PPA Tour Championships and APP Tour Alabama Classic – Live Random Thoughts
Two tourneys, one live blog. The PPA event starts today (Thursday) as always while the APP tournament begins on Friday as this is a tier 2 APP. So there won’t be alignment on the events happening this weekend and we expect a large amount of the focus will be at one of the biggest PPAs, if not the biggest, of the year.
Fantasy Previews for the PPA Championships can be found here and the Alabama Classic here.
Sunday, October 9th – PPA Championship Sunday and APP Singles
7:45 pm EST – Boring finish to Sunday. It’s hard to tell with JW, but he looked tired despite Ben having the extra final today. 3 straight games for Ben.
6:48 pm EST – Another triple crown for AL again. The singles was her easiest but not a free triple crown by any means. Julian Arnold goes for gold as well in Alabama, getting through Foster easily.
5:50 pm EST – Matt and Riley looked on their way to a rout after winning the first 2 games 2 and 2, but then they took their foot off the gas a little for game 3 and allowed the Johns to get settled. They started punishing the attacks more and it was close from there. Matt and Riley win 11-8 in the third but a very interesting match with some controversial, but likely correct calls, in game 5.
Jack Foster is in the gold after a nice couple of wins, including rolling Tellez in the bronze. Ewa Radzikowska wins gold in 2 straight over Fudge. A total unknown before this weekend
4:05 pm EST – She will have many more chances but rough match for Parris. She is the least experienced of the four who were on court and it showed. Some ill-advised speed ups in particular were costly and her nerves showed at the end when she left a looping top spin forehand of AL’s go that dropped in by about 2 feet. Anna Bright looked really good along with Anna Leigh, but Leigh Waters pulling it together after going down 11-3, 5-0 to start the match was impressive mental fortitude. They end 3 straight 11-8, 11-8 and 11-9. Also, missed opportunity for Parris and Anna not implementing any lob strategy.
Julian Arnold and Ewa Radzikowska are in the gold matches as they both won in straight games. Radzikowska and Marshall Brown are the two unknown stars of the weekend. Ewa has high level tennis, of course, and this I believe is her first pro singles tournament. Quality win versus Oshiro.
2:21 pm EST – It’s another win for Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns. They do it in straight games over JW and Catherine – 11-3, 11-9 and 14-12. JW and Catherine gave a real good fight and there were moments in both games 2 and 3 where they looked like they would take the victory. Frankly, the difference was Parenteau not holding up quite well enough head-to-head with Ben, whose backhand rolls give Catherine a lot of trouble and her counters don’t bother him enough. Parenteau actually played really well in game 3 especially, but her lack of firepower is something she can’t do a ton about. The slow start from JW was also an issue, but he brought his level up big time in games 2 and 3. AL and Ben too good right now.
Lauren Stratman withdrew from singles today but Megan Fudge somehow forfeited her first match. She didn’t withdraw as she is still playing in the backdraw. What happened there? Was she trying to calm Ryler down? It opens up a huge opportunity as Radzikowska is suddenly in the winners bracket final with one win over Alix Truong, 8 and 9. Bobbi Oshiro big win over Jorja Johnson too, 7 and 9. We don’t see Bobbi play a ton of singles but she is legit. Jack Foster loses to Pablo Tellez in a tight 3 game match that was as chippy as would be expected from two guys who do not appear to like each other at all. Notably, Gabe Tardio loses in the backdraw to Max Manthou and Tardio’s consistency in singles has not come to fruition yet.
12:28 pm EST – The PPA stuff doesn’t start until 1 pm EST, right at football time, but we have some APP men’s singles to get up to speed on. Julian Arnold will face Rafa Hewett in the semi-finals after a testy match between Hewett and DeHeart that Rafa pulled out 13-11 in the third. It appeared when DeHeart had match point at 10-7 that Rafa called Ryler’s approach shot on the baseline out when it seemed in. Hard to say definitely from the angle of the stream, but that ball sure looked in. Rafa had complained earlier in game 3 about Ryler’s wife, Megan Fudge, possibly coaching him, which is not a good look regardless of whether she was. Then on Rafa’s match point, Hewett had a ball clip off the net that also clipped off DeHeart’s paddle and out. It looked like Ryler was trying to say it didn’t nick his paddle, but the point ultimately went to Rafa. Weird match all around with some less than ideal conduct from both players.
On the other half of the draw, Jack Foster will play Pablo Tellez in the semis after Tellez won 12-10 in the third over Kyle Lewis and Foster won in 3 over William Sobek. This semi-final will be a big match for both players, who haven’t seen an APP singles podium in quite a while. Foster and Tellez also have a little history playing one another so this could get testy as well.
Saturday, October 8th – PPA and APP Doubles
12:35 am EST – The PPA sure extends these days out, which directly results from ensuring they get as many matches as possible on the broadcast. They really do not care about the bronze matches as it wasn’t until around midnight eastern time that the bronze match was finished up for the men. Dekel Bar had an Instagram story with no one in sight to watch what was actually a really good matchup between he and JW and Frazier/Navratil. JW and Dekel ended up grinding that backdraw to beat Frazier/Navratil, and you can’t help but think those two teams would have both been better off if you switch Navratil and Frazier. Nevertheless, two APP teams getting into the bronze match. We also want to clarify that it seems we were incorrect about JW and Dekel having planned out this tournament specifically prior to 2022.
In the women’s bronze, Lucy and Callie beat Lea/Catherine in two games in what has to be a very disappointing day for Jansen/Parenteau. Give the two credit for pulling it together after an almost brutal let down loss to Gaytan-Leach and Wright, but another tournament without a podium for those two.
8:48 pm EST – Parris Todd and Anna Bright ginormous win over Lucy and Callie, 12-10 in the third. Honestly, if they lost, it was not going to be because Callie and Lucy were better. Anna and Parris were undoubtedly the better team and deserved to win. Lucy and Callie were on their heels the whole match after the first half of game 1. The Waters should be scared if they get to Sunday as Anna and Parris will be coming after Leigh. The Johns are in the finals after beating Jay and Tyson 7 and 7.
At the APP, it’s a good day for the Bobbi Oshiro should be on an MLP team camp (aka NML Pickleball). Oshiro needs to be in a partnership like this one with Jorja where Jorja creates a bunch and Bobbi sets up, with some sneaky offence herself. Jorja played very free and easy today. They beat Stratman/Remynse twice, with the gold being much closer after it looked like they were going to roll being up 11-0 and 7-2. They won 11-9 in the third to take gold.
Julian and Rafa got gold in 3 as well. They lost game 1 and barey won game 2, 14-12, but they pulled it out. Good weekend for Rafa so far.
6:55 pm EST – Can Dylan Frazier catch a break against the top teams? He has now lost 12-10 in the third to Riley/Matt and the Johns brothers today with Zane. Quite the contrast to JW and Dekel who were rolled by Matt and Riley 7 and 1. Dekel and JW continue to underwhelm as less than the sum of their parts and it’s the perils of lining partnerships up so far in advance. Dekel and JW had their tourneys set before the year started, and before Dylan and JW got rolling. JW may have given up on Dylan a little early.
Parris Todd and Anna Bright smoked Lea and Catherine, and are currently playing Lucy/Calie. It’s not a good time for Lea and Catherine right now as they lose easily to a non-PPA team. They just barey beat Gaytan-Leach and Etta Wright in the backdraw too, 16-14.
At the APP, Oshiro and Johnson got through Stratman and Remynse 7 and 3. Good win there and they will see them again in the gold. Tito Lladro and Jason Kinney with a big surprise silver, beating Scarpa and Dow 5 and 8 in the bronze. Scarpa and Dow make you work but their limited offence can leave them prone to losses against lesser teams.
5:10 pm EST (Gritty) – There’s lots of action to discuss but we have to get into this crazy sequence in game 2 of the Waters match against Grechkina/Franco – see the video on our Twitter account. Later in game 2, Yana/Regina decide to start lobbing everything as the Waters were looking into the sun. After going down 8-6 with a lob sequence, Leigh Waters loses her mind and yells at Grechkina/Franco. Grechkina responds by saying essentially that it’s a strategy, calm down and then asks the crowd to make some noise. They lose the next point after Leigh is standing on the baseline not coming to the net, Anna Leigh calls timeout and their coach (?), Brandon Oaks (?), attempts to calm Leigh down. You can see Leigh mouthing during the timeout “Fix her. It’s your problem now!” to their coach. The Tennis Channel announcers, who are not pickleball people, have zero sympathy for Leigh and rightfully so. Refreshing to see some announcers call people out for once as it’s an absurd temper tantrum about a viable strategy. They end up losing game 2 after Leigh continues to stand at the baseline because she apparently can’t see the lobs.
There was some difficulty with the stream as the sound was not matching the video, but the PPA conveniently cuts off the Youtube stream (no clue what happened on Tennis Channel). We miss the entirety of game 3 that the Waters end up winning 11-6. It is probably the wildest 3 minutes you will see in pickleball this year and, of course, I’m going to think the PPA intentionally cut off the stream to avoid any further meltdown from Mama Waters, especially since when the stream came back it was in the middle of a pre-match conversation between commentators. Intentional or not, what a shame we don’t get to see game 3 and what the interaction was like between opponents. Regardless, a terrible look for Leigh all around even though they get the win.
In some actual results, Warnick/Burrows not surprisingly find their way past Dawson/Loong. That’s a day spoiler result that they can give you. They’ll have Koller/Wilson next, who only won 13-11 and 13-11 over Patriquin/Newell. Don’t be shocked if they get another one. The next match on court will be Matt/Riley vs. JW/Dekel. Hopefully that’s a tight one. For the women, all chalk but Todd/Bright had to fight hard against the Brascia’s 12-10 and 13-11. The Brascia’s are just better than I thought they were, especially Maggie.
Rafa/Julian win a tight one over Anderson/Greg. Those two make you work like hell for wins and Rafa/Julian had big leads in games 1 and 3, lost it in game 1 and then almost lost it in game 3. I have to think we’ll see them back in the gold as they will face Tito Lladro and Kinney, who win 15-13 over Cullen/DeHeart to go to bronze. Tough day for Tardio/Forsythe, who lost 16-14 to Cullen/DeHeart.
3:47 pm EST – Matt and Riley had to fight hard against Ignatowich and Staksrud to get to a quarter-final matchup where they’ll also have to fight against Dekel and JW. 12-10, 7-11 and 11-6 against the singles guys and it has to be frustrating that they have to face a stacked half of the draw because the PPA gives the Johns bros special treatment. The Johns will play Dylan and Zane next. The women’s bracket is just getting going with, surprise, a tough first round matchup for Parris and Anna against the Brascia’s.
Nothing too shocking on the APP side. Our top seeds in both divisions will play in the winners final. Hewett/Arnold vs. Scarpa/Dow and Stratman/Remynse vs. Oshiro/Johnson.
2:27 pm EST – The PPA sure loves showing its top players kick the crap out of bad teams. Couldn’t they at least show a decent matchup? In other news, Matt/Riley can’t be super happy about a looming Dekel/JW quarter final. They have to get through Fed and Ignatowich first, which isn’t a free ride at all either. That’s two tourneys in a row Ben/Collin have gotten lucky to avoid JW in men’s doubles. Sorry, did I say lucky? I meant it’s nice the PPA ensures Ben avoids JW before Sundays.
Deakin’s return to men’s doubles was not ideal. He and Spencer Smith lose 11-9 in the third to Kris Heddings and Randy Zbinden. Randy won a bronze with Deakin at the 2019 US Open. It looks like rumours of Zbinden’s demise have been greatly exaggerated (that’s a joke fyi). Bad loss for Deakin and Smith.
At the APP, more upsets as these lower tier “pros” just have a tougher time with the consistency. Forsythe is a borderline pro in the first place and it wasn’t good enough from Tardio and Forsythe overall, losing in 2 to locals Marshall Brown and Stephan Bass. Brown looks legitimately good though. The results do not appear flukey over the last two days for him. A name to keep an eye on.
1:04 pm EST – Arnold and Hewett were pushed by Vegas and Mullane, two unknowns, to a third game and down 5-4 in game 3, but they were able to get it together to win 11-5. They’ll play Cullen/DeHeart who got Motivar/Tellez in 3 tight ones, 11-8 in the third. Hewett and Arnold are vulnerable if you make them work as combined they give away too many points. But they are also so dynamic and weathering the storms from them is the big thing.
12:22 pm EST – We are into the men’s day at the APP and just getting started in Vegas. Nothing to report early on. All the top APP teams still alive early. We’ll check back in later and see whether the quarter finals bring any surprises.
Friday, October 7th – PPA and APP Mixed
10:48 pm EST – The Newman’s get bronze. They are still a force together even if Lindsey has been playing less these days. They didn’t drop a game today other than to AL and Ben.
10:14 pm EST – JW wants a triple crown. He wins in 3 over Bright and Loong with Parenteau. He is 2 for 2 getting to Sunday and has an outside legitimate shot to get there with Dekel Bar tomorrow. He looks motivated, at least as motivated as JW can look. It’ll be a tall task to beat AL and Ben, but it is not out of the realm.
Todd/Frazier had a really nice run in the backdraw before losing to the Newman’s, including an 18-16 win over Jay and Jessie. The bronze is still going on now as Tyson and Leigh Waters will get no worse than 4th. Tyson down at #13 on Stone’s men’s mixed list was borderline criminal as well.
6:53 pm EST – Rafa Hewett, the newly adopted hometown hero, comes away with gold at the Alabama Classic with Lauren Stratman. There were only about 200 viewers on the stream as we have the PPA going on at the same time, but there was definitely a crowd at the venue watching Rafa get the win. Fudge/DeHeart made them work after an easy game 1 but Stratman/Hewett prevailed. They were the best team on paper going into the day, but who knows what goes on with two players with their own inconsistencies and having never played together.
Callie Smith and AJ Koller have played Anna Leigh and Ben Johns as well as anyone all year. They have pushed them hard on multiple occasions, and they went up 6-4 at the switch in game 3. They couldn’t keep the momentum going as they lost 11-6 in the third. Smith and Koller are two players that can get really hot so when all that comes together, they are as dangerous as anyone. The trouble is keeping that momentum up.
How about Anna Bright and Tyler Loong? We have questioned amongst ourselves whether long-term Anna has been hurt a little by her partnership with Tyler as she hasn’t had to learn how to play the right as comfortably as maybe she needs to in mixed. However, this is quite a breakthrough to steamroll the uber consistent Irvine/Devilliers partnership 6 and 1. Anna’s stock is back on the rise in a serious way after the briefest of plateaus earlier in the summer.
Other results of note at the PPA. Schneemann and Bar with a little bit of a backdraw run as they find their way through Jansen and Wilson. Maggie Brascia and Iggy keep getting solid wins together. Maggie clearly underrated by us.
5:17 pm EST – As always these PPA mixed days become a slow burn as they work to get every quarter-final matchup on center court. Lucy/Matt go down to Parenteau/JW in 3 as JW and Catherine took over in games 2 and 3 going 11-1 and 11-4. Another early exit for the veterans Matt and Lucy. On the backside, Steve Deakin and Brooke Buckner get a nice win over Allyce/Chuck while Whitwell//Pat Smith squeak one out over Brascia/Staksrud, a good win as well.
Fudge/DeHeart defeat the kids again, this time needing 3 games, 11-5 in the third. Fudge does not have elite counter ability or weapons, but she is steady as heck, and holds her own. DeHeart looked dangerous out there today. It’s not always about big breakthroughs. These two are steadily improving and grinding their way to better results.
2:58 pm EST – Some interesting results to catch up on but let’s do our best. At the PPA, Mary Brascia/Federico Staksrud beat Parris Todd/Dylan Frazier in two games 8 and 6. Federico did not make Adam Stone’s top 25 mixed list and that seemed like a miss before today, but is clearly a big snub. Parris and Dylan have not done very well together either. The other notable APP vs. APP result is Maggie Brascia/Ignatowich getting by Schneemann/Bar in 3 games. To point to Stone’s rankings again, he had Dekel way too high at #5 on his list and this is yet another result to demonstrate why Dekel can’t be that high on any mixed list.
Outside of a couple of 3-gamers with Callie/AJ coming out on top of Jones/Taylor and Bright/Loong beating Jansen/Wilson, the PPA results are fairly standard fare.
On the APP side, Stratman/Hewett are in the winners bracket final and will play Fudge/DeHeart, who have had a big day together. They got by Johnson/Tardio 11-9 and 11-5, and this is definitely their best overall result together as a mixed duo so far. They secure a medal and beat two good teams in the process without dropping a game. Now, Remynse/Tellez lost to Sobek/Hendry 15-13 in the losers bracket, which has to be a pretty disappointing day. Nevertheless, it should not take away from the strong performance for DeHeart/Fudge.
12:47 am EST – No clue if anyone is following this APP but some weird results. Truong/Arnold lose in 3 to a couple of unknowns, Ewa Radsikowska and Marshall Brown. The unknowns played well, especially Ewa whose hands held up heads up against Julian. Howver, the bigger story has to be Truong and Arnold’s emotions on court. Arnold’s temperment can lead to bigger negative swings and it also appeared to cause some poor decision-making. It’s tough for Truong who must feel like this is her opportunity with Julian and looked as if she was playing not to screw up. Neither of them looked like they were having any fun.
11:37 am EST – My goodness. We clearly didn’t put enough respect on Fudge/DeHeart. They beat Tellez/Remynse 11-1 and 11-0. Sometimes it can be tough for a team to get going when they have that bye and that was the case with Tellez/Remynse, but they never figured it out. A ton of pressure put on by the married couple whose results have been very gradually improving with no major breakthroughs really outside of the odd good win here and there. That sets up a matchup for them with Tardio and Jorja Johnson in the semi-finals.
2:20 am EST – The mixed draws are generally pretty whatever. The question is now usually whether Jay and Jessie have a chance to lose on a Championship Sunday or a semi-final to Anna Leigh/Ben. This weekend it may be another Sunday as they get the 3 seed with the Newman’s as the 4 seed. Steve Deakin makes his return to a pro draw after over a year as he teams up with newcomer Brooke Buckner and will face the 17-year-old Patriquin in round 1.
We should be seeing a Jorja/Gabe vs Pablo/Remynse semi on one side and Lauren/Rafa vs. Truong/Arnold. Something must be up with Lauren and Julian as they aren’t playing together and Adam Stone said something was going on between them on his latest podcast episode. They clearly look to be together as a couple. Did they find out like so many others playing with your significant other is better in theory than reality? Could be a weird semi-final for them against one another if it goes there.
Thursday, October 6th – PPA Singles
11:57 pm EST – No stream for these losers bracket matches going pretty late into the evening. Salome Devidze has more trouble against Irina who gets to the net well but has the advantage over Anna Bright, who doesn’t have the court coverage up there as much. 11-8 and 12-10 for Devidze who benefits from the Todd withdrawal to pick up a bronze.
Frazier and Staksrud played each for bronze after wins against Devilliers (16-14) and Hunter Johnson (15-11) respectively. That’s more APP singles players in the mix for podiums when all is said and done. Frazier ends up with the bronze in 3 over Staksrud, 11-2 in the third to boot. So impressive what Frazier has done in singles over the summer. He’a a true threat even at the biggest tournaments.
9:40 pm EST – Jay gave Ben a couple of solid games but falls short, 11-8 and 11-7. So that means we get the matchup we want. JW vs. Ben. That will be some must see pickleball TV on Sunday.
Stream is over but backdraw rolls on. Frazier beat Ignatowich 15-11. Anna beat Irina 15-13. Particularly good win for Frazier whose singles game keeps getting better.
9:02 pm EST – JW Johnson has been a different player these past two PPAs. He smokes Federico in 2 games and it’s almost like Fed has never beaten him again. In the backdraw, there are a lot of withdrawals. Loong, McGuffin and Zane all decided no to a fairly lengthy backdraw day. We ought to find a nickname for Tyson’s withdrawals.
Anna Leigh killed Irina 0 and 1. No contest. And Salome got Mary Brascia 17-15 in the backdraw and will play for bronze.
7:44 pm EST – We have to start with Catherine Parenteau going to a Championship Sunday after a ginormous win over Parris Todd. Parenteau looked left for dead after going down 11-0 and 5-2, but then she roared back to win game 2 before winning game 3, 11-7. It’s really hard to win from the baseline and Parris Todd has not played any competitive pickleball recently. Todd lost a bit of that consistency on her ground strokes and Parenteau kept putting pressure on her to get to the net first. Todd stopped being able to pass Parenteau consistently and comes away with the loss. Todd does not move laterally at the net at an elite level it would appear. It is her first tournament back in singles but we’ll see if she can keep winning without coming to the net consistently and relying on her ground strokes to keep her opponents away.
Ben Johns staved off a loss against Tyler Loong. He won big 11-1 in game 1, lost game 2 in a close one and then Loong was up 6-5 in game 3 before Ben ran through him to win 11-6. Johns will face Devilliers in the semis while Federico and JW are playing the other semi right now.
Notable backdraw results are Hunter Johnson going 15-4 over Christian Alshon and Anna Bright winning 15-7 against Callie.
6:04 pm EST – Quite the day here. The biggest result so far is Federico Staksrud winning in about as close a way as humanly possible over Tyson McGUffin. Federico lost game one 8-11 before winning 13-11 and 12-10 in games 2 and 3. That’s actually a really good match from Tyson and demonstrates he is still right there with these up and coming players. It’s not going to feel good to barely lose as moral victories don’t bring home the bacon. Nevertheless, a fascinating result and it’s too bad it wasn’t on a stream.
Other noteworthy early-ish results are from Zane Navratil’s part of the draw as he beat Ignatowich in 2 games, 4 and 8. Zane’s singles stock has been falling in our eyes as players get used to his serve, and it was expected that he wouldn’t be as dangerous in at his first PPA event in a blue moon. However, the win over Ignatowich after James had been able to handle Zane with the spin serve last time they faced off was quite interesting. Zane then had an APP throwback match with Devilliers, and Jay was able to get Zane in two games. In the other quarter-final matches going on, Tyson is playing Fed and JW is playing Dylan as all four through potentially tough matches with relative ease.
Parris Todd looks on point. The ground strokes are penetrating and Callie looked overmatched in game 1 with an inability to get to the net with the upper hand with any sort of regularity against Todd. Smith found her stride to a degree in game 2 but it wasn’t enough against Todd, as she lost 12-10 in the 2nd. Catherine Parenteau is in the semi-finals after beating Anna Bright in 3 games, which is a big win for Catherine and she’ll get a rematch against Parris Todd from San Clemente.
The surprising result on the women’s side was Irina beating Salome Devidze 11-1 and 11-8. Salome has been getting results and Irina has not so to see Salome go down that easily was not expected at all. Anna Leigh beat Mary Brascia 13-11, 11-1 after a very close call on a ball by AL to win game 1 too. ALwill play Irina.
2:58 pm EST – It’s been a very slow day for the PPA as I have to expect the play-in scenario this morning put them behind the 8-ball to some degree. We have some exciting matchups coming up as these quarter-final matchups get set. Tyson McGuffin is going to play Christian Alshon, who beat Alex Neumann in 3 games. Jay Devfilliers beat Connor Garnett in 2 games, 6 and 8, showing Garnett he’s not quite ready for prime time. Federico is going to play Hunter Johnson. JW will likely play Stefan Auvergne, who gets a surprise win over Yates Johnson in 3 games. Dylan Frazier got through Jack Foster and will likely play Sher Bear. Tyler Loong and FAD. And we’re likely shaping up for a Zane vs. James Ignatowich matchup. Things should get juicy as the day goes along.
10:40 am EST – Singles PPA day. The best day of the weekend! In an all-time shocker, Ben Johns is not on the same half of the draw of JW Johnson and Anna Leigh somehow avoided Parris Todd. It’s almost as if the PPA got exactly what they wanted. Now, James Ignatowich is in Ben’s half of the draw but they can’t keep Ben away from every top player in this field. Nothing free in this draw as we have the play-in starting right about now and there are some good players left in that play-in bracket.
Also notable on the women’s side is Lea Jansen is missing from the draw. We have to presume health issues continue to plague her, but we are only guessing there. Thankfully for Catherine Parenteau, she finally avoids Salome in her area of the draw. We’ll see if that jolts her towards a big day as she went undrafted in our fantasy preview for the first time ever.
67 thoughts on “PPA Tour Championships and APP Tour Alabama Classic – Live Random Thoughts”
Where are the 16 men being inserted into the mens bracket? All of the matchups look determined already for those 32. I don’t understand why they have the 32 bracket set, maybe that’s just a placeholder I guess.
It seems pb tourney website may not be able to deal with a play in situation. Wondering if that gets resolved once matchups are set
Dylan!!! Huge wins over Iggy and the Bronze stallion. We’ll see if he can handle Fed though. Perhaps to similar to JW for Dylan. Dylan wants to get soft.
looks like they updated it
I would rather have a Ben vs JW final than semi-final so I’m all for it! Tough draw on Tysons half with Staksrud, Johnson twins, Dylan and JW. Interested to see what Zane/James can do. One of them will get past Jay for sure I think
Not saying that we wouldn’t rather have that final either. It’s more just ongoing commententary on the PPA’s predictability with their allegedly randomized draws and coin flips for seeding. Agreed on all your comments really
Wait…so you’re saying that JW, Frazier, Hunter Johnson, Yates Johnson and Staksrud ALL on the opposite side of the draw from Ben “might” not be a coincidence…???? You have to give the PPA credit…when they manually create the bracket they really lean into it.
They have no shame
No shame at all. PPA has little integrity. Maybe none at all!
I appreciate that playing in the back draw is a grind and that they’ve got 2 more events to play but the number of forfeits in singles at the pro level is brutal. Just today you had Koller, Teoni, Loong, Tyson, Sherry, Zane, and Parris all decide the grind wasn’t worth it.
This is an example of why a backdraw leading to the finals (APP model) is better than the PPA best of 5 format.
NML said Connor wasn’t going to be happy with Tyson’s recent comments regarding MLP. And this draw may prove just how unhappy Connor was.
Connor Garnett Squeaks by Zack Taylor 11-9 11-9, they had some great battles in APP, lets see what Connor Can do against Jay, this will be a first real “giant” test for him, and I wonder how his “rawness” might throw Jay off for a game 1 perhaps.
Prediction: 9-11 11-4 11-7 Jay Devilliers
Jay had to fight but not much trouble. Well done. Lets see if Connor can fight in the backdrop
Dylan vs Jack Foster is a scary matchup. I love Dylan to death so I’m afraid what Jack can do. He’s taken him down easily before, hopefully Dylan finds his touch and works the drops w/ cat and mouse. Hard to do when Jack is “on” though. The balls don’t stop flying.
Both the Connor/Jay and Jack/Dylan are interesting for different reasons. Not a lot of freebies in these events
Dylan proves supreme to Jack in an 11-5 11-6 matchup. Now on to the Sherr-Bear, another who can eat Dylan up with fiery passing shots and deadly backhand rolls. I believe in you Dylan. Give him a workout, make him sweat .
Dylan on a tear! So impressed with his singles game. Let’s see how hard he can push JW
Irina beat Devidze at TOC 11-5, 11-5. They had some exchanges about line calls. If I remember, Irina called for line judges. Don’t know if Irina did that here.
Hopefully we’ll get to see Federico vs JW but with so many PPA players with remaining matches, might not.
Might be a long night to get to MS bronze.
Adam and Rob out with updates on MLP at end of podcast. NML gets a mention at their #5 pick in MXD for men (which is going to be a strong disagree).
Had forgotten about that. I think Irina’s ability to get to net is problematic for Salome.
That Dekel is a strong disagree!
the ppa has created , by guaranteeing money, and by eliminating the chance to win the event if you lose once, a parade of Withdrawals. It’s a really poor design.
Yup, just today you had Koller, Teoni, Loong, Tyson, Zane, Sherry, and Parris all drop out after their first loss.
It’s a long list
Undoubtedly. They shouldn’t even bother with a backdraw really
Dylan!!! Huge wins over Iggy and the Bronze stallion. We’ll see if he can handle Fed though. Perhaps to similar to JW for Dylan. Dylan wants to get soft.
Dylan pulls it off against Staksrud 11-7, 8-11, 11-2 for bronze. Long day for these guys. Even longer for the Play-In bracket that started at 7:30 and then going for Points bracket. They played their bronze at same time.
Devidze gets Bronze over Bright 11-8, 12-10.
Very impressive for Dylan. What a long day for him. Wish we could see it
Dylan!!!!!! So happy!!! You animaaaaaal!
Will the PPA post the Bronze match!? They better!!!
Highly doubtful. 2 non-PPA players in Bronze. I doubt they had anyone filming it. Maybe an audience member will have it.
Unfortunately, that’s probably exactly right
At least with the smaller brackets in MXD we should see some good matches streamed [once streaming starts] from both tournaments. And see the bronze for PPA. APP will play through to the gold in its Tier 2.
I feared Fed and Mary would beat Dylan and Parris. Same exact thing happened last time.
Game 2: Newmans vs Maggie/James:
I thought James and Maggie were going to force the game 3 with their good lead. Then Riley went into turbo-charge mode and they pulled ahead. Despite the loss, for the first time I saw James make some set-ups and some baiting plays. Well done by him. We’ll see if the heat gets to him in the backdraw.
Fudge/Deheart surprise: When I looked at the bracket results, I had to go back to the fantasy draft to see on which fantasy team they were drafted. Gritty goes all-in Fudge and almost DeHeart but Kyle Lewis edged him out of singles.
Tyler/Anna over Jessie/Jay by such a big margin, especially in 2nd game (11-1) was a shock. If anything, you would have expected 3 games to get the win over J&J. Tyler played the steadiest in Mixed that I’ve ever seen from him. Maybe he took a patient pill before the match.
But despite J/J defeat they then went to beat Ignatowich and Maggie 15-2. Perhaps Ignatowich and Maggie may have been worn out or cold muscles from the long wait.
Still a lot of backdraw action to get through. I’m guessing we don’t get to see the Bronze.
Great semi with Catherine/JW vs Anna/Tyler especially the close game 2. “I think they can get silver.”
So far, a double dip on Sunday for both with Singles.
Even better semi with AL/Ben over the Newmans! Maybe the best mixed points I’ve ever seen in Game 2. Very cool to watch it on the Tennis Channel, too.
Wow, what I would give to see some backdraw matches from Parris and Dylan. Matches over Zane/Viv, Matt/Lucy, and 18-16 over Jessie/Jay!?!? That had to be a barnburner and I’m jealous of all who witnessed it. What I would give.
Congrats to Leigh and Tyson for 4rth. That’s got to feel good for them in a heavy field.
I also would have loved to have seen that 18-16 Todd/Dylan vs Jay/Jessie match. This tournament alone was probably worth 3 APPs for the learning experience as a team for Todd/Dylan.
It’s going to be a real scheduling conundrum for PPA on Sunday. PPA would prefer to tire out JW before playing Ben in a bracket but with him facing Ben in both brackets, they can’t do that.
Not specific to this tournament, but my racquet club — with 9 tennis courts and still requiring tennis whites, that grudgingly put in just one PB court in a corner of the property a few years ago — just emailed us mentioning all the recent Tennis Channel coverage as a major reason why they’re abruptly converting one of the tennis courts to PB. We were never into tennis (joined for paddle), so I didn’t realize how many members casually turn on TC on the weekends (the way I might casually turn on the NFL coverage).
This is very interesting. It is why Tennis Channel is better than ESPN plus and CBS Sports Network
It’s amazing how the PPA cut off the YouTube stream as soon as Leigh and Anna Leigh showed their true colors. The PPA has to stop all negative publicity for their golden geese. If less views on YouTube does it because the rest of the match is hidden behind the TC paywall then so be it!
What poor sports and awful competitors – The Waters. What corrupt management – The PPA.
It very much looks intentional to cut the stream because no acknowledgement by announcers when stream came back. Terrible look all around
The feed wasn’t cut on tennis channel and they showed the entirety of games 2 and 3 AND there weren’t the same audio issues that YouTube was having. Maybe, just maybe the you tube feed was cut because of the audio issues. 🤷♀️ While the tennis channel commentators were super frustrating with their lack of pickleball knowledge and respect, I really appreciated that they were honest with how ridiculous Leigh was. She even made a bad line call in game three out of spite and the commentators called her out on it.
That is a possibility. It’s hard to give the PPA the benefit of the doubt. Anything happen in game 3 worth noting or after on the broadcast?
You mean like did Hannah ask Leigh what she thinks about lobs into the sun during the after-match interview. ha, ha.
Haha…that would have been amazing
The Waters were up 8-1 when AL made a great play but her shot went just barely long. Leigh thought it was in and was celebrating and bowing to AL when they realized the ball was called out, which the refs and it seems the crowd all agreed with. After that Regina and Yana were able to make a 5 point run (with lots of lobbing) to get to 8-6, during which Leigh called a ball out. But this time the refs, crowd, and even the commentators all agreed it was in. But then AL went beast mode and was able to get to 11. Pretty crazy, entertaining match!
I actually liked the Tennis Channel commentators once I got used to them. Sure they made mistakes but that is part of what made it fun. I guess if you were a regular TC viewer you would have known who they were and maybe kept watching because of them. So talking about the game as a non-pickleball aficionado might have brought eyes to the game that normally wouldn’t be there.
I agree that it is extremely refreshing to have commentators not biased towards PPA players of all flavors and certain PPA players with an embarrassment of blinders. And also not stating the obvious with ad nauseam repetition.
I didn’t have a major issue with them. Some stuff didn’t make a ton of sense but they were good overall. And again, the lack of bias was so refreshing
As a big fan of both JW Johnson and Dekel Bar I have to say…what a sad and embarrasing effort against Wright/Newman. From up 7-5 in game 1 to getting outscored 17-1 to lose 11-7, 11-1. Casual/borderline complacent may work in the APP but not against a top 2 PPA team. You know it’s bad when even the clueless Tennis channel commentator stops jabbering nonsense long enough to comment that JW seems way too casual. I know it’s considered his “style” but sometimes you have to find another gear…
lol you think it’s JW’s fault? Dekel and JW have struggled from the beginning. They won a few APP events. But JW literally wins APP events with anybody. He has won APPs with Johnny Goldberg, Dekel, Zane, gridley, and Dylan. Dek and JW have not come close to winning PPA events. They also got a bronze and NO podium in two other APPs. I predict that they won’t be teaming up next year. It just doesn’t work at the business end of tournaments. JW and Dylan have beaten the john’s brothers, and had match point on Matt and Riley a few weeks ago at a PPA. They have won multiple APP events with Ease, and have a silver and bronze in PPAs.
It wasn’t JW’s fault. Worse: he was irrelevant while his team gave up 17 of 18 points. Kind of like how irrelevant his APP resume is that you felt the need to recite, lol. No doubt that he and Dylan are a much better combination that will make waves, but that “match point on Matt and Riley a few weeks ago”….remind me who missed the fairly routine forehand counter-attack that would have won them the match…?
yeah and he is in TWO ppa finals tomorrow. where was his Irrelevance yesterday and Thursday? You make it sound like getting a match point on Riley and Matt is no big deal. In fact you’ve probably done it yourself no doubt.
Great comment 👍 😂
All I can say is that Riley must be driving JW crazy. JW has always commented that Riley was the player that gives him trouble – maybe more of a nemesis than bennyboy.
jw has beaten riley twice that I know of. is a far better singles player. and is not yet 20. long game. I would appreciate all your “legacy” players every chance you can watch them. it won’t be that way next year.
Did you mean Ben instead of Riley? Riley doesn’t play singles. It’ll be a great showdown in singles tomorrow between the two. You are not alone in thinking JW is better than Ben in singles. I’ve heard pros say that too.
you said it yourself. riley doesn’t play singles. there is a reason for that.
In doubles riley is considered to be one of the top two players in the game, and has a compatible partner that is working for him currently. That may not be the case next year. jw has one as well, and I expect them to play more together next year. jw has been experimenting with different partners in 2022. On paper jw and dek looked formidable. But I think both are realizing that each is better on the left side. Even with dek on the right, they’re really close to winning the big events. But they yet to really get over the hump against the top two teams in the sport. That’s not a crime. But I think each will be seeking a better fit for their respective games in the future. As for future partners for JW, along with Dylan, I would think gabe and iggy are candidates to watch. Zane and JW seem to really gel as well.
JW and Dylan will play together going forward almost certainly, at least at bigger events
I’m willing to give Leigh some slack. Anyone can get frustrated with constant lobs. She must have regained control of her frustration to win game 3. Though the side switch would have helped. Maybe someone gave Leigh a shade hat too.
Waters team will really have to fight for that gold on Sunday against Todd/Bright. It’ll be interesting to see where PPA puts AL’s other two matches.
Two app mens teams played for bronze. And the #3 ppa team was fighting in the back draw. one of them came close to beating the #1 team on tour. the ppa is Top Heavy but thin. They have the top two men and top female. outside of that you could make the argument that the app has better players/teams. that’s for the men. for the women the ppa has the top player. Outside of that, mix the two tours together and take your pick. there is no huge advantage to ppa. And you could easily argue the up and comers are all non ppa signed players.
I though the APP didn’t sign players?
They haven’t but it is convenient to refer to the primary APP players as that
I am loving the TC commentators today. They are so funny with their outside look and what they think is bizarre. They even had a discussion on whether 2 time-outs per side per game was a good thing.
And again love, love that they are not biased towards certain star players.
They were extremely surprised at the no video challenge to a Waters ball called out by Todd/Bright in game 4 around point 7/7. They even commented on how the ref could see it and say out from his view way, way over on the other side of the court.
At beginning of game 4 around 1/0 they said Leigh’s game had gotten better. The audio was a little garbled but I think they said AL asked Leigh to step up her game (presumably after game 1 or when behind in game 2).
Mixed was a disappointment in 3 straight but WD didn’t disappoint. Lots of weaknesses got highlighted in team play/strategy. Not sure what Parenteau was thinking to go head-on with Ben so many times. Passing shots is one thing but head-on is another.