With the exception of Tyson, most of the PPA players are back. This tournament may have the most new men’s doubles pairings of any tournament so far. And those pairings don’t even last to the Los Angeles tournament the very next week! The most surprising thing about the Seattle Open could be no rain delay but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for an upset for Sunday’s teams. You’ll have to be on your toes this weekend as the broadcast will be switching platforms approximately 38 times.
Championship Sunday, July 30th
11:55 am EST (Waggish) – PPA has published the order to be MXD, MD, WD, MS, WS. The first 2 hours should be on ESPN then move over to YouTube.
1:50 pm EST (Waggish) – MXD Gold: #2 Bright/Ignatowich vs #1 Waters/Johns. Ignatowich dominated in game 2 with his fast hands and large steps which pushes the match to 4 games at least. They couldn’t sustain the level in game 3. Game 4, Waters/Johns not fooling around and target AB as much as possible. With AB as a target, I wished to see James take more control like you see Ben do. AB gets pushed further and further back and they have no strategy for that situation. Finally, we see AB goes on left but they don’t stick with it. James/AB are pressing as hard and fast as they can but that also means rushed shots are not perfect. They can’t gain on Waters/Johns though they do hold them for several rallies. Well done by Ben and AL against more pressure than they’ve seen on Sunday in awhile (probably since the last time they played James/AB in Austin). We are seeing chinks in their armor with a dropped game in SF against Newmans and now today. Ben/AL: 11-4, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6. Others have said the 5 game format favors Ben and AL and I would have to agree. There’s been talk of changing the main draw to 5 games now that there is no real back-draw. But many pros don’t want that for this reason.
3:55 pm EST (Waggish) – MD Gold: #5 Tellez/Staksud vs #3 Johnson/Frazier. JW’s speed-up with FH roll flicks are doing a good job catching Tellez/Staksrud off-guard. Tellez/Staksrud own speed-ups aren’t having the same effect so we get into 2 consecutive very long dink rallies at 7-9. Game 2, Staksrud/Tellez showing their frustration early. They had an easier path yesterday in SF when Riley/Julian were gifting them with high balls. JW/Dylan not feeling like Santa Claus. But Staksrud team keep it together and tie it at 7. Game 3 starts out with a Staksrud team lead of 5-0. Dylan and JW are looking like they fell asleep after all the dinking in games 1 and 2. After a time-out and side-out, they get on the board with 2. But Tellez/Staksrud speed-ups are still working like a charm and it’s 8-2 before Dylan/JW score again. Eventually, game ties at 8. Game 4, Neither team is doing many speed-ups. It’s a wait and see who makes the first error. Dylan/JW doing a good job not giving Tellez nor Staksrud an erne opportunity. See 3-7-2 rally. So FUN! Pablo releases his disappointment by throwing his paddle at video board. Refs discuss. You can see a little divot there. I think Stanley called a TW on the paddle throw. JW/Dylan get consecutive gold after last week’s win at Beer City.
5:00 pm EST (Waggish) – WD Gold: #1 Waters/Bright vs. #7 Jackie K./David. Game 2: Wow! See 1-0-1 point. Just the start of an amazing performance by AL/AB. Game 3 gets tied at 5 then Jackie/Vivienne make it 8-7 with the help of errors from AB/AL. It was anyone’s game from there and AB/AL take it. 11-7, 11-0, 11-8.
5:45 pm EST (Waggish) – MS Gold: #1 Johns vs #2 Staksrud. We haven’t seen a Gold showdown between Fed and Ben since March in Austin. See Staksrud’s “trampoline” shot at 7-2 and another great shot at 2-7 in game 2. Ben wins (4,6).
6:50 pm EST (Waggish) – WS Gold: #1 Waters earns another triple crown by defeating #2 Jansen. Jansen got a burst of energy to power through Waters at the end of game 1. But that must have depleted Lea because she gets 0 points in game 2. Both looked like they were struggling for energy in game 3. 10-12,11-0,11-3 Might have been a bit of a controversy at the end/interview but we’ll let social media opinionize on that.
9:50 pm EST – Thanks all for tuning into the live blog this weekend. We just finished taping a podcast and we’ll have takeaways still for Monday as well! Thanks to Jan aka Waggish for the live stuff all weekend too.
Saturday, July 29th – Doubles
12:20 pm EST (Waggish) – MD bracket: #1 seed Johns have an easy path to QF and most likely SF. #4 seed Riley and Julian could face #5 seed Tellez/Staksrud in their QF unless #12 Loong/Lange are hyped to make some noise. #2 seed Wright/Devilliers could get #7 Wilson/Bar or #10 Tardio/Spencer Smith. #3 Johnson/Frazier most likely will face #6 Patriquin/Koller or #11 Ignatowich/Hewett. But #27 Naveen Beasley/Ryan Eveloff could do a surprise upset of #6. Of those QF, I’d say Johnson/Frazier could be the most competitive. Hopefully, PPA decides to finish the day with streamed doubles SF. Luckily, the schedule shows YT at end of day too so all the switching around will be a distant memory. Right now we get a great round 1 match on ESPN.
2:15 pm EST (Waggish) – Take note MLP: #10 Tardio/Spencer Smith gets the win over Wilson/Bar (9,2-,9) to make it into QF. #9 Patrick Smith/DJ Young will play Johns in QF.
3:00 pm EST (Waggish) – Ignatowich/Hewett defeat Patriquin/Koller (9-,9,6) to play JW/Frazier in QF.
Tellez/Staksrud vs Loong/Lange. Game 2, Loong is yelling at Lange to go, go, go on the short, sharp drop from Tellez at 4-5. Fast-twitch Loong could have gotten there but probably afraid of a head crash into Lange. So instead both just watch from the baseline. Loong does a really nice flick down the middle at 8-9 catching Staksrud by surprise.Close matches but Tellez/Staksrud win (9,10) to play Newman/Arnold in QF. Maybe it was because I’m more used to the chaos and angles coming from the new guys but watching Lange felt like old-school pickleball. Devilliers/Wright play Tardio/Smith in QF.
MXD SF: Ignatowch/Bright defeat Wilson/David (6,10). No stream shown but they get an article on ppa website. Newmans came extremely close to upsetting Waters/Johns with strong play. (8-,2,8)
3:45 pm EST (Waggish) – #3 Johnson/Frazier vs #11 Ignatowich/Hewett QF. Hewett does a body bump with Ignatowich and practically knocks him off the court. Tight game 1 with a tie at 8. Dylan and JW not in the mood to test James’ hands and try to dink him into boredom. But James not letting it happen; still jazzed from his entry into Sunday? Game 2 is getting more pace into the game with quick points instead of long dink rallies. Ignatowich/Hewett get desperate and try James on right, putting two BH in middle. Johnson/Frazier (9,2).
4:25 pm EST (Waggish) – #1 Johns vs #9 P.Smith/D.Young. Smith/Young take down Johns in game 2 with a substantial spread. The good DJ showed up and played left. They didn’t even have to isolate and play Collin. Though the speed-ups at Collin certainly helped them. They get to 9-3 before Johns team score another point. Game 3, Collin comes to his senses and remembers to let Ben do Ben stuff, see point 2-4. Repeated balls going out when Johns team have 4. Very unusual. UPSET ALERT! Smith/Young win!!! WOW! (4,5-,7) The adrenaline rush from that euphoric high may hurt them when they crash before the SF. Likely to be a long wait though so who knows what we’ll get. Very, very well done!
All chalk on the women’s side into QF.
5:00 pm EST (Waggish) – #2 Devilliers/Wright vs #10 Tardio/Smith QF. Game 1, Tardio team have 5 points before Devilliers team get first point. But they quickly catch up and pass them by. Jay playing left in game 2. Again, Tardio team take the lead but Devilliers team catch up and win match (9,9). Spencer looked like the weak link but he also was getting most of the balls. They play JW/Frazier in SF.
5:50 pm EST (Waggish) – #4 Newman/Arnold vs #5 Tellez/Staksrud QF. Tellez/Staksrud most have thought it was their birthday with all the high balls they were getting in game 2. Riley mainly playing left. Game 3, Staksrud reading opportunities well. At 5-1, there’s an entire highway for Tellez to drive his ball down with Arnold now on the right. Arnold properly went to cover his sideline when Tellez ran around his BH to hit a FH and crossed his own sideline. Riley uncharacteristically did not then move over the center line to close the gap with his partner. Riley has not been reading Tellez left hander moves well. We didn’t get the high caliber play we can see from Newman and Arnold. Tellez/Staksrud win. (7-,7,4) They play Smith/Young in SF.
WD QF: #2 Jansen/Schneemann vs #7 David/Jackie K. On paper, Lea/Lacy looked like the better team with their forehand power. But Jackie won Gold at Beer City last week in the match against Lacy/Tyra. And Vivienne is a dependable rock with a good read of her opponents. Vivienne also made it into the MXD SF yesterday. So not a total surprise when they win (10,4). AL/AB beat the Brascias (9,6) in their QF.
6:30 pm EST (Waggish) – #4 Johnson/Kovalova vs #5 Irvine/Jade K. QF. Jessie doing a full stack which is unusual for her. But it gives them 2 FH in the middle so a good incentive to make the effort. . Jade and Jessie did a great job pushing Jorja and Lucy off the line. They didn’t spend much time there in game 1. Jorja/Lucy never took advantage of Jade’s tendency to run around her BH.Game 2, Jorja/Lucy were aggressive and pushed Jade/Jessie off the line but it didn’t result in points. Lucy did a good job dinking to Jade’s BH but still not enough to get them points. Jessie/Jade take a 4-0 lead. They ultimately win (7,8) to face AL/AB in SF. I’m surprised Jorja/Lucy didn’t play better as a team. They never seemed to be on the same page in the strategy book.
7:15 pm EST (Waggish) – MD SF #1: #3 Johnson/Frazier defeat #2 Devilliers/Wright (6,2). JW’s speed-ups and Dylan’s shot selections were just what was needed in this match. They never felt heavy pressure from Wright/Devilliers. WD QF: Yana Newell/Stratman defeat E.Wright/Tereschenko (3-,7,2). They play David/Jackie K. in SF.
8:30 pm EST (Waggish) – WD SF: In a surprise outcome, AL/AB make it to Championship Sunday by defeating Jessie/Jade (5,1). (That may have wry/waggish humor.)
#9 Patrick Smith/DJ Young vs #5 Tellez/Staksrud SF. Earlier today we were stunned when this #9 team beat the #1 team. What do they have for the #5 team who took out Riley and Arnold? It looks like Staksrud has worked on his power. He’s done well today with some overhead put-aways. Staksrud is now taking balls in the middle that Tellez used to take with his left FH. Game 2, 7-4-2 Good rally. At match point, ball is challenged and overturned so we continue for a bit longer. With the (2,6) win, Tellez/Staksrud make consecutive PPAs Sundays – Denver Open – and JW/Dylan also make consecutive Sundays but not PPA (Beer City). These teams met on Sunday at the indoor MN tournament and JW/Dylan prevailed. With the improvement in all their games, it’ll be interesting to see how competitive Sunday gets.
9:40 pm EST (Waggish) – #7 Jackie Kawamoto/David vs #6 Newell/Stratman SF. Ladies are playing well and we see many good firefights in game 1. Lauren’s reach has been outstanding. Tight game 3 with both teams applying pressure with speed-ups. See 7-3 rally with the get of the drop volley from Vivienne. Kawamoto/David win! (8-,6,6) Great match! Jackie in her second consecutive Championship Sunday – Beer City Gold last week.
10:50 pm EST (Waggish) – MXD Bronze: Newmans over David/Wilson (13). It was one game to 15 instead of 2/3 like the other Doubles. I assume that was due to when it was played (which is unknown).
MD Bronze: P.Smith/DJ Young over Devilliers/Wright (9,9). This is the highest finish for DJ so far in 2023. He’s had some 4rth place finishes. Also, the highest finish for Patrick Smith since his split with Devilliers at end of 2021 when Tyson enticed him away.
WD Bronze: Newell/Stratman over Irvine/Jade Kawamoto (3,4-,3). A really good showing for Yana as she also got bronze in singles.
Friday, July 28th – Mixed
11:10 am EST (Waggish) – We have a very large mixed field so expect a long day, especially timing the end of the YT stream to begin the CBS Sports stream then switch back. Dylan is back with Mary Brascia while Lauren is teaming with Erik Lange. Unfortunately for Lauren and Erik, they could meet the headwinds of AL and Ben in round 16. Tyler is playing with Lacy and I’m curious how they do. The Newman siblings are together for their original home state showing. Federico has a first-time partnership with Lea. Jessie plays with Julian. Jay plays with Vivian Glozman. It’s a tough field. The top 10 seedings are: 1 Ben/AL, #2 James/AB, #3 Johson siblings, #4 Newman siblings, #5 Lucy and Matt, #6 Thomas and Vivienne, #7 Jessie and Julian, #8 Dylan and Mary, #9 Tyler and Lacy, #10 Collin and Etta. Top half has seeds 1, 4, 5, 8, 9. Bottom half has 2, 3, 6, 7, 10. The Johnsons are fresh from their gold in Beer City. Dylan and Lauren got silver but don’t expect them to silver here with different partners and a stronger field. The last PPA in Denver had Lucy/Matt getting the silver while several pros sat it out. Etta and Connor got bronze there but they are not together in this tournament. We are still missing Dizon, Catherine, and Tyson.
3:10 pm EST (Waggish) – We’ve seen some good matches. Staksrud/Jansen defeat Hewett/Jackie K. (7,5). I’ve never seen Staksrud play MXD so well and so aggressively. Jackie defended well during some aggressive fights. Rafa made some aggressive choices when not in prime court positioning. Black/Alshon defeat C.Johns/E.Wright. Johns/Wright led until late in game 1. Then Alshon made some really good shot decisions and they win. Game 2 went back and forth for much of the game and it looked like we’d get a game 3. But Alshon’s team win (8,7). No upsets so far though Patrick Smith/Lingwei Kong won the first game against Garnett/Tereschenko. In round 64, Spencer Lanier/Tracie DeJager defeated Atsuko Ozawa/Ben Newell (10,9-,7)
4:15 pm EST (Waggish) – David/Wilson defeat Glozman/Devilliers. Devilliers was on the left for much of game 1. Game 2, they kept Glozman on the left. It made game 2 more competitive but David/Wilson still won. (2,7) Frazier/Brascia took 3 games to win against Loong/Schneemann (2,10-,2). Maggie Brascia with Patriquin won the first game against Ignatowich/Bright but then got obliterated (8-,0,3). AL/Ben defeat Stratman/Lange (6,5). Kovalova/Wright beat Jansen/Staksrud in 2! (9,7) I’m surprised it didn’t go to 3 games or go into overtime because earlier Staksrud/Jansen seemed a strong team. Johnsons v Tereschenko/Garnett: Very close game 2 trading leads. See 8-7-2 rally. Great play by both teams with Johnsons moving on. (5,8)
4:50 pm EST (Waggish) – Newmans v Jade Kawamoto/Dekel Bar. You expect the Newmans to be the local hometown favorites. Bar team got to 9 but Newman team started a come-back and hold off match point 9-10. Game 2, See the funny stunt from Riley at 1-1 on an out of bounds ball. K/B take the lead in game 2 7-4. When does the come-back start for the Newmans? Newmans tie at 8. Dekel getting very big in that middle but still Newmans are able to get the win (10,8). The Irvine/Arnold vs Alshon/Black went to 3 games with Alshon team prevailing (7,11-,1). You notice that second game went into overtime. We have now reached QF matches.
5:30 pm EST (Waggish) – #3 Johnsons vs #6 David/Wilson QF. At 3-4, ball deflected off JW’s paddle and hit Jorja right in the eye. Medical time-out to get her eye checked out. It was a mis-hit so luckily not a hard, direct hit. Play resumes at end of medical time-out. Tie at 8. David/Wilson take game 1 (9). In game 2 at 6-0, you have 2 great rallies on Johnsons’ serve. But still no points for them until 10. David/Wilson move on. (9,2).
Other news: PPA has been taken care of their players in Seattle. They have someone holding an electrical fan to blow air on the players benches during time-outs. MLP has announced their own paddle rules in regards to paddle color/logo.
6:50 pm EST (Waggish) – #1 Waters/Johns vs #8 Mary Brascia/Frazier QF. I like Dylan’s strategy – aggressive, speed-ups, chaos! He’s doing good anticipation. See Dylan’s grab at 0-4-1 in 2nd game as an example. An unexpectedly great game 2 with tie at 6. See the point earned at 8-6! Mary keeping it together under pressure at 7-9-2. We get a game 3! Early in game 3, Ben doing Ben things and AL trying to find a shot that Ben doesn’t beat her to until they get a substantial lead and hold it (7,10-,1). Brascia/Frazier didn’t win but you can see the evolution in Dylan’s game. Well done and an unexpected competitive QF.
7:00 pm EST (Waggish) – In the Bonus draw, the final came down to #10 C.Johns/E.Wright v. #21 Jackie K/Hewett. Hewett team wins 15-12. Bonus seeds had Johns at #1 and Hewett at #6. I’d be curious to know how the bonus seeding works. They had Yana Newell and Todd Fought at #2 and that team got to the SF against Hewett.
8:15 pm EST (Waggish) – #2 Ignatowich/Bright vs #23 Alshon/Black QF. Alshon/Black played well in game 1 but just a few balls too high for James to pound into the ground lost them the game. Black was especially impressive holding her own against the power coming from I/B team. Game 2 felt like a banger game at times. Game 1 didn’t earn them any respect for James fast hands or, more importantly, his power. Once they were able to target AB in a more narrow window that didn’t allow James in, they made some headway. But I felt it was such a thin margin that they got the point that I’m not convinced they were making the right plays. But it concerned James/AB enough to put him on the right at 9-10. We go to a game 3. James showing he is still BPJ at 5-2-2. But drops and dinks still giving James problems and it’s 6-2 at end-change. The end-change has greatly helped I/B to close within 1. I/B get to match point and eventually take the match (9,10-,9). Disappointing for Alshon/Black after such a good lead at end-change. If they study their strategy, they’ll come back stronger.
9:10 pm EST (Waggish) – #4 Newmans defeat #5 Kovalova/Wright QF (4,7). Newmans mixed it up a lot with switching who was playing right side. The SF will be played tonight and recorded. They get aired I think on CBS at 1 pm EST. ESPN will air at 12 EST – presumably some round 1 matches. The announcement was muddy with them trying to pretend the SF were live which in this context means first/premier airing. Then it should go to CBS Sports before we finally get YT at 4 pm EST. Newmans vs Waters/Johns in one SF and the other is Ignatowich/Bright vs Wilson/David.
Thursday, July 27th – Singles
1:20 pm EST (Waggish) – MS: Q1: Alshon may have to fight it out with Vich to see who gets Johns in QF. In Denver, they had one very close game with Alshon coming out on top.
Q2: With the way Garnett has been playing lately you have to expect him to reach QF over Patriquin to possibly meet Devilliers.
Q3: I’m expecting a Staksrud v Duong QF. Duong says he needs a rhythm to his game and Sherry might throw him off.
Q4: If JW doesn’t make to to the QF, something is very wrong. Tellez is 6th seed and likely whom he’ll meet.
WS: Small field. Lea has #3 seed Irina in her half. Jorja is also in Lea’s half at #11. Mary Brascia has earned a #4 seed in AL’s half.
3:30 pm EST (Waggish) – There’s been some streaming problems but here’s where we stand for MS.
QF 1: Johns vs Vich. Vich defeated Alshon (1,8).
QF 2: Devilliers vs Garnett. Patriquin pushed Garnett to 3 games by winning the first game but then Garnett demolished him. (8-,2,1)
QF 3: Duong gets beat by Sherry! (2-,4,9) That’s a pretty good defeat for the ball shaper. Sherry himself was defeated by Naveen Beasley (2,4) so that is who gets Staksrud in the QF. That Naveen Beasley is distinguishing himself. He beat Frazier (6,2-,3) which knocked Frazier down into what used to be the back-draw. So in the now “Main Draw Bonus Draw”, we have a Frazier vs Duong QF.
QF 4: JW over Rafa (7,1). He’ll play the winner of Tellez vs Ryan Eveloff who beat AJ Koller (5,6) in round 1. AJ then withdrew from the “bonus” draw, along with Spencer Smith and Grant Bond.
3:40 pm EST (Waggish) – Devilliers vs Garnett QF (GS) In Game 2, Garnett had a good lead 4-7 but Jay dominated the net game playing angles and caught up. But Garnett held steady and wins match (9,8).
4:55 pm EST (Waggish) – Staksrud vs Beasley QF. Game 1 came down to the wire with a 13-11 finish for Staskrud. Game 2, Staksrud kept a solid lead through-out 11-4. Tellez gets beat by Ryan Eveloff, seeded #11 somehow though I don’t recall that name in a SF before. (3-,4,4). Ryan plays JW in QF. In the bonus draw, Frazier beat Duong (7).
WS: Yana beats Jorja! (11,7). I tried watching that match but the stream was wonky. There were endless interruptions too. No flow to it. Yana plays Irina in QF.
5:40 pm EST (Waggish) – Martinez Vich vs Johns QF: Vich leads in game 1 4-8. Vich showed his hand by moving to middle too soon and Ben had plenty of time to then hit the ball to sideline to get to 5. From there, Ben had a good read on Vich’s movements. He ties at 8. I think Ben rolled his eyes at himself at 9-9. lol. Vich does a nice ATP at 11-10, surprising Ben. Game gets stuck there for several side-outs. Finally, someone gets that 2 point lead and we go into game 2. Game 2 may be decided by who has any gas left in the tank after that 15-13 final score. Game 2 gets tied at 6, with Vich leading until then. Ben closes it down without Vich getting another point (11-6).
6:50 pm EST (Waggish) – Ryan Eveloff, age 42, rating 4.5. He never got out of the qualifier in PPA Denver. He did in APP Newport Beach. He lost in round 2 of main draw against Querrey. In the PPA San Clemente, he again lost to Querrey – this time in the qualifier. Today, he reaches the SF against Staksrud after taking down JW (8,2). Ryan’s passing shots frequently got past JW. In the second game, JW couldn’t find the height of the net. On a time-out, JW probably should have taken a tape measure just to refresh his memory on its height.
Lea vs Lauren QF. Lauren put up an amazing fight in game 2 to push it to a game 3. Lea gets to SF (4,11-,0). Yana continues her wins with a defeat of Irina (8,9) and plays Lea in SF. AL defeats Lacy (5,0). Judit defeats Mary Brascia (6,9) to face AL in SF.
8:15 pm EST (Waggish) – Ben vs Connor SF. Game 1 close all the way to the 12-10 finish. Game 2, both players making some astounding shots. But Ben gets to balls a little quicker than Connor and can do more. Ben establishes a lead and keeps piling it on. Finally, Garnett puts it in high gear and catches him at 9!! Rafa on the bench encouraging Garnett! Let’s Go! Ben takes a time-out at 11-12. Connor’s ball goes out on match point. Ben serves into the net at 11-12. Connor’s ball again goes out on match point. Another overtime finish (14-12). Game 3, can Connor be mentally strong and overcome not closing it out in game 2? Game 3, Ben challenges out call by Connor at 4-5. Ball in, point taken away. Ben gets serve and score changes to 5-4 quickly. Johns starts pulling away after the end-change. Ben wins (10-,12, 8). This MS SF is probably a better match than what we’ll have on Sunday.
9:45 pm EST (Waggish) – Staksrud vs Eveloff SF: Game 1: Staksrud has his placements dialed in. Eveloff getting coaching from 2 of his buds. Earlier against JW, Eveloff had a very active fan club cheering him on. Pablo is on Staksrud’s bench. Game 2, Eveloff starts with fire and quickly gets 5 points. See 5-2 point! Eveloff has to dash from sideline to sideline. Staksrud must have thought there was no way he’d get to the ball. He just stands there and doesn’t even move towards the return shot! Next shot is called out by Staksrud. Eveloff acted like he didn’t agree but no challenge. At 7-2, same thing happens but this time Eveloff does challenge. Ball is out! Staksrud gets fired up and closes that gap jumping from 2 to 6. After such a great start, Eveloff never really gets back into the game. Staksrud meets Ben. (6,7).
Dylan has won in the “Bonus” draw.
AL vs Judit Castillo SF: AL wins (3,7).
Of note: PPA has back-tracked on playing let serves and we’ve seen that in play today. They also back-tracked on the drop-serves. Pros only.
11:00 pm EST (Waggish) – Lea defeats Yana (1,0). Eveloff must have been gassed after his SF match. Garnett wins the MS bronze (1,1). UPDATE: Yana wins bronze over Judit. (8,5-,2). A very good and unexpected showing by Yana. Jansen says she’ll retire from singles.