PPA Cincinnati Thursday Recap
The PPA Tour season is winding down with only a few tournaments left before we turn our attention to 2024. Cincinnati is the only tournament scheduled for the month of September before the pros set up shop in Las Vegas starting October 5th. The singles draw was once again stacked with plenty of household names so let’s dive into the action and breakdown what went down at the Linder Family Tennis Center, home to one of the ATP tennis tour’s most popular events.
Men’s Singles Championship: (1) Ben Johns vs (2) Federico Staksrud
Once again, we will get to see Ben Johns face off against Federico Staksrud in a men’s singles final. Johns owns the head-to-head advantage 4-1 in 2023 but has gone 4-0 in finals vs Staksrud. Ben has yet to lose a men’s singles final this year so it will be up to Staksrud to be at his best if he wants to dethrone the world #1.
Johns made what looked like a very difficult road to the finals look rather easy today. In the round of 16 he played (16) Collin Shick who is always a dangerous opponent but moved on in straight games winning 11-7, 11-8. In the QF it was (8) Julian Arnold who gave him his biggest test of the day but Johns prevailed in straight games 11-6, 12-10. In the SF he defeated (4) Tyson McGuffin 11-2, 11-2 stamping his ticket to yet another final.
On the other side Staksrud battled his way through a tough QF vs (10) Jaume Martinez Vich. After winning game 1 11-7 it was Vich who punched back winning game 2 11-6. In the end it was too much Staksrud as he closed the match out 11-5 in game 3. In the SF he faced (3) Connor Garnett. These two know each other’s games extremely well so this match was all about execution in the big moments. Staksrud did well finding his forehand and using his all-court game to move past Garnett 11-7, 11-8.
Women’s Singles Championship: (1) Anna Leigh Waters vs (2) Catherine Parenteau
These two ladies have established themselves as the best two singles players in pickleball which is why they will be going head-to-head in a final for the 5th time this year. Waters is 4-0 vs Parenteau on Championship Sunday but a few of those matches have gone down to the wire so expect another tightly contested match between the doubles partners.
With Anna Bright and Jorja Johnson withdrawing on the top half of the draw it was smooth sailing for the 16-year-old as she took out (8) Lina Padegimaite 11-5, 11-8 before beating (12) Ava Ignatowich 11-0, 11-1 in the SF.
Despite Lauren Stratman and Hurricane Tyra Black withdrawing from the bottom half of the draw it was still a tough day for Catherine Parenteau. She played two tight two game matches against (15) Shannon Pretorius and (10) Taylor Garcia before taking out (22) Rachel Rohrabacher in three games in the SF. Parenteau continues to show extremely impressive mental toughness in some very close singles matches over the past few PPA tournaments.
On the Horizon
Mixed Doubles kicks off tomorrow morning bright and early and some teams of interest include Bright/Ignatowich, Jackie Kawamoto/Tellez, and Parenteau/McGuffin so make sure to tune into PPA YouTube Channel starting at 10AM EST to catch all of the action live.