APP Tour So Cal Classic – Live Blog
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Sunday, June 20 – Singles
12:47 am EST (Gritty) – We will have more on a Joseph win, Devilliers running out of gas and Braverman’s controversial timeout point on her way to winning gold.
7:09 pm EST (Gritty) – David got the upper hand of what appeared to be an unengaged Esquivel in game 1 and then won in a tight game 2. It will be David and Braverman for gold.
Devilliers was down 10-7 but then Johnson made 3 unforced errors to put it to 10-10, and Devilliers took over to push it to game 3. We’ll see what happens here but that has to hurt the very stoic JW. JW did not use one of his two timeouts and gave up 5 consecutive points to Devilliers.
5:58 pm EST (Gritty) – It’s Joseph over Devilliers in 2 to go to the gold. It’s a big breakthrough win for Joseph against what has to be a tired Devilliers. I know we are a broken record saying how tired he must be but that’s only because it’s probably true.
Vivienne David gets to the bronze after a tight 15-13 win over Lauren Stratman. It’s a nice podium for David who has typically had trouble in tournaments outside of her Florida familiarity. We’ll see if Michelle Esquivel can rebound mentally to give David a tough bronze after appearing to pack it in against Braverman.
5:19 pm EST (Gritty) – One thing I forgot about when I figured Braverman was a good bet to do some damage today in singles was her hard serving ways. She serves very hard in doubles and it’s significantly more beneficial in singles, especially the women who do not come up to net automatically on the return of serve. Braverman rolled Esquivel in the 2nd game and she is guaranteed a silver on the day.
Devilliers and Joseph are playing the men’s winners bracket final as expected. Neither of them has been challenged heavily today but this should be work for Devilliers to get to the gold.
3:37 pm EST (Gritty) – It’s been mostly as expected on the men’s side with the FAD win over Roditi being quite the experience. Gotta love that at 45 Roditi is literally full out sprawl diving on the court in singles. Heart is not lacking.
AJ Koller was taken down by Caden Nemoff on the loser’s side. Nemoff is a fine player but his singles results are nothing to write home about. You have to think Koller is gassed from another long weekend of playing, which really is a good thing for him but 3 days is tough. It’s what makes what Devilliers has been doing even more impressive. He’s playing JW Johnson in game 1 of the semis right now.
Corrine Carr was a late addition to the singles field and she lost in 2 to Braverman who will face Stratman in the semis. Esquivel and David go on the other side, and you still have to say both of them are favored for gold and silver. Although they both played a lot of mixed pickle yesterday.
10:36 am EST (Slim) – Happy father’s day, to all the father’s out there! So far it looks like we’ll have full singles fields going ahead, a lot of these player’s those have been playing a lot of pickeball the last couple of weeks, so it will be interesting to see if fatigue plays a role.
Saturday, June 19 – Mixed Doubles
12:40 am EST (Gritty) – Another long way around for Devilliers to take gold with Esquivel. We’ll have more on it in our takeaways. That is a lot of pickleball he is playing.
Dawson and Gingrich come back to take the gold on the senior pro side. They were the proverbial favorite and find a way to get it done.
7:56 pm EST (Gritty) – This Whitwell/Koller run has been nuts and super impressive. Koller has always been a favorite of ours but can’t say either of saw this coming, especially when we didn’t even mention her in our fantasy draft when we picked 6 teams and mentioned 2 others as potential podium finishers. Whitwell is very athletic and at her age to be competing like this is always impressive. She’s going to be a scary senior player when she gets there soon. Esquivel/Devilliers get another shot at them after taking down David/Nunnery in two in the bronze.
On the senior pro side, Bellamy/Witsken has taken down two juggernaut teams in MacGregor/Derisi and Dawson/Gingrich. Witsken is a top senior pro but Bellamy is just starting tournaments. It’s nice to see some new senior pro female blood as the talent is not deep on that side. Bagby/Rivera also had a nice couple of wins in the back draw after losing what had to be a heartbreaker 14-12 in the third game to Jagd/Crandall. That’s quite a good day for Bagby and Rivera who sound like they have some more tournaments planned together.
3:38 pm EST (Gritty) – Rough ride for Carr/Stone as they lose 15-8 to the Johnson’s. Maybe too much hiking this past week? Regardless, that’s not an ideal day for them.
3:00 pm EST (Slim) – We have some upsets in mixed day, as DJ Young and Lauren Stratman who both picked up gold yesterday, in gender doubles had a 1-2 day are done for the day, getting knocked out by Chuck Taylor and Allyce Jones who have had an impressive couple of tournaments here. DJ remains one of the hardest players in the game to handicap.
Then Adam Stone and Corrine Carr, lost their quarter-final match up to AJ Koller and Lee Whitwell 8-11, 11-1,11-9, after being up 8-0 in the third game. Koller continues to impress and it appears that the always steady Lee Whitwell appears to be moving a little better these days.
Callan Dawson and Lea Jansen managed to beat Morgan Evans and Michelle Lui 6-11,11-8, 11-8, however Morgan Evans serve continues to the the singe biggest advanatgeout there in the game as it caused a lot of problems for both Lea and Callan. Dawson and Jansen will play Koller and Whitwell in one semi-final while Devilliers/Esquivel and Nunnery/David who have both been cruising will meet in the other semi-final.
12:23 pm EST (Gritty) – Dominic Catalano said on the intro to today’s broadcast that we better be on top of it with our fantasy picks. Well, not off to a great start with what I would call a major upset by Maggie Brascia and Daniel Roditi over Young/Stratman. Let’s see if DJ wants to grind another back draw day. I know Lauren will but is DJ complacent after a gold yesterday?
Friday, June 18 – Gender Doubles
11:02 pm EST (Gritty) – Another double dip for Devilliers. Shall we call him Double Dip Devilliers? Double D? Triple D? Regardless, the man has had a lot of close back draw golds the past few weeks. Him and DJ barely pull it out 16-14 in the game to 15. It was a bit weird with the two fighting over middle balls but so much talent. I feel like DJ is being a little too cute with too many in between balls and he can just go after some of those with all that talent he has. Either way, you give DJ a steady and talented partner, he is a big threat any day of the week.
The women’s final was not as exciting. Even though it went 3, Stratman and Esquivel were clearly the better team. Happy birthday to Stratman! No better present than a gold medal and some $$$. I think at this point Carr is a better mixed than women’s player. Different styles but kind of poor woman’s Lindsay Newman. Not enough offence to be as effective in the women’s game.
Gingrich and Witsken won the gold in senior pro after beating Weinbach/Moore handily. Moore is a sight to behold at his advancing age as they worked through the bronze to have a nice day.
The senior women aren’t finished but Kris Anderson will be playing for gold with Beth Bellamy, who played her first tourney in April. She must have some chops.
7:37 pm EST (Gritty) – Baptiste-Webster and Gridley put up a valiant effort in game 1 and they really should have won it after being up 10-6 in the game. Game 2 was a different story as it often is when the better team finds its stride. Devilliers and Young have also made their way through the backdraw to get to the bronze and we’ll see if they can complete the comeback.
Gingrich/Witsken took down Thongvanh and Derisi in the winners bracket senior pro side, but for Thongvanh and Derisi to get there they had to beat Weinbach/Moore. Derisi has only played one tournament since the US Open and he’s out to remind us that he is a force on the senior tour.
It’s not much of a senior pro women’s field and MacGregor and Dawson should easily win. However, interesting to see Nathalie Bagby in the winner’s bracket final in only her second pro division tournament. I’ll be curious to see how she and her partner play Cammy and Jen. Bagby has to be one to watch in the senior women’s brackets.
5:14 pm EST (Gritty) – We get one upset but not two. Gridley and Shellton rolled through Nunnery and Burrows. Burrows is an enigmatic one as he has all this talent but the consistency still isn’t there for him. In the other semi, after taking game 1, Koller/Frazier got smoked in games 2 and 3 by Stone/Cassidy, who are objectively the better team at this point in time
In the meantime, Devilliers/Young are still hanging around in the backdraw and get to face Burrows/Nunnery, which on paper they should win.
3:41 pm EST (Gritty) – Stratman and Esquivel take the winners bracket final handily in 2 while Whitwell and David were able to pull away in the 2nd half of their grudge match against Jones/Sheehan-Dizon to get to the bronze.
I’m very curious to see this Gridley/Shellton vs Nunnery/Burrows semi. I would favor Nunnery and Burrows, but Gridley and Shellton get results. I also still feel like an idiot taking Yates and Dawson. Stone and Cassidy should be the favored team in the other semi.
1:40 pm EST (Slim) – A huge win for Dylan Frazier and AJ Koller as they take down Jay Devilliers and DJ Young in straight games. I had questions about the DJ and Jay partnership as they are two big guys who like to be alphas and take a lot of court and it looked to me like they were both wanting middle balls and neither looked completely comfortable. It will be interesting to see if they can turn it around in the backdraw. Frazier and Koller are two guys who seem to be getting better by the week. The other result is men’s that might raise some eyebrows is JW Johnson, playing with Grant Bond this week continuing his hot play, beating Kyle Yates and Callan Dawson in three games.
In women’s action, Lea Jansen and Corrine Carr took down Meghan Sheehan-Dizon and Allyce Jones in three games, however I was very impressed with Sheehan-Dizon and Jones, in a sport desperately in need of more top level females these are two to keep an eye on. They showed great resiliency after blowing an 8-1 lead in game one and losing to fight back and win a tough 15-13 game in the second game.
12:22 pm EST (Slim) – In women’s doubles Meghan Sheehan-Dizon and Allyce Jones got a very nice win over Vivienne David and Lee Whitwell. That’s a good win for the newcomers. Christine McGrath and Jorja Johnson were also victorious over the Brascia sisters, in three games.
In the men’s the opening round has pretty much gone as expected. Chuck Taylor and Spencer Smith have withdrawn, I am not sure why? I also note that Matt Chou coming off his big bronze in LA last weekend, suffered a first round loss to Ryan Gilbert and Caden Nemoff. Chou is playing with Nick Garza this weekend who is a solid player, but going from be the steady set up guy to the alpha can be tough for a lot of players, and I think this result is an example of that.