With a tier 1 event for the APP, we begin on a Thursday and will conclude with a Championship Sunday with the double elimination. From a fairness perspective, the double elimination is best as it negates the seeding issues for the most part. However, as we have stated before, the best of 5 Championship Sunday does create a different level of gravitas that seems to help these events. We like it. It may be something to think about going forward for the APP in some manner. It is also noteworthy these senior pro draws are the strongest we have seen all year. All the best seniors are in New York competing, which may make for some interesting results.
May 29th – Championship Sunday
6:55 pm EST – No ones fault but not the best finals day. 1 good match out of 5. Jardim/Koop rolled through Stratman and Todd. JW/Zane handled Lica/Daescu pretty well. And Koop/Navratil couldn’t give the Johnson’s too much trouble. Almost a triple crown for JW, which would have been extra impressive in such a deep field and the partners he had. It’ll be interesting to see how much more the Johnson’s team up as siblings with Jorja’s game on the rise. 2 golds and a silver for Zane too. Not a singles specialist! And Koop seems to be separating herself from the pack as she plays all the pickleball these days.
1:48 pm EST – We wanted to anoint a JW and Ben rivalry, but not sure how we can do that if Zane is going to keep beating JW. Zane gets the double dip against JW and there’s far more parity at the top of the men’s singles world than there was this time last year. I don’t know what happens when you level the playing field without that spin serve Zane has got dialed in but that doesn’t matter right now.
10:49 am EST – Parris Todd rolls Salome Devidze, which was not expected here after she had to work on Thursday to get to Championship Sunday. Big day for Parris again and she has a second match in doubles later today. She is legit.
Saturday, May 28th – Doubles
12:40 am EST – It’s been a busy personal day for us so no updates. We’ll give a little bit of a recap of the men’s and women’s day to finish the day though. It was a pretty damn weird day on the women’s side of the draw. The seeding continues to be difficult for Anna Bright where her and Oshiro had to play Jardim/Koop in their second match where they lost in 3 games. Oshiro/Bright, who slim picked to win the whole damn thing, then lost in the losers side to Tereschenko/Jorja Johnson – they had a rough day themselves losing a shocker to Monijca Paolicelli and Alix Truong. That was quite the day for Palicelli/Troung who then got the upset win over Megan Fudge and Rebecca Ryan.
Jardim/Koop made it to the gold and will face Lauren Stratman/Parris Todd on Sunday. Stratman/Todd almost beat them in the semi-finals. It really shows how well Parris Todd’s game is progressing. And it has to be encouraging for Lauren Stratman who has defected from the PPA – she nearly got a bronze in mixed with Julian Arnold and now she is playing in the NYC final for women’s doubles with a relative newcomer in Parris Todd. Talk about weekends. Corrine Carr with two bronzes. Back from the dead with Vivienne David in women’s this time around. Does that ever have to feel good for her?
For the men, Zane and JW steamrolled the competition today and will face Eden Lica/Andrei Daescu in the final. They did get a boost with Adam/Dekel having to withdraw but that’s still an impressive day. We can’t avoid talking about Zane’s doubles progression. It is another disappointing-ish day for Wilson/Koller who narrowly get edged out of a Championship Sunday appearance by Lica/Daescu. Frazier/DJ Young also a disappointing day losing out to Lica/Daescu who just are always dangerous.
However, all the defecting is starting to make more sense with MLP announcing a $1,000,000 prize pool for the 3 event MLP 2022 season today and a lot of guaranteed money there for the players. It is truly a money fight for these players and MLP is simply finding a different way to pay them without exclusivity – you have the Tuesday night pickleball that seems more like an excuse to pay these non-PPA players and now MLP is forking up huge dough.
Friday, May 27th – Mixed
11:30 pm EST – It’ll be the Johnsons vs Koop and Navratil in the finals, but not before a wild match to get to bronze that Carr and Young won over Stratman/Arnold 20-18. That’s got to feel good for Carr who has had a very tough year in 2022. The Johnsons will get a silver minimum and that’s really good for a strong mixed field. It’ll be tough against Koop and Navratil though.
7:20 pm EST – It is not exactly what we expected from a top 4. In a rain delay again, but the Johnsons are in that winners final against Koop/Navratil. Zane continues to bring a high level in doubles. Corrine Carr blast from the past with a big day as she is battling with DJ Young against Stratman/Arnold. Those two are a weapon loaded team. It also shows how good DJ can be bringing Corrine along for such a ride in a big NY field.
3:20 pm EST – Barr and Gridley win a really close one to get to the semi-finals against the Johnson siblings. That’s a strong day already for these two teams, one of which will get a medal for sure. Navratil and Koop are up 10-5 in the third but the skies have opened up with some rain. Tough time for a rain delay.
Fudge and DeHeart good run through the backdraw as the husband/wife tennis duo continue to improve. They get a good win over Rafa and Sarah Ansboury. Not a good day for Irina and AJ who lose 15-4 to Carr/Young – a bit surprising to see such a poor day for them.
11:55 am EST – The draw opened up a bit with Jardim/Frazier losing in straights to Remynse/Daescu. That upper half now has them going against Gridley/Barr. Not surprising they beat Tereschenko/Koller as those teams were very close going in but still an unexpected quarter there.
Thursday, May 26th – Singles
4:40 pm EST – JW over Fed in 3. JW seemed to make a more concerted effort to play some cat and mouse with Fed, particularly in game 3. It seems that is an area that Federico has improved in but is not fully comfortable, although it’s not as easy to assess when we’re talking about JW being the opponent. On the loser’s side, Zane over James Ignatowich to go to bronze. Good fight back in a deep draw for Zane. It does seem evident that Staksrud, Ignatowich and Arnold are the guys separating themselves from the rest of the pack as relative newcomers. Arnold lost to Ignatowich 15-5 but he was very close to beating Staksrud earlier today. It’s pretty incredible Ignatowich is doing as well as he does with how raw his game is outside of his ground strokes, including how much he stays back on returns. Also, with the new Crbn update coming today, maybe the Crbn wasn’t the reason all these players were winning so many singles matches? They just switched to a slightly less illegal JOOLA…kidding, obviously.
Anna Bright is currently in a tight game 1 in the bronze against Salome Devidze.
3:10 pm EST – It’s been a day for Parris Todd. She had two tight wins early, including 11-9 over Lauren Stratman in the 3rd with 3 tight games. She was then able to get through Devidze in two and will face Bright in the winners bracket final. Both of these players are improving and it will be interesting if this is going to be a rematch final. Megan Fudge took out Jorja Johnson in the backdraw and is always a threat at these events as she improves. But she goes down to Devidze who will play Stratman to go to bronze.
It’s pretty evident at this point that Federico Staksrud is not a flash in the pan. He gets through Zane and then Julian Arnold in 3 games. It’s just an incredibly impressive rise for him. He played tight games against both players but he comes out on top. It seems like there is improvement in every aspect of his game – ground strokes, balls out of the air and off the bounce at the kitchen, kamikaze rushing the net off ground strokes that seems to be effective. He’s been playing a ton over the last 3 months and it’s showing that he is putting in the work – shot maker. Kusmider beat Ignatowich but lost to JW. JW has had a pretty elementary day as he got through Rafa Hewett and Kusmider without any trouble. We’ll see if Staksrud can give JW trouble. He has in the past.
11:56 am EST – We have a lot happening already today with such a deep draw. Rafa Hewett continues his winning ways with a smooth win over Kyle Yates and comeback win over Ryan Sherry. Has this PPA Sunday given him a newfound level of confidence that he’s not simply a day spoiler for top players? One of the 40 plus legend singles crew is back in the fold, Juan Arraya, and he almost took down John Cincola going 12-10 in the third. Cincola has to be wanting to get a big result after that tough loss to Rafa in the semis last week. Staksrud is getting more consistent by the week, handling Pablo Tellez pretty well in 2 games. Both Zane and JW played to 3 games in their matches, but 2 of the 3 sets were not all that close. Interestingly, Jake Kusmider beat Dylan Frazier in 2 and James Ignatowich beat Jack Foster in 2. Those are not easy wins for those two guys and the scores made it look pretty elementary.
On the women’s side, Jorja Johnson goes down in 3 games to newcomer Rosie Johanson. We have seen this movie from Jorja before early in the day but her singles results have been trending downward recently. Parris Todd played a tight 3 game match, ultimately winning over Lina Padegimaite – a bit surprising to see it that close but Lina continues to improve.