Pro pickleball is back after close to a one-month hiatus. The Masters feels like the perfect welcome back to work party as the pros do battle in their all whites in the first major tournament of the year. Jack Sock is making his 2024 debut wielding the Luxx Control Air Invikta, and many fans, like myself, are wondering is he the guy that can challenge world #1 Ben Johns? We’ll have to wait and see on that one but let’s start with all of the action that unfolded at Mission Hills Country Club on Wednesday.
Sock Sets Up Showdown with Garnett
PPA has reintroduced the progressive draw so only the 2nd and 3rd rounds were played today. On the top half Quang Duong took care of business versus household names Tyler Loong & Hayden Patriquin. He’ll face Ben Johns in the round of 16 tomorrow. Dylan Frazier took down AZ native Patrick Kawka to set up a date with his men’s doubles partner JW Johnson.
On the bottom half Collin Shick took down Aanik Lohani to setup a heavily anticipated round of 16 match vs #2 seed Federico Staksrud. Last but not least Jack Sock beat Mohaned Alhouni as he found plenty of forehands to frustrate the lengthy lefty. He’ll face 2023’s breakout star Connor Garnett tomorrow in what should be a match full of highlights.
Women's Tennis Stars Take the Court
The story of women’s singles today has to be the tennis stars taking the court as former top 40 WTA doubles player Kaitlyn Christian advanced. She will face Anna Leigh Waters tomorrow in what will be must see TV. Genie Bouchard also made her debut but bowed out to Ekaterina Biankina. Other notable names to advance were Dominque Schaefer and Parris Todd. Todd will face Lauren Stratman tomorrow.
Shick Nabs Early Upset
Collin Shick has taken a leave from medical school so he can pursue pro pickleball full time. That decision has paid early dividends as he and Rachel Rettger took out Gabe Tardio and Mary Brascia before eventually falling to Tina Pisnik and Dekel Bar.
Leigh Waters is back from injury and teamed up with Christian Alshon as they upset Dylan Frazier and Hurricane Tyra Black in 3. Hayden Patriquin/Maggie Brascia as the #20 seeds defeated #11 seeds Jay Devilliers and Callie Smith to set up a round of 16 clash with Tyson McGuffin and Meghan Dizon.
Sock/Shick vs Newman/Wilson Round of 16
The men’s doubles draw was pretty much chalk across the board. Jack Sock and Collin Shick beat Quang Duong and Pesa Teoni in a tight two games to set up a round of 16 battle vs Riley Newman and Thomas Wilson. That match should be full of fireworks as all four players like to speed up early and often.
The Brascia sisters , Mary and Maggie, after an 11-0 game 1 had to fight their way to victory as tennis standout Kaitlyn Christian and partner Christine Trifunovic pushed them to 15-13 in game 2. It will be a sister-sister battle in the round of 16 vs the Kawamoto twins. One name we will unfortunately not be seeing tomorrow is Genie Bouchard who lost in two games with partner Chao Yi Wang.
On the Horizon
Get ready for an action-packed Thursday as all round of 16 matches get underway tomorrow morning. Jack Sock will be competing in all three events. First in singles vs Connor Garnett, followed by mixed doubles with Catherine Parenteau and men’s doubles with Collin Shick. Tune in on PickleballTV and make sure to follow the PPA on all social media platforms for updates on when each of the game’s top players take center stage.