APP New Jersey Open – Preview

Authored by Gritty:

Two pro tournaments this weekend means 2 regular previews. You can check out our PPA preview here. This is the New Jersey APP stop hosted by Kasandra Gehrke and John Sperling.

Women’s Doubles

1. Michelle Esquivel / Martina Kochli – Expect to see more of this type of team as a favorite in 2022 as this is not a typical 1 seed choice. It’s a bit of a crap shoot for who wins but I think there are 2 clear top teams in this field.

2. Maggie Remnyse / Sarah Ansboury – I give the slight edge to Esquivel and Kochli, but I may end up regretting that. A very steady pair here.

3. Lauren Stratman / Olivia McMillan – This is a high end partnership for McMillan and I think in this field they are a podium team. Lauren has all that power and consistency, and I expect it to be enough to carry them through the other teams in this field without too much stress.

Notable teams: Megan Hall and Annica Cooper have played together recently, and in a small field they have some firepower to make a bit of noise. The host, Gehrke, plays with Katie Gaines and Jorja Johnson plays with Shannon Moore who is fairly new to the scene with some talent.

Men’s Doubles

1. Eden Lica / Rob Nunnery – I may like this team too much but it comes down to how much I like Lica’s game. He plays not how you would expect a guy who looks like him to play as he’s happy in a more beta, right side role. He doesn’t play a ton of tourneys but he has good results when he does. Him and Nunnery seem like a good fit.

2. Altaf Merchant / Zane Navratil – A tried and tested partnership with not great 2021 results. They could win a gold in this field.

3. JW Johnson / Johnny Goldberg – They have had some big wins together recently but I do think there are a few other teams that could medal. These guys have a comfort together and JW is playing so well these days.

Notable teams: Rafa Hewett and John Cincola have some firepower but I’m not sure Rafa has the consistency to make a men’s podium. Aspen Kern played last week in Pittsburgh and he is playing another tournament this week – partner is Derek Hagino who I can’t say I know anything about. Rob Cassidy / Brendan Long is one you can’t count out in a small field due to Rob Cassidy.

Mixed Doubles

1. Lauren Stratman / Rob Nunnery – This is the 1 team to me at this event. New partnership of rising players who both have high end weapons.

2. Michelle Esquivel / Zane Navratil – Just like the women’s draw, 2 clear top teams in the field and I do think this team could win gold this weekend. Navratil doesn’t quite have the weapons to make things happen in mixed that someone like Nunnery has.

3. Martina Kochli / Rob Cassidy – I am wary of picking this team because Kochli will have to play on the left side, which I think is not good for this team. This pick is a testament to Cassidy’s mixed prowess.

Notable teams: Sarah Ansboury and Rafa Hewett have podiumed at an APP event and have good chemistry together. Bobbi Oshiro / Goldberg are notable due to Oshiro’s rising stock. Gehrke and Cincola have some capacity to make a bit of noise here. JW and Jorja Johnson I don’t see making a big run but they do have good wins together. McMillan is playing in a lefty partnership with Altaf Merchant.

Men’s Singles

1. Zane Navratil – Arguably the #2 singles player in any field and he has to be the favorite in this tournament.

2. JW Johnson – Steadily improving singles results with recent wins over Jay Devilliers, I like him to be in a silver position this weekend with gold upsixe.

3. John Cincola – This came down to Jack Foster FAD, and Cincola, and I go with the 40 plus Cincola who I think is less volatile with what version of him you will get.

Notable players: Frank Anthony Davis is a legacy guy who could podium in a smaller field. Foster has shown he can be right there with the best on the right day. Eden Lica is dangerous in singles but does not likely have enough to go deep in decently sized field.

Women’s Singles

1. Michelle Esquivel – Curious why Stratman is not in this field so this becomes an easy pick with Esquivel.

2. Annica Cooper – She came 4th at last week’s PPA in singles and I am guessing she can repeat her solid results. This is not a complete freebie for Esquivel given what Cooper has shown recently.

3 Olivia McMillan – She is at the upper end tier of the non-pro pros of women who play singles.

Notable players: Jorja Johnson just because she is JW’s sister. I am not familiar with anyone else in this field so there could be another hidden gem. I would also like to know why Oshiro is not playing this field.

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