Parenteau to Challenge Waters for PPA Desert Ridge Open Singles Championship
Waters to face willing contender Parenteau, whilst Johns will take on Staksrud on Championship Sunday.
In what will be a busy calendar year for the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Tour, the second event of the year commenced today from the beautiful JW Marriot venue in Phoenix, Arizona. Action kicked off particularly early on the men's side, as dozens of participants battled it out in a play-in qualifier bracket on Wednesday for a shot into today's draw. On the women's side, the usual suspects made deep runs in the bracket. Lea Jansen and Julian Arnold walked away from today's deep bracket action with Bronze Medals.
Below is a look at your Championship matchups:
Women's Singles Championship Matchup (Sunday, February 5th):
(1) Anna Leigh Waters vs. (2) Catherine Parenteau
Anna Leigh Waters:
Def. Mayorga-Perry 11-0, 11-4.
Def. Hessert 11-5, 11-4.
Def. Jansen 11-9, 11-5.
Def. Satuala 11-1, 11-3.
Def. Schaefer 11-0, 11-7.
Def. Tereschenko 11-1, 11-9.
World No.1 Anna Leigh reminded the pickleball masses today of her composure in high-pressure matches and her ability to hit every shot in the book on a consistent basis. Waters was World-Class today, cruising to the semifinal round where she took on a tough and familiar opponent in Lea Jansen. Jansen got off to a great start, running her score up to 9 in Game 1 before the recently turned 16-year-old stormed back to steal the game and then win Game 2 more convincingly.
Catherine Parenteau played with level-headedness and relentless offensive pressure throughout the day today to punch her ticket to Championship Sunday without giving up a single game to 11. Since signing with Selkirk and switching to the Vanguard Power Air, Parenteau has had some stellar and important recent results to help cement her spot as the World No.2.
"I was really happy to get the W, Irina is a really tough player," said Catherine Parenteau. "I'm still getting adjusted to the new paddle, but I love it. It's got great power and spin, so I'm really happy with it."
Men's Singles Championship Matchup (Sunday, February 5th):
(1) Ben Johns vs. (3) Federico Staksrud:
Def. Rahachou 11-0, 11-8.
Def. Lewis 11-2, 11-3.
Def. Alshon 11-5, 11-4.
Def. Arnold 5-11, 11-5, 11-2.
Def. Beasley 11-7, 11-2.
Def. Garnett 11-4, 11-3.
Def. Rettenmaier 13-11, 11-3.
Def. Devilliers 11-3, 5-11, 11-3.
Ben Johns showed an ability to win at all costs today, despite not playing his best pickleball. Johns handled business on the early end of the bracket, but was pushed hard by Julian Arnold in the semifinals. Johns got off to a rocky start, dropping the first game 5-11. Despite not having the usual reliability in his passing shots and cat-and-mouse game, Johns showed maturity and grit to buckle down and raise his game in Games 2 and 3.
"Your game is just not always firing on all cylinders, and I don't think either of us played the cleanest match of our careers," said Ben Johns. "When that happens, you have to play to the things that are working".
Selkirk professional Pesa Teoni also made some noise in men's singles today, putting together some highlight reel worthy shots and points.
Federico Staksrud has made an impressive transition to becoming a podium regular in extremely difficult PPA men's singles brackets. The Argentine possesses some of the most pinpoint passing shots in the game, hitting his targets regularly and combining his drives with excellent footwork and court coverage. He goes into Championship Sunday as an underdog against Johns.