will get another shot at Nunnery/Daescu as they have found their stride in more recent events.

Friday, October 27th – Mixed

11:05 am EST – We didn’t get in thoughts yesterday so we have to start the day by talking about Megan Fudge’s pointed calling out of Salome Devidze. Without specifically naming Devidze, Fudge announced she was no longer playing singles on the APP until they do something about the terrible line calling from opponents, specifically Salome.

No streaming can make for easy hooking on the line calls and we’ll have to trust Fudge’s word here about Salome’s brutal line calling that may have cost her. Pickleball Brackets shows her loss at 11-8 in the third to Salome and she retired from the bronze match that gave Judit Castillo a free pass to Sunday. When the APP changes the line call rules, they can call it the Salome Rule.

On the men’s side yesterday, Quang Duong beat Hunter Johnson and Jaume Martinez Vich en route to Championship Sunday. It is fun to see these guys in scenarios where they don’t have to play a top PPA player in early rounds. Hunter doesn’t podium and we had a surprise Sunday for Ronan Camron, who beat Martinez Vich in two close games in the bronze. That has to be a disappointing day for Jaume.

2:55 pm EST – As is generally the case, some interesting results. Less chalk at these APPs early on in the day. John Cincola and Tammy Emmrich have a couple of good wins as they beat Yates Johnson/Emily Ackerman from the Challenger runner-up Las Vegas Night Owls. They took that in two tight ones 11-9 and 12-10, and then went on to roll through Lee Whitwell/Rob Nunnery (0, 2). It’s amazing how fast things can change for someone like Lee Whitwell. Kelsey Grambeau/Jaume Martinez Vich, possibly previewing an NYC Hustlers mixed squad for next week, gave Barr/Daescu a run for their money, losing 11-8, 9-11 and 11-0. They played a tight one against Kawka/Raugust to get there (11-7 in the third) and are getting in some needed pre-MLP reps.

Allison Harris has only played one match today but winning 5 and 5 with Austin Gridley over Martin Emmrich/Mari Humberg is noteworthy. Rachel Rettger/Brendon Long over Alli Phillips/Todd Fought is not shocking but it probably wasn’t expected either. Christa Gecheva/Will Howells with a couple of good wins to start their day too.

5:25 pm EST – Not chalky at all for this APP. Susannah/Andrei go down in the quarter-finals to Austin Gridley/Allison Harris (13-11 in the third). The ascent of Allison Harris continues as they will face Jack Munro/Megan Fudge in one of the winners bracket semi-finals. It continues to be a shame that we miss seeing these matches. Munro/Fudge beat Gecheva/Howells. If they can get to the final, that will be consecutive podiums for Megan Fudge in mixed with lesser known partners. The other semi-final features CJ Klinger/Ewa Radzikowska playing Cincola/Tammy Emmrich. Cincola keeps showing up at these APPs and we’ll be curious to see how that match goes.

7:30 pm EST – What a little winners bracket final we have going on. Jack Munro/Megan Fudge vs. Tammy Emmrich/John Cincola. Easy to say in hindsight, but Cincola/Emmrich were both on the cusp of getting picked. They have both been getting better results so this is not entirely out of nowhere. They won 12-10 in the third of what appears to be a 3-game barn burner against Klinger/Radzikowska, who subsequently retired. On the other hand, Munro/Fudge got by Gridley/Harris with ease, 11-7 and 11-2. The Gridler getting to a semi-final is one of his better results and we’ll see whether they can regroup in the backdraw at all to potentially make a run at that bronze medal. 

Daescu/Barr are still going but that’s after a close 15-13 win over Oshiro/DeHeart. Anything other than a shot at a gold medal match will be unsatisfactory for Barr/Daescu, who have been so good all year. Ackerman/Yates Johnson getting as far as they have after a first round win is commendable. Yates is not usually a backdraw guy, but a different partnership can help the motivation there.

11:45 pm EST – Long day in Houston. Big day for Cincola and Emmrich getting to Championship Sunday in a tight winners bracket final over Fudge/Munro. 12-10 in the third Fudge/Munro then lose the rematch to Barr/Daescu in heartbreaking fashion. Injuries? Long year/fatigue? The gap has been closing on Barr/Daescu even though they will be the favorites to double dip on Sunday.

2 thoughts on “APP Tour Houston Open – Live-ish Random Thoughts

  • October 27, 2023 at 8:41 am

    Surprised that rule isn’t in place already, especially with no video. Even there is video I think that the team who made the bad call should lose a challenge or timeout if it is their 2nd or 3rd offense, or something like that.

    • October 27, 2023 at 11:54 am

      There definitely should be at this point. They can’t keep having this issue come up. It seems they are concerned about refs being incorrect like with Roscoe Bellamy against Medina Alvarez, but the ramifications for not implementing something are likely worse


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