PPA Foot Solutions Arizona Grand Slam – Live Blog

📸 @ppatour

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.

20 thoughts on “PPA Foot Solutions Arizona Grand Slam – Live Blog

  • February 18, 2022 at 7:51 am

    On his podcast Tyson has tiptoed around talking about what happened with Lea but has never really addressed it. Did the partnership end because they had a falling out or did Lea just think Collin was a better player? Tyson has certainly had better mixed results than Collin but Tyson and Lea didn’t have great results together at MLP either. Side note- on Tyson’s podcast Kyle mentioned he met you guys. I very much respected that Kyle didn’t reveal your identities or blackmail you like some other podcasts…🤣

  • February 18, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    Morgan Evans just mentioned that some of the tension in the McGuffin/Stratman vs Koller/Smith match is a result of behind the scenes drama but wouldn’t elaborate. NML always seem to know the inside scoop. Spill it fellas, we gotta know lol

    • February 18, 2022 at 3:27 pm

      I was thinking the same thing 😂

      • February 18, 2022 at 5:12 pm

        Lol we don’t have info. Although our interpretation is they were referring to Tyson’s partner stuff. This is just speculation from us but alluding to Tyson being fired up and wanting this cuz he was dropped by AL and then things went south with Lea for whatever reason

    • February 19, 2022 at 6:54 am

      Morgan could also have been referring to Tyson’s Gold win with Callie in Texas Open. Tyson has nothing but admiration for Callie’s abilities. But it’s got to be sweet to get into gold IF Callie was one of the ones he had asked for 2022 partnership.

  • February 18, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Couldn’t help think that whatever the reason Lea isn’t with Tyson, she’s got to not be the happiest about it.

    • February 19, 2022 at 6:49 am

      If Lea moves to the Austin area to get consistent play with the other pros and recently transplanted Johns brothers, you could see some great improvement with Collin. No idea if she’s considering it but Tyson’s show seemed to indicate he expected her to move to CDA for practice with him before that partnership went bust.

  • February 19, 2022 at 8:06 am

    I am not excited that men’s doubles starts at 10 and then women’s at noon. The PPA did this last time, so we got first round simple men’s games, (except chuck/cassidy vs tyson/jay) which was very entertaining. The women’s matches started and they showed those first-round matchups instead of the now entertaining men’s midround games. I hope they don’t do the same thing again.

    • February 19, 2022 at 10:18 am

      Hopefully they have the other court streams going so we can watch those middle round matches

    • February 19, 2022 at 11:01 am

      Make sure you fill out the survey and let PPA know! I already told them I wanted to see both matches leading into bronze. Yesterday MXD both of those were 16-14 games.

  • February 20, 2022 at 10:18 am

    Tyson can’t be 0-12 even though he said so on the podcast. He won with Callie at the Texas Open against Jay and Jessie

    • February 20, 2022 at 11:39 am

      I was about to reply this. I thought when he said this he was talking about singles. He won Atlanta with Riley I think that was right when championship Sundays were starting and Texas with Callie, so that confirms to me that he was talking singles.

  • February 20, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    Honestly this was not a good day for the Premier Pro tour. The broadcast was fine. the production was first rate. That’s not the issue—-this week at least.

    Let’s cut through the non stop pro tour propaganda / hype, shall we.

    The field at this event was WEAK. There I said it. Weak Weak Weak and thin.

    On the men’s side 7 out of the 16 men selected in the MLP draft decided not to bother. 9 showed up. 7 did not.

    Who decided to Skip?

    Kyle Yates
    Andrei D
    Pat Smith
    Rob Nunnery
    Zane Navratil
    Adam Stone
    Dekel Bar

    Austin Gridley and Eden Lica, two really really good players, also were not in Arizona. And of course Podium Deakin has not been on tour for a long time.

    Yes one of the top 3 Singles players in the world said no thanks. And arguably the third best all around Men’s player said no thanks. Mainstay PPA team of Adam Stone and Dekel Bar said no.

    On the women’s side the numbers are about the same. MLP mvp Lee Whitwell was not there, nor was undefeated star ViV David. Simone played one event.

    The early round matches in this tournament were decidedly one sided. How about Wright and Newman vs Barrientos and Young in the QUARTER Finals? The scores were 2 and 2. There were 3 teams in the quarters that never played a tournament together. The Bronze medal winning team had played ONE rec game together prior to this tournament, and took down 3rd seeded tyson and jay.

    the field was weak. And thin.

    I won’t even go into singles as it is worse.

    Pro Pickleball, despite the incessant hype, has a long long way to go to achieve real credibility.

    The other issue the Premier Pro Tour has is that Ben Johns and AL Waters could make a mockery out of mixed doubles, as well as singles and men’s doubles. The only thing keeping ALW from taking home triple crowns is her partner setup in WD. I hate to say it.

    The Pro Pickleball product has been diluted in 2022. The fields are top heavy. It’s too hard for great racquet sport athletes to break into the game. I believe the fields should be much larger. You should have to win more than 2 matches against credible players to reach a final.

    Houston we have a problem. And Indoor Pickleball in Minnesota isn’t gonna fix it.

    • February 20, 2022 at 6:49 pm

      Was the field weak or were the top players just that much better than the field? Obviously Zane is all APP with his academy associated with APP tournaments so I would not expect him to show up very often at PPA tournaments. Andrei will probably stick with Zane – partners in APP. Pat didn’t turn down PPA – he had to work. I can’t remember if Rob was going to be his partner but if so then that might have left him out. Dekel just got back from a trip but he has said he wants to play MLP and is on APP Pro Council so his plate might be full with those commitments. And can you say the outcome would have been any different if any of those players had been in the tournament? Possibly Dekel and Adam might have made a difference but I don’t see any of the others changing the outcome. I agree with your added comment on Tyler. Morgan called them Team Kong and that certainly fit this tournament.

  • February 20, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    i gotta give some props to Tyler. He outplayed ty and jay. I think you’re missing something about his game. His soft game. His dinking and kitchen management was sensational, in the bronze. And his thirds were on point. I don’t think he missed a dink in the match. And he redirected away from an unfavorable cross court matchup time and time again.

    Yes there were moments when his hands were exposed. But there were also times when just obliterated the ball. He might have been the best player on the court, but definitely the wild card. If he didn’t hold up, they wouldn’t be going home with bronze.

    • February 21, 2022 at 5:34 am

      I think you make some very interesting points on the perceived depth of the field. Not sure I agree entirely but it is something to consider. It seems from my view it’s more of a super top heavy problem all around and top heavy on women’s side. We’ll have a bit more on this in our takeaways

      On Tyler, I only think his hands get exposed against teams like Wright and Newman. Neither Jay or Tyson have elite hands so Tyler is going to do well in that matchup usually. And yes he does not miss, but he also doesn’t do a ton with his shots compared to a lot of top players. His dinks sort of sit up there a lot and he doesn’t have a ton of variery in weapons. His weapon is his erne, which when he gets a guy like AJ on his side is a major one

  • February 21, 2022 at 11:33 am

    What, no blog posts about geezer pros? We started the game, remember. Where were Jennifer Dawson and Cami McGregor? Why is Tao struggling at the senior level? Why does The Badger win everything? Rumor is that the PPA treats its elders poorly, but the APP respects us. True story?

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