2023 PPA MASTERS: BEN JOHNS & ANNA LEIGH WATERS KICK OFF YEAR WITH TRIPLE CROWNS
CHAMPIONSHIP COURT WAS MET WITH CAPACITY CROWDS ALL WEEKEND FROM THE MISSION HILLS COUNTRY CLUB IN RANCHO MIRAGE, CA.
The PPA Tour Hyundai Masters concluded today from the beautiful desert in Southern California. After a weather delay yesterday paused the gender doubles action, brackets resumed early this morning to set the stage for Championship Sunday, which kicked off at 11:00am PT. Below are your results from Championship Sunday, and your 2023 PPA Hyundai Masters medalists:
Mixed Doubles Championship:
(1) Anna Leigh Waters & Ben Johns def. (2) Jessie Irvine & Riley Newman 11-4. 11-7, 11-4.
Gold: Waters & Johns
Silver: Irvine & Newman
Bronze: David & Wilson
The top ranked mixed doubles team in the world, Anna Leigh Waters & Ben Johns, completed their Championship run today with a comfortable win over the new partnership of Jessie Irvine & Riley Newman in a match that aired on FS1. An amazing combination of base line firepower and kitchen line creativity did the deed for the top seed to secure their first trophy of the year. Despite falling in today’s final, the new partnership of Irvine & Newman will be one to keep an eye on, and can be proud of their silver medal accomplishment in their very first showing together.
Women’s Singles Championship:
(1) Anna Leigh Waters def. (3) Lea Jansen 11-5, 11-2.
Gold: Anna Leigh Waters
Silver: Lea Jansen
Bronze: Catherine Parenteau
15-year-old Anna Leigh Waters secured a triple crown performance with a comfortable singles Championship win over Lea Jansen. Waters combined relentless pressure with a steady supply of pinpoint passing shots to complete the perfect weekend and secure her spot as the best women’s pickleball player on the planet.
“I only won the singles match last year, so it’s really cool to come back this year and win all three events”, said Anna Leigh Waters. “Thank you to the crowd here, they really helped me to pull through in that last match.”
Women’s Doubles Championship:
(1) Anna Leigh Waters & Anna Bright def. (1) Callie Smith & Lucy Kovalova 11-5, 11-7.
Gold: Waters & Bright
Silver: Smith & Kovalova
First time partnership of Anna Leigh Waters & Anna Bright answered questions about how a partnership between two power players would fare. Utilizing their unparalleled hand speed and court coverage, the young duo overpowered the also first-time pairing of Kovalova & Smith.
Men’s Singles Championship:
(1) Ben Johns def. (7) Federico Staksrud 11-6, 11-6.
Gold: Ben Johns
Silver: Federico Staksrud
Bronze: Dylan Frazier
Ben John’s concluded a perfect weekend and triple crown performance by securing a quick and rather comfortable singles win over Federico Staksrud. In a typical sharp singles performance from Johns, he mixed an excellent blend of drops and drives while also finding success with a two-handed backhand drive, a shot he has been developing recently. Staksrud takes silver, a great way to start his year in what was one of the deepest men’s singles brackets in professional pickleball history.
Men’s Doubles Championship:
(1) Ben & Collin Johns def. (2) Matt Wright & Riley Newman
Gold: Johns & Johns
Silver: Wright & Newman
In a familiar Championship matchup that developed a rivalry in 2022, the Johns brothers took on Matt Wright & Riley Newman today after both teams carried over their momentum from yesterday. In the end, the sibling chemistry proved to be too much for the second seed, as Collin & Ben combined in a clinical performance that saw them commit virtually no unforced errors to secure the PPA Hyundai Masters men’s doubles title.
“We played those guys a ton last year, and every final against them is enjoyable”, said Ben Johns. “Rivalries are great for the sport. I am welcoming to new matchups, but I love seeing those guys in the final too”.
In what was a historically deep field for professional pickleball this weekend at the PPA Hyundai Masters, Ben Johns & Anna Leigh Waters proved their elite status at the top of the sport. A triple crown performance in pickleball is rare, and both worked their way through the competition with unparalleled class and dominance. Without dropping a single game in a single event all weekend, Waters showed particular improvement at this year’s Masters, securing the triple crown just two weeks before her 16th birthday.The PPA Hyundai Masters concluded today from Rancho Mirage, California. It was live streamed on the PPA Tour YouTube channel throughout the weekend, and the mixed doubles final was live on FS1 on Sunday. Visit the PPA Hyundai Masters for all completed brackets, and visit the SelkirkTV Tournament Coverage page on Selkirk.com for all PPA and MLP event tournament recaps.