PPA Tour Las Vegas Championships and APP Tour Dallas Open – Live Random Thoughts

Beautiful weather for some old and a few new partnerships. Las Vegas brings out the crowd so expect some large brackets! Though some players will be at the APP like DeLaRosa.

It’s not been so good for Ben Johns for taking the MD gold in the last 2 years. Ben got Bronze with Matt in 2021 and he got Silver with Collin in 2022. You have to think JW will be looking to jump from Bronze last year to Gold this year. Speaking of JW, Jorja is missing which means JW won’t be in mixed but he will be in singles.

ALW was strong at this tournament last year with a triple crown. Last year, PPA had this Championship then decided to add a later tournament also called a Championship. This year they have one later called Finals so at least they made an effort not to duplicate names. But you have to wonder how much any of these tournaments mean with flashy names like Championship, Nationals, Finals, etc. all being thrown around.

Streaming will be on Amazon Prime for the PPA. There is also APP Dallas Open this weekend but there is only weekend streaming on ESPN+.

Sunday, October 8th – Championship Sunday

2:30 pm EST – Singles Sunday so far on both tours. Ben Johns wins over Aanik Lohani 3 and 7. Pretty expected but what a run from Lohani. Making a name for himself a bit.

Megan Fudge dropped the first 2 out of 3 against Salome Devidze but took the double dip to 15. She is showing another level out here recently and winning across the board. Hunter Johnson wins over Chris Haworth in 2 as he continues to be the pinnacle of APP singles.

6:00 pm EST – Some really good matches today even if we have some clear teams that are just better on both tours. The Johns brothers came as close as they have to losing to JW and Dylan. They went the distance and were down 2 games to 0, but clawed their way back. Good to see a better match there. ALW and Catherine dropped a game to Callie and Lucy with competitive games there as well.

On the APP side, the mixed continues to be tight matches and Hunter/Parris win 12-10 over Susannah/Andrei. They have figured something out as a pair and were ecstatic after their win, especially Hunter. Fun to see. Daescu and Nunnery won easily again and Fudge/Barr have another gold this weekend.

Saturday, October 7th – Doubles

3:10 am EST – Didn’t get to the updates today as we both had busy days. Story from the PPA has to be Lucy and Callie making another Championship Sunday. They are right in the mix in any tournament and they had the right draw this week. Surprised to see Lea and Anna not have a better day today. Good day for Pablo and Fed as well. Big win over Newman/Koller in 2 and then pushing JW and Dylan. Looks like Ignatowich sprained his ankle against DJ and Dekel in a tight one so they had to withdraw against the Johns brothers.

At the APP, the Simone injury has to be the story. They lose to Bohnert and Ackerman then withdraw again. Something isn’t right there for Simone. De La Rosa onto Championship Sunday with Auvergne in his rare APP appearance. And Jason McNulty and Andre Mick with another podium. How about Milan Rane and Bobbi Oshiro as well? Beating Truong and Glozman for their Sunday appearance after some struggles between the two of them

12:35 pm EST – PPA is not underway but the APP is after the Shuffle Draft results were released earlier this morning. Christa Gecheva was somewhat surprisingly dropped by the Milwaukee Mashers and is having a day out there as she and Erokhina are in the winners semis following a 2 game win against Truong/Glozman. Arielle Butler is a player who slowly keeps getting better. She and Mayorga Perry (where ya been?) beat Shelby Bates/Tammy Emmrich then almost took down Rane/Oshiro, losing 11-9 in the third.

12:20 am EST (Waggish) – The mixed bronze was played today after all the players finished their regular Doubles matches. Tyra got hit somehow in the nose. She got some medical attention and iced it. It was a very close first game with Wilson/David pulling ahead for the win. Second game could have gone to either team as they got stuck grinding out points. But again Wilson/David just had that very slight edge to win bronze. (10,9) With some more seasoning as a team, Alshon and Black will make a formidable duo (unknown what their future plans are).

Wright/Ignatowich had a good showing today beating Young/Bar by twice coming from behind to win (10,10) in the QF. James landed funny – I think it was an Erne on a jump of the kitchen. They subsequently withdrew from the SF against the Johns.

Tellez/Staksrud had a good QF win over Newman/Koller (5,10) to make it into the SF against Johnson/Frazier when they pounded JW/Dylan in game 2 (3). Ultimately, though JW/Dylan make it to Sunday (4,3-,4). JW always looks so casual when he plays that you are left wondering if he is really trying or even wanting it. But in the end he got it done today. The Johnson/Frazier QF was against Wilson/Arnold. (9,6). Arnold sure likes to take his frustration out on his paddle. I think he pounded a paddle in every one of his matches and swapped out a new one afterwards.

A new presence from Augustus Ge and Craig Johnson gave some pros trouble. They knocked out Devilliers/Dawson and the second game went all the way to 18-16. They also beat Arnold/Wilson in the second of 3 games (10).

In WD, AL and CP dominated their matches with scores of (1,1), (2,1), (3,1) and (2,4)! AL is AL. We found out that Leigh hopes to play some next year with doctor’s approval by January. But it didn’t sound like she’ll be back full-time partnering with AL. Kovalova and Smith make it to Sunday with some strong wins over their opponents. Their SF was against Irina and Jade (4,8). Their QF against Stratman/Dizon went to 3 games (7-,6,2). Stratman/Dizon had 3 games against David/Pisnik who played strong but came up short in the 3rd (5).

12:35 am EST (Waggish) – James Ignatowich withdraws from MXD Gold due to his ankle injury. It is surprising it turned out so serious after he finished the QF match without a strong limp. The swelling must have happened as soon as he took off his shoe. Tellez/Staksrud automatically won Bronze after they lost the SF and the Wright/Ignatowich SF withdrawal.

Friday, October 6th – Mixed

2:15 pm EST – We’re finally getting some more substantive results coming in today. Let’s start in Dallas where the APP has more results due to the time zone difference. There isn’t too much to note here. Vivian Glozman/Yates Johnson played a close first round match against Genie Erokhina/Spencer Lanier, winning 11-8 in the third. It’ll be interesting to see how they do against Allison Harris/Austin Gridley. The question for today is whether anyone can knock of Andrei/Susannah or Parris/Hunter. The Simone Jardim/Rob Nunnery partnership is quite possibly the most intriguing new one in Dallas for the entire weekend. 

We are still so early on in the day at the PPA. Sam Querrey is back in a PPA draw, playing with newly signed PPA pro, Angie Walker. They got a 3-game win over Glauka Carvajal Lane/Michael Loyd. Cierra Gatyan-Leach is also back in the mix with Erik Lange, but they lost in 3 games to Lauren Mercado/Pesa Teoni. Notable that August Ge/Dana raugust played a fairly tight 2-game match against Loong/Valdes.

3:15 pm EST – We definitely slept on Tyra Black/Christian Alshon this weekend. Any team with Tyra should be considered dangerous at this point and Alshon/Tyra have demonstrated they are right there with the 2nd tier elite teams. They beat Arnold/Dizon in 3 as Julian Arnold had a bit of a meltdown in game 3. Zane Navratil continues his MLP hot streak with a good win over Mary Brascia/Connor Garnett playing with Tina Pisnik (11-5 in the third). Zane as a challenger player is one of the funniest takes we have seen in 2023. Lindsey Newman is playing with the Dallas native, Ivan Jakovlevic and they got past Pat Smith/Irina in 2 games (2 and 9). Lindsey is still elite in mixed. 

The CJ Klinger train keeps rolling. He and Mari Humberg take down Simone Jardim/Rob Nunnery in 2 games for a kind of wow upset. Mari Humberg is a name that has to be in the mix for teams shuffle drafting today. Is Simone not healthy? We had seen that possibility somewhere but her results are trending down again. They withdrew from the backdraw and you have to wonder if that is indication of health. We’ll reserve further judgement on Nunnery’s lack of mixed results for another day.

5:10 pm EST – Tyra/Christian continue their strong day. They are playing on center court right now against Jessie/Riley, but they beat Jay/Callie to get to the quarters. Already a strong day and this could be the match of the day. Two people are still aren’t breaking through in mixed are Dekel Bar and Lea Jansen. Dekel/Etta lost to Frazier/Stratman in 2 straight while Jansen/Staksrud lost to David/Wilson in 2 as well. Those are not easy matches, but they are teams you want to be beating some of the time. Catherine/Tyson took AJ/Jackie Kawamoto in 3, which really probably speaks to Jackie Kawamoto’s ability to be that close. We are mostly chalk so far on the day as Matt/Lucy beat Jade Kawamoto/Rettenmaier in 3 as well.

CJ Klinger keeps going on his strong day as he and Humberg beat Gecheva/Howells, who had a nice win against Oshiro/Mick earlier. They will play Parris/Hunter, which should be a real test. Glozman/Yates Johnson gave Daescu/Barr a real run for their money, losing in 3 games, but a relatively encouraging day so far. Yates Johnson doesn’t like backdraws so we’ll see how the rest of the day goes. Daescu/Barr have Truong/DeHeart in the semis as they have won a couple of close matches to get to this point for a quality day.

7:00 pm EST – Honestly, just so impressed with Christian Alshon. The hands and shot making have improved so much. He and Tyra played so well together beating Irvine and Newman in 3. They are a defensive monster as a team and both players proved very difficult to attack. They are into the semis and could see a rematch against James/Anna.

Parris/Hunter squeaked by Klinger/Humberg, 12-10 in the 2nd after losing game 1. What to say about CJ Klinger. Keeps making things happen. They are playing Barr/Daescu right now in the winners final. One team is going to end the day with a feel good podium. After Yates/Glozman lose to Grambeau/Munro, there are a bunch of teams in the mix for a podium that weren’t expected going into the day.

2:20 am EST – Anna and James must have figured some stuff out after their almost loss to Tyra and Christian last time out. They made quick work of them and they will face Ben and ALW on Sunday. What a day for Alshon and Black, though.

Parris and Hunter will get a rematch with Susannah and Andrei on Sunday not surprisingly. The race was mostly for bronze today and Kaden Seward/Megan Fudge come away with a very nice bronze in a field where there was very much a podium up for grabs. Simone Jardim’s hand appears to be an issue (missed that on KOTC they mentioned it) so we’ll have to monitor that tomorrow in women’s doubles.

Thursday, October 5th – Singles 

1:25 pm EST – With this PPA event being on west coast time, we get a later start than we have been used to recently. The men’s brackets will just be starting to kick off with the women going at 3pm EST. The biggest storylines to look for today is whether the top seeds stay top. Ben, Federico and Tyson are all in good positions to make a Championship Sunday, and the one person that we could see on the women’s side thwarting another ALW-Catherine final is Hurricane Tyra Black.

The APP Dallas event is already well underway with some early upsets in the men’s bracket already happening. Spencer Lanier took down Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez in 3 very close games (11-9 in the third). We have also seen Ryler DeHeart and Eduardo Irizarry lose early. Christopher Haworth continues to impress as he beat Yates Johnson in the quarter-finals (11-8 in the third) and should have a good shot to get to another winners bracket final.

3:00 pm EST – The podcast beef rematch ends with a whimper. Tyson takes down Tyler 2 and 4. Nothing very notable and they were both exhibiting good behavior. That’s no fun. Julian Arnold lost to Aanik Lohani in two, but who knows how much Julian cares about singles these days. Travis Rettenmaier went deep against Anton Gudz and then retired. Surprising to see him play considering his health issues. Federico Staksrud goes down to Hayden Patriquin in 3. Big upset and big win for big H.

The women are still in earlier stages at the APP so nothing to report there. Christopher Haworth took down Jack Foster 12-10 in the third to get to the winners bracket final. Foster has been playing some great singles lately so that’s got to be a heartbreaking loss. It is very hard to go down to the losers bracket. Speaking of trouble in the losers bracket, that is not a place Yates Johnson seems to enjoy. He loses to unknown Clarke Wilson (15-12) while other podium contenders going into the day like Irizarry and Medina Alvarez continue to grind.

4:45 pm EST – Kind of a weird day in Sin City. Hayden upsets Staksrud and then loses 2 and 3 to Aanik Lohani, who is in his first PPA semi-finals against JW Johnson. JW got there by taking down McGuffin 4 and 6 as we know the talent is always there for JW. Ben Johns is playing in the semis against the winner of Garnett and Gabe Joseph, and we have to stop sleeping on Gabe Joseph who is up in game 2 after taking game 1 off Garnett. The women’s stuff is just getting going still at the PPA, but we had a number of withdrawals including Tyra Black, Lauren Stratman and Yana Newell. Tyra put out on Twitter that she got into Vegas about an hour before her start time so that explains her withdrawal. 

Hunter Johnson is onto Sunday at the APP as he gets there without dropping a game all day. We’ll see who he ends up playing. Unknown to us Oliver Frank has had quite the day and is in the match to go to bronze where he’ll play either Jack Foster or Eduardo Irizarry. Eduardo has been slaying that backdraw after losing his first match of the day. The women’s side is all chalk so far but Devidze almost lost to Ackerman taking game 2 (12-10) after losing game 1. Salome is in the winners bracket final and will play either Judit Castillo or Megan Fudge.

7:00 pm EST – Okay, quite a bit going on today. The men’s semi-finals are just getting underway as Connor Garnett was able to topple Gabe Joseph despite being on the ropes. Joseph has upped his game and showing he is still in that upper echelon of singles players regardless of the loss. Anna Leigh Waters will play Dominique Schaefer in one of the women’s semis after Dominique got past Irina Tereschenko in 3 games, which is a solid win. Catherine Parenteau will play Mary Brascia who had as easy a path as it gets to a semi-final due to the Yana Newell withdrawal. We’ll see if either player can give the favorites a run for their money. 

The men’s final is set in Dallas with Hunter Johnson playing Christopher Haworth in a rematch. Haworth is demonstrating that consistency that can be so elusive for some players. He beat Eduardo Irizarry in the bronze following just a massive run in the back draw for Eduardo. He won 7 matches in the back draw to get a podium today. Megan Fudge also continues her strong run securing her spot on Sunday with a 3-game win over Salome Devidze in the winners bracket final. She appears to be bringing her singles game up a notch as she beat both Judit and Salome today. Judit Castillo barely beat Emily Ackerman (15-13) to get to the match to bronze that she is playing right now against Mari Humberg.

10:25 pm EST – Ben is such an interesting guy. Somehow the score lines get farther apart as the day goes on. He wins first round 8 and 9 but by the time the semis roll around against Garnett he’s going 1 and 5. He’ll play another more random Sunday singles appearance with Aanik Lohani, who has two of the most random results of the last couple of years (his other one was in doubles at an APP with Amrik Donkena last year). Not a great loss for JW either. Anna Leigh plays Catherine for gold, of course.

Salome with a rematch on center court for Sunday with Megan Fudge. We’ll see if the line Cal queen is in full force. Judit Castillo a couple of disappointing results the past two weeks in singles, losing a tight one to Salome.

11:07 pm EST – Dominique Schaefer with her first PPA medal taking down Mary Brascia (11-2, 12-10). Her doubles game is shaky at best. The singles game keeps getting better.

18 thoughts on “PPA Tour Las Vegas Championships and APP Tour Dallas Open – Live Random Thoughts

  • October 5, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    How is it possible that APP still isn’t streaming its matches? Have you ever talk to anyone from APP about this? It just does not make any sense. Did you hear anything about APP doubling its prize money next year?

  • October 5, 2023 at 12:52 pm

    sure wish I could be down there playing but my knee just won’t allow it! Love vegas and pickleball!

  • October 7, 2023 at 4:24 am

    Kind of shocking how well Christian and Tyra played against Riley and Jesse and then how poorly they played against Iggy and Anna.

    Christian and Tyra are early enough in their careers that they both have a ways to go before they plateau. If they can consistently reach a level equal to or even above what we saw against Riley and Jesse, then they will be battling Ben/ALW for gold every tournament.

    • October 7, 2023 at 4:35 am

      Tyra and Christian should stay together. Their potential is higher than any other team. That team might be number one next year at this time!? Although I am not a fan of Christian 😳

      • October 10, 2023 at 8:28 pm

        That is an interesting thought. Maybe they consider it but Tyra will be highly sought after.

    • October 10, 2023 at 8:28 pm

      Yes, but Simone. has been injured so they withdrew after they lost early.

  • October 8, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    Gold comments:
    MS: Aanik Lohani got closer to a win against Johns than when he played him in Denver’s QF which was (3,4) versus today’s (3,7).

    WD: Waters/Parenteau vs Kovalova/Smith – AL and CP got taken down in game 1 against Lucy and Callie. They adjusted early in game 2 with AL playing across from Lucy and targeting inside feet (especially Lucy) with their dinks. This adjustment got them 8 points to a game point that involved a tweener from AL. This winning game strategy continued in game 3 to take the lead. Callie and Lucy adopted this strategy and got some points off CP’s left foot. Tie at 5! At 7-8, AL was patient while she was iced out until she decided to inject herself and win the rally. Lucy tried a speed-up on a low ball, giving AL game point. But they get the serve back. Very close game 3. Game 4 didn’t go Lucy and Callie’s way. Callie got an Erne opportunity at 6-1 but foot faulted. Why do players always challenge when the ref is right 99% of the time. The run by AL/CP continued and they almost made it to game point. At 1-9, Lucy and Callie get their chance for a few points. 7-11,6,8,5

    MD: Johns vs Johnson/Frazier
    Game 1: See 6-8-2 point for a well-done rally that went from a grind to a fire-fight. Johnson/Frazier take game 1 (11-7).
    Game 2: Johnson/Frazier come out on fire and get a quick 5-0 lead before a time-out. Another time-out at 10-3 for the Johns to figure out how to get the come-back, which we know they can do even at game point. The Johns got the serve back and did nothing with it. Johnson/Frazier take game 2 (11-3).
    Game 3: Oh, my! See 1-3-1 rally. We get a tie at 6 with duplicate strategies. Ben going straight at Frazier and JW going straight at Collin. Fun to watch. Johns win on an electrifying game point (11-7).
    Game 4: Not working for Johnson/Frazier this game. 8-0 lead by Johns before JW/Dylan get first point. Ben has JW conditioned to think he’ll always go to Dylan and he gets caught with a passing shot. They battle back after a ball out on game point to get to 8. Johnson/Frazier challenges the 11-8 game point. PPA has a new rule that says you can challenge a ball out on game point. Announcers thought it was out but refs say in. (11-8)
    Game 5: Johns get the lead in game 5 with their I can out-dink you strategy. Dylan unsuccessful with most of his speed-up attempts. Video challenge at 5-10-1 which on the stream seems out. But the refs see what they see. Out! Doesn’t make a difference when Johns get the serve back. Johns win (11-6).

    • October 9, 2023 at 3:30 am

      Good MD final. Two of the rallies were absolutely awesome.
      Some forums are claiming JW choked away the gold, but I disagree, that’s a wild oversimplification of a gutsy comeback victory that had many facets.

      • October 9, 2023 at 5:06 am

        Fred: I’m surprised anyone is claiming JW choked. I didn’t see that at all. I thought their strategy needed to be re-worked to apply more pressure on Collin. And hopefully next time they’ll just make the out call so it can stand when inconclusive on video review.

  • October 8, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Anna Bright played at a 4.0 level during the quarterfinal vs Jade/Irina, maybe!! Rough and was a shock to watch in person! We went to this match rooting for Kawamoto team hoping Bright/Jansen would lose due to our dislike of Jansen but everyone sitting in the stands saw a different side of her. She might be one of the more supportive teammates on tour? Maybe it was just this match but she was communicative, encouraging, and had great body language after Bright made countless unforced errors. Still not a fan but gained a little more respect for Jansen than before. She didn’t seem to be the mean person that comes across on the screen or not in this small moment.

    • October 10, 2023 at 8:30 pm

      4.0 is harsh but she did not play well at all. Jansen definitely can be misunderstood with some emotional swings but she is generally a good partner. Sometimes just too hard on herself.

  • October 9, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    I’m really trying to like Christian Alshon but he makes it very difficult. He’s taunting Newman after his win but just over a month ago in Utah he had his head down crying after a blow out lost. Geeze…..


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