Minto US Open – Live Random Thoughts – Singles

We’ll have more previews for senior pro and split age pro coming out later in the week, and then we’ll have one more separate live blog for the rest of the pro events later in the week.

If you missed it, here is our Fantasy Draft preview post and the link to the Eddy and Webby show appearance where we talked about all the players.

Sunday, April 24th – Singles

7:15 pm EST (Gritty) – Ben wins gold in a fantastic match. He was down match points in game 2 and was able to pull it out 12-10, and then he pulled away in game 3. JW is a formidable foe for Ben and this result solidifies that too.

5:53 pm EST (Gritty) – Parenteau takes gold over Jansen. Solidifying the 3 person hierarchy in women’s doubles.

5:45 pm EST (Gritty) – Would have loved to see that bronze match for the men. Pablo Tellez 7 and 4 over Staksrud. That’s a major bronze for Tellez ans a bit surprising it went that way. However, with no stream can’t give much more than that.

4:50 pm EST (Gritty) – Anna Bright gets a good bronze at her first US Open over Irina Tereschenko. She lost to Jade Kawamoto in round 1 but was able to fight back all the way to bronze. That’s about as good as you could expect for her in this field. 

For the men, Staksrud and Pablo Tellez are currently playing their bronze medal match. Tellez is lefty that is very forehand dominant but he gets a ton of action on his shots. He had a bronze early in the year and is always in the mix at the APP events. We didn’t mention him in the fantasy draft but he should be on the radar. This should be a good match that, of course, we do not get to see because Pickleball Channel is currently showing senior pro matches and is not allowing any live streaming on outer courts. The people are upset and rightfully so! 

3:40 pm EST (Gritty) – Gold medal for both draws are set. Big shocker. JW and Ben will face off against one another. This should be super interesting. I tend to think that Franklin ball favors Ben as he can play that cat and mouse a bit easier. We are looking forward to this one. 

Catherine Parenteau and Lea Jansen for the women. Again, big shocker. This one has more intrigue than a Anna Leigh Waters final in my view. We’ll see how it plays out obviously. 

In the backdraw, Rafa Hewett is going to play Staksrud to go for bronze. As we have stated numerous times before, Hewett is a guy who can get wins in any given tournament but you never know when it’s going to happen. Big day for him with wins over Eden Lica, Jack Foster, Sherry and Cincola after losing to Travis Rettenmaier in round 1. 

1:10 pm EST (Gritty) – This no stream stuff is really brutal. It won’t start until 2pm EST as well. In any event, the one semi is set with JW facing Staksrud after JW beat Pablo Tellez in 3 games – Tellez another under the radar guy. Tyson has withdrawn from the backdraw so you wonder if he’s hurt as he has multiple days before his next event. Surprised he isn’t grinding to that bronze but it is a long day in Florida. We’re still waiting on the Sherry vs. Ben Johns result

On the women’s side, Catherine is in the gold medal match after beating Irina in a couple of close games. We are also still waiting on the Jardim vs. Jansen result there. Irina will now play for bronze as she got through Abbie Brooks, 15-2. 

In senior pro, we have a couple of semi-surprising results on the women’s side. Beth Bellamy took down Jennifer Dawson in 2 games. Dawson plays less tournaments these days and has been around the game a while now so it can’t be getting easier for her in singles. Same for Cammy MacGregor, who lost to Shelly Maher. Julie Johnson then beat Maher and she’s going to play Bellamy for gold. 

The men’s senior pro singles is not a ton of intrigue anymore as Paul Olin and Mattias Johansson are the two best players out there by a wide margin. Johansson has had Olin’s number except for one tournament this year so we could see a match in the gold. 

11:30 am EST (Gritty) – Pickleball Channel makes some of the funniest streaming decisions in pickleball. Luckily they did have the vertical phone cam stream for the 2nd half of the Tyson/Fed match and Staksrud with the win. He was down 6-7 in the third and went 5 in a row on Tyson to pull it out. Sneaky hard serve and the ground strokes continue to improve. Staksrud’s rapid ascension is not stopping and shows that those soft PPA seedings for Tyson have been a bog help to him this year.

11:17 am EST (Gritty) – The US Open used to be the only real tournament out there that had single elimination brackets but now with the PPA implementing it we have become so used to it. Different ratings used means different seedings for the US Open. As always, seeding is so crucial for the teams that want any shot at a gold medal match. For the first time this year, Tyson does not have a #2 seed as that honor goes to JW Johnson, which means Tyson will almost certainly have to go through Ben if he wants to be in the championship match but right now he is in the middle of a 3 game battle against Staksrud. We’pl update that result when it comes – Pickleball Channel is oncr again doing probably the worst job streaming again in their annual foray into the pickle world. They have a phone stream up for Tyson and Fed, but the day is a long way through with no proper stream.

For the men, it’s going a lot as expected with a lot of chalk despite close matches. Staksrud, Sherry, Tellez, Navratil are all still going and, of course, JW Johnson. Navratil is the first one in the semis over Cincola.

On the women’s side, Lea and Catherine are flipped around as #1 and #2 seeds respectively. Anna Bright continues to get absolutely brutal draws in singles as she faced Jade Kawamoto first and lost in 3 before Kawamoto lost to Jansen. One early noteworthy thing so far in the women’s draw is that Callie Smith withdrew – I did notice she was taking a flight fairly late yesterday into Florida but that’s the #3 player in the draw that simply doesn’t play. It sure makes Simone Jardim’s life easier as she will get a shot at Lea Jansen being very fresh. Irina and Catherine will play the other semi-final. Abbie Brooks, sister of Vivienne David, actually has taken out Kawamoto in the back draw too while Bright is still going.

9 thoughts on “Minto US Open – Live Random Thoughts – Singles

  • April 24, 2022 at 8:50 am

    Jennifer Dawson (1) seed is also a big upset in Senior Pro women’s singles.

    • April 24, 2022 at 9:08 am

      Not shocking to Bellamy but definitely a big upset. MacGregor too. Will note it

  • April 24, 2022 at 11:13 am

    Internet pb analysis is a small world, so i am just going to take my bow here if that’s okay? I got a TON of pushback a few months ago when I said that STAK was in my top five singles players currently playing PB.

    For one, he played on that “other” tour. You know the one that that everybody feels is inferior and MINOR LEAUGE? He’s only been playing a year and most of the push back was, well he isn’t putting up consistent results. No kidding.

    I think being a good PB analyst of the PRO game is going to require lots of imagination and creative thinking in 2022 and probably even next year. That’s because you don’t get ALL the best players at one event, except on rate occasions.

    This US open even is lacking six really good players, that I think could be doing damage here. So we still don’t have a complete draw this week. But this draw is better than most. If one has been paying any attention at all and doing any analysis week to week of the pro game, it has been easy and clear to see that the singles APP tournaments have been FAR tougher places to be than PPA. By MILES. And as you suggest, the “cream puff” draws don’t prepare you for anything other than cream puff PPA events (save for ONE player). The US open was the first real event this year where ty came upon a draw with some real tough customers in early rounds.

    Pro PB is changing by the week. I see some unknown took a game off of ben today. One of my main reasons for belief that STAK was top five was because it has been really really hard for the clear #2. JW, to beat him. And there has been enough match play (data) for me to see that. That’s where the imagination comes in. the other reason is STAK has a win over Zane this year, and barely lost to Jay in an earlier tournament. The question has always been what could STAK do to a player that JW beats pretty routinely? We saw that today when STAK took down Ty in a grinding match in QF.

    Finally let me say this. I hope Ty is not injured. My guess is that he is not. Rather I believe that for him and where he is in his career, it is just no longer worth punishing his body against hungry opponents to take home a 3rd place medal.

    When you are early 30s, a deep singles event is a rough place to be in 2022 if you have a lot of miles on your body. TY works really hard out there to stay near the top of the game. At his age he has to work hard on and off the court, and focus on recovery as well. That takes a toll.

    Singles is much easier to get real good at if you are a talented athlete. You can come in and make some noise right away. ty will be fine. He hasn’t built his brand by being the best guy out there. But he’s built a strong brand nonetheless. And the PPA being the weaker singles tour by far has helped his brand this year by creating a false narrative that the PPA provides the highest level pickleball week in and week out.

    A bifurcated tour, and the PPA’s insular policies, have really helped muddy the waters for casual fans, and perpetuate illusions about who are actually the best players currently playing the sport. Let’s hope that in the future, pro pickleball finds a way to get more and more of the best players together, all in one place on the same weekend.

    • April 24, 2022 at 12:45 pm

      You were on Fed at that level early. Fully give you props there. It’s a very good draw overall at the US Open but there are the weird partnerships. APP tournaments for singles though have been very deep as you said and Tyson has had an easy road to all these Championship Sundays then gets beat up by Ben in the finals. The other APP guys have to fight. JW has been played tough by a number of people – Gabe Joseph, Zane, Fed.

      Tyson will be fine. He just needs to stick around for the next while. He is building his brands in other ways and knows his time is limited. That’s why those PPA silvers are still really good for him because his brand is still out there for the time being. 100% agreed on getting all the best players together.

  • April 24, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Hey, @pickleballpost, you said six were missing. You mean in men’s singles? Who? Devilliers, Dekel, Loong, Frazier, ALW?

    Enjoy your comments. But I’m kind of liking the two tours — am finding more interest in the APP, with new players and different matchups. When players from the two tours do meet (like Bright and Todd playing PPA pros at the Red Rock), there is even more interest.

    • April 24, 2022 at 1:09 pm

      old and in the way.

      actually those names could be on my list so I appreciate you reminding me.

      I have some others.

      Jay, Kusmider, IGGY, Gabriel, arnold, wilson, and nuemann. So this was not the strongest draw ever but way better than ppa draws.

      I also like the two tours. one tour is for predictability and showcasing stars. the other is about surprises serendipity and break out performances. not to mention seeing the #2 all around player in the world figure things out on the fly age 19.

  • April 24, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    There were A LOT of withdrawals.

    Didn’t Anna Bright have two before bronze?

    JW played lights out. He could have taken Bennie, sorry to see him lose. He is definitely the crowd favorite.

    • April 24, 2022 at 6:14 pm

      Anna has 3 gold in singles at APP tournaments and 1 bronze at PPA.

    • April 24, 2022 at 10:22 pm

      JW looked great. Hands just seemed better than Ben’s and he wanted hand battles with him


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