It’s the typical 4-day PPA tournament starting on a Thursday. Something to look out for on each day. For singles, let’s see if Tyson can make a Championship Sunday as these fields keep getting deeper and deeper, but no Ben Johns. In mixed, Collin Johns has his best mixed partner to date in Catherine Parenteau. The question is whether Catherine has enough offence to help out Collin being less familiar with that mixed role. In doubles, the big question is who will come out on top of the 3-headed partnership monster. As usual, we’ll have thoughts throughout the weekend as results come down the pipe.
Sunday, June 12th – Championship Sunday
9:03 pm EST – Another walkover Sunday against Tyson. JW with a double gold to no one’s surprise.
7:42 pm EST – Lucy and Callie go back to back too. You do wonder how tired AL was for this match.
6:56 pm EST – The favorites prevail in men’s. Wright and Newman prove to be too much for Collin and AJ. Close match but these two have figured things out after a somewhat slow start. It takes time for these partnerships to gel. They played a lot of tough matches this weekend, but they got through them all.
4:52 pm EST – What to say about Parris Todd? Down 10-1 in game 1 (edit: it was 5-0 not 10-1) and comes back to win then finds a way to beat AL in 5. That first game nay have set the tone but it’s clear Todd is legit. Anna Leigh’s dominance is officially over and that appeared to only be a matter of time. Tough for her to play 3 matches in 1 day. We’ll see how doubles with Mama Waters goes.
2:50 pm EST – Matt and Lucy have really found their stride this year. It may have been a loss to the kids in the final but they went 5 games. Don’t mind the non-compeitive game 5, the fact that they are still hanging right there is a testament to their staying power and likely their ability to make adjustments. Just when you think they are down, they are still in the mix. Ultimately though, JW and Anna Leigh are the favored champions this weekend. AL can win without Ben, but of course.
Saturday, June 11th – Doubles
3:43 am EST – Parenteau and Jansen do end up with a bronze so the top 3 women stay the same for this tournament still. Jorja and Anna had a strong day, but still only a 4th place finish. Close loss to Lea and Catherine then a couple of very good, close wins on the backside to Irina/Lauren and Jessie/Lindsey. Those two are a very strong pair together and hopefully we see them with more opportunities to upend the PPA hierarchy.
JW and Dylan get bronze over Pat and DJ. A good day that ends without a podium for Pat and DJ. I imagine that’s not a team a lot of teams have fun seeing. No medals for Devilliers this weekend. Tough start after his hiatus.
9:54 pm EST – So Collin and AJ find their way to Sunday. They got Dylan and JW in 2 games. It’s another example of AJ getting results with top end partners, first Riley and now Collin. You do wonder if sometimes people haven’t seen a player they figure some things out and then it’s on that player to make the further adjustment. I wonder if that’s happened to Thomas Wilson right now as AJ gets results with others. Tyler and Callan did give Matt and Riley a game, but they fell short so we’ll see if we get a different champion this week.
The women we see another Waters vs Callie and Lucy matchup. Lindsey and Jessie gave Callie and Lucy a run for their money whereas the Waters creamed Jansen/Parenteau. Has to be disappointing for them to not have a tighter matchup.
5:55 pm EST – Based on the draw, it’s a very expected men’s semi-finals. DJ and Pat found themselves in a tough draw with Collin and AJ, and lost in 3. Then Frazier and JW once again beat Tyson and Jay, who are clearly not good enough as a duo I think at this point. Loong/Dawson on the easier quarter of the draw will have a tough go against the #1 seeds out there. The semi-finals are being played on Tennis Channel if you are curious and not seeing it on Youtube.
Irvine and Newman had not much trouble against Sheehan-Dizon and Todd so that possible matchup was not an issue as it seemed like it could have been. On the other hand, Lea and Catherine squeak by Anna and Jorja, 12-10 in the third. That team was one to make some noise and they come so close.
4:35 pm EST – Later start in the day plus the west coast tourney means still not a lot in the way of important results yet. Wes Burrows and Jeff Warnick looked for a second like they could be in for a crazy good day. They beat Barrientos/Chuck Taylor in 2 then took a game off Newman/Wright before losing 11-6 in the third. Burrows may be the most talented player who doesn’t actually play tour events with any regularity while Warnick is a beast when he is on.
The only other interesting result so far was DJ Young and Pat Smith having to battle hard in 3 against the singles specialists Alex Neumann and Federico Staksrud, who are both playing more doubles events recently.
11:45 am EST – Allyce Jones is injured and Parris Todd is getting the replacement call today to play with Sheehan-Dizon. I’ll be curious to see how they do together. Sheehan-Dizon is solid but probably needs someone like Parris to provide more pop in a partnership. Allyce is more suited to a complimentary role, which is why her mixed results are generally better. I wouldn’t be sleeping on this pair being able to give a team like Jessie and Lindsey a run for their money.
Friday, June 10th – Mixed
12:09 am EST – It ends up being a pretty quality bronze for AJ and Callie. Theg still have breakthrough capability. Maybe one day this year we’ll see it all come together.
10:30 pm EST – It was very tight for two games but Anna Leigh and JW eventually got it sorted out against the Newmans to come away with the win. They should have an easier time against Lucy and Matt on Sunday.
The bronze stallion is not in full force. Jay and Jessie lose to the Newmans. It’s a long day for Lindsey as the Newman’s are currently having trouble against Smith and Koller in the bronze down a game already. And it is amazing how close these days are as always. Catherine and Collin lose 15-4 to Callie and AJ – you sit all around for that matchup it has to be a mental letdown to lose 11-8 in the third then have to get right back to a game to 15.
8:31 pm EST – Quite a match for Parenteau/Johns. They prove they are right there as a team with their oppo-stack. Lea and Collin also gave Matt and Lucy trouble last time out, but this felt tighter the whole way through. Tough loss for Catherine and Collin.
Jay and Jessie continue to work their way through the back side and they’ll play Callie and AJ next. Is Jay still the bronze stallion?
6:49 pm EST – I think it’s too much for the PPA to try to get all these quarter-final matches on the stream. It makes for a really slow day. I can’t imagine the players love it and I don’t think you need a billion hours of streaming every day. None of the backdraw can move ahead either. Anyway, the Newmans took Callie/AJ in 3 as those two can’t seem to find a way to breakthrough at any of these tournaments. A lot of 3 game matches though. Matt/Lucy beat Irina/Frazier, 12-10 in the 2nd was tight. That match against Parenteau/Collin Johns should be interesting. And then JW and AL rolled Tyson and Lauren. Their match against the Newman’s makes for two very intriguing semi-finals that we have never seen before.
4:25 pm EST – First big upset of the day. Jessie/Jay go down to Catherine/Collin. If there was a question about how this team could create offence, they answered it by saying Catherine was going to do a ton of initiating. The teams oppo-stacked the entire match with Jessie/Joy deciding to matchup the females cross-court once they saw Catherine was on the left. Parenteau relentlessly attacked with her rolling backhand. Frankly, Jay’s hands weren’t heavy enough and Jessie had difficulty covering that middle with her forehand. When you see those stats Jim Ramsay puts up, Catherine really doesn’t initiate much when she plays mixed with Riley. I’d be curious on the amount of speed-ups Catherine initiated in this match as she ultra aggressive. It paid off for them.
This main draw looks like it will go slow as they appear to be putting all the quarter and semi-final matches on the main court.
2:36 pm EST – There aren’t any upsets so far today but there are still a couple of early results of note. Catherine Parenteau and Collin Johns steamrolling Bright/Loong is interesting. Bright/Loong have had some good matches as a pair together as Anna gets to sit on that left side while Collin’s mixed results have been iffy to say the least. That jump from mid/upper level pro to top pro doesn’t come quite as quickly as players like Anna want it to. The other result was Mary Brascia/Staksrud taking the Newman’s to 3 games. The 3rd game was not competitive but they won 13-11 in game 1 and lost 11-6 in game 2. Staksrud has been playing more doubles of late and Mary is talented. It’s possible we may not be giving Mary the full credit she deserves at this stage. Regardless, she is going to be all pickleball for time being so we’ll be curious to monitor her progression.
Thursday, June 9th – Singles
11:05 pm EST – Impressive bronze performance from Ignatowich over Gabe Joseph. We’re going to see more of this pretty soon. Ignatowich rising up those rankings.
10:18 pm EST – Callie Smith ends up with another singles bronze. She’s in that spot where she’s not good enough to win but right there in tier 2/3. Bright, on the other hand, is still having disappointing results at this stage. She lost 4 games straight to Callie today and 7 was the most points she could muster.
On the men’s side, Ignatowich and Joseph are battling for bronze right now. Ignatowich has shots and he’s only going to get better. You really do start to wonder when these truly high end, young tennis players get into the sport what it will look like. Not much cat and mouse from Gabe or James that’s for sure. Gabe beat Jay Devilliers and then smoked Hayden Patriquin while Ignatowich was able to handle Sherry after it was 6-6 for the first half of it.
7:13 pm EST – The big win of the day so far goes to Parris Todd who takes down Catherine Parenteau in two games, 11-1 and 11-7. Parris has such good ground strokes that she is still giving trouble to players of Catherine and Anna Leigh’s calibre despite not getting to the net enough. She is getting up there a little bit more but she can do even better. Impressive win for her and you have to think Anna Leigh would have preferred that Parenteau matchup. There is no question that Parris is a rising star in the game.
Ryan Sherry fighting his way through a backdraw. Does not want this slander of prioritizing these other players over him and might be a little motivated after losing to Hayden. Sherry with wins over Julian Arnold and Federico Staksrud. He’ll have to win two more if he wants a bronze medal today. Just when you think it is time to count him out, you cannot do it.
I guess we haven’t given an update since Tyson made it to Championship Sunday. It truly has been a joke of a draw for him to get another appearance under his belt. Must be nice.
5:22 pm EST – We have the semi-finals set. Tyson is going to play Hayden Patriquin on the PPA friendly half of the draw. This one may not be a walkthrough for Tyson. Hayden will be playing with nothing to lose. On the death-half side of the draw, James Ignatowich has beaten Jay Devilliers pretty handily 11-6, 11-7. The talent is very evident with Ignatowich’s game with already some of the best shots from the baseline in all of pickleball. Jay’s singles game has stagnated and he hasn’t been playing lately either. Ignatowich will play JW Johnson, who had to fight his way through a marathon of a game 2, 15-13, to get by Gabriel Joseph. Any of these players on the bottom half of the draw could easily be in Patriquin’s spot.
For the women, it is interesting the only women that seem to push Anna Leigh are the ones who haven’t played her too much. Part of that may be mental, part of that may be Anna Leigh not having played them and part of it could be more unafraid talent ready to make some noise. Mary Brascia is a talented tennis player who transferred to smaller Biola University, but she was able to take a game off Anna Leigh today. Callie Smith also smoked Anna Bright, who’s light is not shining as brightly with her singles game. 11-3 and 11-4 is not too encouraging for rising star.
3:42 pm EST – Tyson’s side of the bracket is playing out fairly favorably for him. He’ll have his toughest match coming up next against John Cincola, with the winner of that facing Sherry or Patriquin. Hayden Patriquin got the better of Loong as his results continue to get better. Sherry is arguably a tougher matchup than Cincola but getting him towards the end of a day makes life easier.
On the tough half of the bracket, James Ignatowich won in 2 games over Federico Staksrud. That’s a pretty big win for Ignatowich. He’ll still have two very difficult matches to get to Sunday. JW Johnson will play Gabe Joseph after Joseph took down Julian Arnold in 3 games. Joseph has played JW tough and is showing he is right where he belongs despite his limited tournaments. Jay is currently in game 3 against Dylan Frazier and it has not been an easy start for Jay from his hiatus. No free wins on this half of the draw
11:16 am EST – These PPA men’s singles draws are honestly just hilarious at this point. In such a deep field, is it even possible for Tyson McGuffin to get a softer draw? The worst case scenario for Tyson is that he’ll face either FAD or Cincola and one of Loong or Sherry to get to a Championship Sunday. Who is behind the other door on that half of the draw? JW Johnson, Federico Staksrud, Jay Devilliers, James Ignatowich, Gabriel Joseph and Julian Arnold. That’s players 2 through 7 the way we both had them ranked separately in some order. PPA: tell us you hand pick the draws without telling us you hand pick the draws. No shame in their game, that’s for certain.