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Castillo Makes Austin Open Women’s Final, Sock Falls Just Short


By Joshua Gartman

on Mar 14, 2024

No rest for the weary as the PPA Tour’s 5th stop of the 2024 season hit Austin, Texas today only three days after the conclusion of the Pickleball Central Indoor Championships in Minnesota. Once again there was no progression draw as pros battled out a full day of singles for a spot on Championship Sunday. Let’s take a look at how the draws unfolded on both the men’s and women’s side.

Men’s Singles Championship: (1) Ben Johns vs (2) Federico Staksrud

Ben Johns was able to escape a tough opponent in JW Johnson in his quarterfinal match to setup a semifinal showdown with Jack Sock. Sock came out firing with his new Selkirk Power Air and lead Johns 8-3 early in game 1 before the #1 seed rattled off eight straight points to take game 1 11-8. Sock regrouped well and pushed the match to three games but Ben was able to control the rhythm of game 3 and not allow Sock to have any huge runs. Another good singles showing for Jack who is inching closer to a gold medal, as he defeated Pablo Tellez and Hayden Patriquin before his semifinal loss.

 

On the other side Federico Staksrud was able to push his 2024 singles record to 20-2 as he secured his spot in his 5th straight PPA singles final. Staksrud, after winning the title in Minnesota three days prior, showed no signs of fatigue as he didn’t drop a single game on Thursday. He defeated two dangerous opponents in  Collin Shick and Christian Alshon and will have to knock off one more if he wants to win his 3rd title of the season. 

Women’s Singles Championship: (4) Judit Castillo vs (16) Kaitlyn Christian

It was long day for Judit Castillo but she pulled through multiple tight matches to secure her spot in the women’s singles final. Castillo defeated Liz Truluck and Katie Haas, before defeating heavy hitter Jorja Johnson in three games. Castillo’s quickness from the back of the court has always been one of her main strengths and she used it today to force her opponents into errors in some tight moments. She’ll look to do the same to Kaitlyn Christian on Sunday in hopes of lifting the trophy.

On the top half of the draw Kaitlyn Christian defeated Brooke Buckner 11-9 in game 3 of her quarterfinal match and staved off a furious comeback attempt from Parris Todd in the semifinals. Todd was able to tie up game 2 10-10 after being behind multiple match points but Christian delivered some high-quality volleys in the big moments to take the match in two games. 

On the Horizon

Mixed doubles action kicks off at 10AM CT time so didn’t miss any of the action on the PPA’s YouTube Channel and PickleballTV. Jack Sock and Catherine Parenteau are the 6th seeds and a team to watch tomorrow as they will be looking to make their first final of the year together.

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