PPA Tour Masters and APP Tour Punta Gorda – Live Random Thoughts

The opening weekend of 2023 features a dual tournament weekend coast to coast with the PPA Tour in California and the APP Tour in Florida. We’ll be covering the action all weekend long on the live blog as we get our first taste of a new year of pickleball. There’s always optimism in the air when a fresh season begins, and that’s no different for most of the players who will be competing on tour. We’ll give one more link to our 2023 new partnership breakdown and you can also check out our fantasy draft previews for the PPA Masters and APP Punta Gorda.

Waggish, aka Pickleball Jan, will continue to provide assistance on the live blogs and you’ll be able to distinguish her updates with ours by the “(Waggish)” notation in the brackets. Kick back, relax and let’s get things started for 2023. 

Sunday, January 15th – Championship Sunday

12:10 am EST – All chalk in the finals the rest of the day. AL/Ben win mixed and singles. The Anna’s win women’s. No surprises. Takeaways tomorrow.

5:22 pm EST – The Johns brothers win in 3. The rest of the finals will start at 7 pm EST.

3:45 pm EST – The John’s brothers find a way to get it done against JW and Dylan. Down a game and 9-6 in game 2, they pull out game 2 and win game 3 by a score of 11-6. JW and Dylan looked very good, and it may be hard for them to stay as aggressive as they need to be to win when things stop going their way as much. Their hands looked really good and it may be a matter of keeping that Riley/Matt mentality to a bit of a lesser extent. Either way, great match and it will be fun to see these top 3 teams go at each other early in the year.

For the women, Catherine/Yana gave Callie and Lucy everything they could handle, but came up short 11-9 in the third. We’ll see how Anna and Anna Leigh look together, but outside of that top team with Anna Leigh there could be some parity across the board in the women’s game this year.

2:25 pm EST – Some PPA updates here. They are just going through the doubles brackets now. It’s all chalk through the draw. The Johns brothers are facing Frazier/Johnson – the kids took down Ignatowich/McGuffin in 3 games. Devilliers/Young lost in 2 games to Riley and Matt. Still, good start to the year for DJ and Jay as they got through Dawson and Loong in 2 games earlier in the day.

On the women’s side, a little bit of weirdness with that Jorja/Vivienne loss yesterday to the Brascia’s. Grechkina and Parenteau smoked the Brascia sisters 11-3, 11-2. That’s a good win for that duo and it will be interesting to see how they match up with Callie and Lucy, who got by Jones/Jansen in 2 games as well. Waters/Bright will play Irvine/Tereschenko, but not after a fight that Irvine/Tereschenko probably should not have won. They won 12-10 in the third over Wright/Schneemann, and it was a few too many errors that led to the close loss particularly from Schneemann. They also needed to make sure Etta stayed on the left side in game 2 when returning serve. Weird energy from Irina/Jessie too. It might be a rough one against the two Anna’s.

1:35 pm EST (Waggish) – First triple crown for Parris Todd! Parris and Hunter win (8,6). Simone had too many balls into the net from the transition zone. Parris and Hunter seemed to never feel much pressure from Simone and Andrei and played loose.

1:00 pm EST (Waggish) – Farias/Siljestrom didn’t give Yates/Daescu too much trouble. Farias/Siljestrom couldn’t seem to get into any kind of rhythm. Yates/Daescu are comfortable with each other after having won gold and bronze together last year and playing on the same MLP team. 11-6, 11-6. Over in the PPA, Devilliers/Young defeat Dawson/Loong 12-10, 11-6 with court conditions that were not ideal. Waters-Bright defeat Esquivel-Newman in 2 (4,3).

12:15 pm EST (Waggish) – APP Championship Sunday results so far:
Parris Todd(W) defeats Megan Fudge in 2 (5,6). Ewa Radzikowska got a bronze (retirement).
Hunter Johnson(W) defeats Jhonnathan Medina Alvarez in 2 (3,5). Yates Johnson got the bronze.
Parris Todd / Simone Jardim(W) defeat Megan Fudge / Alix Truong 8-11,8-11,15-8. Third game was a tiebreaker match.
Kyle Yates / Andrei Daescu(W) vs. Joey Farias / Andreas Siljestrom. TBD Johnson brothers got the bronze.
Parris Todd / Hunter Johnson(W) vs. Simone Jardim / Andrei Daescu. TBD

11:40 am EST (Waggish) – PPA quarters:

  • 1 Kovalova-Smith vs #8 Jansen-Jones
  • 4 Grechkina-Parenteau vs #12 Brascia sisters
  • 2 Waters-Bright vs #10 Esquivel-Newman
  • 3 Irina and Jessie vs #6 Schneemann-Wright
  • 1 Johns brothers vs #8 Smith-Deakin
  • 5 Johnson-Frazier vs #4 McGuffin-Ignatowich
  • 3 Dawson-Loong vs #6 Devilliers-Young
  • 7 Navratil-Wilson vs #2 Wright-Newman

Saturday, January 14th – Doubles

8:30 pm EST (Waggish) – PPA will have no play tonight. They say they’ll have a Championship Sunday so presumably will finish out the winner’s bracket for WD and MD in the morning.

6:30 pm EST (Waggish) – PPA will decide at 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) whether they will resume play tonight (planned at 6 pm).
APP: Farias-Siljestrom get to Sunday’s gold match after they win the bronze match over Johnson brothers 7-11,17-15,11-8. Johnson at game point 10-7 game 2 but lose serve. Siljestrom team get 4 points on server 1. But fault on server 2. After that, it’s a race who can get that 2 point spread first. Siljestrom hands are soft with minimum swing and that’s rare so early in pickleball. In WD Bronze, Fudge-Truong triumph over Barr-Oshiro 6-11,13-11,11-7.

3:53 pm EST – As we are in this rain delay, we can add a bit commentary to the going’s on. Sam Querrey showing some signs of life. After his run through the mixed qualifier backdraw yesterday, he and Burrows have played a couple of tight matches , losing to Alshon/Spencer Smith 11-8 in the third and beating newcomer Patrick Kawka and Zach Grabovic 17-15. The fact he’s out there being competitive is something to hang his hat on and he’s only going to get better out here. He needs reps and he is finally getting them. 
The Brascia’s beat David/Jorja Johnson in 3 games. They are no joke when they are together and to go 11-5 and 11-3 in the last two games to get the win is a seriously impressive win. Two premier players, Wright/Schneemann, got it done over two challenger players, Gaytan-Leach/Ackerman, 11-6 in the third. Schneemann and Wright are two wild cards in different ways going into MLP Mesa event. 
Big run for Farias/Siljestrom in Punta Gorda. They push through a long backdraw to get a bronze minimum. Siljestrom got drafted in Challenger and you have to think he’s getting better quickly with all that racquet talent. He now has a few tournaments under his belt. They’ll play the Johnson’s in the bronze. On the women’s side, it is Fudge/Truong coming back to get a bronze and they face Barr/Oshiro there. 

3:45 pm EST (Waggish) – PPA: Rain delay.

APP: The Farias/Siljestrom vs Nunnery/Gridley was streamed. Wow! That dude is tall (6’9). His head was cut off from the camera angle at the farther end of the court. lol He used his length to cover the court much in the same manner as Riley. Joey didn’t have much to do other than stay out of his way. 15-3 for them. Gold matches will have the #1 seeds in all of them though MXD was through the back draw (Jardim/Daescu). MD: Yates/Daescu. WD: Jardim/Todd. Waiting on APP Bronze results.

3:12 pm EST (Waggish) – PPA Staksrud/Tellez vs Ignatowich/McGuffin. At 5-4 in game 3, James hits a ball that Staksrud obviously thought was out by his slumped posture. But Tellez immediately called it out. Neither Ref could clearly see the ball so could not overrule. Point goes to Staksrud team. Maybe that fired Ignatowich team up because that was the last point from Staksrud team. Ignatowich/McGuffin win 11-3, 8-11,11-6. Lot of holes in Ignatowich/McGuffin game – literally. Staksrud team able to plow through the hole in the middle between Ignatowich/McGuffin several times. Side-note: I wondered if McGuffin broke his paddle in MXD yesterday. He punched it with his fist. Then as he was walking back to baseline, he looked at his paddle and immediately walked over to his bag and pulled out a new one. Happened in his game against James and Lindsey.

2:15 pm EST (Waggish) – APP is into their winner’s bracket finals. 1 Jardim/Todd did not have a free ride this morning with 2 matches going to 3 games so far. Whereas, #2 Barr/Oshiro matches were all 2 game matches. They are playing each other now. #1 Yates/Daescu had 3 games that were 11-0. They face the #7 seed Johnson brothers in the final who had 2 matches that went 3. The Johnsons beat #2 Deheart/Lica 7-11,11-5,11-6. Then beat Dow/Scarpa.

1:00 pm EST – They are just about to get going in the main draw of the PPA. There are a bunch of APP results already though. Another not so ideal start for Rob Nunnery as he and Gridley lost to Greg Dow and Anderson Scarpa 11-7 and 12-10. Dow/Scarpa are playing the Johnson twins right now. The other semi-final features Yates/Daescu vs. Long/Randlett – Long/Randlett beat Joey Farias/Andres Siljestrom. It’d be interesting to see the former ATP pro, Siljestrom play, but still haven’t seen footage yet. 

Milan Rane continues to have a good weekend as she and Shelby Bates beat Fudge and Truong to set up a semi-final match with Jardim/Todd. Also, Dominique Lemperle and Rachel Summers beating Whitwell/Carr 11-5 and 11-4 is notable. Lemperle has a high DUPR and was not drafted to Challenger while Summers was drafted late. They are playing Barr/Oshiro in the other semi-final. 

We are talking qualifiers again. Matt Manasse played with senior pro, Scott Crandall, and they had a bye with the #2 seed, but lose badly to Dave Hall and Garrett Whitehead 4 and 1. We don’t get the backdraw results from the qualifier and it is interesting that Querrey/Gecheva went on a run yesterday to win the backdraw qualifier. However, it is also not ideal for Matt Manasse to be losing to two unknowns 4 and 1, even if he is playing with a senior pro player. Querrey and Crandall will be the two guys we’ll be most keeping our eye on in Challenger at the first MLP. 

9:25 am EST (Waggish) – APP Sr Doubles results from Friday:
Mircea Morariu / Dan Granot Gold 11-5, 11-4
Matthew Schiller / Martin Reist Silver
Jose Derisi / Paul Olin Bronze 7-11, 1-11
Beth Bellamy / Nathalie Bagby Gold 11-2, 11-5
Mary Helen Atkins / Anna Shirley Silver
Sarah Mitten / Julie Johnson Bronze 8-11, 7-11

PPA Sr MD Podium:
Dayne Gingrich – Altaf Merchant / Steve Dawson – Todd Murphy / Scott Crandall – Tom Tueller
No Sr WD

APP Senior MXD seeds Saturday:
1 Bellamy,Beth-Oncins De Oliveira,Jaime
2 Johnson,Julie-Morariu,Mircea
3 Atkins,Mary Helen-Moore,Scott
4 Welsher,Eva-Derisi,Jose
5 Shirley,Anna-Granot,Dan

APP Doubles seeds:
1 Simone and Parris
2 Susannah Barr and Bobbi Oshiro
3 Whitwell and Carr
4 Megan Fudge and Alix Truong
5 Shelby Bates and Milan Rane

1 Yates and Daescu
2 DeHeart and Lica
3 Nunnery and Austin Gridley
4 Brendon Long and Ben Randlett
5 Farias and Andreas Siljestrom

PPA Women Doubles seeds. 23 teams
1 Lucy and Callie
2 AL and Anna
3 Jessie and Irina
4 Yana and Catherine
5 Jorja and Vivienne
Seeds 2 and 3 are in same bracket for semi. 4 and 5 are in quarters bracket and in semi for 1 seed. I am most interested in seeing Jorja and Vivienne matches and the Anna team matches. We’ve seen Lucy and Callie often. I would expect Simone and Parris to have an easy time of it in the APP.
MD not posted yet. There is a 30 team MD qualifier.

Friday, January 13th – Mixed

11:52 pm EST – No bronze stallion performance for Catherine and Tyson as they drop the bronze 11-8 and 11-8 for Vivienne and Thomas. Quality bronze for those two, especially after Wilson was having some health issues earlier in the day. This is a team that showed they can compete with the best out there. Vivienne David is a monster when she gets the right partnership and it’s clear this thing is working for David and Wilson right now.

Jardim and Daescu are back to the gold but it was not without a fight. 15-13 win in game 1 over Rane and Klinger before a walkover in game 2. CJ Klinger is one of the teenagers who doesn’t get the same kind of love as Tardio and Patriquin, but he is also improving steadily. A good sign for him as we head into MLP.

9:34 pm EST – Lindsey Newman and James Ignatowich fall short of a bronze match, but they still had a real good run today. They suffered a heartbreaker 12-10 loss at the hands of Bright/Frazier and admirably fought through for a good run in the backdraw getting wins over Schneemann/Hewett, Sheehan-Dizon/Alshon, Kovalova/Wright and Padegimaite/Navratil (who had a good run themselves), before losing to McGuffin/Parenteau. We don’t see Lindsey much outside of Riley in mixed but you put her with a power player, she can still get results. We thought Parenteau/McGuffin could be a bronze stallion duo and we might get a matchup here with the true bronze stallion, Jay Devilliers.

At the APP, what a day for Milan Rane and CJ Klinger. It feels like Milan Rane has these random good days every once in a while. All games to 15 today but they had wins over Barr/Nunnery, Fudge/DeHeart (17-15!), Whitwell/Lica and Truong/Yates Johnson. Currently waiting on the bronze result with Daescu and Jardim, but a bronze minimum is a fabulous day for them. Long day at the APP. Guess they did not have time to play 2 out of 3 games in the main part of the draw!

9:10 pm EST (Waggish) – Irvine/Newman vs David/Wilson may have been the best match of the day. All games had great rallies, gets, and athleticism. Irvine/Newman pull it out though. They’ll be there on Sunday. 9-11, 11-2, 11-6. In the back-draw, Parenteau/McGuffin defeat Newman/Ignatowich 15-7 to enter the bronze. They’ll play either Smith/Devilliers or David/Wilson.

7:20 pm EST (Waggish) – McGuffin played lights out and took it to 10-7 in game 1. But AL/Ben make the push and win 12-10. Then win game 2 11-3. In the back-draw, the Johnsons go down to Padegimaite-Navrati 15-9. Kovalova/Wright go down to Newman/Ignatowich 15-11. Bright/Frazier get knocked out by Smith/Devilliers 15-11.

6:45 pm EST (Waggish) – APP: Parris and Hunter defeat Simone and Andrei Daescu 15-10 to get to gold (Sunday). I don’t know when the bronze will be played but Simone and Andrei will play whoever gets there. Nothing to report for the seniors WD and MD as their brackets are behind and no winner’s bracket feeder yet.

6:40 pm EST (Waggish) – Doesn’t look like David/Wilson have lost anything in their team chemistry from their APP golds. They handled Matt and Lucy easily in game 1 (11-5). At 6-3 game 2, Thomas touched his throat. At 9-3, they take a time out. Thomas clearly was touching his throat and his wife was taking his pulse. Medical time-out. Play resumes but Thomas could not bend down and pick up any balls. Vivienne was trying hard to just do dinks and made a lot of unforced errors. Matt was the gentleman and did not attack balls in his usual manner. Another time-out so Thomas can put a wet towel around his back/neck. After being down 9-3 at the medical time-out, Matt and Lucy come back to win 11-9. Wilson looks like he switched to CRBN to match with Vivienne. Lucy and Matt also sporting new paddles from Onix – looked like carbon fiber. In game 3, Wilson team led 6-2 at side-out. David was comfortable enough to get aggressive again. After a long dink rally at 10-4, Wilson takes a time-out. David/Wilson win 11-6. Wow! What a performance when you are clearly not 100%. They face Irvine/Newman after a hopefully long break. From prior tournaments, the fans know that Wilson suffers a health condition that requires monitoring.

5:30 pm EST (Waggish) – Clearly, Waters/Johns continue to dominate. They made short work of Bright/Frazier 3,1. After 3 matches and 6 games, their opponents have accumulated only 11 points against them! Frazier did his best to insert himself into the point but Waters/Johns were ready each time and knew where to put the next ball. I think they stayed about 3 moves ahead of Bright/Frazier the entire time. They play Parenteau/McGuffin in the semis. Parenteau/McGuffin defeated Jones/Loong 3,3.

5:00 pm EST (Waggish) – Irvine/Newman defeat Johnsons 10-12, 11-3, 11-6. JW didn’t have much to do in game 3 as Newman wasn’t giving away any free points with high balls. The score stayed close until 6-5 when Newman team pulled away and kept their lead. Kudos to Jorja for not hesitating to go after Newman in fire-fights. From what I saw, the Johnsons need to figure out some strategy to get JW more involved when playing the caliber of Newman and partner. Irvine/Newman will play the winner of Kovalova/Wright vs David/Wilson match.

Bright/Frazier defeat Newman/Ignatowich 11-7,9-11,12-10. They get Waters/Johns next.

3:04 pm EST – Tough loss for Jay/Callie Smith. They were up 8-4 in the third against David/Wilson, and end up losing 11-9. Vivienne and Thomas are a strong team and both of us had them higher than Callie/Jay going into the tournament, but it can’t feel good for Jay losing to those two in his first go in 2023 away from Jessie Irvine. Nothing else of real note so far. 

They are playing games to 15 in Punta Gorda, unfortunately. They have lights over there and you have to think the pros would rather play well into the night than have to play games to 15, if possible. No stream until Saturday for the APP either. Why they can’t simply set up a camera is beyond us even with their budget cuts. The game to 15 bring weird results. Barr/Nunnery lost 15-10 to CJ Klinger/Milan Rane and Shelby Bates/Kyle Yates lost 15-11 to Amanda Hendry/Jack Foster. Couple of wins for Carr/Stone so far. 

11:55 am EST – The APP is in a rain delay and the main draw for the PPA does not start until 1 pm EST. However, there are qualifiers happening. Normally, those wouldn’t be worthy of an update but it is when Sam Querrey is playing his first doubles event today. He and Christa Gecheva lost in 3 games to Moo Venkatesan and Jena Klett. Two fine enough players, neither Venkatesan nor Klett, were in consideration for the Challenger draft. Klett was in the available player pool but almost certainly was not in consideration to be selected by anyone. It was a close match but it’s not a good sign that the #1 overall Challenger player cannot beat two non-Challenger players with another Challenger female in Gecheva. It is not a surprising result but it is interesting that the very early returns are matching the eye test that we saw at the Bubly Championships. That’s not to say Sam cannot get a lot better quickly. It’s just that it sure appears to be the case he’s not ready yet.

9:30 am EST (Waggish) – PPA: 30 teams plus the qualifier that has 17 teams.
1) Waters,Anna Leigh-Johns,Ben
2) Irvine,Jessie-Newman,Riley
3) Kovalova,Lucy-Wright,Matt
4) Parenteau,Catherine-McGuffin,Tyson
5) Jones,Allyce-Loong,Tyler
6) Smith,Callie-Devilliers,Jay
7) Johnson,Jorja-Johnson,Jw
8) Bright,Anna-Frazier,Dylan
9) Newman,Lindsey-Ignatowich,James
10) Stratman,Lauren-Arnold,Julian
11) David,Vivienne-Wilson,Thomas
It’s a deep field. #5 seed seems too high looking at who comes after. Interesting dynamics with the Lindsey/James partnership. PPA qualifier round notable names: 1) Devidze,Salome-Goldberg,Johnny and 15) Gecheva,Christa-Querrey,Sam.

Top 5 APP list playing today:
1) Jardim,Simone-Daescu,Andrei
2) Whitwell,Lee-Lica,Eden
3) Todd,Parris-Johnson,Hunter
4) Fudge,Megan-DeHeart,Ryler
5) Barr,Susannah-Nunnery,Rob
6) Carr,Corrine-Stone,Adam
Surprised at who was seeded #2.
1) Morariu,Mircea-Granot,Dan
2) Oncins De Oliveira,Jaime-Sperling,John
3) Derisi,Jose-Olin,Paul
4) Moore,Scott-Anderson,Eddie
5) Kennedy,Eric-Lithun,Kirk
1) Bellamy,Beth-Bagby,Nathalie
2) Atkins,Mary Helen-Shirley,Anna
3) Mitten,Sarah-Johnson,Julie
4) Welsher,Eva-Klitch,Jenny
5) Thompson,Linda-Bernard,Leslie

Thursday, January 12th – Singles

12:28 pm EST – Quite a day. Dylan Frazier ends up with a bronze over Connor Garnett, winning 1-11, 11-9 and 11-9. It’s clear that Garnett along with Christian Alshon are two guys to be reckoned with and we should expect them to make noise in 2023, at least in singles. For Frazier, this is a really good podium for him and demonstrates his singles game is right up there with the best with his ever improving two-handed backhand at the baseline and the kitchen. We’ll see Ben Johns and Federico Staksrud in the gold match, and we just keep seeing Ben chug along. On the women’s side, Parenteau got a bronze, 4 and 2, over Irina Tereschenko. Is Lea Jansen due for a tight match with AL this time around on Sunday.

9:15 pm EST (Waggish) – Irina gave AL a little trouble when she was up 6-1 in game 2. But the real AL showed up and wins the match 4,6. Johns over Garnett in not much of a semi-final match (5,3). CP waiting to play Bronze against either Emily Ackerman or Irina. Of note, Mary Brascia got a win over Devidze 15-5. Dylan waiting to play Bronze against either Zane or Garnett.

8:30 pm EST (Waggish) – Tyson has talked several times on his podcast how men differ from women about bad feelings and partner break-ups. The men shrug it off and can resume the banter and friendliness after a break-up or a trash talking incident or finger flip. The women not so much. This certainly proved true today. After game 1, Lea walked off the court without even acknowledging Catherine. CP waved her paddle in the general direction of Lea. After game 2, Lea turned her back but did kinda wave her paddle towards the net. Catherine was waving also. The net was Switzerland and didn’t take sides. After game 3, both players paddle-tapped at the net. Maybe the paddle tap was a result of who won game 3. CP won game 1 11-7. CP almost came back to win game 2. After being down 7-2, she tied it up. But Lea dominated and won 11-8. In a quick game 3, Lea showed she was the stronger player today and wins 11-3.

7:56 pm EST – One thing that is for certain this year is that the singles draws will be a slog at the PPAs. A lot of very good players either being upset or having to grind out 3 game wins. There have been some grindy games out there today.  We aren’t exactly sure what the prize money is but these long back draws cannot feel worth it to most guys. Tyson lost in the backdraw after getting taken down by Christian Alshon, Loong had his typical backdraw withdrawal and JW also withdrew. Sam Querrey is done for the day, losing 15-12, and finishing his pro pickleball singles debut at 1-2. Querrey is starting in qualifier with Christa Gecheva tomorrow in mixed so we’ll be monitoring how his doubles ends up. 

Irina took down Salome Devidze in 3 games, which is a really good win for her. Just when you think Irina is done, she claws her back in. Jansen beat Lina Padegimaite, 12-10 and 11-4. 

Megan Fudge is into Championship Sunday at the APP after beating Ewa Radzikowska 11-9 and 11-0 by retirement. We think that Radzikowska had been dealing with an injury towards the end of 2022 but cannot confirm that. She’ll play Parris Todd who she beat twice in Houston not too long ago. For the men at the APP, Medina Alvarez beat twin brother Yates Johnson 11-7 in the third to make it to the gold medal match. Impressive showing from Medina Alvarez to say the least. 

7:25 PM EST (Waggish) – Semi: #6 Dylan Frazier vs #7 Federico Staksrud. Dylan easily won game one 3-11 but may have run out of gas. Federico dominated in a quick game 2 11-6 and won game 3 11-4. In the backdraw, Zane defeats Jay Devilliers and Christian Alshon, both games 15-11. McGuffin lost his first game in the backdraw 15-9 to Pablo Tellez. Julian Arnold also lost his first game in the backdraw 15-5 to Gabriel Joseph. You wonder how hard the players try in a deep backdraw.

Semi’s in WS will be Irina vs AL and Catherine vs Lea. #4 seed Salome Devidze lost to #5 Irina 8-11, 11-2, 11-4.

5:15 pm EST (Waggish) – #6 Dylan Frazier v. #3 Jay Devilliers had 2 tight games 2 and 3. Ultimately, Dylan wins 11-7, 10-12, 11-9.

4:43 pm EST (Waggish) – We have the #4 JW Johnson and #2 McGuffin surprise losses. Alshon beat McGuffin 11-2, 8-11, 11-4. Both looked good but Alshon caught that mystical zone and just couldn’t seem to do anything wrong in the race to the end in game 3. JW lost to up and comer Connor Garnett 7,5. JW struggled in his first game of the day too with a 1-11 loss to Jaume Martinez Vich. JW then withdrew in consolation bracket so maybe he is not feeling well. DJ Young seldom plays singles and it caught up with him against Ryan Sherry, 0,0 assuming that was not a withdrawal.

3:02 pm EST – Lots going on today. As noted below, Querrey lost. He said on a recent podcast he’s only practiced singles once. It’s just not that easy against these players with experience. Center court against a legitimate player first tournament ever probably wasn’t ideal for him, but that’s what he wanted. He did go down to win his first loser’s match 15-9. In other PPA stuff, DJ Young beat Rafa Hewett, 14-12 in the third, after being up 8-1 and going down 10-8. It’s a double-edged sword for guys like DJ and Callan to be playing singles. They know they need to get better and show they can play for MLP, but bad performances are not going to help their cause. Wins like this could go a long way for DJ. 

At the APP, Medina Alvarez is proving he is a force to be reckoned with as he loses to Hunter Johnson 11-9 in the third of the winners bracket final. Do yourself a favor and go to Medina Alvarez’s Instagram. The man is a dawg. He’ll face the winner of Anderson Scarpa and Yates Johnson. Ewa Radzikowska got by Megan Fudge, 11-7 in the third, and is demonstrating she is definitely a force in singles despite her 40 plus age. Allie Kiick lost in the backdraw to Alix Truong, 15-3. Folks, it’s not as easy as Jack Sock makes it look out there. 

2:05 pm EST (Waggish) – Sam Querrey loses his first match 3,3, to Alex Neumann. Seeded 22, 11 respectively.

11:44 am EST – People might get tired of the tennis talk this weekend. It’s all so fascinating to us from a test case perspective. Noah Rubin and Allie Kiick both did not get the easiest of draws this morning in Punta Gorda as they both arguably had to play the favorites to win the event after what amounted to a play-in for both of them. Rubin lost 3 and 3 to Hunter Johnson while Radzikowska beat Kiick 2 and 5. Rubin and Kiick never came close to reaching the level that Querrey did in his tennis career, but it’s generally not going to come super easily for these players in their first tournament. Rubin is done for the day, going 3-2 overall. Another notable result is Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez beating Yates Johnson 11-9 in the third. Medina Alvarez may work as hard as anyone who is working to be a pro player right now and that is a legitimate win for the relative newcomer.

10:55 am EST (Waggish) – In the MS APP, Hunter Johnson beat Noah Rubin 11-3, 11-3 in Hunter’s first match. Hunter could face Andrei Daescu shortly. Last October, Noah retired from pro tennis and announced he’ll pursue pickleball.

2:19 am EST – We are going to have some deep PPA draws this year. It sounds like there are going to be quite a few qualifiers into the main draw with how big these draws are. With how many good players there are, free passes are going to be hard to come by. If Tyson wants a Championship Sunday, he’s going to have to get wins against some combination of Federico Staksrud, Tyler Loong, Christian Alshon, Dylan Frazier, Gabe Joseph and Jay Devilliers. Heck, Ben’s second round opponent could be Zane Navratil and JW Johnson will have Connor Garnett or Pablo Tellez. Sam Querrey got a pass to the main draw and it will be interesting to see how he does against a legitimate mid-upper tier guy in Alex Neumann round 1. We shall see but, honestly, Querrey may be better off getting more matches starting in the qualifier draw. Neumann may be feeling some real pressure to win this one though.

For the women at the PPA, it’s a bit of a deeper draw but nothing too unusual. Anna Leigh should be into Sunday but that other half of the draw is tough with Catherine Parenteau, Lea Jansen, Mary Brascia, Lina Padegimaite, Lauren Stratman and newcomer Dominique Schaefer all around to make some things difficult. 

Big brackets in Punta Gorda for singles too, just not the same depth of course. Jack Foster is the #2 seed but this could be a wild card of who makes it deep. For the women, We could see an early Ewa Radzikowska vs. Allie Kiick matchup, which does not seem fair to Ewa. Tough half of the draw with Megan Fudge there as well. Parris may have a cake walk to a winners bracket final.

33 thoughts on “PPA Tour Masters and APP Tour Punta Gorda – Live Random Thoughts

  • January 12, 2023 at 4:39 am

    could be more interesting than some of the NFL playoff games

  • January 12, 2023 at 8:27 am

    Anybody know if they will continue to just stream one court? I had hoped with all this merger/gold card stuff they might revamp the way they stream these tournaments, maybe even throw more courts up without commentary.

    • January 12, 2023 at 9:04 am

      For the Masters at least it looks like PPA will only have one court streamed. A tour that doesn’t stream the Bronze except in rare instances is unlikely to stream for the benefit of spectators which is the main benefactor of any stream that doesn’t have commentary.

    • January 12, 2023 at 11:48 am

      Watching pickleball with no commentary… That’s my dream come true. 😉

      • January 12, 2023 at 1:51 pm

        I’m with you there! I love hearing the paddles and the ref score call but wouldn’t miss the other chit-chat.

        • January 12, 2023 at 9:22 pm

          Did you enjoy court number two today? It was great to be able to see games like JW vs Connor

          • January 15, 2023 at 11:31 am

            We love this. Who cares if there is no commentators. Not necessary. Just give us pickleball.

    • January 13, 2023 at 6:46 am

      They did have a second stream! GS #2 I believe.

  • January 12, 2023 at 11:45 am

    What paddles are Zane and Ben using in singles? They don’t look like standard Franklin or Joola paddles.

    • January 12, 2023 at 12:01 pm

      Was curious too. I believe they said Zane was playing with a pro XR but I didn’t catch the model.

    • January 12, 2023 at 2:23 pm

      Zane announced he was no longer with Franklin and said he’d moved to a smaller paddle maker. I don’t think he’s publicly announced it yet. He did show his new logo for his new signature paddle with that company. To me it looks like a thin paddle but maybe that is just TV.

      • January 15, 2023 at 11:29 am

        Looks like he’ll have his own signature paddle with ProXR

    • January 13, 2023 at 6:06 am

      Zane was using his signature paddle from ProXR. Some photos of it got leaked. Ben was using what he called “Project Perseus” from Joola. Some prototype paddle. Said it may be released to the public later this year

      • January 13, 2023 at 6:50 am

        I saw those photos. Interesting online comment too that I can confirm regarding the Joola Perseus. Early day I looked at the approved paddle list and it was not on the list. Then late night, I saw it listed. Never saw Zane’s listed but someone posted they had seen it before it was removed. Why all the shenanigans. Senseless.

  • January 12, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    Was JW using the Franklin STK today? I don’t know how anyone can win with that, it’s an atrocious paddle and I feel for him if he’s stuck using it at that level.

  • January 12, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    Lots of singles backdraw withdraws. As fields get deeper, I wonder if that’ll be more common until it just makes more sense to go single elimination. Double elim has a real amateur tourney feel.

    • January 15, 2023 at 11:27 am

      There are going to be a lot of these. It doesn’t make sense for them to compete unless they are contractually obligated, particularly in singles

  • January 12, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    That call from the ref #2 at 10-10 game 2 Dylan vs Jay irked me so bad. No way in heck should she be overturning that. Definitely a case of false confidence.

  • January 13, 2023 at 8:55 am

    Yes watching the JW vs Garnett, Sherry vs Garnett, was very nice to be able to do. Staksrud vs Alshon, etc

  • January 13, 2023 at 8:13 pm

    Johnson’s vs Newman/Irvine. It seemed fairly clear that the strategy was to make Jorja play cross court with Jessie. Let’s be honest, jorja can’t handle that pressure over three games. Few women can, and they needed to change it up somehow. This has been Jorja’s weakness on the right side in MLP and other places. She’s found ways to change it up in the past, but that’s hard to do against Newman and Irvine, who dont let you rest

    • January 14, 2023 at 9:47 am

      you can’t just “change it up” at that level. if they want the cross court match up with JJ they will get it. You hit on it. JJ is going to lose a lot of cross court dink exchanges with the top female players. Her shot selection going head to head with Riley left a lot to be desired. JJ strength is simply powering through the other girls on APP. That isn’t going to happen on ppa. I feel like it’s going to be a long year for team JJ JW unless JJ gets a lot better on the right.

      • January 14, 2023 at 12:25 pm

        Shell have trouble on the right, hopefully not as much on the left I think.

    • January 15, 2023 at 11:33 am

      Jorja goes through stretches of inconsistency but her shot making is still high end. She can handle being pushed.

      • January 16, 2023 at 4:07 am

        Throwing Jorja into the deep end might be the plan. She needs to develop quickly, and that’s probably the best way – put her up against the best and let her learn and improve.

        Might be a long year, yes, but eventually Jorja will be able to handle her side of things against any woman, and then the johnsons will be a force to be reckoned with in mixed doubles.

  • January 14, 2023 at 10:17 am

    They needed to get a move on this morning and get things rolling. I would’ve started the women’s doubles matches early so I could rush through the men’s right after. But at least start the men’s earlier. It’s not like your missing out on anything if we’re not getting afternoon play anyway with the rain

  • January 15, 2023 at 11:47 am

    The PPA give up on the backdraw for the gender doubles because of the time crunch and weather delay? Looking online at the schedule, the backdraw brackets are so far behind

  • January 15, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    JW and Dylan vs Johns brothers. In game 2 at 8-9, Collin took a time-out without taking a time-out by going over for water then seemed to have some kind of finger problem. All teams stayed on the court and the ref didn’t get the stop-watch going though he did appear to look at the time. Play resumed but JW and Dylan had lost their focus. So maybe the whole thing was for that purpose. JW and Dylan lost their lead and the game after that. The incident had a weird vibe to it.

    • January 15, 2023 at 1:53 pm

      Which rule did that violate?

  • January 16, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    This weekend showed that nationals was not a blip, and the APP stars struggle mightily against the PPA stars. You have to feel bad for them — they went from having a consistent shot at a triple-crown in one league, to not only not medaling but going *at best* 2-2 before flaming out in another league. Even those who didn’t commit to a Gold are going to be harmed by the death of the APP.

    • January 16, 2023 at 2:23 pm

      You writing them all off after 1 tournament? Harsh. I didn’t think WD/MD even finished but presumably some team might have been able to play 1 match in loser’s and lose if they got there on Saturday instead of Sunday.

    • January 17, 2023 at 12:52 pm

      Not sure that was the takeaway from this weekend. JW/Dylan took the Johns brothers to the brink. Vivienne and Thomas won a bronze. Federico got to the finals. All around it will be harder to get medals and it has always been the case that the very top players are on the PPA. But to say that the APP struggled mightily is not completely fair at all.

  • January 16, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    Agree but still think it’s for the best to have a clear upper level tour and a lower level one. If they can deliver on sponsors and tv money, they’ll be able to payout enough to non medaling teams to make it worthwhile to them.


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