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Top seeds advance in Dallas on mixed doubles day

By Joshua Gartman

on May 31, 2024

With the likes of James Ignatowich, Rachel Rohrabacher and several others missing from the draw today it seemed like there was an opportunity for a surprise team to step in and make a deep run. Throw in hot and humid conditions after a long day of singles and the chances were even higher. However, the top seeds took care of business early and setup some very exciting matches down the stretch. Let’s take a look at who advanced to Sunday's final.

Mixed Doubles Championship: (1) Anna Leigh Waters/Ben Johns vs (4) JW Johnson/Jorja Johnson

The top seeds Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters cruised through the top section draw finishing off Tyson McGuffin and Anna Bright 11-0, 11-8 to advance to championship Sunday. Ignatowich and Bright have given Johns and Waters the most trouble over the last year or so but McGuffin was unable to fill those big shoes as Johns controlled the tempo of the entire first game. The underdogs found their footing in game 2 but were unable to push the match to a third and deciding game.

On the other side of the draw, JW Johnson and his sister Jorja Johnson had a much tricky road to the final. In the quarterfinals they went up against the red-hot Federico Staksrud, who was without his normal mixed doubles partner Rachel Rohrabacher, but who better to fill in than the scrappy defensive minded Jade Kawamoto. They pushed the Johnson's to three games but Jorja’s steady presence on the right side was ultimately the difference in the final moments. In the semifinals the Johnson's were able to neutralize the offense of Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David just enough to win in three games as well.

The Johnson's have had trouble against Johns and Waters in recent matchups. They have the hand the speed and power to play with the top seeds but can they can they pull the right triggers on the pressure points? Tune in Sunday to find out.

On the Horizon

Gender doubles kicks off tomorrow bright and early and there are some exciting new partnerships to watch, including James Ignatowich/Federico Staksrud, who will possibly lock horns with JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier in the semifinals of the men’s doubles draw. Catch all the action on PickleballTV beginning at 12pm EST.

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