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By Stephen Bass

Top-Seeded Tyson McGuffin Dominates Pro Singles in Day One of the PPA Baird Wealth Management Open

The championship Sunday single’s matches are set with Tyson McGufin facing off against Hunter Johnson and the unstoppable Anna Leigh Waters playing Lea Jansen. Yates Johnson (twin brother of Hunter Johnson) and Salome Devidze walked away with bronze medals on Thursday at the PPA Baird Wealth Management Open after some amazing performances in the back-draw. 

Thursday’s Highlights

  • McGuffin wins his semi-final match and immediately cramped up afterward
  • Number two seed Ben Johns got upset by Tyler Loong in the quarter-finals 
  • Tensions were high as Jansen requested line judges against Devidze

Men’s Singles

The McGuffin barking was at an absolute premium in the winner’s bracket semi-final, as the Selkirk-sponsored player beat Frank Anthony Davis in a high-level chess match. McGuffin breezed through the first game, lost the second and fought extremely hard in the third, giving it everything he had. 

Scroll through to check out some of the most INTENSE points you will see in pickleball:

 

 

On the other side of the bracket the relatively new pickleballer, Hunter Johnson, beat Tyler Loong to get himself into Sunday’s action. This match was in stark contrast to the McGuffin/Davis match, as both Johnson and Loong relied on big serves and heavy third shots. In the post-match interview Johnson noted that he needs to change his flight back home as he didn’t expect to get into the finals. 

Outside of his match against Davis, McGuffin had a pretty easy run to the finals. However, the same can’t be said for Johnson who went through a row of top-tier talent including former division one tennis player James Ignatowich, Frenchman Jay Devilliers and Loong who was coming off upsetting the number two seed Ben Johns.

 

 

 

The McGuffin/Johnson match on Sunday will be a rematch of bracket play at the Tournament of Champions last month, with Johnson winning that match in three games. While McGuffin is known for his massive forehand, he may elect for his cat and mouse game against Johnson who definitely prefers to grip and rip. 

Yates Johnson took his first professional medal coming by way of bronze against Devilliers, after winning five matches in the backdraw. Johnson, Hunter’s twin brother, narrowly lost to Ben Johns in the winner’s bracket final in his second match. Johnson mentioned in his post-match interview that he hopes this was his breakout tournament and believes more hardware could follow. 

 

 

Women’s Singles

It was another walk in the park for the 15-year-old phenom as she dominated her two matches to get into the finals. After benefiting from a first round bye, Waters went on to defeat Yana Grechkina and Anna Bright. Waters is just too dominant and puts her opponents through tremendous amounts of pressure. Every shot is hit with the utmost precision and pace keeping her challengers constantly moving and hitting off balanced shots. 

 

 

Jansen came out of the bottom half of the bracket after beating former Georgian tennis player Devidze in the semi-finals. Before the match even started the tension was extremely high as Jansen requested line judges to come in. Devidze then countered and asked for even more line judges to account for some of the lines they initially were not planning to cover. 

 

 

Their match came down to the wire, with Jansen narrowly winning the third game by two points. The former Washington State University tennis player started her day off with a first round breather, before playing Irina Tereschenko in the second round. Jansen was taken to three games in that one as well, but took the win in the third fairly easily. 

The bronze medal match was played between Devidze and Catherine Parenteau, who like Jansen called upon the line judges for extra support. The match was primarily decided in the backcourt, with both players choosing to stay there and hit drives. Devidze won the majority of those exchanges and the match with it. When Parenteau tried to rush in, Devidze was clinical at passing the Canadian for clean winners.

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