Since we seem to have some more readers recently, we wanted to let you know what we try to do for these tournaments. We won’t be able to manage it all year but we do a live blog or live random thoughts when we anticipate not being as available. It’s simply some thoughts throughout the weekend on the tournament as it happens in real time.
For those who missed it, fantasy draft preview is here.
Sunday, January 16th – Championship Sunday
7:17 pm EST (Gritty) – It looked like it might be a match after game one but Jessie/Jay took over after losing only 2 points the rest of the way. Clearly the class of this field and showing Vivienne and Dekel they have some work to do if they want to compete at that elite level in mixed.
6:20 pm EST (Gritty) – It’s a big day for a couple of first time gold medalists. After a really tight match in the men’s bronze where either team could have come out on top, Gridley/JW handled Dawson/Smith with a fair amount of ease. Gridley showed he can hang at this higher level and you have to expect he’ll be getting some better partnerships in the latter half of 2022.
Dekel Bar gets to a mixed final with Vivienne David. Dekel was due for some results and his no PPA signing will look a lot better if he can get mixed results. A silver is a good weekend even if he and David can’t pull it out. The one championship Sunday match doesn’t hurt Dekel for energy level in mixed. Can’t forget about Vivienne David who has a couple of gold medal matches to her name this weekend. Solidfying her elite right sided player status here.
3:11 pm EST (Gritty) – The Irina resurgence is for real and I am accepting that. 15-5 after losing the 2 out of 3 in straights. David is rolling. Might be a very good APP year for David.
Zane and Frazier just blew game one against Dawson/Smith, which is another blown lead for Zane. How is he doing mentally after all that? Will be hard to come back from all that.
1:17 pm EST (Slim)- John Cincola with a massive gold medal over Zane. John had to battle off match points, in the third game to take it to the game to 15 where he seemed to have all the momentum. It’s a huge win for John who seems to have the best one hand spin serve currently in the pro ranks, outside of Morgan Evans.
In the women’s gold Irina Tereschenko took down Jorja Johnson, but Jorja is continuing to show she more than belongs in the pro ranks.
11:00 am EST (Gritty) – Or medal match Sunday, whatever it is being called. It is funny how matchups work. JW worked Jay Devilliers on Thursday, only to lose easily to Cincola as that is 4 games in a row dropped to Cincola this tourney for JW. Then with the women’s bronze, Allyce Jones played Jorja Johnson tough but could not come away with a victory. A couple of moral victory losses this weekend as we’ll see if Jorja can give Irina more of a match in the gold.
Saturday, January 15th – Doubles
7:27 pm EST (Slim) – Irina Tereschenko’s resurgence and Vivienne Davis’s rise continues, as they beat Lea Jansen and Lauren Stratman 11-5, 11-4 to advance to the gold medal match. In the bronze medal match Lauren and Lea will play Andrea Koop and Jessie Irvine who beat Lee Whitwell and Jorja Johnson, 15-10 to reach the bronze medal match.
5:15 pm EST (Gritty) – More APP upsets as Irvine/Koop are down to the bronze with a tight, tight loss to David/Tereschenko. Irina continues her very strong play at the end of 2021 and maybe we wrote her off a little too soon. They almost had a big meltdown as they were up 10-4 in the third only to win 14-12. Gutty win.
3:07 pm EST (Gritty) – Men’s winner final is set with JW/Gridley winning in 3 over Navratil/Frazier. JW’s stock continues to rise along with Gridley in this first time partnership. Nsekpong and the Unicorn probably with the biggest upset now over Dekel and Adam who don’t even get in the money here. If Dekel wants to grind APP’s, he can’t be losing matches like that.
Women’s semi is about as expected. Barr and Jones beat Ansboury/Carr, but we saw that going either way.
1:35 pm EST (Gritty) – First big upset of the day. Stone/Bar lose to Dawson/Smith. Big props to Spencer Smith and Callan Dawson who were up 7-5 in game 2 and lost 11-7. You figure the favorite is going to come out on top but they battled to get the win in 3. It’s a team that is going to make you earn it and they sure did here.
Also, Shelton and the DUPR sponsores, Brandon Nsekpong, a first time partnership take down Cassidy/Cincola 15-11. Very quality win. Nsekpong is a bit awkward and that’s a lot of awkwardness for a matchup.
11:50 am EST (Gritty) – Early results are in with the live stream just getting going. Lange/Gabrielsen lost to Dawson/Spencer Smith in what looked to be a tight 3 games and that’s one you would have expected to be close.
Friday, January 14th – Mixed
5:06 pm EST (Gritty) – With streaming issues all day, we didn’t get to see the winners bracket final but Jessie/Jay did come out on top in 2 games not surprisingly.
Stratman and Frazier will get another crack at David/Bar on Sunday in the bronze after beating Whitwell/JW, which was still a nice run for Whitwell. Also, a quick note that I missed earlier on Allyce Jones who again had a couple of nice wins in the backdraw with Spencer Smith. She continues to play well in mixed and her Susannah Barr partnership could be intriguing tomorrow.
3:50 pm EST (Gritty) – Dekel and Vivienne are off to the winners final to play Jay and Jessie after knocking Stratman/Frazier. It was looking grim for Bar/David after game 1 but Bar played like a monster in the next 2 games. It’s an ongoing wonder why he can’t bring that level in mixed more frequently. David is such a steady partner for him that you keep thinking it has to happen. Is today the day?
1:55 pm EST (Gritty) – The live stream has not been up yet today due to internet outage for the entire area, not just at the facility. Hopefully it will be up live soon.
1:10 pm EST (Gritty) – The semi-finals are set and the one result to mention is Stratman/Frazier beatinf Jansen/Navratil 4 and 5. That’s a rough loss not because of the loss itself but how badly it was. Maybe it’s Zane’s serve in part or just one of those games. Hard to say without watching though.
11:00 am EST (Gritty) – Early goings here with one noteworthy result. Carr/Stone lose to Jorja Johnson and Callan Dawson. Needless to say, this could be shaping up to be a longgggg year for Carr/Stone.
Thursday, January 13th – Singles
4:30 pm EST (Gritty) – The day is done already as the APP is playing both bronze and gold matches on Sunday, which I don’t understand. It’s a lot of matches for one day and it’s also going to be a severe disadvantage for anyone playing multiple matches. Someone like JW could be in multiple bronze and gold matches on their 4th tournament day, and it would be exhausting to play so many games on the final day. I don’t get it.
Anyway, JW beat Jay Devilliers quite handily and there’s some things I’m not liking about Jay’s singles game. He’s not into any cat and mouse, and I feel like his flat one-hander is more problematic against guys like JW who volley so well. JW will face Cincola in the bronze, who couldn’t get it going against Zane.
One last comment. I get Vivienne David is out on singles but I don’t get why. If she’s not going to be a PPA player, go out in these tiny women’s fields and win some free money.
2:55 pm EST (Gritty) – Not surprising that Allyce Jones is in the bronze and it won’t be a big shock to see her back against Irina in the final even though Jorja is favored.
For the men, Zane handled Jack Foster in 3 and his serve definitely is looking better as the day goes on, perhaps getting more comfortable with it. JW just took down Gabe Joseph fairly comfortably and Lauren McLaughlin noted on the broadcast Joseph not having the time to dedicate to pickle that these other guys do with not being a full time pro. That could be part of what has stagnated his play in the past 6 months as these other players go 100% pro pickle.
12:45 pm EST (Gritty) – Big story is Cincola who is off to the winners final after beating JW in 2. Cincola has an all around game in singles despite being over 40 and that serve is particularly helpful when no one else can do anything comparable – he is better on the right side with the serve. Foster will play Navratil in the semis and it seems Foster comes out better when he has less to play for. With Zane’s serve looking like nothing, that match could go either way. Also, we have to talk seriously about taking Gabe Joseph out of talks as a top tier guy. He has not won in a while.
Irina and Jorja are playing the women’s winners final, but Irina barely squeaked by Allyce Jones to get there. This could be somewhat interesting.
11:30 am EST (Gritty) – Lots going on already on singles day. Most notably John Cincola with an upset over Jay Devilliers in round two, going 3 games. Cincola was a borderline drafted player for our fantasy preview and it is not the first time he has beaten Jay I’m pretty certain (maybe Delray last year but not going to look it up). Regardless, big win for Cincola and not a good start to the year for Devilliers who did not have a strong finish to 2021. Cincola does have a dirty one-hand spin serve.
The #2 big thing from the early matches is that Zane does not have nearly the serve he did last year. It makes what Morgan Evans does look even more impressive as you have to think Zane has been playing around with this for quite a while. He gets the win in his first match over Hayden Patriquin after a close 15-13 game 1, but I’m not bullish on the long-term returns for Zane.
Also, what’s going on with Sherry? I pick him in the draft and he retires first match. Too much partying in Scottsdale? Come on!