PPA Tour Denver Open – Live Random Thoughts

📸 @ppatour

The Denver Open is interesting with some main players missing. Some players decided to skip it and enjoy a long break. Others have injuries. Ignatowich is out on the injured list and we’re not sure if Tyson had planned to miss this one, but he noted a couple of podcasts ago he was dealing with elbow problems. We know Ignatowich struggled with altitude at last year’s TOC so it might be good he’ll be skipping the mile high city. Riley has family commitments. JW out. On the women’s side we are missing CP, Callie, Jorja, and Allyce. Thus, we have some first time partnerships: Matt with Dylan, Lucy with Lea! The seeding will be different so the matches could be really boring/lop-sided or really exciting. This tournament will have a MVP and get the Most Valuable Pickler award from the tournament sponsor Oh Snap! Unknown how MVP is decided.

There will be some interruption to the online (YT) streaming. On Saturday, matches are scheduled on ESPN2 from 12:00 to 2:00 MT. Schedule shows YT before and after those times but not during. Championship Sunday airs on ESPN on the 23rd – the following Sunday? – at 3:00 p.m. MT as a 1 hour taped match. The match isn’t specified.

July 16th – Championship Sunday

11:25 am EST (Waggish) – Order of Play:
MXD: Familiar faces: AL/Ben vs Matt/Lucy. Not expecting this one to go past 3 games.
WD: AL/AB vs Lacy/Vivienne. We should see some good rallies. If Lacy and Vivienne stay on their toes and take advantage of the few holes that open up, they can push AL/AB.
MD: Johns vs Tellez/Staksrud. I expect Johns to have them figured out. Tellez/Staksrud will need to show them something different or mix it up a lot to force a game 4.
WS: AL vs Irina. We know how this one will go. The wrench might be that Irina is well rested after an unexpected day off yesterday due to Meghan’s injury. Plus Irina is good at getting to the net and may cut off AL with some sharp angles. AL will adapt quickly.
MS: Ben vs Christian: Christian has taken a game off Ben before. Maybe he’ll be able to take 2 off him. Should see some good rallies.

1:00 pm EST (Waggish) – MXD Gold: Waters/Johns vs Kovalova/Wright. Lucy/Matt tie at 8 in game 1. Game 2: Vulnerable positioning at 5-4 by AL/Ben and Matt takes advantage. See amazing rally at 7-4. AL is roaring proud of that one. AL went to speak to the refs after game 2 as if she wanted to thank them? – maybe she thought it was a 2/3 match? Ben and AL must both have wanted it over because game 3 quickly got to 6-0 then just as quick to 11. (8,5,1)

2:30 pm EST (Waggish) – WD Gold: #1 Waters/Bright vs #6 Schneemann/David. Game 2, Schneemann team got to 4 and get stuck there while Waters team went from 2 to 10. Game 3, Schneemann team get a 4-0 lead before AL has seen enough and calls the time-out. See rally at 1-6! Schneemann team get to game point then Waters team takes it from 4 all the way to 9! Wow, we get a game 4. Glad to see Schneemann and David finally came alive. Game 4, Waters get a substantial lead 7-1. AL really aggressive. AB then turns on the fire. Together, they are a fire hose putting tons of non-stop pressure on Schneemann team. At 10-1, Schneemann string together a few points and catch momentum. Waters/Bright win (5,4,9-,5). AB said they are playing the next 2 tournaments together.

3:50 pm EST (Waggish) – MD Gold: #1 Johns vs #3 Tellez/Staksrud. Tellez team put up a strong fight in game 1. They may have let the Johns play too much of the dinking game. Game 2, it’s obvious that Ben sets up to pull Pablo wide. There’s frequently going to be a gap and he puts his next shot between Pablo and Staksrud. Johns team love tagging both Pablo and Federico, especially Federico. Johns team may be attacking earlier than Tellez team. Don’t wait to be attacked, attack first is not a motto you see from them often when dinking. Game 3, 5-2 time-out shows Staksrud dipping his hand in some ice water. He is taking a medical time-out. His pinkie seems to be the problem. He had gone for an Ernie and it looked like his hand slammed the post. Ref even called a fault for touching the net post. Game 3 resumes with lackluster play from all players. No one bringing the fire power, just grinding. Johns win. (7,4,4).

4:40 pm EST (Waggish) – WS Gold: #1 Waters vs #3 Tereschenko. AL does it again. After a 6-1 lead in game 1, AL ties it at 7. Tereschenko makes it 10-8. But AL makes fewer errors than Irina and gets the win. Game 2, Waters has it figured out. (10,3) AL gets a standing ovation. Despite the score, it was a valiant effort and good showing from Irina.

5:15 pm EST (Waggish) – MS Gold: #1 Johns vs #7 Alshon. Not a contest. Worst performance I’ve ever seen from Alshon. He just didn’t move well or do his famous angles. (1,2)

Saturday, July 15th – Doubles

11:52 am EST (Waggish) – We have a rare sighting of Kyle Yates at a PPA tournament. He is playing with Alshon. They will have the court covered well but unfortunately they get the Johns team in round 2 if they make it past Vich/Tamaki. Also in the Johns half is #8 seed Arnold/Wilson. It’d be an amazing story if they beat Johns in the QF. Maybe they’ll push them to 3 games though. #4 seed is Dawson/Patriquin. Rounding out that top half is #5 seed Koller/Lange. I’m expecting a chalk QF but many teams I don’t recognize so could be an upset somewhere.

In the lower half, we have #2 seed Frazier/Wright. It’ll be interesting to see their stack strategy. Both can play either side very well though Matt may have more put-away power on his forehand overheads. With the lack of some mainstream MD teams, we may not see them put to the full test of what they can do together. #3 seed is Tellez/Staksrud. Given their draw, I’d be surprised if they had to go past 2 games until SF.

For the WD, it may be a boring day. Not seeing any obstacle for #1 seed AL/AB to a Sunday appointment. #2 seed is the new [one-time presumably] team Lucy and Lea. It’d be a big upset if they didn’t make it all the way to SF. #3 seed is Jessie and Etta. My concern there would be court coverage if their opponents create chaos which Lea is very capable of doing but not so much from #6 seed Lacy and Vivienne. I expect Etta on left during a serve stack but no stack on receive. I’m also looking to see if Humberg can create any noise today – playing with Hannah Blatt whom I don’t know.

It looks like we lose YT for 2 hours at 2:00 pm EST. Usually we lose CC before then so everyone can get ready for the switch over and not interrupt a match.

1:12 pm EST (Waggish) – #12 Hewett/Spencer Smith vs #5 Koller/Lange (GS) – Koller does a serve into the net in game 2 making a very rare serve error at the pro level. Rafa tearing him up. The altitude may be effecting Lange’s balls – a few going long. The good news is that Koller/Lange lost in round 2 so they don’t have to worry about the backdraw. (7,2) They can go their separate ways which it looked like they wanted to do.

1:30 pm EST (Waggish) – Navratil/DJ Young defeat Augustus Ge/Daniel Jensen (8,6). If Shick/Dobran make it to round 2 also, they could get pushed.

2:15 pm EST (Waggish) – #4 Dawson/Patriquin vs #20 Lohani/Venkatesan (GS) – Lohani team had game point at 10-3. But then Dawson team got a run to tie it! Lohani team flubbed their 2 serve chances and Dawson team takes the win! Great comeback! Hayden saw very few balls in the first 5 points of game 1 – maybe only 1 dink after serve/return. Lohani team finally got some points on the board and quit icing Hayden. Callan stacking left this game. They win (10,4). They play Hewett/Smith in QF.
Frazier/Wright had a tight 2 games against Caden Nemoff/Michael Loyd (9,8). Upset alert! #8 Arnold/Wilson are defeated by #9 Todd Fought/Wyatt Stone (8,7-,8). Despite the seed numbers, I call this an upset! So it’ll be Fought/Stone in the QF against presumably the Johns.
#3 Staksrud/Tellez will face #11 Garnett/Cassidy in their QF. #6 Rettenmaier/Deakin were defeated (4,11).
WD: There may be a forfeit in WD. I hear Dizon may be out. But pbb is so slow to update that it’s unconfirmed ATM. So it could be an easy walk to QF if Emmrich/Pisnik win round 1.

2:50 pm EST (Waggish) – Johns vs Yates/Alshon (ESPN2) – Yates team were up for a while in game 1 but Johns team able to tie it at 8. In game 2 at 1-3, Yates does a nice little air flick to try to distract Ben before his actual flick. Game 2 gets tied at 7. Johns win (8,9). Alshon stacked left. Yates may have done better at attacking Collin if he was left as Yates likes his speed-ups which can sometimes be successful against Collin’s body. But overall, it was a decent showing against #1 seed.

3:00 pm EST (Waggish) – WD: PPA Tour has news that Dizon withdrew. Here is what they said, “During the first game of the bronze medal match, both Staksrud and Dizon set up for a midcourt putaway ball that flew high between the pair of them, with Staksrud swinging a forehand and Dizon swinging a backhand. Unfortunately, with Dizon in front and both players lunging to swing at the ball, Staksrud’s paddle ended up connecting with the back of Dizon’s head.” Kudos to them for pulling off a win in that second game of bronze last night. So Emmrich/Pisnik did have a walk to QF.

3:55 pm EST (Waggish) – #3 Tellez/Staksrud vs #11 Garnett/Cassidy (GS). Tellez/Staksrud have 8 before Garnett/Cassidy get their first point. They get to 10 but still plenty of fight in Garnett team and they make it all the way to 9! Game 2: Garnett team force a game 3. Garnett/Cassidy apply the pressure on full boil in game 3 until tie at 5. Then the end-switch seems to have given Staskrud/Tellez some magic focus and they run it up to 9. But like prior games, Garnett/Cassidy aren’t done and hold them at 9 for several side-outs while they creep up -slowly-. See Garnett’s hands at 10-8. Impressive but Tellez/Staksrud get the match. (9,9-,8)
WD: #2 Kovalova/Jansen vs #15 Angie Walker/Dana Raugust (ESPN2). Kovalova/Jansen up big 6-0 but Walker/Raugust tie it at 7! But that’s all they get. Game 2 was an embarrassment to put on ESPN2. (7,2). QF are set for WD. All chalk with the higher seeds from round 2 making it to QF.

4:50 pm EST (Waggish) – #2 Frazier/Wright vs #7 Navratil/Young QF – Frazier did a great save at 1-3 when Matt was hanging back at the baseline. Dylan read DJ was going to do a soft drop into the NVZ and he hustled over for the return. Then DJ noticed that open court and angled over to it. Luckily, Matt got there in time!. They lead until Navratil team tie it at 8. Game 2: F/W get a good lead and don’t look like they’ll get caught at 6-1. Dylan knew what he was getting and ready with his sprints at a fast read of the situation. He uses his fast twitch muscles to dash after any ball that gets past Matt. Frazier/Wright (9,3). They play Tellez/Staksrud in SF. #4 Dawson/Patriquin defeat #12 Hewett/S.Smith QF (GS) (7,4). They’ll play the winner of the Johns QF.
#1 AB/AL defeat #8 Ansboury/Castillo (ESPN2) (2,5).

5:25 pm EST (Waggish) – Emmrich/Pisnik vs Newell/Stratman QF (GS). N/S defeated Black/Braverman (10,9-,7) to get to QF. In QF game 1, they take an early lead and don’t open the door to Emmrich/Pisnik. In game 2, Emmrich/Pisnik do take the lead and run with it until the tie at 8. Then Newell/Stratman regain it. (5,8)
Johns defeat Fought/Stone QF (2,2). Nothing of note.

6:40 pm EST (Waggish) – #7 Brascia vs #2 Jansen/Kovalova QF (GS) – Lea and Lucy had the lead in game 1 but Brascia team tied them at 7. From there it was a race to 11. But it required 12 before the win by 2. Game 2 also had the early lead by Lea/Lucy and they kept it to win match. (10,3). In game 2, Brascia’s seemed ill-prepared to make counter-attacks.

#3 Irvine/Wright vs #6 Schneemann/V.David QF – Schneemann goes into beast mode in game 2. Early lead 6-0. See point at 8-0, David saving the day multiple times. Irvine/Wright finally get their first point, which they quickly follow up and get momentum. Etta doing a good job with speed-ups at David. See David again at 7-10. Close game 3. Viv tried to channel ALW with a swing volley poach at 5-5 but failed that time. AL fully commits, knowing her partner will cover the court she left open. Finally a 2 point lead is maintained at 7-9 for several side-outs. But Irvine/Wright catch up to 9. Scheemann/David played cleaner and ultimately win game and match. (4-,8,9) They play Lucy/Lea in SF.

7:30 pm EST (Waggish) – #2 Frazier/Wright vs #3 Tellez/Staksrud. That game 1 may have been the quickest game of the day! Frazier/Wright were on fire. Game 2, Tellez/Staksrud are warmed up and fight! Gets tied at 6. Game 3, Dylan stacking on left. Very long dink rally at 2-5-1. Dylan finally does a speed-up but Pablo ready and puts it away. Tellez/Staksrud move on to Sunday! (2-,6,2). They have 1 silver from their gold match against Dylan/JW.

8:20 pm EST (Waggish) – #1 Johns vs. #4 Dawson/Patriquin SF – Hayden stacking left. See Callan at 4-7-1. Great overhead angle from Hayden at 6-7. See 9-10 – what finesse to place those shots where Callan and Hayden wanted. Game 1 had impressive high caliber play and will be on my re-watch list. Game 2, See 6-10-1 rally. There was some doubt thrown on Hayden being more suitable for MLP than PPA matches but not after this match! Johns win but they were really pressed by Callan and Hayden. (10,9)

8:50 pm EST (Waggish) – #1 Waters/Bright vs #5 Newell/Stratman SF. We go from a great SF to a meh SF. Newell/Stratman had nothing against AL/AB. (3,2).

9:52 pm EST (Waggish) – #2 Kovalova/Jansen vs #6 Schneemann/V.David SF. Game 1 was Lea and Lucy on fire! Schneemann team finally picked up some momentum to get 5 points towards the end of game 1. That helped them get a lead in game 2. After the first few points, game 2 was constant errors from Lea. Game 3 got stuck on 0-3 for a long time. Once it got to 4, it quickly got to 6 for the end-change, advantage Schneemann team. Schneemann team wins with a doughnut! (5-,4,0). It was incredible to see the different levels of performance in game 1 versus game 3. Schneemann has a 2023 silver with Jade K. David has a 2023 silver with Jorja. Can they get Gold on Sunday playing together?
MD Bronze: From the brackets it looked like Callan and Hayden had to immediately go into bronze. You would think it’d be a disadvantage after the fierce battle with the Johns. But it was not. They win (8,11) over Dylan and Matt for the bronze.

10:45 pm EST (Waggish) – WD Bronze: Lucy and Lea get the bronze over #5 Yana Newell/Stratman (5,6)

Friday, July 14th – Mixed

11:40 am EST (Waggish) – We have 32 teams strutting their action in MXD today. In the lower half, podcast mates Bright/Frazier could get an early face-off with Garnett/Wright. I’m interested to see how that goes. B/F are #2 seed. Wilson/David are back together and I would expect them to make it to the QF against one of those two teams. The other QF in that lower half could be Lucy/Matt against some strong contenders such as Travis/Lea or Zane/Irina. But Black/Alshon could sneak in there with an upset. They are seeded #19. I’m anticipating a new team on Sunday to face down the Waters/Johns but never rule out Lucy/Matt to make another Sunday.
In the top half, Maggie and Hayden may have to fight off Tellez/Braverman to make it into a match against Waters/Johns. We may see the battle of the couples between Arnold/Stratman and the Newells but don’t count out Valdes/Dawson making a run. AJ is with Jessie but they could be facing the force of Vich/Castillo in their first round! For a slow starter like AJ and a warmed up Vich that could spell upset city! Staksrud plays with Dizon and Collin is teamed with Lacy. Those 2 might have to battle it out for a QF ticket.

1:00 pm EST (Waggish) – Vich/Castillo vs Mariana Humberg/Marshall Brown. It was 7-0 in the 2nd game then in a blink of an eye it gets tied at 7! No time-outs. See the great shot made by Humberg against Vich at 7-6. Totally caught him off-guard as he was going for a middle ball. Then she does an ATP too. See Brown’s shot at 9-7. It looks like he’ll do an ATP then goes sharp angle across the net! Great game. Game 3 started the way of prior games with strong showing by Vich/Castillo. Vich team got to game point at 10-2 but Brown starts making a run. They get all the way to 7 and no time-out called from Vich. Vich gets tagged at 8! Finally, they get the serve back and win match. But what a come-back staged from Humberg/Brown in games 2 and 3! (3,7-,8). Fun to see some great play in round 1.

1:30 pm EST (Waggish) – Mary Brascia/Eric Pailet vs Rachel Rohrabacher/Hewett (GS). Tight games. In game 2, Hewett team was at 9-4 and Brascia/Pailet came from behind to win. Head-to-head, Mary’s hands were better than Rachel’s. No time-outs either. (11,9) Rianna Valdes/Dawson handily beat the Newells (1,3)

1:50 pm EST (Waggish) – Martin Emmrich/Tina Pisnik vs Kovalova/Wright. Game 1: Emmrich team come from from behind at 2 to tie at 8. Tina handling everything Matt was throwing at her. Eric barely moves his paddle on his net slice blocks. Game 2: Emmrich team come from behind at 5 to tie it at 8. Sound familiar? But Matt steps up to battle those last few points in both games. They move forward. (9,11) Matt must feel good about his performance there.
Maggie Brascia/Patriquin defeat Braverman/Tellez. (8,2)

2:55 pm EST (Waggish) – C/Johns/Schneemann vs Staksrud/Dizon. Game 2, Johns team came from behind to catch the lead. But they couldn’t hang on. (8,8)
Arnold/Stratman defeat Dawson/Valdes (4,5). Koller/Irvine defeat Vich/Castillo also (4,5). Ansboury/Lange defeated DJ Young/Shelby Bates (10,10). They play Koller/Irvine next. Wilson/David made it to QF after defeating Mary Brascia/Eric Pailet (6,3). In a possible surprise win, #11 seed Navratil/Tereschenko defeat #6 Rettenmaier/Jansen. (3,8)

3:15 pm EST (Waggish) – Upset Alert! #2 Frazier/Bright go down to Garnett/Etta Wright (3-,3,4). Match was not streamed. That’s a resounding victory for Garnett and Wright. They face Wilson/David in QF. Waters/Johns defeat Maggie Brascia/Patriquin (2,6). They face Arnold/Stratman in their QF.

4:00 pm EST (Waggish) – Kovalova/Wright vs Black/Alshon (GS) – Game 1 gets tied at 9. Cue Matt to go into super mode but he lacked opportunity. Game 2 also gets tied at 9 after Black/Alshon leading most of the game. This time Matt got the opportunity to win some good points. We get a game 3! Alshon leaving some balls up to give Matt some presents. Lucy controlling the pace more with dinking. Too often, Alshon driving third shots and doesn’t add in the drops to get to net. For games 1&2 at least, Alshon looked good with his shots: placement, timing, top spin drives. He was a different player in game 3 with unforced errors galore. Lucy and Matt to QF against Zane/Irina. (9-,11,5)

Garnett/Wright vs Wilson/David QF: I didn’t like some of the shot selections from Garnett but his energy made up for that. He could get to the balls with rapid returns and instigated speed-ups often. In Game 2, Wilson looked like he was slowing down and missing shots. Garnett team never let up on the pressure. They get to SF against whoever winner is in the Zane vs Matt team QF. (3,4)

4:52 pm EST (Waggish) – Waters/Johns vs Arnold/Stratman QF: Game 2: the teams trade leads. It looks like we could get a game 3 when it gets tied at 8. But Waters/Johns get the game and match. (3,9)

5:50 pm EST (Waggish) – Kovalova/Wright vs Navratil/Tereschenko QF: Matt lost some of the sole off his shoe! Time-out at 5-3. Connor Pardoe hand-delivers boxes of Skechers to him court-side. Funny! No flies on PPA Pickleball Central company. Pop-up ad to shop PBC for footwear while camera is showing Matt walking to break-in the new shoes. Zane playing right-side most of the match. But he still goes over that middle line. It works because Matt isn’t catching him with down the line shots as he mainly focuses on Irina. And it limits how much Matt can speed-up and directly attack Zane. By game 3, Matt and Lucy are dialed in to Irina’s speed-ups and don’t get caught unprepared. They get a solid lead forcing Zane/Irina to try something different with Zane on left. Fierce battle at 5-3. Matt/Lucy win (9-,5,3) Not a lot of flash in this match but we should see some flash in the Garnett SF against them.

7:00 pm EST (Waggish) – Koller/Irvine vs Staksrud/Dizon QF. Koller looking fit with good movement. One game apiece. Koller team gets a small lead in game 3. Tied at 8 but Koller questions something and gets a referee replay but no explanation. Nothing happened on court so maybe something in the stands? On the replay, Staksrud team don’t regain the point so now 7-8-2 for Staksrud. That hurt as Koller team gets serve back. But no point and finally get the tie again at 8. Staksrud takes the lead and takes it all the way to match point. (3-,5,8) They face Johns/Waters in SF.

7:45 pm EST (Waggish) – We have the battle of the Wrights SF: Wright/Kovalova vs Garnett/Wright. I guess we better use first names, eh? Connor ripping that 2H BH, see the down the line at 2-1 and the preceding volley. Valiant effort from Lucy at 5-4-1 to get to the ball after Etta goes behind Matt. Impressive hands at 7-6-2 from Connor and Lucy. Matt doing very well in those Skechers! Even his Ernes look legal. See 1-2 in game 2 – flying Connors everywhere. I wonder if Connor now has the best 2H BH of all the pros – it sure looks awesome. He can use it for attacks, counter-attacks, and resets. Nail biter game 2 tie at 7. Great recovery from Etta getting caught on the unwind 7-7-2 but ultimately Matt wins the point. Matt and Lucy earn their way to Sunday (7,7). AAHHH. They kiss.

8:15 pm EST (Waggish) – Waters/Johns vs Staksrud/Dizon SF. Nothing unexpected with the #1 seed win (1,3). We won’t get new faces on Sunday after all.

9:45 pm EST (Waggish) – Bronze: Garnett/Wright defeat Staksrud/Dizon for the bronze. (6,11-,6)

Thursday, July 13th – Singles

10:20 am EST – We could see another Ben Johns vs. Collin Shick matchup early in the day as both guys have relatively easy paths to that matchup. Dylan Frazier actually gets Quang Duong and we’ll have to see how that plays out. A sleepy Dylan might have to be ready for those Duong grunts. Alshon, Garnett, Martinez Vich, Tellez all on the other half.

Women’s will be less interesting most likely but seeing how Castillo, Black, Braverman and Mary Brascia all fare should be interesting as well.

1:12 pm EST (Waggish) – We get our first upset in round 1. Dylan Frazier is defeated by Quang Duong (-8,8,6). Some will recall Duong from APP Newport due to his very insightful and/or funny IG observations on tournaments — see NML Take-aways on that one. Still on track for a possible Ben/Shick QF.

2:33 pm EST (Waggish) – Aanik Lohani defeated Shick (-10,9,10) to meet Ben in QF. Quang Duong defeated Pesa Teoni (4,6). If we are lucky, we’ll see Duong vs Ben in SF! Staksrud has made it into his QF over Rafa Hewett (-9,3,4). He’ll play either Alshon or Patriquin.

3:30 pm EST (Waggish) – Tellez vs. Vich (GS). Pablo reaches game point and tries to close it 3 times. Vich keeps plugging away and catches up. See rally at 10-8. Pablo calls Vich’s ball out at 10-10. Could not really tell from TV view angle but it would have been close. You can hear something like “hey, come on” from Vich. Another game point for Tellez at 11-10 but again Vich catches up. Again Tellez goes up by 1 and 2 attempts at game point. And another tie at 12. What a battle! Vich takes it 15-13. Game 2: gotta see the amazing point from Vich at 3-2. Pablo does an amazing get to do an ATP and while he’s off court, Vich returns it to an empty court. Pablo never got anything going except one rally at 6-2 and got a foot fault called on him. Vich (13,3). Vich plays Garnett in SF after Garnett defeated James Bragg (7,-7,7). Alshon defeated Patriquin in 3: I couldn’t watch it but sounded like there was a lot of
interruptions and possibly challenges. (7,-8,4)

3:45 pm EST (Waggish) – WS: Schneemann over Black (9,8). Black fell at game point while reaching for a ball. She looked okay when she got up. QF: ALW vs Yana, Mary Brascia vs Schneemann. Lea vs Judit Castillo. QF #4 TBD.

5:30 pm EST (Waggish) – Staksrud vs Alshon on GS: Staksrud had uneven games. He put up a good fight in game 2 but otherwise Alshon was too overwhelming for him. (2,7-,3) Alshon will face winner of Garnett vs Vich. Quong defeats Ross Whittaker (6,1) so we get him in the Johns SF. Lohani presented no problem for Ben (3,4).
WS: AL vs Mary Brascia in SF. AL over Yana (7,5). Mary pushed to 3 by Lacy (5,4-,6). Mariana Humberg is in the QF with Irina after Mariana def. Stratman (3,8-,0)

6:10 pm EST (Waggish) – Vich defeated Garnett in 3 (1,3-,6). There must be outdoors condition that favor one side to be so lopsided in games 1 and 2. I didn’t notice big wind so maybe it’s the sun. Vich had some great shots in game 3. He faces Alshon in SF. Backdraw: I have no idea. PBB doesn’t show it as part of the main draw brackets. If you recall, PPA only has a backdraw for round 1 losers in the pro matches.

7:15 pm EST (Waggish) – WS: Jansen v Castillo. Jansen came from behind in game 3 to tie at 8. Lea letting out the yells. There may have been some words from one party at the net at the end (based on lip movement). Castillo (2,6-,8). We see Lea slam her paddle hard to the ground at the bench. Irina over Humber (2-,6,6) to face Castillo in SF.

8:05 pm EST (Waggish) – Blow-out SF: Johns defeats Duong (3,1). Duong now has a better feel for the competition level at the top of the PPA. AL def Mary Brascia (2,2)

8:51 pm EST (Waggish) – Alshon vs Vich. Vich and Alshon trade ATP’s early in game 1 (0-1). Fun stuff. Alshon takes game 1 11-3. But Vich gets his head in the game and ties at 8 in game 2. Wow see that angle at 8-8 from Vich – from one sideline to the other. Still at 8-8, Alshon didn’t think fast enough and goes back to Vich when the other sideline was completely open. Alshon gets to match point. But plenty of fast-thinking by both of them at 9-10. Third time at match point and Vich gets it back again. Tied at 10. Focuses Alshon to get that match point. (11-3,12-10). Well-played. Can he beat Ben on Sunday?

Side note: I noticed the PPA Tour has done away with some things on their website. They don’t have the tournament history anymore in their menu. They also didn’t have the early draw of the brackets. They have a “live” score but it rarely updates.

9:30 pm EST (Waggish) – Castillo vs Tereschenko. Tereschenko took game 1. Castillo looked like she was out of gas in game 2. She had multiple, sequential shots called out of bounds. She gets her first point at 0-7. She can’t catch up. Irina faces AL on Sunday. (4,3). Announcer said it’d be Irina’s first time in 2 years for a [PPA] Sunday Singles outing.

6:51 am EST (Waggish) – Bronze: Vich over Duong (0,10). Another wild swing – 0 in first game! Castillo over Brascia (3-,4,9)

13 thoughts on “PPA Tour Denver Open – Live Random Thoughts

  • July 13, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    That Alshon – Vich match was fantastic! WOW!

    Alshon’s athleticism may be the best in the PPA. Both were hitting shots, sideline to sideline… I hope he analyzes this one on his channel.

    • July 13, 2023 at 6:33 pm

      Both are great with the angles. I am always hoping the contender can give Ben a run. I’m looking forward to seeing the up and coming Vich play against Ben [again] for gold in the future. Alshon did well today.

  • July 14, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    NML right in questioning Bright / Frazier as elite mixed players as I suspected. Bright great at women’s but has some catching up to do in mixed. Bright Ignatowich have medaled at 50% of the tournaments they played which is great, and they have gold and silver. But it’s my view that Ignatowich is more of a truly “elite” mixed. I think he is future mixed number 1 if I’m honest. But that’s my prediction. He is masking some of Anna weaknesses but she is going to come along. Dylan does not have the power to take over mixed games. He is great at mens but weak on overheads and putaways

    • July 14, 2023 at 12:19 pm

      While watching Collin Johns today I was thinking how strange for him to be so poor at mixed after all his years playing pickleball. Some players just never become good mixed players.

      • July 14, 2023 at 5:55 pm

        I’m not so sure it’s strange. He created his entire career around being Ben’s partner, and for years didn’t GAF about anything else. Only very recently has he started caring, a tiny bit, about MXD, and so the results are as you’d expect.

        But look at Bright/Frazier today — nobody is dragging Frazier down for a poor showing in MXD, yet Bright is a vastly superior partner to Lacy, and Frazier/Bright faced inferior competition due to their high seed, so Frazier had it way better/easier than Colin, but went out in the same round.

        • July 14, 2023 at 6:52 pm

          I didn’t get to see Dylan/AB play today so can’t comment on how they played as a team. AFAIK, none of their matches were streamed. They lost to the team that ended up with bronze and they took that team to 3 games.

  • July 15, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    I’m a fan of watching Anna Leigh, and I really liked the New Jersey 5s in MLP season one. However, while I like the duo of AL and Irina, I’m concerned about the male duo Utah drafted. On paper Thomas Wilson and AJ Koller may appear good, but Wilson has not played particularly well since returning from his injury (wrist?) and I don’t know what the heck to make of AJ. AJ has talent, but he can also stink it up. Every time I watch him play mixed doubles (usually with Jessie) he tries to take too much court. It has to frustrate the heck out of Jessie. In season one of MLP AJ and Riley never made it out of group play, and then today AJ and Erik got smoked by Hewett/Smith, who then went on to lose to Patriquin/Dawson. I’m assuming AJ will play mixed with Anna Leigh at MLP. I’m concerned even that duo may not do well. Riley’s team choosing to draft Alshon late in the fourth round for season two instead of AJ says something. I was hoping Alshon would fall to Utah.

    • July 15, 2023 at 3:53 pm

      Sometimes on court AJ can look like a creaky old man. Luckily, he won’t be forced to cover as much court with either AL or Irina as partners since they don’t have the mobility health problem that Jessie does. In theory, the MLP rally scoring should help him with the frequent side-outs.

  • July 15, 2023 at 3:49 pm

    One of the best things I saw today:
    The Don Stanley graphic on the big board
    “NO NO NO”


  • July 15, 2023 at 6:07 pm

    The Johns vs Hayden/Callan match was a lot of fun. I would love to see more of Hayden/Callan. I kinda wish Utah would have drafted Hayden with their third pick instead of Thomas. It’s ridiculous no team drafted Callan.

    • July 15, 2023 at 7:01 pm

      Hopefully, we do see more of the Hayden and Callan team. The second WD SF was great play too! I heard “rumblings” that AJ wanted to play with cousin Thomas in MLP.

  • July 16, 2023 at 3:27 pm

    MS was a train wreck. Never seen Alshon commit so many errors, it was as if this was the first time he’d ever seen a net. Ben doesn’t need any help, but he sure got heaps of it. Still, Alshon’s first Sunday — he is incrementally improving at all 3 disciplines.

    • July 16, 2023 at 6:38 pm

      It was a beatdown. Goes to show even pros have off days.


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