PPA Orange County – Live Blog

PPA, where ya been? It’s 4 days with a championship sunday (except for mixed doubles). Keep tabs with the live blog all week long and if you want the skinny on the field then check out our fantasy draft preview.

Championship Sunday June 27

5:55 pm EST (Slim) – Kings, stay kings. Ben Johns completes his triple crown, as he and Collin take down Riley Newman and Tyson McGuffin in three straight games. After falling down big early in the first game, Tyson and Riley fought back and got it to 10-10 and you felt like if they could pull out the game then we would have a really interesting match but when they lost it, you felt like the Johns victory was inevitable.

4:40 pm EST (Slim) – In the third final of the day Simone Jardim and Lucy Kovolova beat the Waters in four games. I thought that Simone and Lucy looked like the dominant team for most of the match, as they really grinded Leigh Waters. I did think it was interesting to see Anna Leigh take more court than I think I have ever seen her take before.

3:20 pm EST (Gritty) – In the second final of the day, Ben Johns is too much for Devilliers. It was a typical I better start trying performance after game 1 from Ben and it was over from there. You run out of words at a certain point.

1:58 pm (Gritty) – Talk about a gritty win. Lea Jansen with a classic comeback down 2 games in a best of 5 to Anna Leigh. Anna Leigh is simply incredible but it seemed to me that her baseline game caught up to her. It was still very close but all those balls AL was tracking down in the first couple games became a little bit more difficult when her energy dipped slightly. Singles is a grind and Lea continually putting pressure on AL at the net is what does it for her. Also, clearly the mental coaching Lea is getting paying dividends as she easily could have packed it in. Great start to the day.

Saturday, June 26 – Gender Doubles

12:45 am EST (Gritty) – A very tight bronze women’s match with Parenteau and Smith eeking out a victory. You have to wonder how it feels knowing that you could be playing for gold in these tourneys though.

A tighter than we’re used to gold in the mixed but it’s Jardim and Johns taking 3 straight.

8:20 pm EST (Gritty) – It’s the expected course in the men’s final with the Johns set to play Newman/McGuffin. On the loser’s side, tough day for Dekel and Adam as they lose to Wright/Young who are currently down in the game to 15 to Pat/Jay to go to bronze. And it is another nice day for Loong/Smith who continue to show they belong in that 3rd tier bordering on 2nd tier of male partnerships after beating Nunnery/Cassidy. Their ceiling could be limited but they are just solid at the end of the day.

The women’s side it is no one’s fault but it is unfortunate that Smith/Parenteau have to go to the loser’s side automatically in these tourneys. It’s a real downside for these Sunday championships. They will play Irvine/Tereschenko for bronze.

2:45 pm EST (Slim) – The women’s draw is an example of why I really don’t like the no back door to gold format. Having what in my mind are clearly three of the top four teams in Parenteau/Smith, Waters and Irvine/Tereschenko on one side of the draw is borderline egregious in my mind, and awful for both the fans and players.

2:06 pm EST (Gritty) – Big L for Adam Stone and Dekel Bar. Golderg/Koller shockingly take them down. Goldberg is a fine player and Koller is a rising player on the scene, but did not see this coming in any way, shape or form. There’s no back draw for them but wouldn’t be shocked to see him in the bronze.

12:24 pm EST (Slim) – The PPA continues to make baffling streaming/content decisions. It seems that they have decided to only stream the men’s and women’s semi-finals and mixed final today and no other matches. They were also back to only streaming one court this week, after having multiple streams in Atlanta, not great from our perspective.Why the PPA wouldn’t stream matches all day, at least from one court, even if they didn’t have commentators for all the hardcore pickleball fans out there is baffling for me.

12:08 pm EST (Slim) – No real surprises in the first round of the men’s doubles. Two second match ups I am intrigued by are Nunnery/Cassidy vs Johnson/Dawson, though I do have fairly significant concerns at this point about Callan’s health. If Callan’s arm isn’t giving him too much trouble I’d expect this to be a close match. I am also intrigued by the all Utah match of Loong/Smith vs Gridley/Unicorn. You’ve got the traditional tennis styles of Loong and Smith versus the unconventional styles of Shellton and Austin. I think Spencer and Tyler being more familiar with Shellton and Austin than most player’s helps them prevail.

I would also just note these PPA fields are tough and deep not a lot of free wins out there.

Friday, June 25 – Mixed Doubles

8:58 pm EST (Gritty) – The Newman’s are too much. The conservative nature of Lindsey’s game is only a “criticism” in so much as it isn’t enough to beat literally the best mixed team in the world. Her ability to reset is astounding and it was just too much for Anna Leigh and Yates. It’s a bronze for the Newman’s and with a back door they may very well have been playing for gold

7:26 pm EST (Gritty) – A lot of fun results today. Vivienne David and DJ Young doing work in the back draw coming off their gold at the APP LA Open. They seemed to have a lot of fun playing with each other and I think that’s important for DJ. Yates/Waters are still going as well and we’ll get a Waters v. Waters match to go to bronze, which can never be easy for either Waters player I don’t imagine.

What is usually the least surprising brackets has had a total shift in the senior women. Dawson/MacGregor are 2 and out and Kris Anderson/Alex Hamner don’t make a podium. Bagby and Bellamy play Hill and Pafford. Pafford has some solid senior pro results after she has recently turned 50 but that Bagby/Bellamy combo are 2 newcomers to the pro scene that are making some noise.

I guess I should update the mixed pro winners bracket side. Simone/Ben take down the Newman’s in 2 very close games. The Newman’s always fight but it still comes down to Lindsey needing a bit more firepower. Kovalova and Wright love this no back door as their seeding means they don’t have to fight the Newman’s who would probably be there for them at bronze.

3:59 pm EST (Gritty) – Anna Leigh Waters is so damn good. She’s the reason her and Yates had any chance against the Newmans and now they take down Tyson and Callie in the back draw. She is ridiculous and I don’t think enough people are realizing what a force she is.

Warnick and Irvine’s disappointing year continues with a loss to Leigh Waters and Dekel Bar. Again, there is no reason Bar’s mixed results should not be better and Leigh is a very good player even if she does get a bit speed up happy in mixed. Quality win for them.

2:15 pm EST (Gritty) – Some interesting results this morning. Grechkina and Collin Johns are into the quarters after beating Tereschenko/Dawson and McGrath/Loong. It’s hard to say where Irina and Callan are at as Irina had a rough day which would indicate she is not healthy and we know Callan is dealing with elbow stuff.

Carr/Devilliers in 3 over Smith/McGuffin is a huge win for them and it shows how large Jay is in mixed as well as Carr’s propensity for mixed. They could have won in 2 and didn’t let it affect them.

Thursday, June 24 – Singles

11:40 pm EST (Gritty) – It is still clear that there are 4 guys at a different level in singles with Ben obviously in his own stratosphere. McGuffin took down Joseph fairly handily. It’s not clear how much longer that will last but it’s still the case for now.

It’ll be interesting to see Mattias Johansson play Paul Olin in the final. Johansson has been borderline dominant in singles on the senior pro tour this year as a newcomer to the scene.

7:52 pm EST (Gritty) – Parenteau is taken down by Smith for the bronze in a really tight match. Parenteau was laboring a bit so we’ll see if that impacts her at all the rest od the weekend.

Tyson will play Joseph for bronze

5:55 pm EST (Slim) – Ben Johns advances to the gold medal match with an 12-10, 11-3 victory over Gabe Joseph. Gabe seemed to upset at times with the referee at times asking for a foot fault call on Ben John’s serve, which was a little interesting as Gabe’s own serve really pushes the “below the waist” rule with where he hits the ball. Ben is still getting his toss down with his new serve and is often leaning into the court chasing that toss to hit it.

The women’s bronze medal match is set with Callie Smith, set to take on Catherine Parenteau. In the match to go to bronze Callie was pushed 15-13 by Sydney Sonday, so it was an impressive showing for Sydney today.

5:22 pm EST (Slim) – On the women’s side Anna Leigh Waters looked very impressive taking down Catherine Parenteau in her semi-final. Performances like this make me think it’s a question of when, not if, Anna Leigh will become the dominant women’s player in the game. Anna Leigh will see Lea Jansen who cruised through her matches today, in what should be an entertaining gold medal match on Sunday.

5:00 pm EST (Slim) – In the first men’s semi-final Jay Devilliers takes down Tyson McGuffin in two games, 12-10, 11-3 after falling down 10-6 in the first game. A couple thoughts coming out of this match. I know he has better results lately, but I continue to think Tyson is going to be passed by in singles if he doesn’t add a backhand passing shot and some variations to his serve. When you look at the men’s semi-finalists he is the only one of he, Ben Johns, Gabe Joseph and Jay who doesn’t have consistent backhand drive. Also his serve clearly once one of the best in the game, is no longer one of them. Today we’ve seen Ben Johns continue to work on his serve and appears to be getting more kick than ever on his serve today. If Ben is still working on and innovating with his serve, Tyson should be too. I also wonder if Jay had an edge having been in tournament form, playing his fourth tournament in a row, while Tyson has been off for a month.

On the women’s side Irina Tereschenko followed up her loss to Sydney Sonday with a 15-4 loss to Christee Chargot in her first loser’s match, so I have to wonder if she is 100% today in terms of health.

3:15 pm EST (Gritty) – More stuff going on now. Gabriel Joseph took down Dekel Bar in 3 games after really struggling with Bar’s massive serve in game 1. Bar just serves hard and does not really have variety in his serve so it seemed Joseph got a better handle of it even if Bar still got a couple of cheapies in game 3.

Loong is working his way through the back draw and took down FAD 15-5. I expect Ben to take down Roditi which will leave us with the top 4 seeds in the semis.

Big upset with the women as Sydney Sonday took down Irina in 3. Sonday is quite new to the scene but the lefty almost took down Esquivel in Indy recently losing 12-10 in the third. The results are coming for her and she cleary is announcing we should take note of her.

1:01 PM EST (Slim) – So far a pretty chalky start to the men’s singles draw this morning, as I’d expect. One looming quarterfinal match-up that I am interested to see is Ryan Sherry versus Tyson McGuffin. Sherry has caused problem for Tyson before and Sherry managed to make quick work of his first two opponents so he should be pretty fresh when he faces Tyson. I like Tyson to advance but think it will be close.

I am also very curious to watch the Dekel Bar versus Gabe Joseph quarterfinal, you have to face Gabe over Dekel who we haven’t seen in singles much lately but it should be a close match up.

3 thoughts on “PPA Orange County – Live Blog

  • June 25, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    Thanks for the great Analysis! Not sure why Riley and Lindsey were on the same side as Ben and Simone as I feel they are consistently the 2 seed. Not playing together in Atlanta May have caused that though. Loved that match they had vs Ben and Simone they fought so hard and almost pulled it off.

    • June 26, 2021 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Grant, appreciate the nice comments.
      I am still having a hard time figuring out seedings. It is especially getting tricky to figure out with each tour using their own rating/ranking systems. When picking Lindsey/Riley I thought they’d be 2/3 and safe to avoid Ben/Simone but I think the PPA systems rewards tournament played with it’s points system, so I think Lindsey not playing all the stops hurts them. I am finding trying to figure out rankings a difficult part of the fantasy aspect, especially in these tournaments with no backdoor where it is a significant factor. – Slim

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