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Team Selkirk takes on Texas: a look into the Veolia Austin Open


By Allison Sumida

on Mar 13, 2024

Professional pickleball player, Rachel Rohrabacher, with the SLK Halo Paddle - Green in hand.

This past week in Minnesota offered glimpses of the rising talents in the ever-deepening PPA Tour pool. Old and new partnerships were tested, and multiple first-time champions emerged on Championship Sunday. Now after a few days of downtime, the fifth stop on the PPA Tour kicks off in Austin on Thursday. Many top contenders will return to the action, including the World No. 1s as well as Team Selkirk’s Mary Brascia, Dylan Frazier, and sisters, Jade and Jackie Kawamoto.

Third times the charm for Mary Brascia?

Mary Brascia could not have started her 2024 singles campaign any better than she has. Of the three tournaments she has entered the singles draw in, she has reached back-to-back finals, falling only to Anna-Leigh Waters both times. Brascia will be looking for her third consecutive Championship Sunday appearance this week, and with Waters pulling out of singles, there is an opportunity for Brascia to claim her first gold medal.

Brascia is passing on women’s doubles this tournament, but trying a new partnership with Jaume Martinez-Vich in mixed doubles. Martinez-Vich has quickly risen through the ranks and offers an exciting and athletic style of play. The new pairing could be tested in the third round, with a match-up against the No. 2 seeds, Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David. 

The rise of Rohrabacher

Rachel Rohrabacher was not a well-known name on the PPA Tour last year. In fact, in July 2023, she was just getting drafted as the final pick to the Major League Pickleball Team, the Orlando Squeeze. It was Anna Bright who decided to pick Rohrabacher - a decision that was initially met with skepticism. But, as the season progressed, Rohrabacher quickly dispelled any doubts by becoming a crucial part of the Squeeze’s success and earning a reputation as a formidable opponent. 

Rohrabacher’s rise has continued into the PPA Tour, where she is partnered up with fellow Orlando Squeeze teammate Anna Bright in women’s doubles, and No. 2 Federico Staksrud in mixed doubles. These partnerships have already shown tremendous growth - the Bright/Rohrabacher duo earned a silver finish in Palm Springs and broke through to win their first gold together in Minnesota this past weekend. Staksrud and Rohrabacher also reached their maiden Championship Sunday in Minnesota. The Staksrud/Rohrabacher duo have played in three tournaments together thus far, but are only getting better with each appearance.

Parenteau looks to extend record

Catherine Parenteau returns to women’s doubles with partner Anna-Leigh Waters. The duo is the obvious favorite to win due to their extensive win streak and their synergy on the court. Parenteau and Waters have had some close calls this season, most recently, against Jade and Jackie Kawamoto, but their incredible 60+ win record remains intact.

Parenteau will also stick with Jack Sock in mixed doubles. The pair have been improving their performance together with each tournament, and showed they could compete at a high-level against the World No. 1s, Ben Johns and Anna-Leigh Waters, at the Mesa Cup. This time, Parenteau and Sock head to Austin as the No. 6 seeds, and could face a powerful new duo of Collin Shick and Brooke Buckner in the second round. 

Tune in

The Austin PPA will be a traditional draw, which means singles kicks off Thursday, mixed doubles will be on Friday, and gender doubles will play on Saturday. Be sure to tune in to PickleballTV to see the pros in action!

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