APP Tour Casa Grande Open – Live Random Thoughts

We’ll be doing our best to keep you updated on the action this weekend. The APP seems to have settled on a schedule with mixed on Friday, doubles on Saturday and singles on Sunday.

Fantasy Draft Preview for the skinny on the field

Sunday, December 5th – Singles

7:00 pm EST (Slim) – JW rolls Zane 11-2, 11-3 to take the gold. When JW is on in singles, few players out there can hang with him and he certainly showed that today. The next step for JW in singles is to be able to bring this level every time.

In the women’s final, Irina won in three games over Jorja, but this really was Jorja’s breakout day.

4:35 pm EST (Gritty) – Zane steamrolled Foster and I honestly can’t recall what Zane did in previous matches against Foster, but there was clearly a concerted effort to kick the vast majority of his serves into Foster’s body. I’m presuming he does that because Foster loves running around that forehand and it seemed to cause Foster a lot of trouble. 11-2, 11-0. I know the APP loves the Johnson family but for Dom to say that JW appears to be the threat to Ben Johns using the TOC run from JW is very unfair to Zane who has very recently taken Ben down.

Jorja has also steamrolled through the backdraw going 15-1 twice, the latter against Annica Cooper. Lots of improvement from young Jorja.

3:58 pm EST (Gritty) – Jansen pulls out of the winner’s final with low blood sugar after losing game 1 but then being up 5-1 on Irina. Seems like this is an ongoing health issue for Lea unfortunately. Hopefully it is something she is able to manage not just for today but over the long term.

3:40 pm EST (Gritty) – It’ll be another podium for Foster as he went through the loser’s bracket to take down Gabe Joseph and avenge his loss to FAD. The results keep coming for Foster who has really given Navratil trouble in the past so that’s far from a free pass for Zane to the gold match.

Irvine loses to Cooper and it’s really not surprising after seeing how unwilling Irvine was in coming to the net against Jorja Johnson in her first match. I’m going to put money on not seeing Jessie play anymore singles in the future.

3:01 pm EST (Slim) – JW handled Zane with ease 11-3, 11-6 to make it to the mens gold medal match. It will be interesting to see if Zane can work his was back there and if he does, if he can make it more of a game. Zane tends to be a little feast and famine in singles as his game is very predicated off that big serve and a big drive, and if he doesn’t have that going he becomes very human very quickly.

We have the women’s winner bracket final we expected with Lea vs Irina, but Annica Cooper made Irina work to get there, taking her three games.

2:22 pm EST (Slim) – The men’s winner bracket finals is set with Zane Navratil taking on JW Johnson, in what should be an entertaining match. Can anybody slow down Zane’s singles roll these days? Also, the senior women’s gold medal match featured quite the comeback as, Beth Bellamy came back from 1-10 in the third game to defeat Julie Johnson 12-10 and take the gold.

1:20 pm EST (Slim) – Women’s singles is now under way, of note, Jessie Irvine playing her first pro singles pickleball tournament. Jessie fell in her opening round match up to young Jorja Johnson, and it was very apparent that at this time, Jorja is the better singes player. If Jessie wants to keep playing singles, she is going to have to become comfortable coming to the net. She basically just conceded the net to Jorja, the entire match.

12:35 pm EST (Slim) – The men’s singles semi finals are set with Zane Navatril set to take on Frank Anthony Davis and Gabe Joseph set to take on JW Johnson. The Gabe versus JW match should be an interesting one. FAD has certainly had to work the hardest to get to the semis as he went three games with both Jack Foster and Roman Kravchuk. The women’s singles is just getting started.

12:07 pm EST (Gritty) – Not a whole lot to mention so far today. Gabe Joseph beat Ryan Sherry in 3 games none of which were contested much by either player (it appears Sherry pulled his back though so that explains the last 2 games). JW Johnson was a last minute entry into the singles field, which really shakes things up as we’d both have him favored for a silver over Gabe Joseph here. Also, Thomas Wilson is not in the draw and I’m guessing that has to do with playing two very long days of doubles. He’s already getting too big time to grind the singles days.

Saturday, December 4th – Doubles

7:43 pm EST (Slim) – Lea Jansen and Irina Tereschenko are the gold medal winners in dominant fashion 11-5, 11-5 over Susannah Barr and Jillian Braverman, leaving no doubt that they were the class of this women’s field. It was still a solid day for Barr/Braverman who knocked out Andrea Koop and Sarah Ansboury to reach the gold medal final.

7:08 pm EST (Slim) – Riley Newman and Dekel Bar are your men’s doubles gold medal winners, taking down Rob Nunnery and Ben Johns in three games. Very similar to the winners bracket final, Dekel and Riley jumped out to big leads in all three games but had real problems closing Ben and Rob out in the second and third games. After falling behind 10-2 in game three Ben and Rob fought back and seemed to have all the momentum when Ben missed a serve into the net at 8-10-1, which really seemed to kill their momentum.

Something I noticed today which was interesting was both Dekel Bar and Callan Dawson seemed to have a fair amount of success with inside out attacks down the line when Ben Johns was in front of them, when Ben was really attempting to squeeze the middle. I have to think we will see more of that from players next year against Ben.

Riley and Dekel, are an extremely formidable team and it is really too bad that we likely won’t see more of them next year.

6:00 pm EST (Slim) – Jansen and Tereschenko take the women’s doubles winner side final in three games 7-11, 11-5, 11-4, over Koop and Ansboury. Koop/Ansboury will now take on Barr/Braverman in the bronze medal match. So, so far we’ve had a very chalk day in the womens doubles.

5:13 pm EST (Slim) – The men’s winner side final goes to Riley Newman and Dekel Bar in three games. Riley and Dekel jumped out to big leads in all three games, but had real problems closing out the games in game 2 and 3, but managed to squeak out an 11-9 win in game three. Ben was forced to play ultra aggressively to keep them in the match, I suspect if we see these teams meet again, we will see Ben come out firing from the start.

4:45 pm EST (Slim) – The women’s doubles final is set with Lea Jansen and Irina Tereschenko set to take on Sarah Ansboury and Andrea Koop.

On the men’s side AJ Koller and Thomas Wilson have bounced back after an 11-2, 11-4 loss to Zane and Altaf on the winner’s side to make the bronze medal match, squeaking by Zane Altaf this time, 15-13.

2:54 pm EST (Slim) – The men’s winners side final is set and it the teams we expected to be there in Newman/Bar and Johns/Nunnery but both teams had to work a bit to get there going three games in their semi final matches. Johns and Nunnery in particular were tested by Callan Dawson and JW Johnson.

I am very fascinated to see how this Newman/Bar vs Johns/Nunnery match will play out, it is probably one of the match ups I have been most excited to watch in a while.

2:22 pm EST (Slim) – The women’s semi finals are set, with Allyce Jones and Meghan Sheehan-Dizon taking on Lea Jansen and Irina Tereschenko, and Andrea Koop and Sarah Ansboury taking on Susannah Barr and Jillian Braverman. Barr/Braverman had to survive a scare from Jorja Johnson and Lee Whitwell 8-11, 12-10, 11-3. Jones and Sheehan-Dizon keep showing that they are a pair to keep an eye on in 2022, as they handle Vivienne David and Cierra Gaytan-Leach with ease 11-6, 11-7.

1:22 pm EST (Gritty) – It’s not quite a complete chalk semi-final 4-some on the men’s side. There weren’t any close matches but Merchant/Navratil steamrolling Thomas/Wilson is a big surprise to me. I wonder if Wilson is tired from a long day yesterday in mixed, which is something he’s probably not used to.

On the women’s side, one early result of note is team Utah of Jones/Sheehan-Dizon taking down Gayten-Leach/David in 2. It may be at this point Gayten-Leach is too far behind the other players on the court and Vivienne David being the best player is not enough to carry her in women’s.

Friday, December 3rd – Mixed Doubles

7:20 pm EST (Gritty) – Johns and Koop do take gold but who knows what the outcome would have been if Lindsey hadn’t tweaked something in her leg part way through game 2. The Newman’s ended up taking the 2 out of 3 in 2 games as both Newman’s came out firing. They were ultra aggressive, especially Lindsey relative to her normal self. But the injury took away her aggressiveness and subsequently the defence. She really couldn’t move at all in the game to 15 and they got steamrolled 15-4 as a result.

6:09 pm EST (Gritty) – A lot to catch up on. Johns and Koop were able to take it in 3 over the Newman’s after losing game 1 easily. The Newman’s won the bronze with no trouble over David/Wilson who had a really nice day. Wilson hasn’t actually played a competitive tournament in mixed but they were able to beat some good teams. David is so strong in mixed and Wilson’s got so much talent it’s not surprising he could hang with some of the better teams in this field.

We also have to mention Rafa Hewett and Sarah Ansboury who almost always seem to get results together. They end up with 4th place after having a path where they beat all teams you would expect them to beat. You can’t discount them from these APP fields.

2:27 pm EST (Gritty) – Jones and Taylor with a couple of very nice wins today after getting Braverman/Navratil out on the winners side. This is clearly an upside team with Jones as a rising player on the women’s side. Whitwell and Johnson find their way out on the losers side too, losing to DJ and Irina. That’s a disappointing day for the pair. David and Wilson also took down Navratil/Braverman in the loser’s side, which is one that could have gone either way and they have a path to make a run to that bronze

The winners bracket is exacty as expected.

12:20 pm EST (Gritty) – Coming off the hot MLP performance, Whitwell loses with JW to the Utah crew Allyce Jones and Chuck Taylor in 3 games. Chuck and Allyce have had some good wins together, but this loss post-MLP is surprising. Also, just as I denounce Christine McGrath, it’s a win with Koller over Cooper and Nunnery. Already a good day for Christine.

11:06 am EST (Gritty) – Not much to report to start the day. One question I have is when Christine McGrath is going to stop getting good partners. She has been living off the name for a long time now. If she gets good partners still as we enter 2022, color me confused. A 3 game win in round one against a non-pro team for Christine and Koller, likely AJ was not ready to play but still. Also, Barr/Gabrielsen barely eeked one out 12-10 in the 3rd against Sherry and Tavernier, which furthers my negative view of Gabrielsen.

4 thoughts on “APP Tour Casa Grande Open – Live Random Thoughts

  • December 3, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    I don’t know if I can take anymore of these heartbreaking losses from the Newmans! Lindsey was on fire today and to pull off what she does at 5-6 months pregnant is mind blowing! Man I wanted them to win!!!!

    Vivienne impresses me more and more every tournament. Same with Thomas Wilson. I think Riley Newman should try to pick up Vivienne as a mixed partner when Lindsey goes on maternity leave. She can play defense and scramble like Lindsey but also has a killer counter attack.

    • December 3, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      It’s tough for the Newman’s. Lindsey getting hurt killed them this time and it’s amazing she could still compete that way plus pregnancy

      Viv is very good but Catherine is more polished at this point. She fits Riley really well too and they have had success together

  • December 4, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Catalano means well, but he goes on these long soliloquies (“first you did this, then you did that, then this happened so you tried that, and I noticed and mentioned on the broadcast that your opponent did this, so then you did that, then I observed that you responded by doing X”…) and then asks the players “do you agree?” Arggg! Let them talk and explain their strategies.

    • December 4, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      100% agree. Was thinking the exact same thing yesterday. We may have to mention that at some point cuz it’s not an interview when you’re telling the person the answer


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