PPA Tour Red Rock Open – Fantasy Draft Preview

The smaller PPA tournaments might end up being the best ones to watch. You take some of the best players out of there and mix up some partnerships, and it makes for some of the more intriguing viewing in pro pickleball. James Ignatowich/Riley Newman, Riley Newman/Andrea Koop, Lucy Kovalova/Dekel Bar, Travis Rettenmaier/AJ Koller. These shake-ups are good for the sport.

Another storyline to monitor is Tyson McGuffin getting back on the court after withdrawing from day 2 of MLP with an apparent injury. By all accounts, there is nothing to indicate Tyson was ever physically injured beyond Tyson’s withdrawal from MLP and Pickle Juice reporting the withdrawal was due to an “undisclosed injury”. A couple of days later, he was back to some intense Stallion Performance training (the thumbnail literally says “Training Back From Daytona). Moreover, Anna Bright said on her podcast that she got a wake-up call at 6:30am from her team’s GM that McGuffin was out.

The facts are that Tyson’s undisclosed injury was so severe that he had to pull out of MLP but it was not severe enough where his team had any indication he might not play until the morning of their last round robin match. The injury was severe enough that he had to withdraw from MLP but not severe enough that he was back to his regular training routine shortly after MLP. Finally, he is somehow able to play Red Rock a week and a half later. It just doesn’t add up.

Slim has it back to all square on the year after a couple of wins in a row. Slim won the toss and elected to pick first.

(1) Federico Staksrud (Slim) 

(2) Catherine Parenteau (Gritty) 

(3) Riley Newman / James Ignatowich (Gritty) 

(4) Andrea Koop / Riley Newman (Slim) 

(5) Anna Bright / James Ignatowich (Slim) 

Slim – With no Ben or Anna Leigh this weekend, the first overall pick was a tough one, but Fed is one of the more consistent players out there in singles, so I went with him. I feel like the women’s doubles without Anna Leigh this weekend is fairly open, so I decided to take the top two mixed teams in Riley Newman and Andrea Koop and James Ignatowich and Anna Bright. Riley is the best player in this field, so I do give the edge to Riley and Koop.

Gritty – Catherine Parenteau has had the better results recently and it is unclear how much Lea Jansen wants to play singles these days so I take her first. I then had to go with Riley Newman and James Ignatowich. Riley is the best player in this field and it’s hard to believe in a Dekel Bar/Collin Johns partnership to beat them when they haven’t had time to gel. 

(6) Anna Bright / Vivienne David (Gritty) 

(7) Dekel Bar / Collin Johns (Gritty)

(8) Catherine Parenteau / Andrea Koop (Slim) 

(9) Lea Jansen / Allyce Jones (Slim) 

(10) Lea Jansen (Gritty) 

(11) Pablo Tellez (Gritty) 

Slim – I kind of like Catherine and Andrea to win gold this weekend, so getting them at 8, feels like a steal. Lea and Allyce have been one of, if not the most consistent women’s doubles team this year, so I took them at 9. It won’t be an easy road for Lea/Allyce but I like them to get there.

Gritty – Anna and Vivienne didn’t fare as well as we might have expected their first go around, but they have the right draw this time around in this field. Dekel Bar/Collin Johns are clearly the #2 team and have the ability to win a gold. Lea Jansen also has gold medal potential so we’ll see whether she can take down Catherine Parenteau. Jansen may have to get through Devidze first. Pablo Tellez has a good draw on Jay Devilliers half but with his up and down results I still liked him as the #2 singles player in the field. 

(12) Salome Devidze (Slim) 

(13) Jay Devilliers (Slim) 

(14) Catherine Parenteau / Tyson McGuffin (Gritty) 

(15) Lucy Kovalova / Dekel Bar (Gritty)

(16) AJ Koller / Travis Rettenmaier (Slim) 

(17) Lucy Kovalova / Callie Smith (Slim) 

Slim – Jay Devilliers has a very friendly draw, and I think this is a great opportunity for him to make a championship Saturday. AJ and Travis should be an interesting team to watch this weekend, any result for them would not surprise me. I am hoping the Utah crowd cheering for Callie, can help push her and Lucy to a good result this weekend.

Gritty – Catherine Parenteau/Tyson McGuffin have shown out well together in recent events. I went back to back here as it will be interesting to see Lucy Kovalova with a new partner in Dekel Bar who is very hit or miss in mixed. I didn’t go look this up but I’m pretty sure this is the first time Lucy has played mixed with anyone other than Matt Wright since she played with Steve Deakin at a Florida tournament a while back – the results back then were good.

(18) Callie Smith (Gritty) 

(19) Tyler Loong / Callan Dawson (Gritty) 

(20) Jessie Irvine / AJ Koller (Slim) 

(21) Connor Garnett (Slim) 

(22) Meghan Dizon / Etta Wright (Gritty)

(23) Tyson McGuffin (Gritty) 

Slim – Jessie Irvine and AJ Koller’s chemistry has appeared to be off all year, but I am hoping they can figure it out this weekend. The talent is still enticing, especially in this field missing a number of top players. It is presumably going to be a cold hard ball this week, and I think that should probably favor Connor Garnett’s elite shot making in singles.

Gritty – I’m calling it right now. Callie Smith is getting by Salome Devidze in her home state of Utah. Devidze doesn’t do as well against players that come to net well and that energy is going to be there for Callie. That cold ball probably won’t be as helpful for Callie though. I like Tyler/Callan, again a hometown situation with Loong, as they have to beat AJ/Travis to get to the semis but they may be able to do it. Dizon is coming off a Championship Sunday and she has a good partner with Etta Wright in a more open field. I’m worried about Tyson but he has a good draw in a softer field. 

(24) Irina Tereschenko (Slim) 

(25) Allyce Jones (Slim) 

(26) Jessie Irvine / Irina Tereschnenko (Gritty) 

(27) Rafa Hewett (Gritty) 

(28) Jay Devilliers / DJ Young (Slim) 

(29) Zane Navratil / Rafa Hewett (Slim) 

(30) Etta Wright / Collin Johns (Gritty) 

Slim – It kind of feels like Jay Devilliers /DJ Young are due for a gold medal match in men’s doubles with another favorable draw to get there. I am presuming Rafa Hewett won’t be challenging Zane Navratil’s paddle this weekend, as they team up, and Zane is probably hoping that Rafa has that “Adi Power” working for him this weekend.

Gritty – Jessie Irvine/Irina Tereschenko have history together and are still  an outside shot at a podium. Rafa Hewett is here with that Adi power and I am here for it. In singles, that Adi power is pretty much unstoppable. Collin Johns has played a good mixed game with Jessie Irvine so why not have a breakout here with Etta Wright? Probably not, but I like talent. And Etta has talent. 

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8 thoughts on “PPA Tour Red Rock Open – Fantasy Draft Preview

  • April 4, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    James Ignatowich said in his latest podcast that he signed up for singles at Red Rock because, without Ben, JW, and Dylan in the field, it was a good opportunity to jump in. Apparently, he changed his mind. That’s disappointing.

    • April 4, 2023 at 11:36 pm

      It would have been a good opportunity for him but he’s not playing apparently. Load management

  • April 5, 2023 at 4:52 am

    Salome is only in singles. I’m surprised she wouldn’t at least be in MXD also with the shortage of high level women for the men in MXD. She was in both last week at APP but not WD.

    Tyson’s injury – yeah one place said it was calf, another comment said it was elbow.

    Dekel and Johns brothers are close and they do pickleball training/trips business together. Time to gel should’t be needed.

    Lucy has played with others since Deakin. Matt never plays Red Rock so last year she played with Nunnery.

    For WD, Lacy and Susannah may be contenders. It’s a thin field. For MXD, a long shot would be David/Long.

    • April 5, 2023 at 11:08 pm

      Salome is unique in that she has played some doubles but her doubles game has not really progressed relative to how good her singles game is. She is not quality pro doubles player and some of the recent APP mixed footage seems to bear that out. Oh we had forgotten that with Nunnery last year.

      Barr and Schneemann are an interesting pair. We wonder if the consistency could be an issue between the two of them.

  • April 5, 2023 at 6:46 am

    Here’s the simple formula that adds up. TM is a well known late night party machine. He’s cancelled on several clinics scheduled to teach for months, the morning of the event. Usually, food poisoning is cited for cause.

    TM did was he does and realized by 6am ish that playing intoxicated was a bad idea and informs the GM. GM takes about 30 minutes to relay that to the team.

    For the record, Tyson is a great person.

    • April 5, 2023 at 8:01 am

      I knew a pro who always claimed he played better when intoxicated. And he’d drink beers while still active in the bracket. So you never know. Last year, TM made a New Year’s resolution to give up alcohol — mentioned several times on his podcast. That lasted longer than I thought it would for someone who can consume 16 drinks at dinner.

    • April 5, 2023 at 11:08 pm

      Interesting. Not sure he would be on the bench if hungover but interesting this is even a discussion point.

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