PPA Rocky Mountain Classic – Preview
Authored by Gritty:
This coming weekend is a first for NML, which is two pro tournaments in the same weekend. We have an APP Tour stop in New Jersey and a PPA Tour stop in Denver with the Rocky Mountain Championships. Due to personal commitments we have, we’re foregoing the usual fantasy drafts in favour of individual previews for each tournament and we won’t be live blogging this weekend. We’ll still have some takeaways after the weekend is over but that’s a lot of pickleball to keep track of. We’re only human!
1. Ben Johns / Collin Johns – it’s a soft PPA field for the men and this team is always going to be #1 for the time being.
2. Riley Newman / Tyson McGuffin – They don’t do very well against the John’s brothers but you have to think they are due to challenge them at some point. It’s the law of being due, duh? Even with their struggles against the Johns brothers, they don’t struggle against many other teams and are a clear #2 team at this point.
3. Adam Stone / Dekel Bar – This could easily be Pat/Jay and I’m giving the slight edge here after they beat Smith and Devilliers last weekend. This spot could have gone either way.
Notable teams: Matt Wright and Kyle Yates are back together after a quality 4th almost 3rd place at the US Open. Have to note Loong and Smith have won a medal in better fields than this and Farias/Warnick have the capability to win in any given matchup.
1. Ben Johns – The best.
2. Jay Devilliers – We’ll give him the slight edge over Tyson after his win at the PPA Takeya Showcase last weekend.
3. Tyson McGuffin – It’s close and he could be in line for a silver.
Notable players: Collin Johns is back in a singles draw finally and it’s always curious why he doesn’t play more singles when he has potential to be on the podium if he plays. Dekel Bar is in the draw again after playing through the back draw for a bronze last weekend. I’ll also note Thomas Wilson and curious how he’ll stack u getting matchups against the AJ Koller’s and Spencer Smith’s of the world after a long layoff from tournaments.
Edit August 13: No Collin Johns or Wilson in the field but Sherry is a late addiition. Sherry could have a nice run in a smaller field.
1. Simone Jardim / Ben Johns – The best.
2. Lucy Kovalova / Matt Wright – They may have been a bad ref call away from having to go to the back draw and fight for bronze, but I’m keeping them at #2. But it’s a Tyson McGuffin like singles hold over the #2 position here.
3. Catherine Parenteau / Riley Newman – See above comment re Lucy/Matt. They could easily have been playing for gold last week and Parenteau doing her best Simone Jardim impression is perfect for Riley Newman.
Notable teams: Callie and Tyson are playing together so they should be dangerous. A first partnership in Lea Jansen and Jay Devilliers, who is coming off a very strong showing in a deep mixed field with Michelle Esquivel. Irina Tereschenko and Pat Smith is another first time partnership along with Jessie Irvine and Tyler Loong. Loong had another strong showing with Susannah Barr last weekend and, on paper, he has a better partner in a smaller field with Jessie Irvine, who is not coming off a good weekend with DJ Young.
Corrine Carr is back with Adam Stone and Vivienne David is playing with fellow DUPR pro Dekel Bar. Finally, Kyle Yates is playing with Venise Chan, the former Hong Kong tennis pro, and that’s a bit of a step down after partnering with Leigh Waters last weekend.
1. Lucy Kovalova / Simone Jardim – Tiny field and this should be close to an auto gold if they play the Parenteau/Irvine matchup correctly.
2. Catherine Parenteau / Jessie Irvine – the 2019 national silver medalist partnership is back but only one of these two has continued to rise in the way we expected. Can they upset the #1 team? I wouldn’t bet on it.
3. Irina Tereschenko / Andrea Koop – This should be a bronze with an outside shot at silver with only one team there to really challenge them in Corrine Carr and Vivienne David.
Notable teams: It’s only a 6 team bracket with ChristineMcGrath/Jackie Urbinati and Venise Chan/Sydney Sonday rounding out the last 2 pairings. It’ll likely be a rough ride for both teams unless they get to play each other.
1. Lea Jansen – Rough seeding last week as we outlined in our takeaways but she has probably been the most consistent singles player on tour since the US Open. She gets the nod over Parenteau.
2. Catherine Parenteau – No Jardim in this field despite the small draw. I’m curious if she becomes a late entry after seeing this field. Parenteau and Jansen should be battling for gold.
3. Irina Tereschenko – She has had some less than stellar results with a close win over Venise Chan and loss to Annica Cooper last week in Newport. She also lost recently to Sydney Sonday who is in this draw. I still have her as #2 in the field because of her history of results.
Notable Players: Callie Smith’s results keep getting better and better, but I’ll be sorry if we see another forfeit from her with a chance to go to gold. Sydney Sonday has had some results in the past month or so in singles while Venise Chan put up a good fight in her first pro tournament against Irina Tereschenko last weekend. Jackie Urbinati has the tennis background but nothing in her results have shown she can compete for medals where there are strong contenders like this one.
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