The PPA Finals kicked off this morning in San Clemente and went well into the evening after a small weather delay. Only the top eight pros from each gender based upon total points accumulated throughout the year competed which led to competitive matches all around the grounds. Rather than the normal single elimination bracket it was a round robin with two four player pools with the top two players from each pool advancing. Let’s breakdown all the individual matches and see who came out on top
Men’s Singles Championship: (1) Ben Johns vs (6) Christian Alshon
There were fireworks in Pool A today as Ben Johns, Christian Alshon and Connor Garnett all wound up going 2-1 but it was Johns and Alshon that advanced based on point differential. Garnett started the day off with a bang defeating Johns for the first time in his career. Johns responded with nice wins over Devilliers and Alshon.
In Pool B it was Federico Staksrud who swept the field defeating Tyson McGuffin, JW Johnson and Pablo Tellez. Tyson McGuffin was the second player to advance as he defeated Tellez and Johnson. Tellez did pick up a nice win over Johnson but fell short to McGuffin in the winner advances to the semis match.
In the semifinals Ben Johns faced off against Tyson McGuffin, a rematch of the PPA Daytona Holy Hill final just a couple weeks prior. Johns’ got off to hot start and never gave an inch as he was able to pass McGuffin off the forehand wing early and get into some favorable cat and mouse exchanges at the kitchen line.
In the other semifinals Christian Alshon found himself down a game and 7-2 to Federico Staksrud before making a complete 180. He won game 2 14-12 with some clutch volleys at the kitchen line and ran with the momentum as game 3 was one way traffic. He will get another shot at Johns’ in a final. The last time they faced off was this summer with Johns emerging victorious.
Women’s Singles Championship: (1) Anna Leigh Waters vs (2) Catherine Parenteau
In Pool A Anna Leigh Waters was tested early by both Judit Castillo and Mary Brascia but was able to walk away with two three game victories. Mary Brascia was the other female to advance as she won two hard fought battles against Castillo and Lauren Stratman.
In Pool B Catherine Parenteau went undefeated as she looked very sharp against Irina Tereschenko, Yana Newell and Lacy Schneemann. Tereschenko snuck out two three game matches over Newell and Schneemann to advance.
In the semifinals the Anna Leigh Waters vs Irina Tereschenko looked eerily similar to their final in Denver earlier this year as Waters took game 1 13-11 and had to fight in game 2 as well to take it 11-9.
In the nightcap Catherine Parenteau had a nice game plan against Mary Brascia as she used short angles to put pressure on Mary rather than trying to hit through her. It had Brascia off balance and she was never able to find a rhythm as Parenteau won 11-5, 11-3 to setup another final with Anna Leigh Waters.
On the Horizon
The top eight men and top eight women will compete in mixed doubles pool play tomorrow so make sure to tune in as this format is setting up high quality matches all over. Follow the PPA Tour on social media for updates on the schedule.