McGuffin Finds a Way, Unlikely Finalists
The pros are in a grueling stretch of the pro pickleball schedule coming off the back of Major League Pickleball and the BioFreeze National Championships in Dallas. This led to some of the top names sitting out or withdrawing from singles last minute which opened up the door for some new names to make a run at Championship Sunday. Let’s take a look at how the men’s and women’s draws unfolded today.
Men’s Singles Championship: (1) Ben Johns vs (3) Tyson McGuffin
Johns and McGuffin will lock horns once again on Championship Sunday in men’s singles. It’s incredible that after all the years in the sport these two are still consistently at the top of the men’s game in 2023. Johns cruised past two tough lefties in Rafa Hewett and Pablo Tellez in straight games before facing off against 4th seeded Connor Garnett in the semifinals. Garnett has given Johns trouble over the past year, but has never beaten him. Garnett came out hot winning game 1 11-9 and held an early lead in game 2 before Johns began chipping away.The heavy cat and mouse approach war down Garnett and Johns prevailed in three games.
On the bottom half Tyson McGuffin was in top form all day long, barking at the crowd and ripping his famous Ferrari forehand with his signature Selkirk 002 paddle. Tyson took care of up and comer Quang Duong 4 & 4 in the round of 16. In the QF he faced off against the athletic Christian Alshon but the quality passes and patterns from the wily veteran wore down the youngster. In the SF it was more of the same as McGuffin defeated Gabriel Tardio 4 & 2 to make his 6th championship Sunday in singles this season on the PPA Tour.
Women’s Singles Championship: (5) Lacy Schneemann vs (2) Salome Devidze
Catherine Parenteau decided not to participate in women’s singles this week. Anna Leigh Waters was a late scratch as well so the door was wide open for the rest of the field. On the top half of the draw it was Lacy Schneemann taking advantage of the opportunity but it didn’t come easy. In all four of her matches she had to battle as she took out (28) Alexa Schull, (12) Sharienne Ricardo and (13) Brooke Revuelta in three games before defeating (9) Taylor Garcia in two games en route to Sunday’s final.
On the bottom half we had some more household names as (3) Mary Brascia, (6) Lauren Stratman, (7) Lina Padegimaite and (2) Salome Devidze were all fighting for a spot in the final. In the end Devidze was the last woman standing as she beat Lina and Lauren in two tight games. Devidze has made a few Championship Sunday’s this year in singles on the PPA Tour so she’ll be the favorite but Schneemann, despite not playing many singles tournaments, has all the tools to make the match extremely competitive so make sure to tune in to that one.
On the Horizon
Mixed doubles kicks off tomorrow morning and some teams to keep an eye on will be Travis Rettenmaier/Mary Brascia, Tyson McGuffin/Catherine Parenteau and Hayden Patriquin/Maggie Brascia. Tune in via PPA’s YouTube Channel and PickleballTV for coverage starting at 10AM EST.