You can see men’s preview at Part 1 here. Our women’s preview Part 3 will be coming out tomorrow.
Mixed Pro Doubles by Gritty
- Simone Jardim / Ben Johns – Not much analysis here. The dominant woman and the dominant man pair up for another dominant gold medal.
- Lucy Kovalova / Matt Wright – They are the unquestioned #2 team in this bracket thanks in part to Matt Wright’s 2020/2021 fitness rejuvenation. Lucy Kovalova is the second best female in the world but this team is not the lock for that silver medal as they have been in the past. They ended up with bronze in their last two tournaments leading up to the US Open. I’m not betting against the team that has been there and done that. Just don’t be too surprised if this team doesn’t make the podium.
- Lindsey Newman / Riley Newman – I can’t imagine it is easy coming back from having a baby but Lindsey Newman has done it quite well. Riley’s Tasmanian devil style works very well against almost every mixed team in the field. When in form, Lindsey’s defence is the best in women’s pickleball outside of Simone, who doesn’t really count.
- Jessie Irvine / Jeff Warnick – Irvine and Warnick have the highest ceiling and the lowest floor of any of the teams in this bracket. Jeff’s style is not conducive to consistency. He misses more thirds than any of the top men on tour but he is a bad man at the net. Combine that with Jessie’s steady play and elite power, it makes for a super dangerous team. Although, an early exit could mean more of Warnick’s commentary overheard on the livestream, which is really a win for everyone.
- Leigh Waters / Tyson McGuffin – Leigh’s mixed results have been spotty mainly because of her lack of patience. She likes to bang and when you put a guy on the other side it simply doesn’t work as well. Tyson McGuffin said on his podcast after their Delray bronze that she’s getting the hang of mixed. McGuffin’s doubles game and Leigh’s raw ability have too much upside to discount.
- Callie Smith / Adam Stone – Callie Smith is a beast. Plain and simple. You need a strong woman to win mixed matches and Stone has added enough to his game in the past couple of years to make this team relevant.
- Catherine Parenteau / Dekel Bar – Dekel Bar’s mixed results haven’t been as good as you would expect for a guy with his power and size. However, the giant Israeli may just need some more time to adapt to the mixed game. Parenteau is arguably the 3rd best female in the game and, most importantly, she has the hands to hold up in any mixed matchup. I don’t expect a podium from them but as a pairing the two of them should be disappointed if they don’t get there.
- Anna Leigh Waters / Kyle Yates – Yates’ fall from grace is the biggest reminder of how much pickleball has changed since 2019. Take a gander through Yates’ tournament history since 2019 National. He’s a legend in name only at this point. Anna Leigh has so much upside and her game continues to improve. She is the most interesting mixed partner going forward in pickleball. She has not had that many good partnerships in mixed but she is the player I expect to have a breakthrough at some point. Unfortunately for Anna Leigh, that breakthrough probably isn’t happening with Kyle Yates.
- Michelle Esquivel / Steve Deakin – They captured fourth place at Nationals in 2019 but Deakin’s mixed results haven’t been as good as expected in 2021 considering some of his partnerships. I am attributing that to his fluctuating fitness and father time. At least one of those Deakin has no control over.
- Corrine Carr / Colin Johns – Colin barely plays anything other than men’s doubles but he’s too good not to mention. Colin has the softest hands in pickleball and Corrine has improved her game to the point where she can hold up in mixed against the harder hitting men.
Mixed Pro Split Age by Slim
- Tyson McGuffin / Cammy MacGregor – Tyson is one of the stronger mixed men’s player’s in this bracket and MacGregor is easily a top 2 senior female. I think this team has the highest floor of any team in the bracket. They will be tough to beat.
- DJ Young / Jennifer Dawson – I would expect this team to have some chemistry, with both of them coming out of the Bobby Riggs Club. With Jenn being a top 2 senior female in this field, and DJ having as much potential as anyone this team can beat anyone. The, biggest question mark for me, how engaged is DJ in this event?
- Dave Weinbach / Leigh Waters – Weinbach has shown he can still hang to an extent with the younger men and Leigh is one of the top females in this field. I also suspect Leigh’s elite banging will play well in this mixed age field. They also have partnered before, which I think is a big benefit in a field of many first time partnerships.
- Tyler Loong / Alex Hamner – This team has a major chemistry advantage over most of their competition, as they used to actually be a regular team. I would expect their chemistry and the freedom Tyler will almost certainly be playing with to carry them a long ways.
- Adam Stone / Helen Wilhelm – Adam is as strong of mixed player as any of the men in this field, and Wilhelm is definitely in that second tier of senior women. I would expect this team to be tough to beat.
- Steve Kennedy / Catherine Parenteau – I would expect Kennedy to see a lot of the balls in this partnership, and if you are them I don’t think you hate where that leaves you against a lot of teams.
- Dave Fleming / Callie Smith – Much like the Parenteau / Kennedy partnership above, I would expect Fleming to see a lot of the balls in this matchup and I think that gives them an advantage over many of their potential opponents.
- Steve Dawson / Anna Leigh Waters – I think Anna Leigh’s elite banging will prove very problematic for many teams in this split age event, and Dawson’s smooth and steady game should pair nicely with it.
- Mircea Morariu / Lauren Stratman – This is a very solid partnership with no obvious weak link for opponents to target.
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