APP Tour NYC Open – Live Random Thoughts
The weirdly sponsored The Boca Raton APP New York City Open is here and we’ll have some pretty interesting fields. Outside of women’s doubles, we could have some competitive Sunday matches, which would be a refreshing change of pace. We’ll try to keep up with some live action throughout the weekend.
Sunday, May 28th – Championship Sunday
12:40 pm EST – As always, Fudge puts up a fight but she goes down to Devidze 8 and 7. The ground strokes are too much overall. Devidze is the APP singles monster.
2:20 pm EST – One of the most epic gold medals from William Sobek. He double dipped the wolf man, fending off 7 championship points, to win 16-14 in the final game to 15. We never would have seen this coming from Sobek in 2023 but his experience in pickleball along with likely has to be maturing physically for the still teenager, has been enough to vault him into true Challenger status as we head into the season 2 MLP draft. Fun stuff.
6:55 pm EST – The expected results for the gender doubles happened but another double dip in the mixed. Nunnery/Barr went 2 straight in the 2 of 3 and then won 16-14. Heartbreaking loss for Jardim/Auvergne but that has got to feel extra good for Barr sand Nunnery when they were the one getting double dipped last time out. Rob Nunnery double gold and looks to be rounding into form finally in 2023.
Saturday, May 27th – Doubles
11:05 am EST – Doubles days at the APP have become a little PPA-ish in that we have Andrei Daescu and Parris Todd/Simone Jardim. Can anyone knock these teams off? It’s the bottom half of the draw with the Johnson brothers, Cincola/Long and Farias/Siljestrom, that will be most interesting on the men’s side. For the women, it will almost certainly be a race for silver with Susannah Barr teamed up with Maggie Remynse. Oshiro/Rane draw short straw having to face Todd/Jardim fairly early.
1:25 pm EST – The Canadian boys, Ernesto Fajardo and Etienne Blaszkewycz, had a big win against Joey Farias and Andreas Siljestrom, 11-9 in the 2nd and 3rd games. That’s a very quality win for those two even if they lost to Cincola/Long after in straights. Johnny Goldberg out here getting a good win with Jack Foster over Kaden Seward/Stefan Auvergne. They almost proceeded to beat Donkena/DeHeart but could not make it happen. The Gridler and Mario Barrientos losing their first match to Proposal Dave Velardo and some guy we haven’t heard of Johan DJ Randt, was unexpected as well.
For the women, the biggest surprise so far has been Radzikowska/Nobler going down to Devidze/Whitwell. Devidze might be figuring out her doubles game? She looked better in Sacramento than when we saw her last in Daytona. They lost easily to Oshiro/Rane, but the other one is a good win. Tina Pisnik/Tammy Emmrich took down Judit Castillo/Shelby Bates very easily and we have heard there are questions about Castillo’s doubles game. That’s not a good sign right there.
2:25 pm EST – Tina Pisnik and Tammy Emmrich keep getting better. They beat Barr/Remynse, 11-9 and 11-7, to move on to the semi finals where they should have a decent shot against Fudge/Truong. Pisnik has been picked up to Challenger and she seems worthy of the spot, although singles will be a question for her. Oshiro/Rane are playing Todd/Jardim in the other semi.
The Johnson brothers are back on the podium stand. They barely beat Tchikatilov and Lica, 12-10 in the third, and then cruise against Long/Cincola in two games. Funny how these days work. They will play Nunnery/Daescu who are just cruising today.
3:34 pm EST – It will be Todd/Jardim against Truong/Fudge. Truong and Fudge were down in game 2 but they roared back with a bunch of consecutive points to close the match. Remynse and Barr have a bad day losing out to Hendry/Foster in the backdraw, 15-13. It can’t be easy for Maggie coming out when not playing nearly as much.
Some backdraw runs happening on the men’s side. Austin and Mario have won 4 matches and Sobek/Emmrich the same number. It doesn’t get easy for them but this is why the backdraw can be fun. Real shots to get to the bronze.
5:40 pm EST – Riley Bohnert and Emily Ackerman have a day. After getting two upset wins, Hendry/Foster couldn’t finish off the podium run, losing 15-9 to Bohnert and Ackerman. Those two had a run through the backside as well, winning 4 matches to find their way to a bronze and were quite close to having a disappointing day. In doubles, the run to the backdraw is good. It’s probably unnecessary in singles but this is a fun format because when you get a crummy early seed like Emily and Riley did, you can make something happen. They will play Truong/Fudge for the right to compete on Sunday.
Cincola/Long are able to work themselves back to bronze and are currently getting another opportunity against the Johnson brothers. It is another podium for Long and Cincola, who could easily be confused with one another if you squint your eyes hard enough.
6:30 pm EST – A much tighter 3-game match that goes the way of the Johnson’s once again over Cincola/Long. It ends up being a good day finally for the Johnson brothers and an okay day for Cincola/Long. Anything less than silver in these up for grabs men’s fields has to feel like a slight disappointment.
8:56 pm EST – Another APP women’s final for Megan Fudge. She has been consistent at this level and now doing it with a different partner in Alix Truong. It likely won’t be a match tomorrow but silver is a good result.
Friday, May 26th – Mixed
1:21 pm EST – Lots to get to so far today and there are some intriguing results, even if we are mostly chalk right now. Ryler DeHeart and Heather Nobler losing to Whitwell/Farias is a little bit surprise. Farias is a talented player but that’s a loss you don’t want to be seeing for two Challenger players. Interestingly. Bates/Tchikatilov lost 6 and 1 to Fudge and Cincola. That is an expected loss but losing 6 and 1 when people are talking about Austin Tchikatilov as a Challenger player is not ideal when you have Shelby Bates as your partner. The other notable early loss is Yates Johnson/Alix Truong going down to Christine ‘don’t call me McGrath’ Trifunovic and Juan Arraya in 3 games. Juan is a talented man but he is not playing much pro pickleball these days. Those quarter-final results should be coming through soon and a number of those could go different ways.
2:50 pm EST – The final four is exactly what we would have expected going into the tournament. Todd/Johnson are playing Nunnery/Barr while Remynse/Daescu are playing Jardim/Auvergne. Nunnery/Barr played a close one against Oshiro/Long, winning 11-7 in the third, so Oshiro/Long will have to go the long way around to have a chance at back-to-back gold medals together. Remynse/Daescu have cruised through so far but this will be a much more difficult test with Simone/Stefan. Todd/Johnson went 3 games against Whitwell/Farias, but that appeared to be just a slow start for them. They get a shot at redemption against Nunnery/Barr from their last matchup.
5:45 pm EST – You never know what’s going to happen on these days. Auvergne/Jardim have cruised to a Sunday appearance after getting wins easily over Remynse/Daescu and then Barr/Nunnery in the winners final. Auvergne and Jardim had one tournament earlier this year that did not go well, and Auvergne has not been getting much in the way of results really since his early call-up to the Hard Eights at MLP Mesa at the start of the year. At least, his results have been relatively disappointing. This is a big step for him as being a potential Premier player with less than 2 months to go before the draft. Todd/Johnson and Remynse/Daescu are playing to go to bronze. Todd/Johnson lost in straight games to Barr/Nunnery as they are simply not a dominant APP team. Daescu keeps getting wins with a variety of partners as they snuck by Oshiro/Long, 16-14, and if he can find a way to get a bronze it will be one of the more notable runs we have seen on either tour this year.
9:34 pm EST – Another great day for Andrei Daescu. He gets a bronze after beating Oshiro/Long (16-14) and Hunter/Parris (15-4). He is a beast out there and Remynse was likely in better form with this being her second tourney. They couldn’t get it done against Barr/Nunnery, losing 12-10 and 11-7, but a medal is a big day for them. Susannah Barr keeps on chugging as well. She and Nunnery are guaranteed silver for the 2nd tournament in a row and we’ll be surprised if the match on Sunday isn’t closer than the winners final was today. No medal for Parris Todd yet again. Is it Hunter? Is it Parris? She got medals in both events in Atlanta but Riley is so good in mixed and Catherine is a top end player.
Thursday, May 25th – Singles
10:30 am EST – Salome Devidze has a nice path to that winners final as she avoids Fudge, Castillo and Ackerman on her half of the draw. This won’t be a free gold for her but it’ll be surprising if we don’t see her on Sunday. With the other half, it is very competitive but Castillo has been having a strong run of late.
The non-Hunter side of the draw also appears most competitive with Yates, Sobek, Medina Alvarez, DeHeart and the youngster, Richard Livornese Jr. That is anyone’s game, truly. Hunter really only has Jack Foster and possibly Eduardo Irizarry and John Cincola as outside shots.
11:40 am EST – An early women’s singles start today on what appears to be a cold and somewhat windy day in New York, at least from social media. We currently have Megan Fudge and Judit Castillo playing the winners semis after Fudge barely got by Emily Ackerman, 12-10 in the third. Not surprising the Fudge vs. Ackerman was close. It is notable that Judit Castillo almost lost her first round match to unknown Aibika Kalsarieva as she lost game 1 and won game 2, 11-8. It looks like Kalsarieva is in her late 30s and a former standout D1 tennis player. Another unknown, Audrey Banada, is in the winners semi against Salome Devidze as she knocked off Amanda Hendry and Alix Truong. It somewhat speaks to the state of women’s singles tennis that Banada, a former D1 tennis player back in the mid-2000s, are coming out to tournaments to knock off younger, more experienced but less racquet talented players.
With the men, it was a later start so still pretty early going here. Sobek over FAD is the only result of note and it wasn’t very close in that match.
1:40 pm EST – Some players are out here live streaming their own matches. Judit Castillo takes down Megan Fudge quite easily, 5 and 6, and the match didn’t look close from the little watched. Castillo’s ability to get to the net and cover the net well is not common right now in women’s pro pickleball, and it should allow her to keep rising in the singles game. She’ll play Salome Devidze, who had a bit of a time with Audrey Banada, having to play 3 games.
The William Sobek train keeps on chugging as he gets past Yates Johnson 11-8 in the third. He’ll play Ryler DeHeart in the winners semi, and it feels like we have seen this match a million times. DeHeart continues to get good wins as well, beating Medina Alvarez 11-9 in the third. Two close matches that could go either way, but one of these players will be guaranteed a podium. Hunter Johnson goes down in the top side of the draw. He barely beat Cam Luhring in his first match of the day and then goes down to another unknown player, Wolf Velickovic, 11-7 in the third. Velickovic beat Irizarry 12-10 in the third in his second match of the day, which is a very good win and to follow that up with a Hunter Johnson win is super impressive. It looks like he played at Coastal Carolina so nothing particularly special in his pedigree. Notable that Velickovic barely made it through qualifying yesterday, winning his last rally scoring match 23-21.
5:02 pm EST – Megan Fudge has to be one of the more impressive grinders on tour. There’s something to be said for never giving up. She lost pretty handily to Judit Castillo in the winners semi and then worked through a couple of backdraw matches to get another shot at Castillo in the bronze. Fudge beat Castillo 11-4 and 11-4 to get to another Championship Sunday singles appearance. Castillo may have been tiring as the day wore on because she lost 7 and 1 to Devidze in the winners final. Nevertheless, part of these days involve being in better shape that your opponent and being to outlast them mentally. There aren’t many certainties in pro pickleball but one of them has to be Megan Fudge is going to grind.
Wolf Velickovic having a day out of absolutely nowhere. He beat John Cincola 5 and 6 in the winners bracket semis to guarantee himself a podium. He has now beat William Sobek, 11-9 in the third, and is off to Championship Sunday. That has to be a brutal loss for Sobek, who has been on an upward trajectory all year and was clearly right there to make it happen. Medina Alvarez beat Hunter Johnson to make the bronze medal match and having to play that bronze right after losing a long, heartbreaking winners bracket final is one of the downsides of the double elimination. It’s a serious disadvantage to the winners bracket loser because they don’t get any time to sort their life out.
8:15 pm EST – William Sobek might be a bit sore tomorrow. He beat Medina Alvarez 13-11 in the third game to get to Championship Sunday, which should be his first. That’s a long day for him and the mental fortitude to comeback after a heartbreaking loss is impressive. The stock continues to rise.
14 thoughts on “APP Tour NYC Open – Live Random Thoughts”
If I counted right, the MS main draw bracket is smaller than the WS main draw bracket. Any reason given for that from APP/TD?
No clue. This is a weird one.
ESPN+ and the whole Disney Child Groomer Networks will never get another dime from me.
We don’t really agree nor necessarily know what you’re referring to about child grooming. But ESPN plus is frustrating.
Good for you, you deep south swamp smelling inbred homophobe. We can only hope no one let’s their kids around you.
Thanks! I just added Target to my boycott list: https://www.foxnews.com/media/target-partners-org-pushing-kids-genders-secretly-changed-schools-without-parental-consent
This APP NYC Open has been fun to watch. Sure, the biggest pball stars aren’t there but it is still VERY high-level pball. I’m in my early 50s and grew up watching way too much pro wrestling. I saw the rise of the WWF (now WWE) in the 80s and 90s.
Starting around 1984, the WWF signed up much of the major talent in pro wrestling and paid to have its weekly tv shows air on television stations nationwide. (A “big business” mindset just like the PPA.) Regional wrestling organizations (AWA, WCCW, UWF, NWA, etc) lost their biggest stars to the WWF and had to regroup to remain relevant. But, the regional wrestling scene was still viable because that’s where the upcoming talent got their start. (Sound familiar? Hello APP.)
Both the PPA and APP can exist in today’s pro pickleball world. The PPA is the WWF of old and has signed older players and established new talent to exclusive contracts. The APP is the NWA of old with a few “legend” players on the roster and a long list of new talent earning their way into pickleball.
Look at the “new” players to PPA that are podium contenders in 2023. How many of them got their start in the APP during 2021/2022? Look at the new 2023 talent in the APP from the tennis world that are sudden podium contenders.
We can learn a lot about today’s pro pball scene from the pro wrestling scene from the 80s and 90s.
I’ll generally take a minor issue with a pro sports comparison to professional wrestling, but overall your point is well taken!
@NML … business is business. Pro wrestling is business. Pro pickleball is business. The whole Tyson McGuffin makeover (from few tats, humble attitude and closely cropped hair to lots of tats, big-time attitude, and a marketable mullet) was done to create the “most electrifying man in sports.” 100% of that was taken directly from the pro wrestling playbook to build a character to foster a fan following. (Conner McGregor did the same thing in MMA by starting humble and creating a personal branding ruckus to find massive riches. Tyson loves him some MMA and followed Conner’s branding playbook.) These days the post match streamed winners interview has become a pro wrestling promo opportunity (think “Big Poppa Jimmy”). Conner Ogden is the Vince McMahon of pball. WWE vs. NWA. PPA vs. APP. Dig?
Connor MacGregor is probably the better comparison. Tend to think that characters in a format like WWE is different than characters for something like pickleball or MMA. Although you are right, business is business and the WWe does well with their business model and organizations can learn from them as well.
the app just gave up on being a PRO tour. they changed their name to “Association of Pickleball players”, eliminating the word professionals. they are done as a pro tour. This should make the PPA even more competitive in 2024 as the best APP players get added to the mix. Especially, PPA Men’s singles, which will immediately get more competitive. Barring a big cash infusion from a Billionaire, would be shocked if they are able to complete the season.
It sure doesn’t sound like they have given up being a pro tour. They are still doing pro content and Nunnery said they will be upping their prize money next year, or at least that’s what he heard.
they put an iphone up on the grandstand court on Saturday, and that was their youtube broadcast for their biggest tournament of the year. everything they are doing signals they are running on fumes as a pro tour. Of course outward facing PR has to be positive and all systems go. It has to be that way for the “Association of Pickleball Players.”
How do you know this was an iphone?