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Weather A Factor on Singles Thursday at PPA Desert Ridge


By Joshua Gartman

on Feb 01, 2024

The 2nd tour stop of the PPA season got underway today in Phoenix, Arizona. One of the main takeaways from the Hyundai Masters just a couple weeks prior was that the competition is only getting stronger and it is making the draws even tougher to navigate. This week we will not have a progressive draw so singles took center stage on Thursday and it did not disappoint. Despite some tough weather conditions, we saw some fantastic matches from start to finish so let’s break down went on and who will be playing for gold medals on Championship Sunday.

Men’s Singles Championship: (8) Jaume Martinez Vich vs (2) Federico Staksrud

Ben Johns has failed to make either of the two men’s singles finals to start the year as he fell in three games to Jaume Martinez Vich who played lights out all day. Despite suffering a quad injury in the QF match vs Johns the #8 seed pushed through and was able to beat (9) Jay Devilliers in what was the match of the day in the semifinals. Check out this highlight at 10-8 in the 3rd game. This is some of the shot making Martinez Vich brought to the desert.

Federico Staksrud has become a household name in men’s singles as he has now reached both men’s singles finals to start 2024. Staksrud’s level of consistency and ability to problem solve mid match coupled with his array of weapons has made him a tough out for just about anybody. He proved it today as he made his way through a tough bottom half of the draw by defeating #5 Christian Alshon in two games and #3 Tyson McGuffin in three games.

Women’s Singles Championship: (1) Anna Leigh Waters vs TBD

The wind played a major factor early in the women’s quarterfinal match between Anna Leigh Waters and Lina Padegimaite as both players struggled to hit precise passing shots. Padegimaite did well to get to the kitchen line early and use her length to force Waters to hit multiple passes. The first two games were tight as both players found a way to clinch a game, forcing a game 3. Waters eventually found her best level and won the last eleven points to advance. In the semifinals she defeated Kaitlyn Christian 3 & 6 to advance to Championship Sunday.

On the bottom half of the draw both Mary Brascia and Lea Jansen had no trouble in their early round matches. With withdrawals from Parris Todd and Dominique Schaefer it setup a much easier road than expected for the #2 and #3 seeds. After a tight game 1 that went the way of Brascia the rain came into play and suspended the match for the rest of the day. We’ll have to wait and see which one of these two will face off against Waters in Sunday’s final.

On the Horizon

Mixed doubles action kicks off tomorrow morning. Make sure to tune into PickleballTV starting at 11AM MST as the field is loaded with top talent looking to find their way to the podium. A few teams to keep an eye on will be Catherine Parenteau/Christian Alshon, James Ignatowich/Anna Bright and Federico Staksrud/Rachel Rohrabacher.

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