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McGuffin Goes Unbeaten Again, Sock Impresses on Singles Day at PPA North Carolina Open


By Kyle Whatnall

on May 04, 2023

The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Tour North Carolina Open got off to an exhilarating start as top players showcased their skills in the singles competition. With Championship Sunday on the horizon, the men's and women's singles participants battled for victory, treating fans to intense matches and memorable moments on Day 1.

Men's Singles Championship (Sunday May 7):

(1) Federico Staksrud vs. (3) Tyson McGuffin.

On the men's side, Tyson McGuffin and Federico Staksrud were the standouts of the day, both going undefeated to secure their spots in the Championship Sunday finals. McGuffin faced a tough challenge from Christian Alshon in the semifinals, ultimately prevailing in a close contest with a score of 11-9, 12-10. McGuffin's tenacity and skill under pressure will be key factors in his pursuit of the title.

In anticipation of the final match against Staksrud, McGuffin stated, "I will be playing Federico on Sunday, and I have actually never beaten Federico, but I have lost to him in three games a few times. I'm coming to take what's mine!" 

 Federico Staksrud has made quick work of his opponents thus far, including an impressive victory over Jake Kusmider in the semifinals, where he won 11-4, 11-3. Staksrud's dominant performance throughout the day signals that he will be a formidable opponent in what will be a thrilling final.

Making his debut on the professional pickleball circuit, former tennis pro Jack Sock demonstrated impressive skill and adaptability. Sock's transition to pickleball attracted significant attention and respect, as he showcased his potential throughout the day. Although his run was cut short in the Quarterfinals by Kusmider, the pickleball community is excited to see what he can achieve in future tournaments.

 Christian Alshon bounced back from his semifinal defeat to claim the bronze medal, proving his resilience and determination to finish on a high note.

Women's Singles Championship (Sunday, May 7):

(1) Anna Leigh Waters vs. (3) Lea Jansen.

The women's singles competition was equally captivating, with top-seeded Anna Leigh Waters and Lea Jansen earning their places in Championship Sunday. Waters took down Salome Devidze in a hard-fought semifinal match, winning 11-6, 11-8. As the top seed, Waters displayed her exceptional talent and composure under pressure, living up to her billing and setting the stage for a thrilling final.

 Lea Jansen faced a stern test against Brooke Buckner, as their intense semifinal match went to three games. Jansen's ability to dig deep and maintain focus was evident in the final score of 11-8, 8-11, 11-2. This resounding victory solidified her status as a contender for the title on Championship Sunday.

Salome Devidze, despite her semifinal loss, did not leave the tournament empty-handed, as she claimed the bronze medal for her commendable efforts.

 As the PPA Tour North Carolina Open continues, fans eagerly await the upcoming doubles and mixed doubles events. However, it is clear that Day 1 of singles play has already left an indelible mark on this year's tournament. With stellar performances from seasoned pros and newcomers alike, the stage is set for an action-packed Championship Sunday and an unforgettable finale to the North Carolina Open.

Don't miss the Mixed Doubles day tomorrow, as the excitement continues. Fans can watch a livestream of the action on the PPA Tour YouTube Channel, with coverage beginning at 10am ET. This will be a fantastic opportunity to witness the world's best pickleball players competing for glory and showcasing their skills on the court.

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