PPA Denver Open Sunday Recap
The PPA Denver Open came to a conclusion on Sunday as we saw five different matches, all of which featured the #1 male and #1 female player in world Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters. Here’s a more in depth look at how each of the events unfolded in an action-packed Sunday.
Mixed Doubles Championship: Waters & Johns Extend Their Gold Medal Streak
Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns started the day off facing off against veterans Lucy Kovalova and Matt Wright. Waters and Johns were looking for their 6th gold medal in a row together, suffering their only loss of the year in Arizona to the Johnson siblings. After a tightly contested game 1 which saw the #1 seeds win 11-8 it was smooth sailing the rest of the way as they closed out the match 11-5 & 11-1 en route to another title.
Women’s Doubles Championship: Waters & Bright Come Away Victorious
Anna Leigh Waters and Anna Bright entered Sunday’s women’s doubles final only losing 15 total points across three matches so it was going to be an uphill battle from the start for the 6 seeds Lacy Schneemann and Vivienne David. Unlike other finals we have seen against Waters/Bright, David/Schneemann put up a good fight. After losing the first two games 11-5 11-4 they could have easily gone away but instead they made some nice adjustments, sneaking out game 3 11-9 before surrendering game 4 11-5.
Men’s Doubles Championship: Johns Brothers Prove to Be too Much
Federico Staksrud and Pablo Tellez have been the surprise men’s doubles team of 2023, having made a final at the Vulcan Championships in Minnesota and taking a bronze at the Newport Shootout in April. Despite their best efforts, they were no match for the #1 team in the world Sunday as the Johns brothers took home their 9th gold medal of the season winning the match 11-7 11-4 11-4. Staksrud and Tellez continue to show that they are clearly a top 5 men’s doubles team as they picked up another notable win on Saturday vs the team of Dylan Frazier and Matt Wright.
Women’s Singles Championship: Anna Leigh Waters Completes the Triple Crown
On paper the matchup between Irina Tereschenko and Anna Leigh Waters looked like a complete mismatch. However, with Waters just completing two matches earlier in the day and Tereschenko being fresh the wily veteran took it to the young phenom in game 1. She had multiple looks at game points but was unable to shut door as Waters walked away with a 12-10 victory before finding her top form and closing the match out 11-3 in game 2.
Men’s Singles Championship: Ben Gets His Revenge
The last time Christian Alshon and Ben Johns met it was Alshon who walked away with the victory in Atlanta and that was clearly in the back of Johns’ mind as he entered his last match of the day. His shot making and creativity was on full display early as he never gave Alshon a chance to settle into the match. He lost just 3 total points, winning his 6th triple crown of the year in convincing fashion.
On The Horizon
Up next is the infamous Beer City Open run by current pro pickleball player Andrea Koop followed by the PPA’s next stop in Seattle, Washington. Expect a bigger than normal crowd in the Pacific Northwest as summer time in Seattle is a perfect time to host a pro pickleball tournament.