People don’t seem that excited to talk about the US Open results, which was essentially an APP tournament, but we are here for these tournaments. Give us the lesser known players at the niche events. As continues to be the case, there will be streaming for the APP event on Saturday and Sunday only. Otherwise, you better get yourself to Sacramento if you want to watch the other days.
Sunday, April 30th – Championship Sunday
2:36 pm EST – Judit Castillo got the withdrawal from Megan Fudge so she gets an auto gold. Yates Johnson gets his first APP gold over Hunter. He beat him earlier this year in Boca Raton but this is the first APP. Despite Hunter being the better against the field singles player, Yates and Hunter play very close matches against one another and Yates gets the win at 11-7 in the third today.
6:56 pm EST – The doubles goes all chalk. Barr and Daescu cruise, and may have formed the best APP mixed team out there. Nunnery/DeHeart pushed it to a game to 15 but couldn’t quite get it done, losing 15-7 to Pesa/Andrei in the game to 15. And Parris/Simone seem to like losing a game and then pulling it together as they win in 3 over Oshiro/Fudge.
Saturday, April 29th – Doubles
9:51 pm EST – This will be less live blog and more summary of the day. It has been a busy one in life and the paddle stuff has kept us occupied. Teoni deserves lots of credit but Daescu is clearly just the best player out there at these APP’s. He is dominant and he is into Championship Sunday for both men’s and mixed this weekend. They got pushed by Long/Auvergne in 3 games, but ultimately they sorted it out to win the final game, 11-3. Daescu was really good in Mesa and he’s vying for a double gold again. It’s also funny how theses opportunities work as Teoni gets the call for Siljestrom in Mesa and he’s back with Daescu in Sacramento onto gold. Teoni putting his name right in that Challenger mix for the final event of season 1.
On the backside of the draw, you have DeHeart and Nunnery finding a podium. They got through Sobek/Keenum and then beat the Johnson twins 15-8 (they had a bigger lead), and should have a real shot versus Long/Auvergne. That’s a double bronze minimum for Ryler DeHeart this weekend as his results have been under the radar solid in recent weeks. Nunnery has been on the cusp of some podiums so it has to feel good to find one in men’s with DeHeart. He hasn’t had the year we expected and surely he expected going into the year, but he’s still in the mix at these APPs. On the other hand, no podium for the Johnson brothers who continue to be inconsistent as a pair.
The top women’s teams are currently playing the winners bracket final as Todd/Jardim are playing Fudge/Oshiro – Todd/Jardim just took game one. Those are the two teams we expected to be here and they have done so for the most part with relative ease. The score on PT Tournaments has to be wrong for Fudge/Oshiro’s match versus Erokhina/Valdes, but that’s a good day for them regardless.
Not the best day for Maggie Remynse in her return to pro pickleball in 2023. They lose 7 and 6 to Oshiro/Fudge then go down in the backdraw with Barr to Whitwell/Pooler, 15-12. Pooler/Whitwell are going to be playing Erokhina/Valdes, who have had a very nice day and run in the loser’s side. They have wins over Gecheva/Glozman, Black/Schaefer and Bates/Truong. Good wins for them and they have a real good shot to get to that bronze match.
2:15 am EST – DeHeart and Nunnery work all the way from the backdraw to get to Sunday, besting Auvergne and Long in 2 straight. That one has to feel good for both guys who have not gotten big time results this year. They have played some close games with Pesa/Andrei so this one may not be a walkover.
We’ll get a rematch of the women’s winners bracket final but a slight surprise of a bronze from Erokhina/Valdes. With the Challenger list of players coming out today, Valdes picked a pretty good time to have a day. Parris and Simone still strong favorites to take gold.
Friday, April 28th – Mixed
1:08 pm EST – It is an interesting mixed draw as we have a number of teams in legitimate contention for gold along with another group of somewhat in the mix along with up and coming teams that could be taking down the 2nd tier of mixed teams. James Ignatowich’s guy, Dave Carvalho is back playing with Hurricane Tyra Black among the numerous up and coming teams. The most intriguing team could be Auvergne/Jardim as they are a new partnership that presents an interesting dynamic with Simone’s steadiness and Auvergne’s power. They are on the same side of the draw as Barr/Daescu while Todd/Johnson have the number one seed on the other half of the draw and have about as easy a path as it can get in this relatively competitive mixed field.
3:50 pm EST – Some very interesting early mixed results. Quite a few 3 game matches. Todd/Johnson win in 3 over Castillo/Bock. Auvergne/Jardim win in 3, including a close 2nd game win after losing game 1, against Erokhina/Zack Taylor. Bates/DeHeart eek one out against Glozman/Dean Guyer. Then Gecheva/Christian Keenum winning 7 and 4 over Megan Fudge/Rob Nunnery, which has to be the biggest surprise. More competition all around and there’s something for both Fudge and Nunnery that their results in doubles in 2023 have not been up to snuff. That’s a poor loss for them early in the tournament.
5:52 pm EST – Mixed day on both tours has been a crapshoot and today is no different. Both top seeds have now gone down as Bates/DeHeart, who were on the cusp of losing their first match, take down the US Open champs, Todd/Johnson, 3-11, 12-10 and 11-9. Bates/DeHeart had a rough first tournament together and have bounced back to a huge result their second go around. They will play the rhyming duo of Truong/Long, who got past Black/Carvalho in 3 – James Ignatowich was on Twitter saying the APP took away Carvalho’s paddle due to it sounding fishy, which is bad process but it’s tough to be mad about when there are multiple podcasts that have discussed him playing with a delaminated paddle. Barr/Daescu are the only team that has cruised so far as they will face Oshiro/Yates Johnson, who beat Auvergne/Jardim. A first-time partnership that does not end up well in the winners draw. Auvergne’s results have not been on an upward trajectory recently.
7:15 pm EST – Bates and DeHeart are having a Tyson McGuffin/Lacy Schneemann type of day. They almost lose their first round match and are now in the winners bracket final after beating Long/Truong in straight games. It’s quite the comeback for this team to have been on the brink of losing, getting steamrolled in the first game by the 1 seeds and now in the winners final. Those margins from crap day to amazing day are so thin sometimes. They will play Barr/Daescu, who have breezed through the competition, giving up no more than 4 points in a single game so far today.
Jardim/Auvergerne withdrew from the backdraw, which is a bit of a surprise unless there is an injury issue there. One team coming from the backdraw will have a really good shot to get back to Championship Sunday so it wouldn’t make sense for them to withdraw to save their bodies.
9:42 pm EST – Barr/Daescu cruise to Sunday. They have been dominant today. A bit of a surprise they have been this dominant. Parris/Hunter are still working their way through the backdraw as they got by Fudge/Nunnery (15-12) and Oshiro/Johnson (15-13). They are currently playing Frantova/Cincola, who have surprisingly worked all the way through the backdraw, winning 5 matches to get to the point of possibly winning bronze.
12:37 am EST – Parris and Hunter work their way back to the gold with a straight games win over Shelby Bates and Ryler DeHeart. It should be an interesting gold match on Sunday.
Thursday, April 27th – Singles
12:45 pm EST – Hunter Johnson will be on the other side of the bracket as his twin counterpart Yates. On Hunter’s half, Ryler DeHeart and William Sobek are in position to have a face-off to get to a semi-final, but Rob Nunnery and Patrick Kawka are not going to be free wins if they get to face either of those opponents. We’ll be curious to see what happens if we get a Brandon Lane vs. John Cincola matchup on the other half of the draw. Yates Johnson seems to have a friendlier half until it gets to the semis. They are using smaller main draws in Sacramento even with the qualifiers.
Small women’s draw and no Bobbi Oshiro who appears to have withdrawn unbeknownst to us prior to our fantasy draft. Unlucky for Parris Todd that Judit Castillo is her likely semi-finals match, but we’ll see what happens if we get a US Open finals rematch. Megan Fudge sits on the other half of the draw with about as good as a path as it can get for a Sunday appearance in a pro draw.
4:55 pm EST – Okay, let’s get caught up on the singles action from the day. Hunter Johnson was pushed in round 1 by Spencer Lanier but he is through easily to the semi-finals. Interestingly, we saw Rob Nunnery get by Ryler DeHeart in straight games. Nunnery may not be the prettiest singles players but he can clearly slap some winners still. We have been waiting forever on his score versus Sobek before doing an update but apparently this match is going to last forever so there’s no update at this time. John Cincola has definitely lost a step or two in singles this year. That, or he is not the same player without his deadly spin serve. Cincola loses to Brandon Lane 2 and 1, which is obviously not close. Lane will play Yates Johnson, who beat Zack Taylor 6 and 10. Early women’s results have Judit Castillo taking down Martina Frantova and Shelby Bates beating Christa Gecheva. That means we’ll get our rematch with Judit Castillo and Parris Todd.
5:50 pm EST – It looks like William Sobek beat Rob Nunnery. That’s a long match, 11-8, 8-11 and 11-6. Good win for Sobek, who continues to rack up wins. He’s playing Hunter Johnson right now. Ryler DeHeart, who always seems to be in the mix in these singles draws, is having a nice little run in the backdraw with wins over Patrick Kawka and John Cincola. Parris Todd was forced to go to 3 games in her first match, but it seems that one was a matter of getting warmed up as she wins 2-11, 11-5 and 11-0. Megan Fudge easily into the semis over Shelby Bates, 0 and 3, and will face Alix Truong to go to the winners final.
6:56 pm EST – Well, well, well, what do we have here? Judit Castillo winning 11-0 and 12-10 over Parris Todd. We wondered if there might be a hangover from the US Open, and this would indicate there might be. It also just might indicate that Judit Castillo is a very good singles player. There still doesn’t been too much progression we have seen in Parris’ singles game from watching her at the US Open so it is not a surprise, in general, that players are catching up. It’s one loss of a double elimination in a small bracket so we’ll try not to take too much from this result. It will be interesting to see if Parris plays through the backdraw. Castillo will play Megan Fudge in the winners bracket final as Fudge had an easy time over Alix Truong.
It will be another Johnson winners bracket final. Hunter went through with ease over Sobek while Yates had to fight against Brandon Lane, getting it done 11-8 in the third. With William Sobek going deeper in events and having some cramping issues at the US Open, he withdraws from the backdraw, opening the door for DeHeart to get to the match to play for bronze. He’ll play either Bradon Lane or James Bragg.
7:37 pm EST – Yates beats Hunter 4 and 9. Yates kind of has Hunter’s number and you have to wonder what the weird sibling dynamic on this must be. Brandon Lane is playing Ryler DeHeart to go to the bronze and probably for the bronze too.
Parris Todd does withdraw from the backdraw so she leaves Sac Town without a singles medal. Jess Warren is having a bit of a run in the backdraw too as she gets through Gecheva (15-5), Dee Lim (15-2) and Alix Truong (15-2). Remember, she took Parris to 3 games so this does not look like a fluke.
10:48 pm EST – Judit Castillo also ends up beating Megan Fudge in the winners final in 3 and they will have a rematch following Fudge’s easy win over Jess Warren. Still, a bronze medal for Jess Warren is a nice win. Castillo backing up her US Open performance and showing she may be a singles force to be reckoned with.
We will get another all Johnson final. It looks like Brandon Lane put up a good fight against Hunter, losing in 3 games after he got through Ryler DeHeart. We still haven’t seen Brandon Lane play, other than a little at the PPA Austin, but the results today are legit.