APP Tour New Jersey Open – Live Random Thoughts

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We are returning to regularly scheduled programming this weekend for the APP. A reminder for those interested that the PPA has their Skechers Invitational, which shows up on our TV as “Pickleball Skechers Summer Championship” when we went to record it because we both still have cable somehow (4pm to 6pm EST on Saturday). Check our Fantasy Draft Preview for all you need to know about this APP tourney too. This is a tier 1 event so the APP will have their “Medal Match Sunday”.

Sunday, August 14th – Championship Sunday

5:05 pm EST – Dekel and JW get the gold in 3 against Dylan and Kyle. Yates/Frazier proved to be quite formidable, which is to be expected from those two together. At the same time, Dekel and JW are also not the truly dominant force it seemed like on paper they could be. It may simply be a matter of stylistic fit not being there or a matter of time to get there. Whatever it is, they are still a really good team but it doesn’t appear they are a team that could challenge a Ben/Collin or Riley/Matt, right now at least.

3:32 pm EST – Stratman/David take gold after losing a tight 2 out of 3 but getting the game to 15, 15-5. This is definitely one for the David can get it done with the right partners crowd. She finally has a more elite partnership and she gets a win. That has to feel good for Stratman too.

1:40 pm EST – Good fight from Dylan and Anna, but Simone/JW prove to be too much. Simone’s consistency and defence combined with JW being, well, JW is dominant in these APP fields.

12:06 pm EST – Salome Devidze sure makes it very difficult to root for her. In addition to the grunting she has added, she was back to her usual line cal antics against Jorja en route to her gold medal. She double dipped Jorja going straight games. It’s such a problem. They may need a challenge system at the APP for Salome. The live chat does not give her any benefit of the doubt anymore on these calls either. It’s very sad this happens and it’s too bad she’s a pretty good player.

JW does get round 1 of his triple crown, going 11-8 and 11-3 against Fed to get his first gold medal of the day. He’s the favorite to take all the matches he is in despite the amount of pickleball he has played this weekend.

Saturday, August 13th – Doubles

6:21 pm EST – Let’s try to get caught up here. The men’s side has the big surprise of the day, which is Rafa Hewett and Joey Farias getting into the bronze after a big run through the backdraw. They get the win over Eden and Andrei, 15-4, and are currently down a game to Frazier/Yates. A couple of 16-14 games in there for the you never know when he’s gonna podium Rafa Hewett.

For the women, it will be the expected teams getting into the gold after Lauren/Vivienne downed Anna/Jorja. Maggie and Susannah have found a bronze, and it goes all chalk for the women’s podium at least. Simone and Corrine also with a 4th place finish.

1:22 pm EST – JW and Dekel really haven’t found their stride as a truly dominant team. They now have JW stacked on the left instead of the other way around and we’ll see how the rest of the day goes, but they had really work to get through Arnold/Patriquin, 8-11, 11-4 and 11-7. It is interesting that simply putting together two alphas is tough and takes time as we saw with Riley and Matt. They will play Lica/Daescu in their semi-final.

After another 12-10 third game for Zane this weekend, this time coming out on top to beat Staksrud/Klinger, they are currently playing Yates and Frazier, who easily got through Ignatowich/Tardio but had to work against APP shootout champs Erik Forsythe and Charles Neufeldt, 11-9 and 12-10. Good day so far for Zane and Cincola as John does not have a ton of men’s results out there.

Remynse/Barr in 3 over Rebecca Ryan and Michelle Esquivel, who seem to be a tough out whenever they play together. It’ll be tough sledding against Stratman/David for Maggie and Susannah. Not much else of note for the women so far.

Friday, August 12th – Mixed

6:10 pm EST – Dylan and Anna end up going to the gold medal match on Sunday but not before being pushed pretty hard by DJ Young and Corrine Carr. It was a convincing 15-6 win for DJ/Corrine to get to the bronze and then after being up late in game 1, they were able to pull out game 2, 11-5, before dropping game 3, 11-3. This ain’t no fluke apparently as Corrine’s hands felt like they held up about as well as I have seen them all year. Maybe with the right partner, which looks to be DJ Young, she can still hold up at the higher end pro level to a degree, but this has been one of the more surprising success stories from a partnership standpoint all year. 

JW Johnson should be looking for a triple crown on Sunday as he’s got men’s with Dekel tomorrow. It depends on how the matches go for JW but that could be a very long Sunday. It’s a good problem to have for the Ben Johns, Anna Leigh Waters and JW Johnson’s of the world, but this is the downside of having all the gold medal matches on one day. It is near impossible to get the best out of those top players for all 3 matches if they happen to have that opportuinty. 

3:52 pm EST – Interesting mixed day so far despite the two best teams out there being in the winners bracket final – Simone/JW and Anna/Dylan. The backdraw has seen some interesting stuff with Hunter Johnson/Vivienne David having a strong run – those Johnson brothers have to be ones to watch for as Hunter showing he can hang in a high level partnership. The backdraw featured a grudge match of sorts between former partners Vivienne and Dekel. It’s unclear whether their split as partners was amicable but you have to guess any split is not completely amicable and they both probably wanted that match pretty badly even if they didn’t show it. Lee/Dekel end up coming out on top after a solid fight from Hunter and Vivienne.

On the other side of the losers bracket, Maggie/Andrei had a tough loss to Lee/Dekel and then lost to Carr/Young to be one game away from the bronze. Back to back really solid days for DJ/Corrine. Someone is going to come out of all this with a very happy bronze.

12:58 pm EST – DJ Young and Corrine Carr may be pickleball’s most fascinating mixed duo. Corrine Carr is basically not getting results with anyone right now, except for DJ Young. Corrine and DJ got one of the more surprising podiums of the year when they got bronze at NYC. Now, they take down Barr/Navratil in 3 close games ,11-8, 10-12 and 11-8. They get Bright/Frazier on Center Court and I’m no longer counting them out of anything. The DJ Young experience everyone! 

Whitwell/Bar got it done against Remynse/Daescu. Dekel got the win but one possible theory for Dekel’s volatility in mixed is how much court he takes. Dekel may take more court than anyone out there when he’s playing mixed, including Ben Johns. He’s probably not good enough nor does he need to take that much court. This is just a theory and we’re not convinced of it, but it is something to consider. 

11:20 am EST – In these big draws it can take a while to start getting anything notable in terms of results. Julian Arnold/Lauren Stratman almost had a tough early loss to Meredith Laughlin/Erik Forsythe, winning 12-10 in the third, and then they lost to Remynse/Daescu fairly handily. It’s hard to get a gauge on the couple. Sometimes they really do look lights out and other times their results are rather ordinary. Otherwise, everything is going pretty according to plan. JW/Simone should come out of their side of the bracket fairly easily and the question on the other side should be between Barr/Navratil and Bright/Frazier. It will be interesting to see if Vivienne David/Hunter Johnson can push Bright/Frazier at all – David continues to have underwhelming partners but we know tohse Johnson brothers are talented.

Thursday, August 11th – Singles

6:53 pm EST – Before this update, we want to make one thing clear. It appears the last two weeks there has been a Slim commenting in the Youtube streams with some strong opinions. We just noticed this today. It is not either of us. We rarely comment on Youtube and neither of us have separate accounts or names we comment on. Thanks for listening to the PSA!

Jorja Johnson having a day. You do wonder if she was just really exhausted the previous couple of months. There has been only one tournament leading up to New Jersey, which was Beer City, over the past number of weeks and Jorja may be a little refreshed. She got another tight, 3 game win over Anna Bright and now will have the rematch with Salome Devidze in the gold. Salome, who has added annoying grunting to her arsenal, steamrolled Anna Bright. Bright continues to have trouble later in these singles days and we don’t know whether that’s mental, physical or a combination of both. If live betting were in pickleball right now, don’t bet on Anna Bright towards the end of a long singles day.

On the men’s side, JW got the best of Federico in the winners bracket final in 3 games and there will be a rematch after Fed rolled through Cincola, 11-3, 11-3 in the bronze. That’s a strong bronze for Cincola who started the year off so strong but has had trouble finding podiums throughout the year. On the flip side, disappointing day for Zane who may have been mentally and physically exhausted going into the Cincola matchup, losing 15-9. Zane had that tough win against Frazier and then the brutal loss to Federico in the semi-finals. Cincola has had his number and knows Zane’s game so well from being drilling partners.

4:15 pm EST – Zane has really been playing with fire today and it burns him against Federico. He had a bunch of match points up 11-10 in the third and wasn’t able to close the deal. Staksrud wins in 3 tight games and 13-11 in the third. That’ll be another podium for Fed who will get a shot at JW who has played tight but had some trouble with in his time on the scene. That should be an interesting match. It’s a big back draw with so many players in the draw so it’s a haul for some of those players. The other Johnson’s, Hunter and Yates, have been making runs, especially Hunter from an early loss, and they will play each other after Hunter beat Dylan Frazier. Keep an eye out for CJ Klinger whose results continue to improve as well. Klinger is part of the wave of the young kids in that 16-ish age range who are getting a lot of pro wins. 

Jorja Johnson got her best win in a while, finding her way past Salome Devidze, 12-10 in the third. We’ll have to expect to see that matchup again in the bronze as Devidze is playing Amanda Hendry to go to bronze. Jorja’s singles results early in the year didn’t seem like an aberration so we’ll be curious to see how things shake out with that for the latter part of the year. 

2:37 pm EST – Incredible comeback from Zane Navratil. He was down 10-4 to Dylan Frazier in the third game and came back to roll off 8 straight points to win 12-10. Dylan’s singles game has really come along but he just couldn’t close the deal against Zane. Navratil has really gotten the better of Dylan and that has to be a tough pill to swallow for Dylan. For all you people out there who have blown big leads, it happens to everyone. Zane will now get Federico Staksrud in the winners semi-final to see who takes on JW Johnson. Johnson has not dropped a game with wins against Julian Arnold and John Cincola so far on the day. 

On the women’s side, it really does look like it will come down to those top 3 women today. Jorja Johnson and Salome Devidze are playing right now. The winner gets Anna Bright in the winners bracket final. It’s a bigger draw for the women than what we can see sometimes but the depth isn’t there. Rosie Johanson must have had other obligations but it would have been interesting to see her in this bracket as she is playing doubles on the weekend. 

11:55 am EST – We are early on in the day still as there was rain in the morning. Tough start for Gabe Tardio as he has a harsh 0-2 day losing to Yates Johnson and Jack Foster. How deep are these draws when those are you first two matches of the day? Tardio has so much talent but it does seem like consistency is still a work in progress. CJ Klinger beat Hunter Johnson, only notable as game 1 was 19-17. That’s quite a score for singles.

8 thoughts on “APP Tour New Jersey Open – Live Random Thoughts

  • August 11, 2022 at 4:14 pm

    I tuned in for the Navaratil/Staksrud show. Both players were showing their frustration – with themselves mainly. But Navratil got a little hot about a line call. Told Staksrud to watch the video. Then bet him $500. Staksrud then overturned his out call. The third game had me on the edge for sure when Navratil had game point multiple times and Staksrud s-l-o-w-l-y crept up and won it. (11-8,7-11,13-11)

    Very happy for Jorja’s great day!

    Didn’t realize there was going to be a championship Sunday.

  • August 11, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    Very minor quibble, but didn’t Jorja play at MLP last weekend between Beer City and NJ? Admittedly, that’s definitely not the grind of week-in, week-out singles draws that she was doing before the break.

  • August 12, 2022 at 9:47 am

    What’s the story behind Vivienne and Dekel not playing mixed together anymore? Just not getting the results they want or personal issues off the court? Could Dekel’s relationship with Vivienne’s sister be a factor?

  • August 12, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    Fastbreaker. I tuned in to Sketchers Invitational. If teams are 1-1 after 2nd game, they go to a fastbreaker. Each player gets a chance at serve. Everything is normal until 4rth player finishes as server. If game is tied at that point, then they play sudden death. They play one rally and whoever wins the rally, wins the match. So a third way to decide a winner counting the MLP and TNP (Tuesday night pb ™).

  • August 15, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Dekel doesn’t have the hand speed to be super elite. JW/Dylan is a formidable partnership on the same level with Ben/Colin or Riley/Matt.

    Also, Salome is a Public Relations nightmare. Someone with APP authority needs to do something. People will start to see this akin to a junior tennis tournament with all the nasty, absurdly horrible line calls.

    • August 16, 2022 at 9:08 pm

      JW and Dylan is close but not quite there in our view

      Salome is a nightmare. Someone needs to do something about her calls or just have challenges

  • August 15, 2022 at 4:01 pm

    jw wins easier with dylan on his right. same with zane. dylan is getting better too and also really good on the left now. jw and dek look like they are giving it a go for most of the rest of 2022. I assume jw and dylan will get back on track for next year. I could also see jw and ji team up a bit next year as well. has the makings of a scary partnership. if jw and dylan are getting hurt unwinding the stack, they can play straight up when receiving serve. lots of versatility there. i think jw df hands will prove to be a tough match in 2023 for the best teams in the ppa.

    • August 16, 2022 at 9:09 pm

      Dylan is a chameleon in how he can fill different roles. Him and DJ will be fun this weekend to see.

      You are James’ number 1 fan!


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