APP Tour Mesa Open – Live Random Thoughts

Hope you didn’t forget about the APP just yet. Lots of interesting partnerships and action set to come your way. The APP has not changed their no streaming on Thursday or Friday of their tournaments. Gender doubles and Championship will be shown on YouTube despite the fact no schedule was posted on any of their social media that we could see. That means you will be able to watch some APP action, if you are so inclined.

Sunday, April 2nd – Championship Sunday

8:00 pm EST – Big weekend for Daescu getting two golds. He and Barr lose the 2 out of 3 then get the game to 15 in convincing fashion. Barr still looks rock solid in mixed and she has more tricky offense than she used to by the looks of it. Barr said this was her first APP gold in about a year and a half, which was surprising to hear a little bit but considering the talent last year it probably shouldn’t be. Tough day for Hunter Johnson as he had two opportunities to double dip and loses 15-6 and 15-2 in those chances.

6:50 pm EST – That women’s final was one of the sloppiest gold medal matches you will ever see. It looked like the wind was wreaking some havoc but so many missed returns and thirds. Not that many dink rallies. Jardim/Todd come out on top over two against Fudge/Barr.

5:10 pm EST – It is so weird how these games can go. Daescu/Teoni got rocked 11-0 in the 3rd game and then rock the Johnson’s back, 15-2 in the game to 15. First pro gold medal for Pesa Teoni and you don’t see too many guys that happy about a win than Teoni was after that one. Good win for a guy who has been playing quite a while and has slowly worked his way up the ranks to being able to win like this. Of course, Daescu is the best man in this field and that is helpful.

4:36 pm EST – It was a grind of a women’s singles match as Megan Fudge went 3 games with Devidze, falling to the favored player and it looked like she ran out of gas in the game to 15. Impressive for Devidze to grind her way back to gold after losing early, winning some tight backdraw matches and then ultimately taking gold. She continues her strong singles run.

Hunter Johnson reigned supreme in his matchup today as he won in straight games and has shown that he is the cream of the APP singles crop.

Saturday, April 1st – Doubles

10:30 pm EST – The Johnson’s are back into Championship Sunday. They got the rematch against Sobek/Keenum and ended figuring things out after losing the first game. It will be interesting to see what they do against another unknown team in Teoni/Daescu as the Johnson’s together you sort of don’t know what you’re going to get.

Bates/Rettger lost to Rane/Truong in the winner’s side but have been able to get back to bronze getting wins against Nobler/Oshiro and having the benefit of a Truong/Rane retirement on the loser’s side. We’ll see how they do against Barr/Fudge.

8:42 pm EST – This APP is giving big opportunities to lesser known players. Pesa Teoni is getting a guaranteed pro silver after getting the winners bracket finals. Daescu/Teoni beat Sobek/Keenum, who have to be the biggest surprise of the weekend as they beat the Johnson brothers earlier. Sobek putting himself on notice. It will be DeHeart/Nunnery or the Johnson’s in the bronze match.

Barr/Fudge and Jardim/Todd are playing the winners bracket final. They clearly look like the best two teams on the day.

4:55 pm EST – Have a weekend, William Sobek. Two strong days already and he now has 3 wins on the day, including a 3-game win against Stefan Auvergne and Brendon Long with his partner Christian Keenum. Sobek/Keenum will now face the Johnson twins, who had a close win 11-8 in the third to start the day but got through their second round match up with a fair amount of ease. The other men’s semi-final has Ryler DeHeart/Rob Nunnery playing Andrei Daescu/Pesa Teoni, which could be very interesting as one of these teams has an opportunity to punch a ticket for a guaranteed podium.

Nothing too much to note on the women’s side so far. Rianna Vlades/Hurricina Black lost 5 and 3 to Simone/Parris after getting past their first round match. That’s about it so far.

2:15 pm EST – No April Fools, we have streaming the next two days for the APP event in Mesa. Both tours have gone to the pro qualifiers above a certain threshold in the men’s and mixed brackets and, shockingly, we didn’t see Larry Fitzgerald/Wes Burrows make it out of the qualifier. They lost 15-3. At least the APP did not give them a free pass to the main draw. These qualifiers are tough, even at the APP level, and nothing is free to get to that main draw anymore. The early results from the men’s main draw are starting to trickle in. We’ll see if we get the Johnson twins vs. Auvergne/Long in one side of the winner’s bracket for the semi-finals. The other storyline to montior is how Pesa Teoni and Andrei Daescu will fare together.

Friday, March 31st – Mixed

10:40 pm EST – A long day with some weird results ends up with the best two teams heading to Sunday. Barr/Daescu won the winners bracket final in a tight 3 gamer and will get a rematch with Todd/Johnson. Daescu is the best male in this mixed field and it is hard to know where the difference is between Barr and Todd in mixed right now. Rane/Long get a bronze but have to give big ups to Sobek/Phillips on a 4th place finish pretty much out of nowhere. William Sobek made it to the semis in singles yesterday so this has been a strong weekend for him.

8:10 pm EST – Barr/Daescu and Todd/Johnson is now happening. Parris and Hunter went to 3 games against Fudge/Nunnery, but the last two games did not appear all that competitive. These were the two best teams going into it and that appears to be the case today.

Quite a day for Phillips/Sobek. A bunch of good wins all around for them as they go to play for bronze after beating Fudge/Nunnery. A disappointing day, conversely, for Oshiro/Auvergne, who clearly figured out Bohnert/Livornese Jr. winning 15-1, but then lost to Rane/Long 15-9. Rane/Long will have a real good shot at a podium.

6:04 pm EST – The semi-finals are happening right now with Barr/Daescu playing Rane/Long. Sobek/Phillips gave some to Rane/Long, losing 9 and 9, while Barr/Daescu have cruised to the semis. The other semi-final features Todd/Hunter Johnson vs. Fudge/Nunnery. This is a good day so far for Fudge/Nunnery in their second time as partners. It will be interesting to see if they can give Todd/Johnson any trouble. They didn’t seem to have too much trouble with Bohnert/Livornese Jr.

Tough day for some Challenger players out in the backdraw. Bates/DeHeart going down 16-14 to Christa Gecheva/Kyle Koszuta for a 1-2 day. Rachel Rettger went 0-2 with Craig Johnson, losing 18-16 to Johnny Goldberg/Castillo Gargallo. Oshiro/Auvergne are still working their way through the backdraw as they got back Hurricane Black/Dave Carvalho, 15-11. Not a bad day from Black and current top 25 men’s player Dave Carvalho. Top 25 according to James Ignatowich, that is.

4:09 pm EST – We got through the qualifiers and the draw started at 2pm EST. The most surprising loss of the day so far is Ryler DeHeart and Shelby Bates losing 2 and 6 to Alli Phillips/William Sobek. Not a great looking loss for a first time partnership. Rachel Rettger/Craig Johnson lost 15-13 in the third to Taufa/Venkatesan. Not a loss that is really on the radar but Johnson is equal to the men’s player that Venkatesan is probably.

The other surprising loss comes from Bobbi Oshiro/Stefan Auvergne as they go down 7 and 8 to Livornese Jr./Riley Bohnert. We highlighted Riley in a newsletter and Livornese gets some singles results, but no way did we expect they would lose this one. The consistency of the non-top players is so hard to peg.

11:00 am EST – They only have the draw for the mixed pro qualifier up so we have no idea what the main draw looks like. We actually don’t even know what time mixed starts at. It’s good though. Surely the casual fans will take more time than the two people writing this blog did to find out when events start and what is happening with them.

Thursday, March 30th – Singles

11:46 pm EST – Some weird results on what appeared to be a very windy day in Mesa. The less experienced Parris Todd losing in the semi-finals to Megan Fudge and then big timing the back draw when there is a full come around to gold is not a good sign for someone we have concerns about with their work ethic. Megan Fudge got the retirement of Simone Jardim to get a free path to the gold after she got by Amanda Hendry. We wonder what the value of Simone playing singles is. She has shown she is Premier level and doesn’t need to play singles to show owners confidence that she should be drafted. Anyway, amazing bronze performance from her.

Salome Devidze will play Megan Fudge in the gold and will have to hope it is less windy on Sunday in that stadium court. Devidze had a long grind in the backdraw getting close wins over Bobbi Oshiro (16-14) and Marcela Hones (18-16). Credit to Salome the line queen for fighting that backdraw.

Hunter Johnson is in another final. It seems he is on another level and we have to think he might not have the same motivation when playing his twin brother. He did not drop a game all day and will play Eduardo Irizarry, who also grinded a long backdraw and some close matches to overcome Medina Alvarez 5 and 7 in the bronze match. Another new face but Irizarry has been playing quite a few of these pro events.

7:13 pm EST – Talk about an upset. Simone Jardim takes down Salome Devidze in two games, 11-8 and 12-10. She took down the line call queen without a stream, which is quite a feat in itself. Jardim clearly still has it and it shows how far the women’s game has to go that Jardim is beating a top 5 women’s singles player. Too bad there is no streaming for us to see it.

6:50 pm EST – There was a rain delay earlier this morning so that is why the matches have been so late to start. It also looks like a windy day from some brief Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez live stream footage on his Instagram, who is now in the winners bracket semis after beating Jack Foster.

The biggest surprise of the morning was Yates Johnson losing 3 and 7 to Michael Lloyd, an up-and-coming player from Arizona, who then proceeded to lose to another up-and-comer from Arizona, Nico Montoya. It is a surprising loss from Yates who has been fairly consistent in these APP fields this year. Yates has not gotten near the results of Hunter on his own in singles or mixed, and this is another situation differentiating them. It is hard to predict these draws. William Sobek wins in 3 games over Andrei Daescu, who had beaten Rob Nunnery in his first round match. It’s not clear if that is a complete unexpected result, but Daescu has to be favored over Sobek in that matchup.

On the women’s side, it is still early going. Bobbi Oshiro got past Carolina Mayorga Perry and the draw has been pretty much going as expected. Some close second round matches with Arielle Butler besting Alix Truong, 12-10 in the third, and Amanda Hendry getting past D.C. teammate, Shelby Bates, 11-8 in the third.

16 thoughts on “APP Tour Mesa Open – Live Random Thoughts

  • March 30, 2023 at 7:26 pm

    I would love to know what type of game Simone was playing to beat Salome. Was it cat and mouse at the net, baseline banging away drives, or what. But looks like Simone was fired up beating all comers until she had to retire. Salome wasn’t warmed up on that first round and that likely played into the results.

    • April 1, 2023 at 11:15 am

      Probably keep the ball in play in that wind but who knows.

  • March 30, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you for your time and posting. Do you think APP will be around, as a major touring company, in three years? I give them a 50/50. And just thought I would mention, the Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 season schedule is out. 🙂

    • April 1, 2023 at 11:16 am

      It is hard to say. They are slowly losing their visibility. And thanks, David. We’ll see about the CNPL as well.

  • April 1, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    The biggest surprise with Sobek is he is sponsored by Adidas and using that paddle. Maybe he needs to show Hewett how to make the paddle work. But it’s more Sobek’s quick movements around the court that is getting him the wins. I watched the match with Daescu and Teoni. Well done to get the first game off them. 8-11, 11-2, 11-6

  • April 1, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    You are completely underrating Keenum here. Sobek has played very well, but Keenum was arguably the better player against both Long/Auvergne & Johnson/Johnson.

    • April 3, 2023 at 2:02 pm

      I think its more about how they complement one another and why the pairing makes sense. I also watched them a couple of their matcces and was impressed on how well they communicated and seemed to have a strategy. On the contrary, I also watched Nunnery and DeHeart play and they just did not seem to gel together – was two dominant players paired together with each wanting to take the lead. Also, watched Long/Stefan and while both are good players, do not think that pairing works great either. Finally, was also impressed with Montoya’s doubles game – fantastic singles player but also played well in doubles and while they came up short, if you give him the right partner, his athleticism could prove to be an X factor

      • April 4, 2023 at 8:03 am

        Interesting comments. On Montoya, he is clearly very talented but he is going to have to calm his game down a lot to be effective at the pro level on a regular basis most likely.

  • April 2, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    WS GOLD: Fudge had a meltdown in the tiebreak. I didn’t see the preceding 2/3 match. But Fudge’s balls were going out or in the net. The match had active line judges. 2 on each sideline and 1 on each baseline for a total of 6. At the serve, the judges leaned it and you could see them closely watching those lines. They didn’t hesitate to call out. I haven’t seen that in a very long time. Fudge complained to the ref about something. Announcers seemed to think it was the ball. You could see Fudge wipe her eye when down big – maybe a tear? She was clearly frustrated at this huge turn of events. I truly expected to see her forfeit. But she managed to regain her composure and plow through. Score was 14-2 but Salome’s errors gave Megan a chance to get to 9! Salome finally got that last point. 15-9 with a paddle tap.

    I did a rewind to see what had gone on in the 2/3 match. Salome had a big lead 7-0 in game 2 and Fudge made a comeback. Near end of game 2, Fudge stopped play thinking the ball was out. But no line judge called it out. It should have been match point for Salome but they did a replay. Audience seemed to think the ball was out. Megan refused to paddle tap at the end of games 2 and 3 but did game 1 (sorta) – which Megan won. At the end of the 2/3 match, Salome gestured to her for the tap but Megan just shook her head. The crowd boo’ed. Wow. Devidze 7-11, 11-8, 11-7.

    • April 2, 2023 at 7:00 pm

      Megan Fudge is not a player that will give up, at least not that we would expect. Devidze screwed Fudge over in Daytona in singles on match point. No doubt she should have some bad blood with her

  • April 2, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    MD Gold: Daescu/Teoni win game 1 11-7 but the Johnsons take game 2 11-9 then completely run away with game 3 11-0. Daescu/Teoni made a ton of errors. Neither seemed to be as aggressive with speed-ups in game 3. We get the tiebreak. Daescu/Teoni got back their aggression and take an early lead 5-0. Lots of great points! 8-2 at the end change. And they run away with the 2nd half. 15-2! Just fantastic run for Teoni. You could even say “the monkey’s off my back” but Teoni is way too humble.

    • April 3, 2023 at 2:16 pm

      This was a very fun match to be able to watch in person. When Teoni settled in, he really proved to be the difference here. Daescu is such a presence and with his length/size its hard to keep him out of the game but Teoni was consistent and allowed for them to take their shots and be aggressive.

      Looking forward to competing/watching at Red Rock and will be interesting to see how the differences in quality and gameplay is different from APP vs PPA.

  • April 4, 2023 at 10:22 pm

    Why is this post still at the top of the blog?


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