PPA Tour National Indoor Championship – Live Random Thoughts
We have our first indoor tournament of the year with the PPA in Minnesota. Hopefully the snowstorm doesn’t impact the ability of the PPA to run the event. They released a modified schedule Thursday evening to accommodate cancelled travel for certain players. The cold and/or the event being indoors drops a few of the pros as well. It was noted in the Fantasy Draft Preview that Ben Johns hasn’t played singles indoors since he lost in the main draw to JW at TOC i. 2021. Without Ben and Anna Leigh in Minnesota, the golds will be up for grabs.
Sunday, February 26th – Championship Sunday
5:45 pm EST (Waggish) – WS: Lea has been coming to the net between games to tap paddles. She apparently thinks it is unnecessary until match is over but does it anyway. Some players prefer the tennis style – you wait for match over. But when playing CP in singles, no paddle tap at end of game 1 for second time in a tournament. No way to know how often she skips the paddle tap. Just seems very obvious here with CP when she had no problem with it in WD. When Lea played AL last week she actually beat AL to the net at end of game 1 to tap paddles. After the walloping CP got in game 1, she put up a real fight in game 2. CP takes the lead with a run and holds it. No paddle tap again. Game 3: See rally at 5-5. Nice court coverage by both sides. From 0-5, CP got 11 points in a row for GOLD! 2-11, 11-6, 11-5.
5:00 pm EST (Waggish) – MD: Frazier/Johnson vs Staksrud/Tellez: There was nothing Staksrud/Tellez could do for which Dylan and JW were not ready. 11-6, 11-3, 11-7. New MD PPA medals for all 4 players. It’ll be interesting to see the speed-up stats from Jim Ramsey. May be the lowest of any PPA MD gold match.
3:40 pm EST (Waggish) – MXD: Parenteau/Ignatowich vs Stratman/Arnold: Ignatowich’s level of play has not deserted him after his Singles Gold. He was equally lethal in MXD. Parenteau played like his perfect partner Friday and today as she understands the court positioning the same as he. Her shot at 8-0 in game 2 was amazing – fully stretched contact and ball touches the baseline. Game 3: Arnold got much more aggressive at the net which made for more entertaining rallies and a closer game. Video challenge at 9-8-2 on whether Lauren’s ball hit James or his shirt on its way out of bounds. The ball went through his arm and side body!!! Crazy! They lost the challenge but not the game. Game 4: After a momentum start by Julian and Lauren, CP/James make a great comeback run. Who wouldn’t want to see this team play AL/Ben. 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5. Congratulations goes out to James for winning his first 2 PPA gold medal matches. That may be a first!
2:05 pm EST (Waggish) – WD: Kovalova/Smith vs Jansen/Jones: Game 1 was mostly about which team was able to hit down on the ball and which team was forced to hit up on the ball. Kovalova/Smith had a better game plan in game 2, undoubtedly from Matt’s coaching. They get 5 quick points before Jansen/Jones score. By game 3, each team knows how to foresee and react to the other. It goes down to the wire with each having game point. Game 4, Kovalova/Smith take the lead but some errors allow Jansen/Jones to tie at the snowman. Instead of game point, they get a side-out. Another tie at 10’s. Kovalova/Smith get their first gold since October at N2Grate in DC. The dry spell before that was June at San Clemente, CA. 3-11, 11-8,13-11,12-10. These teams were closely matched but I still missed seeing the fire power of an ALW WD game.
11:50 am EST (Waggish) – MS: Ignatowich vs Johnson: Watching game 1, I wondered if JW thought it was 3/5 because of his casual, relaxed attitude. He was looking like he had all the time in the world to rev up and beat James. He finally got a point at 0-10. We know from James’ podcasts that he is an early riser. JW is the opposite and it sure showed in this game. JW’s timing was off so his hits weren’t clean. He had the right idea just couldn’t time his contact or swing or something. In game 2, the angle at 2-5 that James hit was insane. With his reach, James dominated at the NVZ and very few balls got past him. On a scale of 1-10, James alertness looked like an 11. But James made his share of errors and JW reaches 8 and makes it a game for a few rallies. 11-1, 11-8.
Saturday, February 25th – Doubles
11:20 pm EST – What a weekend of pickleball at a PPA. It’s February madness out there with all the new teams finding semi-finals and Championship Sunday appearances. Today was no different. While the JW/Dylan Sunday appearance was not shocking, they came off a tight 11-8 in the third win against Loong/Fought, only to down Riley/Matt in straights 5 and 9 – it must have felt wrong for those two teams to meet on the same side of the draw in the one tournament Collin and Ben were not at. Riley/Matt ultimately came away with bronze. The other Sunday appearance is Staksrud/Tellez who have been close to big wins this year but haven’t been able to breakthrough. They got a huge one in 3 over Koller/Bar and then got another one against DJ/Jay – with the DJ paddle smash on the ground, which really shouldn’t be a huge deal even if not ideal behavior.
On the women’s side, Callie/Lucy find their first Championship Sunday appearance after we were questioning last week whether Callie is getting passed by. They really only had one tough match today but they made it count, getting by arguably the #1 team in Koop/Bright, 11-7 in the third. As Big Papa Jimmy might say, they got the monkey off their back. And what else do we have here but Lea Jansen/Allyce Jones in yet another PPA final together. This is the 2nd time they have benefitted from the bracket being busted but, as we have said many times before, you only get to play the teams you meet. Grechkina/Etta Wright winning over Irvine/Kawamoto was a big shock and Jones/Jansen took advantage to the tune of a straight games win in the semis. Jones and Jansen looking to be an underrated team overall and they are getting medals, with a real shot at a gold medal on Sunday. Grechkina/Wright did get a bronze in what had to be an unmotivated bronze for Koop/Bright.
Then there were other fun matches sprinkled throughout. Rob Nunnery/Julian Arnold winning easily over Ignatowich/Collin Johns was very surprising. Ignatowich may have been low on energy after a long previous 2 days, but this was a matchup filled with beef considering Nunnery being more public very recently in terms of personal issues with Ben Johns as well as Collin Johns being a social media keyboard warrior telling Arnold he lets his paddle do the talking. Always ironic coming from Collin who plays a sliver of the court with Ben and throws hissy fits when he gets body bagged. It was not a good sign for Collin to get run off the court by Arnold/Nunnery without his little brother there to cover for him. Arnold/Nunnery appeared to have a massive letdown match losing easily to Jay/DJ, but that one win probably salvaged the day.
9:12 pm EST (Waggish) – WD: Koop was obviously done. Grechkina/Wright get the bronze. 11-2,11-7
8:00 pm EST (Waggish) – Kovalova/Smith vs Koop/Bright Semi: With a game apiece, Koop/Bright must have decided to attack heavily in game 3. Koop went after Callie which didn’t end well for her when Callie was directly across. She lasted longer in the rally when attacking cross-court but that is usually a weak attack point. Anna did well attacking directly at Lucy in same half-court court as her. Koop made sloppy errors, possibly in apprehension of Callie’s counter. Don Stanley said 5-2-2 before the side-out. But he did not know if it was server 1 or 2 after the break. The other ref doesn’t know either. I guess they don’t have that third ref scoring today. And Murphy’s law says this is the one time they need the third ref. lol Another time-out at 9-2. I’m not sure Andrea’s brain is firing 100%. She wandered around a bit and didn’t seem sure about dropping her paddle. Kovalova/Smith go to Sunday 9-11,11-2,11-7.
MD Bronze: Wright/Newman over Devilliers/Young 11-6,5-11,11-5.
6:35 pm EST (Waggish) – Devilliers/Young vs Staksrud/Tellez Semi: Game 1 goes to Staksrud/Tellez with their limited errors. Jay and DJ come out strong in game 2 for 6-0 lead. Staksrud gets serve at 0-6-2 and closes that gap to only 2 points. Once they get the lead, DJ tosses his paddle to the baseline and takes time-out. Ref seems to have a few words for DJ about that toss. Controlled transition tweener drop from Staksrud at 9-8 but they don’t win the rally. Staksrud/Tellez win 11-9. DJ immediately bounces his paddle on the court and it bounces so high it goes into the stands! DJ immediately motions an apology. Ref didn’t see it as he was marking the score. Don Stanley comes onto the court to have a word with DJ. Camera cuts off at that point. Tres amigos Florida boys on Sunday plus Dylan.
Backdraw: Seedings mean nothing in the backdraw. Ignatowich/Johns are defeated by Loong/Fought (10) who then lose in the 5th place match to Hewett/Alshon (13). Hewett/Alshon came through the backdraw beating Bar/Koller and Arnold/Nunnery amongst others.
WD: Jansen/Jones are into Sunday after their win over Grechkina/Wright (4,9). Backdraw: Irvine/Kawamoto win 5th place over Parenteau/Johnson 15-11.
4:55 pm EST (Waggish) – Newman/Wright vs Frazier/Johnson Semi: Wow. Lost some of game 1 but Wow! When it came back the hands of JW were ablaze! I expected fire from his fingertips to just smoke Riley and Matt to ashes. See 8-5! Then a shake and bake from Frazier at 10-5. But we see Matt and Riley adjust quickly to their opponents so they are ready in game 2 to work their way to 9 with their aggression. At 9-6, Dylan and JW hold them at 9. That seemed to fire them up and Dylan and JW take it all the way to 11-9! Some doubters last week that Dylan and JW could develop to beat Riley and Matt but they did – at least today.
4:05 pm EST (Waggish) – Koop/Bright vs Johnson/Parenteau QF: Game 1: The middle is a problem for Johnson/Parenteau. Koop/Bright able to cruise down that boulevard several times. 11-5 game 1. Johnson/Parenteau decided to fight it out in game 2 and brought a more confident mindset. Jorja still had some early forehand shots that didn’t look like she was all the way committed with her impressive power. But eventually she was showing some confidence. When she learns to go cross-court when not gaining an advantage in long straight across hand battles, her play will benefit. Closer game 2 but Koop/Bright win 11-9. They meet Kovalova/Smith in the semi.
3:15 pm EST (Waggish) – QF #2: Staksrud/Tellez vs Bar/Koller: Neither team grabbed the momentum and got a solid run in games 1 & 2. The reaction time from Bar on the NVZ speed-ups or counter-attacks hurt him. Game 3, Momentum slowly built for Staksrud/Tellez to develop a gap of 4 points at side-out. Bar/Koller get a 3 point run by getting aggressive. But Staksrud/Tellez finish it off. 9-11, 11-7, 11-5. Much to my surprise there will be no Arnold/Nunnery in the semi. They were easily defeated by Devilliers and Young. (0,2) is reported in the bracket. But already see one wrong score in the bracket in the women’s side so who knows. These 2 teams play in the semi.
1:15 pm EST (Waggish) – QF#1: Newman/Wright vs Taylor, Chuck/Smith, Spencer: We have an overhead view which that squat court baseline angle badly needed. Hopefully, we can see it used for some hot replays later. Nothing flashy in this match. (1,0) Hard to believe this was a QF.
12:53 pm EST (Waggish) – Merchant/Weinbach vs Fought/Loong: Altaf did a good job chasing down some balls. You are not going to expect seniors to win against athletic 20 something top pros but it’s fun to see they can keep up in some hand battles. (2,4)
12:23 pm EST (Waggish) – Arnold/Nunnery vs Ignatowich/Johns (Collin) That was ugly! You seldom see Collin with anyone but Ben. Game 1 was 8 up before Ignatowich side got their first point. They did a little better in game 2. But clearly outclassed by the fast hands and fire power of Arnold/Nunnery. (3,6) I’m expecting to see this team in the semis later.
Friday, February 24th – Mixed
12:30 am EST – It is looking like without Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns in the picture, these mixed days could be up for grabs. Anna Bright/Riley Newman could simply need a little bit more time before locking in those Championship Sundays. However, for the time being, we have a whole bunch of strong teams. At the start of the day in this post, we highlighted a couple of teams we did not draft that we thought could get to Sunday but we did not note Stratman/Arnold. This is a team that had a lot of trouble finding APP podiums and, while Arnold has flourished in 2023, Stratman has sort of just been around. That is no longer the case as Stratman gets to her first Championship Sunday with a convincing 1 and 1 win against Devilliers/Irvine, a tight 3 gamer against David/Wilson and then knocking off Callie Smith/Dylan Frazier in straights. Just when we speculated Arnold could be coming back down to earth too. There’s nothing predictable right now for these mixed days and that’s a really good thing for the PPA.
The other Championship Sunday team is Parenteau/Ignatowich. Parenteau had a rough, podium-less week in Arizona last weekend but now she is in 2 Championship Sundays. It helps that Anna Leigh isn’t around but they had to knock off the on paper #2 team. Parenteau has not fallen back in the way we thought she could to start the year and Ignatowich’s game could be taking a bit of a leap, especially in mixed where he looks comfortable playing both sides of the court when needed. It’s fun to see some stacking strategy in mixed that can be so traditional often times.
Tough day for Newman/Bright as they don’t even get a bronze. It’s so hard to tell what these backdraw matches mean for teams because there’s no incentive and a lot of let down from the better teams. Callie Smith gets a bronze in mixed and it is a nice day overall for Smith and Frazier. Number 1 rough day goes to Jay/Jessie. Who knows where those two must be at as a partnership mentally but losing 11-1 and 11-1 to Stratman/Arnold has to be a new low for both of them.
TECHNICAL GLITCH (Waggish) – Some kind of glitch “ate” all my posts after 5:00 pm EST. Here are most of them in chronological order. Read top-down not bottom-up as that is how I had them. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Bright/Newman vs Koop/Koller QF: Koop/Koller put up a good fight in game 1 but it’s not easy to beat Bright/Newman skills. In game 2, AB goes for the line often enough to keep AJ from dominating middle. AJ managed to setup a few plays but AB/Riley can’t be scripted. A very deep ATP by Riley at game point gets AB/Riley into the semis (5,6)
Usually we get to see all the QF. But today we miss seeing the silver medalists from last week. Johnson/Johnson are DEFEATED by Parenteau/Ignatowich. 4-11,11-7,11-7 The winners to face AB/Riley.
Kovalova/Wright vs Smith/Frazier QF: To tie the game up at 8-8, Lucy stepped into NVZ to do an Erne. She did not re-establish both feet before hitting her Erne. No ref call. Game 2: I really liked the patience/timing I saw from Frazier. I also liked when he went directly into the body of Matt. Lucy’s foot same problem on her Erne at 5-8. Callie came dangerously close to misses on unwinding the stack. Obviously, she has coaches to tell her the remedy (pace/location) so you wonder why they are not correcting that. Getting lucky a few times may be giving her a false sense of confidence. Game 3: Early, Matt targeted Callie’s inside foot and got some points. But mainly he seemed to want to separate them. Backspin over the net at 7-10. Matt touched the net when he reached over to hit the ball into the net. 8-10 Callie correctly calls a ball out but I don’t think Dylan would have made the call. From Dylan’s head position he should have seen it. Callie and Dylan go to semi’s. 8-11,11-7,11-8.
Stratman/Arnold vs David/Wilson. Game 2 had lots of great battles. Mark it down for a rewatch. Thomas and Vivienne were both pressing in game 3 and it made for some errors. It was a bold strategy when Arnold was playing hot. After the side-out (6-3), they let up off the gas and returned more/dinked more to Lauren. Lauren/Arnold catch up to their 6 and pass them. Arnold gets aggressive against Vivienne and they get to match point while Wilson side stays at 6. And Arnold’s comeback gets them the win! 7-11,11-7,11-8.
Backdraw: Wright/Loong defeat Koop/Koller 15-11, defeat Johnson team 15-10 and are into the 5th place match.
Bright/Newman vs Parenteau/Ignatowich. What a first game. Clearly, James knows Anna’s weaknesses and relentlessly attacked them. Newman finally put himself across from James and that helped him dictate more of the points. Plus Newman and Anna crowded far right to direct as many balls as possible at CP. James did a good job after he fell at the NVZ. Anna hits an ATP that James can’t react to for game point. Game 2 was even better with high level play for every point. No favorite side from AB/Riley. Whatever AB has learned from playing with Riley obviously rubbed off on James MXD play. Parenteau also playing lights out. Game 3: Great rally at 8-0 Ignatowich side leading. At 4-9-2, James takes timeout for cramping. AB/Riley take full advantage of the long time-out and come back on fire! Game 3 ends up being a tight game after the 9-1 lead. But Ignatowich and Parenteau win. 7-11, 11-8, 12-10. CP may be hoping Tyson stays injured most of 2023. With the level of play by James this week-end, he could do some real damage when partnering with Collin Johns tomorrow.
Smith/Frazier vs Stratman/Arnold. Wow, another unexpected team makes it to Championship Sunday. Stratman/Arnold (9,2). In the backdraw, David/Wilson beat Kovalova/Wright 15-13. Then they are defeated by Wright/Loong 15-13 in the 5th place match. Great run in the backdraw by Etta and Tyler.
Wow! Smith/Frazier beat Bright/Newman to get bronze. 11-8,11-7 Another new team on MXD podium.
5:00 pm EST (Waggish) – Wright,Etta/Loong vs Smith/Frazier: Very quick game 1. Wright got stuck unwinding the stack a few times. Game 2, Trying 2 backhands in the middle to avoid that unwinding the stack problem on the receive. Low energy still coming from them, especially Etta, but they did better. Smith/Frazier to meet Kovalova/Wright in QF (1,6). Stratman/Arnold win over Irvine/Devilliers (1,1) to meet David/Wilson in QF. That 1,1 score by Jessie and Jay screams each made the right decision to try other partners in 2023.
4:30 pm EST (Waggish) – Bright/Newman vs Koop/Koller in QF after Newman win over Kawamoto/Bar (6,6) and Koller’s win over Walker, Angie/Taylor, Chuck (0,7). Parenteau/Ignatowich vs Johnson/Johnson in QF after Ignatowich win over Brascia/Staksrud (7,7) and Johnson over Jones/Smith (6,8). We saw some nice ATP’s from AB.
3:55 pm EST (Waggish) – I don’t get why players don’t care that the scores on PT brackets are wrong. Game 1 of Arnold/Stratman vs Hewett/Padegimaite was close with score of 12-10 – not the 11-0 shown! Game 2 was 11-4. We’ll get to see some new partnerships and some old ones – Jessie back with Jay. Social media didn’t seem to like some of the seedings.
2:30 pm EST – With the snow delay, pro matches will not start until 3 pm EST. Seeing the amount of withdrawals due to the weather, you would think the main draw was a PPA backdraw. One interesting partnership to monitor will be AJ Koller and Andrea Koop. Koller’s start to the year with Jessie Irvine has not been stellar and the last time Koop/Koller played together they won a gold medal at a PPA. They did not have an easy quarter of the draw but they may get some minor help with the weather. Jansen/Rettenmaier have withdrawn, presumably because Travis is stuck in Florida with the snow as well as a number of the other teams with Florida residents. Koop/Koller will still have to get through Bright/Newman and either the Johnsons or Parenteau/Ignatowich just to reach Sunday.
The other half of the draw is wide open. Teams that went undrafted in our fantasy preview include Etta Wright/Tyler Loong and Callie Smith/Dylan Frazier. Those two teams along with Jessie/Jay, Vivienne/Thomas and Matt/Lucy all have the potential to get to Sunday.
Thursday, February 23rd – Singles
12:36 am EST – Interesting day overall. The social media headlines have James Ignatowich’s interview everywhere but let’s talk about his Championship Sunday appearance. With the benefit of a soft draw, Ignatowich beat the players he was supposed to beat, namely Christian Alshon and Jay Devilliers. If you would have asked us, we would have thought that Ignatowich vs. Alshon match would have been closer, but it’s a good sign for a guy who wasn’t even in the draw before late in the evening on Wednesday.
JW Johnson is back? After a ridiculously close match with Federico that JW came out on top of, he rolled through Julian Arnold en route to his best singles performance of 2023. It’s hard to know what to make of JW at this point in singles, but that’s a good day for him. On the other hand, is Julian Arnold coming back down to earth after a heater to start 2023? Following his defeat of Frazier, he suffered identical defeats of 2 and 7 to JW and then, more concerningly, Jay Devilliers. We can’t forget to mention that the bronze stallion picks up his first bronze in a while, but that’s not a loss we expect Arnold to suffer.
On the women’s side, we have another Jansen vs. Parenteau gold medal match. We didn’t see the Jansen vs. Devidze match, but sounds like some controversy. There appears to have been some tough calls on Jansen’s end but, at the same time, it’s hard to feel bad for Devidze when you have to think these calls are the direct result of Devidze’s brutal history of calls. Two wrongs don’t make a right but maybe this type of stuff can make Devidze think twice the next time she wants to hook someone else. It’s not about condoning revenge bad calls here at NML in a vigilante justice manner. At the same time, you don’t necessarily hate to see Devidze get more than a taste of her own medicine. Devidze comes away with the bronze but not without a commendable effort from Brooke Buckner, who slowly keeps improving. 12-10 and 13-11 is no joke against Devidze.
10:40 pm EST (Waggish) – Bronze Results: Salome defeats Brooke Buckner but it was close: 12-10, 13-11. Jay defeats Julian Arnold and it was not particularly close: 11-2, 11-7.
9:52 pm EST (Waggish) – JW gets his wish – faces James on Sunday. Jay put up an excellent fight in game 2 and almost forced a game 3. (5,9) James put on the best after-match interview ever! Bronze matches to be played with no streaming.
9:10 pm EST (Waggish) – Parenteau vs Brooke Buckner: CP gets to face Lea on Sunday (7,3). Lauren Stratman gets 5th place after defeating Jessie Irvine 15-3. Tereschenko withdrew after her loss to Buckner in the main draw. Bright also withdrew. MS: Staskrud goes down to his MD partner Pablo Tellez in the 5th: 15-12. Staksrud defeated Frazier 15-11. Tellez defeated Aanik Lohani 15-2. Lohani made a splash at last year’s APP Chicago: https://www.nmlpickleball.com/recaps/app-tour-chicago-open-5-takeaways-dylan-fraziers-doing-alright/
8:30 pm EST (Waggish) – JW was at his ease beating Arnold (2,7). JW says he’d like to play James on Sunday because they play together all the time back home.
7:50 pm EST (Waggish) – Lea vs Salome: Fireworks! I don’t know if Salome was frustrated with herself or frustrated with the out call by Lea at 7-2 but she slams her paddle down and walks off the court, taking a time-out. I didn’t see any line judges but spotted Don Stanley watching the match. From 2-9, Salome makes it all the way to 12-10! Well done by Salome! Game 2, Salome very unhappy with line call by Lea at 2-0. On unofficial replay, the ball looked well inside the line! At 5-4, the ref didn’t give Lea enough time to go through her cross-body routine and called the score before she had finished. She had to have a word with him. She did hold the ball up as if she was showing it to her opponent before serving so ref probably interpreted that as if she was ready. But then she went into her routine as he was calling the score. We start over. Lea gets a run going to get to 8. Salome fights hard and makes it to 8. But Lea makes it to 11. Of course, another line call but this one was too close to tell on the unofficial replay. Last week we had challenged replays in the semis for singles but this week it doesn’t look like we do. Last week we had replays in quarters on MXD and DBL day so we’ll have to see what this week brings. On to game 3 with no love lost with the calls being made by Lea. Unless I missed it, I didn’t see Lea unhappy with any of Salome’s calls. Lea gets to Sunday 10-12, 11-8, 11-0.
6:08 pm EST (Waggish) – Parenteau vs Bright: Bright had a nice lead 8-2 in game 1 but lost it with a series of errors partly due to CP’s shot selection. Bright eventually wins 11-9. Game 2, CP has the lead 8-4 at Bright’s time-out and keeps it to 11-6. CP does a better job with small spaces than AB which means she can hit the ball out of reach of AB. I didn’t see the flicks AB is working on but they probably aren’t applicable here as much. Game 3 CP knows to keep doing what she’s been doing. Wins 11-1.
Semis: Lea vs Salome, CP vs Brooke Buckner. MS Semis: JW vs Julian, James vs winner of Jay vs FAD.
5:20 pm EST (Waggish) – Federico Staksrud vs JW Johnson: 2 game points for Staksrud in game 1 then JW ties it up. Then each kept tying it up until finally JW gets to 14 for the win. Game 2 also gets tied at 10! The rally at 11-10 had Staksrud running full court width. Score stays at 11-12 for several side-outs. Then Staksrud gets the score 14-12. Game 3 looks like it will be a run away for JW at 8-4. But maybe JW got too complacent because Staksrud gets to 8! Staksrud falls down at NVZ at 9-10 and decides to take a time-out. JW wins 11-9. Other: Julian Arnold def Dylan Frazier 9-11,11-6,11-4. Ignatowich defeats Alshon (6,8)
3:10 pm EST (Waggish) – Ignatowich vs DJ Young. We finally get to see DJ Young play singles. Not a bad showing but James was too much for him. (6,4) The camera angle makes the court look short and squat shaped. So Ignatowich looked like a giant playing on a tiny court. When playing the near end in first game, Ignatowich looked like he was close to the NVZ even when he wasn’t. Might make it difficult for viewers to judge some things: strategy, shots, line calls. The angles of the shots look awesome though.
12:04 pm EST – We have had some changes to the schedule as well as the singles draws since they were initially posted due to the weather. JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier now sit on the same side of the draw as Staksrud and Arnold, making for a very difficult half. The other half is wide open with newly entered James Ignatowich, Jay Devilliers, Christian Alshon and even Travis Rettenmaier and Rafa Hewett have to be in the mix.
On the women’s side, we have lost Mary Brascia but Anna Bright as well as Jessie Irvine are making their first singles appearance of 2023. Bright will look to give Parenteau some real trouble in her first match and it is not out of the question that Bright find herself to a Sunday with this draw.
44 thoughts on “PPA Tour National Indoor Championship – Live Random Thoughts”
Thank you for your time and posting. A question, please? I was looking at the brackets for singles. How come the players with pictures (men and women) got a bye? I thought it was picked randomly. Or am I mistaken? Thank you. 🙂
It is not random for the top seeds. The seeding is based on PPA points. So it is common for the top 4 seeds at least to get a bye. At some number – I think PPA claims after 8 seed, it will be random.
it is all based on seeding who gets the bye. The PPA players generally have better seeding because they have more PPA points.
“this type of stuff can make Devidze think twice the next time” — the opposite can happen. Devidze “could” see this type of bad calls from others and think “I guess bad calls are done by everyone so I won’t worry too much about my past calls”. And she doesn’t change. But players showing some grace to other players “could” make Devidze think, “Okay maybe I got lucky there with a favorable line call. I need to pass it forward.” In reality, neither player will overthink too much about this one match. But Devidze might call for line judges the next time she plays Jansen.
That is a fair point here.
Very much agree with this. Watched the match in real time and Jansens calls, at least per the camera replay were really bad. One in particular was a good 4 inches in bounds. Bad line calls happen, it’s currently part of the game and as much as one might want to be fair, that ball is moving fast and so is the player. However, how the player who makes the bad line call handles the issue is something all together different. Jansens attitude was very much, “stick it to ya…” and that’s what is far worse.
Jansen’s calls were absolutely brutal, including at least 3 blatantly in and at least a few more questionable balls. However, I completely agree with the premise of NML on this one. Essentially, you get what you give.
This should also help excellerate a hawk eye system. Win-win.
It’s a tough spot and really just highlights that we need to accelerate getting something better in place as you say.
Anyone know why the events start so late in the day, given that there’s no qualifier to wait on? Doesn’t really matter, just curious!
They published the revision for a 2 pm start on Wednesday when they also changed the singles start. So travel/weather decision at that time. PPA may have been hoping some players could make it in late night Thursday or Friday morning.
James Ignatowich’s game is certainly on an upward trajectory. I’m a fan.
He’ll be a takeaway for sure if the rest of the week-end goes well for him.
His game is very good but his post-game interviews are great. Very honest and genuine and enthusiastic.
I think he will find that rather than having the monkey off his back, it’s now a gorilla on his back, at least until he wins on a championship Sunday.
Then the gorilla will put on some weight, and it will be “when will you win again on Sunday? “, and then it will be when will you appear in multiple events on the same championship Sunday, and then when will you win your first triple crown – once you let expectations become a weight on your shoulders, that weight only increases. Hopefully he’ll learn to just play his best, and not worry about the things he can’t control.
Fred: you got it wrong. He’ll be more worried about his after match interviews. He has set a high bar! jk
That’s awesome. He’ll be at home between tournaments, 3 am, crumpling up pieces of paper and throwing them at a trash can filled with crumpled-up paper, trying to write another perfect post-game victory speech…
He ended up getting it done but expectations are always harder to deal with than being the underdog.
Jerry Huo and Phillip Locklear #9? Tyler Hong and Sammy Lee #6? What the heck is going on!?!?! No way that’s right.
yeah, the seeding and brackets are very “quirky” today. I’m just hoping they make good streaming decisions. Watching Weinbach is not a good sign. Hope they don’t let him into the booth.
Hong/Lee #6, Huo/Locker #9 and Staksfrud/Tellez #11, and Julian Freakin Arnold/Nunnery #15…wild lol
James didn’t look like himself today. Looked tired. Wonder if his physical style of playing lends itself to playing all 3 events. Collin was making more errors than he usually does. But Iggy was sleep walking in between matches it seemed.
Agreed, both Colin and Iggy had bad days at the office.
I think they could make a very good MD team if they played close to their “normal” level.
But this game was both of them way off.
Agree with this. It’s tough to play 3 events.
It’s incredible how much these draws open up when Ben and AL aren’t in them.
It really is
Waggish said, “Some doubters last week that Dylan and JW could develop to beat Riley and Matt”
Srsly? That just seems unpossible. Well, they can’t doubt now after Dylan just shredded Riley like Jaws tearing into beach-goers. They’re so crazy talented the Johns brothers better watch out. I’ll go out on no limb whatsoever — they’re the favorites tomorrow.
She is referring to the NML crew here who expressed some doubt that it would come right away without some changes.
Wow! What a weekend for Ignatowich! Yeah, Ben and ALW are not there, but it’s still very impressive.
His court IQ and coverage was at an insane level today!
Ehh I don’t know if his court IQ is what’s winning him matches. He seemed to be in the wrong spot more than once in mixed and mens doubles, but his hand speed and power is extreme.. when he and Catherine took on Jorja and JW, James was eating up a lot of middle and winning in hands more often than not. Not easy to do against johnsons
James is doing it on talent right now and he’s able to take a bunch of court with his length and shots from both sides where he can initiate offence.
I never doubted they could beat matt and riley. In fact I had a lot of suggestions for their team, many of which they utilized this weekend. Not because I suggested them. But because they were obvious things they had to do better. Congrats to them for simply being a lot better than last week. They drove the ball hard at matt. They pressured matt with the 4th ball. they attacked off the bounce. they dinked more forcefully. they took it to them before riley and matt could pull the trigger. jw also showed more offense off the backhand side, and defended better. But one thing I did not see was them switching places on court, as was advised by some here. They just needed to better in their roles. Congrats to them and I hope they can break through soon against Ben and his older brother.
Waggish was probably referring to us but we were mostly on the same page with this. Big win for them.
UPDATE on the end of game paddle tap in WS: I didn’t have all the information. CP agreed no paddle tap until end of match. AL had not agreed to it last week. My apology for misreading what I saw on screen.
Karma is a Bitch. People who don’t respect tradition get what they deserve. I have not seen as big a collapse as Lea made today in the singles Gold M. Game. I do not like CP much, but I rooted for her over Lea just because of the Paddle tap BS. I bet every other PB purist on the planet did the same. Go woke. Go home. Wise up, child. <– Lea
The paddle tap thing after each game when playing the same person is a little weird when you think about it. Everyone taps paddles in rec after each game but how often do you play the same match up multiple times in a row in rec? My buddy and I will go out and play 1v1 for a few hours and don’t always tap paddles after every game (not out of spite we just immediately get set up to play the next game right away). We make sure to tap paddles at the end of our last match though.
So you’d root for a person that dropped a doubles partner *during* a tournament to play with someone else over a person that doesn’t tap paddles in-between games but does so after a match?? Being ‘woke’ has nothing to do with anything here.
I sort of get your point. And I stated that I do NOT LIKE CP for the reasons you mention. In rec play I do play the same opponents multiple times in a row. And we DO tap after each 11 pointer. It is a simple Tradition of Sociability. Something that our Culture has been trying to break Humanity of for years. Think masks and the 6 foot bullshit of the last 3 years. My perspective is Long term. Your is shorter term. I bet I am well over twice your age and can see from a longer perspective. Do NOT give up chances to be close and personal with other humans you interact with. It is good for the soul. Yours and the Planets.
Karma? Are we equating a silly formality with the way CP has proven to treat people as an example of Karma? This is kind of wild honestly.
Of course it’s “wild”. But it got some attention.
As I also mentioned: I DO NOT LIKE CP.
And you calling the time honored tradition of a 2 second paddle tap a “Silly Tradition” just shows your lack of understanding of the roots of PB.
Hey… Let’s stop giving out Green Jackets at the Masters.
It’s just a silly tradition because green is not in style any more.
Kids today… “No Respect”….
Not sure it is comparable to equate the Green Jacket with a paddle tap in between games. The Green Jacket is essentially a trophy that is given only to the winner of the event each year. Paddle tapping is an unwritten social formality. Pickleball does not have to be other sports but paddle tapping would be comparable to tennis players tapping racquets after each set and football players giving handshakes at halftime. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it but it also seems far from necessary.
And on another subject. Now that this page is gaining some well deserved traction, why can’t you add Like/Dislike buttons on our comments? If I agree with someone, they should know it.
We will talk to our in-house IT manager to see if this is possible!
Where did Nunnery go into his issues with Ben? I heard some references to a “newsletter” but some searching didn’t turn anything up.
Lefty: He has a website in his name with a sign-up for a daily post. No idea what contents it contains.
If you go to his website, robnunnery.com, you can sign up for his newsletter. He does not explicitly state things but he did mention Ben by name in the context for the first time ever recently.