The most enticing storyline heading into Championship Sunday was the 59-match win streak of Anna Leigh Waters and Catherine Parenteau. What makes this partnership so special is Parenteau's ability to balance when to attack and when to pull back which is a tough balancing act. Today they were going for their 60th straight win and 13th straight PPA gold medal. Let’s dive into their women’s doubles match and much more from Desert Ridge Open.
Women’s Singles Championship: Waters Takes Down Brascia
Anna Leigh Waters started the day off with an 11-2, 11-1 win over Mary Brascia. Brascia fought till the very end but Waters' level never dipped. A great tournament from Mary as she took down #2 Lea Jansen in a marathon semifinal spanning over two days to earn a well-deserved silver medal.
Men’s Doubles Championship: Johns Brothers in Straights
Ben & Collin defeated Tyson McGuffin & Dekel Bar 11-3, 11-3, 11-9 to claim the gold medal in men’s doubles. They were able to neutralize the drive and crash approach of the #5 seeds and forced them into a much slower pace of play and that backed the underdogs into a corner that they couldn’t get out of.
Women’s Doubles Championship: Waters & Parenteau Make it 60 in a Row
What makes Anna Leigh and Catherine so special is that they can not only beat opponents by controlling the kitchen line but they can also disrupt their rhythm and timing by playing an uncalculated aggressive style of doubles. It’s hard to anticipate what is coming when and just when opponents think they have them beat they are able to dig themselves out of holes on defense and neutralize the point. They are the best in the world for a reason and Meghan Dizon and Etta Wright had no answers for it despite playing extremely well in games 1 and 3.
Men’s Singles Championship: Staksrud’s Athleticism on Full Display
Federico Staksrud and Jaume Martinez Vich put on a show in men’s singles. Check out the clip of Federico Staksrud chasing down balls from all four corners of the court to seal a critical point in game 3. After surrendering a lead in the Hyundai Master’s final to Dylan Frazier, Staksrud showed great composure to close the door to win his first PPA gold medal of 2024.
Mixed Doubles Championship: Waters & Johns defeat Ignatowich and Bright
The two best mixed doubles teams in pro pickleball collided in the last match of the day but Ignatowich and Bright were never able to find their top level. After a competitive game 1 they lost games 2 and 3 11-3, 11-0. Despite the loss it is an impressive start to the year for Ignatowich & Bright who have made back-to-back PPA finals.
On the Horizon
We’ll have a few weeks off before the pros travel back to Arizona to compete in the Mesa Cup starting on February 20th. Make sure to follow the PPA Tour on social media for updates on the schedule and draw release.