PPA Takeya Showcase Newport – Live Blog

Sunday, August 8th – Championship Sunday

2:47 pm EST (Gritty) – That’s 3 championship sunday women’s singles matches in a row that have gone 5 games and they were all won by different players. Anna Leigh pulls this one out as she proved to be a little to much for Parenteau on this Sunday. Parenteau wasn’t able to get to the net enough in game 5 to get the pressure on AL.

Mattias Johansson won the senior pro men’s singles this morning as he took down Paul Olin who he lost to recently. Johansson is a singles firecracker and now he’s giving a bit of that Zane serve look. 3 games straight for Johansson who will only keep getting better.

Saturday, August 7th – Gender Doubles

10:15 pm EST (Slim) – It finally happens, Matt and Lucy take down Ben and Simone in the gold medal mixed match in five games. Credit to Matt and Lucy who looked very sharp in the match. I was especially impressed that Matt and Lucy were able to regain their composure after game 4, where up 2 games to 1, and with a large lead, they let it slip away and I think almost everyone started to wonder if it wasn’t going to be another inevitable Ben and Simone win.

8:21 pm EST (Gritty) – Bar and Stone with a bit of a scare but they get to the bronze. They were down 11-5 before rattling off 9 unanswered points against AJ and DJ. It was an uncharacteristically error riddles game for Bar and Stone who may have been a bit sluggish following a disappointing loss in the semis. Good run for DJ and AJ, and for Koller getting reps in those types of matches are so important.

7:31 pm EST (Gritty) – The men’s is all set with the expected duos after NewGuffin win over Stone/Bar in 3. Pat and Jay will play for bronze after winning against the Rob’s.

The Waters expectedly take bronze but not after a long fight in 2 contested games where Barr/Braverman fought off what felt like 100 match points before ultimately losing. People shouldn’t be so surprised by the Braverman and Barr combo being so successful as their games complement one another quite well. As always, both players having strong hands is so helpful. It’s kind of hilarious that Ben and Rob left Jillian out of their MLP mock draft in favor of Yana Grechkina. Personality aside, Braverman is monstrous on the court and she has an all around game that fits wel with MLP’s format (Barr IMO is also a better choice than Grechkina).

6:25 pm EST (Slim) – The women’s gold and bronze medal matches are set, with Lucy and Simone taking on Callie and Irina. It is confirmed that Callie Smith will be playing on Sunday for the first time, apparently she has gotten the go ahead from the leadership of the Church, so that is a big change for the women’s game. The bronze medal match will feature the Waters versus Susannah Barr and Jillian Braverman. I had suspected that Braverman and Barr could do well and they have, but the Waters will be a stiff test in the bronze medal match.

On the men’s side, Ben Johns and Matt Wright defeated Jay Devilliers and Patrick Smith in the first semi-final. In the Johns/Wright partnership, it seems that Matt has finally accepted just stacking on the right side when playing with Ben. The second semi-final is yet to be played. On the loser’s side it is of note that DJ Young and AJ Koller, have knocked out Steve Deakin and Collin Johns in a very tight match, 16-14.

5:09 pm EST (Gritty) – One very interesting piece is that it appears Callie Smith is going to play in the gold on Sunday. We’ll have to wait and see if this is for real because it seems very, very odd after pulling out of the main singles draw on Thursday and then doing it for a super random PPA event. Doesn’t seem like her at all. Stay tuned.

4:42 pm EST (Gritty) – It’s our first update of the day as there hasn’t been anything super newsworthy on the men’s side. It is funny how these days can go as Smith and Devilliers barely beat Gridley/Barrientos, and then they grind their way past Deakin/Johns in 3 for a semi-final appearance. The semis for the men has shaken out exactly as we expected with Johns/Wright, Bar/Stone and McGuffin/Newman rounding out the top 4.

Farias/Yates not a strong day again as they lose to Young/Koller again. It’s a different world for the old guard of pickle.

On the women’s side, Braverman and Barr had a big win over Irvine and Parenteau with Irvine’s less than stellar results continuing despite the top end partnership as they go down in the backdraw to Esquivel and Jansen. Barr/Braverman did then get rolled by Tereschenko and Smith.

Friday, August 6th – Mixed Doubles and Senior Pro Gender Doubles

9:48 pm EST (Gritty) – It was a lot of stuff happening in the backdraw with what has to be a disappointing day for Tyson and Anna Leigh. They lost to Michelle Esquivel and Jay Devilliers in a tight one and they had a very good day then beating Smith/Deakin in another one that could have gone either way. Parenteau and Newman then take the bronze in 3 and I’m sure they wish they had a shot at Matt and Lucy again. But that’s how it goes in single elimination.

6:47 pm EST (Slim) – Another very tight semi-final but we end up with another Matt Wright / Lucy Kovolova vs Ben Johns / Simone Jardim final, as Matt and Lucy survive Riley Newman and Catherine Parenteau 11-9, 4-11, 13-11. I guess this another case of cream rising to the top? We had two extremely tight semi-finals but at the end of the day, end with the gold medal match we have seen so many times before. I have zero expectation that we will get a different result with that gold medal match either. I have to ask would it kill Matt and Lucy, to try something different in the final? What is their to lose?

5:36 pm EST EST (Slim) – The first semi-final is in the books with Simone and Ben, escaping Steve Deakin and Callie Smith 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, in a match that featured some absolutely tremendous rallies. After falling behind 7-0 in the third game, Steve and Callie had a lot of success with Callie on the left side playing in front of Simone. This was something I was hoping they would do earlier in the match as Callie, with one the best sets of hands in women’s pickleball and good attacks, is able to attack Simone and put Ben and Simone on the defensive which is a rare opportunity against them. The other semi-final features Matt and Lucy versus Riley Newman and Catherine Parenteau. Riley and Catherine are coming off a convincing win over Tyson McGuffin and Anna Leigh Waters. I am not surprised Riley and Catherine won, but I am surprised that match wasn’t closer.

2:53 pm EST (Gritty) – Nothing crazy noteworthy but after losing to her bae in 3, Carr/Bar go down in the back draw 16-14 to Mary Brascia and AJ Koller. Dekel’s mixed results continue to baffle me. DJ Young and Irvine lost to Yates and Leigh Waters, who play Smith/Deakin. It’s early and tough first match for Young and Irvine, but that’s not a good straight games loss for them.

1:12 pm EST (Gritty) – We are just getting most of the first match results in and some notable scores early on. Both Smith/Deakin and Tereschenko/Stone had to go 3 tight games in their respective matches against Gayten-Leach/Frazier and Maggie Brascia/Daniel Roditi. Barr and Loong also needed 3 against McDermott and Gridley. Then the De la Rosa’s took down Braverman/Farias, which would not be expected by me unless Michelle De la Rosa improved significantly since the last time I watched her play.

Thursday, August 5th – Singles

9:18 pm EST (Gritty) – Dekel Bar grinds out a back draw to win bronze. What a world. Big wins over Tyson and then tight over Baby K in 3 games for the bronze. That serve is monstrous for the big Israeli.

7:32 pm EST (Gritty) – A fairly tight second game but Jansen unsurprisingly takes bronze over Cooper. Have to wonder how Jansen feels about getting that first match in the day against Anna Leigh Waters. I would love to hear some unfiltered thoughts of some pro women about PPA seeding.

6:33 pm EST (Gritty) – Big day for Annica Cooper on the women’s side as she plays Jansen for bronze after taking down Stratman and Tereschenko. Big surprise. She has a strong tennis background but is a little older and her results have never really indicated she has this ability. Good on her.

Gabe Joseph has gotten through Ryan Sherry in the back draw after losing in 3 to Ben Johns. Notably, Jay Devilliers with a big 3 game win over Tyson whose hold at #2 in the singles game continues to become more fragile with each passing tournament. Tyson will play Bar to go to the bronze match.

4:03 pm EST (Gritty) – Lots of interesting results so far in both draws but it is the expected top 4 for the men into the semis. Dekel Bar continues to work his way through the back draw after beating Matt Chou, who had a nice day himself. Sherry is moving through as well after taking down old guard guy Joey Farias.

The women’s side we had a fresh Anna Leigh firing on all cylinders to take down Lea Jansen. Venise Chan with a very tight match against Irina ultimately losing in 2. I wonder how she’ll do against Lea jn the back draw. It’s weird how Parenteau has such a relatively easy road to gold and she gets there after a forfeit from Callie – due to a no Sunday playing for her. So it’s 1 win and onto gold for Parenteau

1:50 pm EST (Slim) – The men’s quarter-finals are set, with Ben Johns vs. AJ Koller, Gabe Joseph vs. Dekel Bar, Tyson McGuffin vs. Spencer Smith and Ryan Sherry vs. Jay Devilliers. The Joseph vs Bar match probably intrigues me the most, the last time they faced off Gabe won, in three, and I would expect him to win again but Dekel is a talented singles player. I am also curious if Ryan Sherry can push Jay Devilliers. Speaking of Sherry, the one earlier result that interested me, was Sherry beating Dylan Frazier 11-4, 11-5. I was not surprised that Sherry won, but I was that he won with relative ease. Frazier has been playing a lot of pickleball and been on the road a lot, I have to wonder if he is getting tired as he also barely won his first round match up.

11:40 am EST (Gritty) – I also should have noted Anna Leigh playing Jansen in round 1 is egregious. The PPA seeding is so probelmatic with no comeback to gold. So unfortunate. This was literally the gold medal match last time around. It’s unclear to us what they are using for seeding currently but I demand a re-count!

11:30 am EST (Gritty) – Play will be starting at 12:00pm EST for the men. Ben, Irina and possibly Gabe Joseph appear to have played in an alleged $50k prize pool pop tennis tournament at Venice Beach yesterday. The big storyline from that will be whether Ben tired himself out after making it to the finals of a sport he has never played…yeah not actually. Ben will be fine but it is a curious look that him and Irina could literally make the finals of a sport they never played. Anyone have a line on what quality that tourney was?

It wasn’t noteworthy enough for the preview but Venise Chan, who was Hong Kong’s highest ranked tennis player and had a stint on the WTA, is playing her first pro tourney this weekend. The very limited clips are not promising but we don’t see many tennis players of that level out there so if you give her some time I’d have to think she can play. Hong Kong not a pb hotbed.

3 thoughts on “PPA Takeya Showcase Newport – Live Blog

  • August 6, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    There was a ref error in the third game of the Kovolova/Wright vs Parenteau/Newman match. Matt and Lucy served at 5-2-2 and scored resulting in a side switch. After the switch, ref called 6-2-1 (should have been 6-2-2). They lost that point but then did score on the next serve which they shouldn’t have had. (Starts around 1:42 on the you tube video) Man! In such a tight game it’s such a bummer that a ref error potentially changed the outcome of the game. I would have loved to see Riley and Catherine take on Ben and Simone in the gold metal match!

    • August 7, 2021 at 7:26 am

      Thanks for the heads up Denise. A very unfortunate situation to see in such a tightly contested match. The ref has taken responsibility and apologized for the error

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