The PPA Tournament of Champions Day 2 (Pro Mixed Doubles) Highlights and Recap
The finals are set for mixed doubles at the Tournament of Champions as Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters will take on AJ Koller and Callie Smith on championship Saturday! After winning just 2 matches in the opportunity bracket, Jay Devilliers and Jessie Irvine took home the bronze.
Johns and Waters, who on Wednesday punched their way into the singles finals separately, teamed up to wreak havoc on the mixed division on Thursday, mowing down every team in their path. The number 2 seeds put on absolute clinics against Tyler Loong/Anna Bright and 3-seeded Devilliers and Irvine.
The way Johns and the 15-year-old phenom beat the Frenchman Devilliers and Irvine, showed that when they’re on, they’re miles ahead of their competition. This young duo already has 5 mixed gold medals together this year and will look to add a 6th one against Koller and Smith, who showcased they are rapidly improving as a duo.
Koller and Smith showed through their matching colored shirts and gameplan that their chemistry has gone up another level, as both players were absolutely on point on Thursday. Koller and Smith played an extremely aggressive style of play and looked to capitalize on specific patterns in each of their matchups.
That got them the tough, well-deserved victory against the number 1-seeded Wright/Kovalova in the semi-finals. They also had a key victory against the brother-sister duo: Riley Newman/Lindsey Newman. Koller and Smith were constantly 1 step ahead of the Newmans, despite the siblings’ ridiculous defense. The 5 seeds were on an unstoppable roll Thursday, but it will be interesting to see if they can keep up that momentum on Saturday against arguably the best duo in mixed doubles.
After losing to Johns and Waters, Devilliers and Irvine regrouped to win against Tyson McGuffin/Leigh Waters and in the bronze medal match against the Wizards of Wichita, Wright and Kovalova. The Frenchman and California-resident in Irvine, also got a very satisfying win against Collin Johns and Catherine Parenteau earlier in bracket play.
Irvine and Parenteau were women’s doubles partners earlier this year, but decided to go separate ways after the results weren’t going the way they wished. Irvine must have felt great to beat Parenteau, even if it was in mixed doubles and not women’s doubles.