4 days of PPA action headed your way this weekend. Fantasy draft preview is here for any questions about the field. ￼
Sunday, February 20th – Championship Sunday
7:40 pm EST (Gritty) – Honestly, neither of us had much time to watch today but a question is going to be whether the PPA has a results problem with all the same partners playing all the tournaments because they contracted them. Ben winning a triple crown, Anna Leigh singles again and then Lucy/Callie could be a powerhouse with only 2 possible teams to contend with them legitimately as of right now. It’ll be interesting to watch.
11:40 pm EST (Gritty) – Might be a tough day for Tyson. He falls to 0-12 on Championship Sundays after losing 3, 2 and 3 to Anna Leigh/Ben. He’ll play singles against Ben later. Maybe he’ll get an unengaged Ben for one of the games.
Saturday, February 19th – Doubles
9:15 pm EST (Gritty) – The expected final is here again with a rematch in the women’s. Stratman/Koop gave Irvine/Parenteau a run for their money in game 1 before losing 14-12 but it wasn’t meant to be for them. A good weekend for Lauren. Okay day for the Waters who pull out a bronze after another weekend without a Sunday appearance together. They don’t fit well against the hard countering duo of Lucy/Callie.
Is it officially time for the panic button on Jay/Tyson? Not quite after only 2 tourneys but this is probably about what they are going to be. With too many teams out there with good hands, they may be finding themselves in a lot of bronze matches for their best case scenario day. Riley/Matt aren’t playing all the PPAs together so there may be some openings here and there, but bronze could be the more realstic ceiling for Jay/Tyson. That could get frustrating for them.
5:15 pm EST (Gritty) – Huge upset win for de la Rosa and Newell over JW/Frazier in the back draw. Would have loved to see that one. Great day for them.
Big weekend continues for Parris Todd with the win over Allyce Jones/Sheehan-Dizon. She might just end up being a takeaway after a breakout of sorts.
4:50 pm EST (Gritty) – Tyler Loong’s hands are very good but they don’t hold up against the very elite. It really exposes the lack of development in his game as there is so much more he could do with his level of talent and athleticism in my opinion.
Ben Newell and Daniel de la Rosa had a nice win in backdraw against Wilson/Cincola. Newell has a ton of talent as well and is another guy to watch. Daniel may also be the guy with the most talent in pickleball that isn’t at the top. Barrientos/Young are also continuing a strong run today. Don’t forget about Mario.
3:40 pm EST (Gritty) – The Johns brothers will play in the semis against Tyson/Jay after another win over JW/Dylan. Expect to see them in another championship Sunday…well obviously.
Couple things on the women’s side. Parenteau/Irvine over Jansen/Braverman after a close game 1 not so much in game 2. As expected, but no upset here. Stratman/Koop won over Todd/Gayten-Leach, but not without some work. Solid showing from them as Todd is officially one to watch on the women’s side after this tourney.
3:15 pm EST (Gritty) – Lots of results to catch up on so let’s note a few. Before losing to Newman/Wright, Barrientos/DJ Young won over Cassidy/Arnold in 3. I didn’t pick them but they were my next team after Cassidy/Arnold. Loong/Koller are through to the semis as well after a tight match against Smith/Dawson. First time partnership there are likely some kinks to work out so a semis appearance is a good spot so far for them. Devilliers/McGuffin in 3 tight ones over Wilson/Cincola – that one was needed for them as it’s one that could easily have gone the other way.
A notable result on the bad side is Warnick/Merchant going 1-2 on the day. That’s tough and it’s a fast fall for Warnick these days.
Friday, February 18th – Mixed
10:58 pm EST (Gritty) – In a day where the only truly expected outcome of AL/Ben rolling to the gold match, Callie/AJ did come out top with a stronge bronze over JW/Koop. It’s clear Callie and AJ have the firepower to get podiums and get to Sundays, and this could be just the start. I would expect up and downs from them though.
Parenteau/Newman and Irvine/Devilliers with tight 16-14 losses to go to bronze making it a disappointing day. It’s not so easy for these teams here and it’s continuing to prove true.
5:37 pm EST (Gritty) – After wins over Parenteau/Newman and Smith/Koller, that’s a championship Sunday for McGuffin/Stratman. They didn’t drop a game all day. Stratman was steady as hell and countered with force on her backhand. McGuffin’s limitations in men’s are somewhat masked in mixed, and he showed that is very capable of elite performances. Impressive run for a first time partnership.
Jessie/Jay lost to JW/Koop, which is not shocking but Slim particularly likes Koop and has been buying all the JW stock.
3:20 pm EST (Gritty) – Koller and Smith with a nice win over Lucy/Matt. Koller/Smith is going to run hot and cold, but the hands are scary when on.
Some back draw news. Jansen/Johns are ousted by Jones/Taylor who get another quality win. Collin in mixed…Frazier/Jardim lose to Etta Wright/Spencer Smith – Etta is a newer Utah player. Yana/Hayden Patriquin upset win over Leigh Waters/Tyler Loong. So much more depth in pickleball.
2:00 pm EST (Gritty) – 2 quick thoughts on Stratman/McGuffin’s win. One, too many balls to Tyson. Two, if Collin is going to play the left, he needs to be more comfortable playing balls on his backhand. We both like the oppo-mixed stack, but make the other girl play it to your guy if possible.
Koop/JW close win in 2 over Jardim/Frazier, which is not surprising it was tight. New world for Simone Jardim in 2022 though.
1:02 pm EST (Gritty) – This is more of a deep cut but may not soon be considered one. Parris Todd early returns are promising from what I see. She has only been playing tournaments since October. Strong tennis background but a career that seems to have fizzled out a little earlier than most, although higher level than most at a younger age too. She was just on center court with Warran Tamanha playing Hayden Patriquin/Yana Grechkina. The number one sign I look for is whether a player can handle pace and speed ups, and even though Todd looks raw as a doubles player now it seems like she’s going to be able to handle higher level place. I don’t know what the ultimate ceiling is based on watching one match and then her playing a little bit of singles yesterday, but on first look I like her game more than a lot of the new women that are trying to come onto the scene.
This may be random but, unfortunately, I am not as bullish as Morgan Evans on the Patriquin growth spurt. He’s already 16 and he’s going to be 17 later this year. It’s not impossible but it’s getting very late in the game for him to have a major growth spurt. Talented young man nonetheless.
10:00 am EST (Gritty) – Draw doesn’t start until 1pm EST, but wanted to note that Lauren Stratman/Tyson McGuffin should get to play Lea Jansen/Collin Johns. After the Jansen/McGuffin partnership was short lived to say the least, they play each other with their respective replacements. We like Collin’s upside long-term with Dreamland training and just more mixed play in tourneys, but until he shows it with results we’ll have to be skeptical of current results. These teams will be fired up for this match, assuming Jansen/Johns do win their first match.
Thursday, February 17th – Singles
7:45 pm EST (Slim) – The women’s final is set with Anna Leigh set to take on Catherine Parenteau. Catherine took games two and three rather easily over Lea Jansen in the semi-final after losing the first game 4-11. Lea Jansen will face Parris Todd in the bronze medal match. Parris is having a big day today having knocked off both Lauren Stratman and Callie Smith to reach the bronze medal match.
On the men’s side, JW Johnson ended up taking down Ryan Sherry in the bronze medal match, however it was still a very impressive run for Sherry who won some ridiculous matches today.
3:51 pm EST (Gritty) – Tyson over Jay in 3. Good win for Tyson who gets another championship Sunday where he’ll probably add another L to his 0-11 on Championship Sundays.
Also, PPA posted the seeding for women’s draw today that has Catherine as 1 seed and Lea has the 4 seed despite 3 days ago showing Lea as the 3 seed. I have no clue what’s going on.
3:11 pm EST (Gritty) – It’s all chalk in the winner’s draw. The top 4 seeds all made it to the semi-finals and Ben Johns is off to Championship Sunday after definitively toppling JW Johnson in 2 games. Ben was locked and loaded, and looked like he was out to prove JW is not on his level yet. McGuffin/Devilliers are playing to see who gets to go to Championship Sunday after Julian Arnold gave a bit of a run to Devilliers in game 1. Arnold just needs more consistency as he gets hot for stretches but can’t sustain it currently.
On the back side, Sherry beat John Cincola 18-16. Sherry has played a lot of pickleball today and he is possibly the most impressive physical specimen on tour. I don’t know how he does it with his lifestyle. He beat Thomas Wilson 17-15 in the third, went 3 games with JW Johnson and then is going 18-16 with John Cincola. He’ll now play FAD so we’ll see how the fitness holds up. Also, Thomas Wilson got a pass through Julian Arnold in the back draw who ended up withdrawing.
1:00 pm EST (Gritty) – It is hard to say when you don’t actually see the match but you have to think John Cincola being prevented from using his spin serve is somewhat problematic. Julian Arnold beat Cincola in 2 games. We flagged Arnold as a notable undrafted player and he’s proving that he belongs. More “vamos” and “andiamo” coming from Mr. Arnold, I am sure. Also, Ryan Sherry is back! Big win over Thomas Wilson 17-15 in the third. Must be a tiring win for Mr. Sherry in this 50 plus person draw, but you can never count him out on any given match.
Another thing I forgot to note in the first entry of the day is no play-in beyond the #32 seed. I wonder if this is due to a lack of courts/time, but they need to be more transparent about what they are doing from tournament to tournament. This is for both players and fans. The players don’t seem to know why there is no play-in for this draw either from my understanding.
10:18 am EST (Gritty) – What’s a PPA event without some draw questions? Yesterday, a draw was released to players that didn’t include JW Johnson. It did eventually look like a technical mistake from Pickleball Tournaments site and it was rectified – the initial and subsequent posts appear to have been removed from The Kitchen Facebook group. This morning, Anna Leigh has come out as the number one seed in women’s singles despite Catherine Parenteau being 180 pts ahead on PPA’s updated top 5 released earlier this week. She should be the #1 seed but does PPA stray from their standings just at their convenience? It appears the PPA points on their all-access portion were not updated as of yesterday either. A lot of talk about “Standards” from Dundon but I’m not seeing it yet. This is only tourney #2 under Dundon. Cool exhibition with John Isner though.