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Top Seeds Survive Rainy Day at Holy Hill

By Joshua Gartman

on Nov 17, 2023

Mixed doubles action kicked off today at the Hertz Gold Cup in Daytona, FL. The rain continued from yesterday which left the pro matches to be played on the covered courts. Upsets were all over the place early in the day but the top seeds survived in the end. Let’s preview Sunday’s final and take a closer look at some of the more interesting matchups on the grounds today.

Mixed Doubles Championship: (1) Ben Johns/Anna Leigh Waters vs (3) JW Johnson/Jorja Johnson

The only team to beat Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters this year is the Johnson siblings but that was all the way back in February. They haven’t been matched up in a final since the Takeya Showcase in August but if there is one team out there that can push the best team in pro pickleball it’s JW and his sister Jorja.

Johns/Waters had an easier than expected path today as (8) Wright/Kovalova, (9) Devilliers/Newman and (16) Navratil/Schneemann all bowed out in the round 32. That left them matched up against (48) Scarpa/Hoag in the round of 16 and older brother Collin Johns and Allyce Jones in the QF. After winning those two matches comfortably they were tested by (5) Wilson/David but ultimately prevailed 13-11, 11-3 to advance to Sunday's final.

On the bottom half of the draw the Johnson’s fought off strong efforts from (14) Koller/Tyra Black and (11) Staksrud/Jansen before the semifinal bout with (2) Newman/Irvine. Jorja Johnson’s ability to neutralize the barrage of Newman attacks was the difference as they climbed out of a hole to win games 2 and 3 11-7, 11-6. Jorja will not only have to bring her A game Sunday but she will have to maintain it over three out of five games if they want any shot at the title.

On The Horizon

We saw some interesting new partnerships today that we don’t normally get to see on the PPA Tour which added some extra excitement and we’ll get a few more tomorrow as well. Some teams to look out for on the men’s side are Riley Newman/Dekel Bar, Tyson McGuffin/Brendon Long and Christian Alshon/Connor Garnett. On the women’s side we have Lacy Schneemann/Jade Kawamoto, Anna Bright/Simone Jardim and Lea Jansen/Tyra Black. Be sure to tune in bright and early on PickeballTV and the PPA’s YouTube channel to catch all the action. This is a day you will not want to miss.

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