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Team Selkirk gears up for the PPA Desert Ridge Open


By Allison Sumida

on Jan 30, 2024

Team Selkirk looks to continue its success at the second stop on the PPA Tour, the Desert Ridge Open in Phoenix, Arizona.

The second tournament of the season will look a little different due to the notable absences of top athletes, including Team Selkirk’s Dylan Frazier, Jack Sock, and Judit Castillo. Additionally, World No. 2 Catherine Parenteau has opted out of singles, putting the Parenteau-Waters rivalry on pause for now. With these absences in the draws, there are big opportunities for others to reach Championship Sunday and make significant strides in the rankings. 

Parenteau sets sights on doubles

Although Catherine Parenteau will forgo singles, she will be in full title defense mode alongside World No. 1 Anna Leigh Waters. The duo has been playing together since 2023 and boasts a 54-match winning streak. 

With Jack Sock sitting out of this tournament, Parenteau will compete alongside a new mixed doubles partner, Christian Alshon. The 23-year-old Alshon, who currently holds a World No. 5 ranking, reached the mixed doubles round of 16 at the Masters with his coach, Leigh Waters. Parenteau's consistent and offensive playstyle, combined with Alshon's entertaining athleticism and trick shots, may well complement each other, potentially setting them up for success in the tournament.

Parris on the rise

Parris Todd has been quietly dominating on the APP Tour. She is one of the few athletes who has defeated Anna Leigh Waters in singles before, and certainly has the potential to do it again. Now, having switched to the PPA Tour, Todd has already proven herself as a formidable competitor, reaching the quarterfinals of the Masters and defeating two top-seeded players along the way. Todd will also pair up with big-hitter Hurricane Tyra Black for the tournament, which has the potential to shake up the women's doubles draw.

Top-tier partnerships

James Ignatowich and Anna Bright are top contenders in mixed doubles. They have reached Championship Sunday on numerous occasions, most recently at the Masters, where they fell to Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters. With their dynamic and complementary playstyles, Ignatowich/Bright are poised to do well in Phoenix and the rest of the season. 

Other teams to look out for include the sister duos of the Kawamoto twins and the Brascia sisters. Both teams have achieved growing success over the past year, earning numerous podium finishes.

Ones to watch

Signing with Selkirk at the end of 2023, Rachel Rohrabacher has emerged as a dark horse on the tour. Considered a newcomer to the sport after turning pro just last year, she has already found success in Major League Pickleball, capturing a title with the Orlando Squeeze. Her potential is clearly recognized by others, as evidenced by her partnerships with two top-ranked athletes for the season: Anna Bright in women’s doubles and Federico Staksrud in mixed doubles. The Rohrabacher-Bright partnership has shown promise, after the pair reached Championship Sunday at the Masters and finished with a silver medal.


Tour veteran Susannah Barr also makes her return to the PPA action, partnering with Lea Jansen in women’s doubles. While Barr has competed on both the APP and PPA tours throughout her career, much of her success has been on the APP Tour, where she has earned over 45 medals. 

 

Be sure to tune into PickleballTV from February 1 - February 4 to catch all the action at the Desert Ridge Open!

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