McGuffin Takes Gold In An Exciting Championship Sunday at the PPA Texas Open
Men's singles: 🥇Tyson McGuffin 🥈Ben Johns 🥉Julian Arnold
Women's singles: 🥇Anna Leigh Waters🥈Lea Jansen 🥉Catherine Parenteau
Men's doubles: 🥇Ben Johns & Collin Johns 🥈Riley Newman & Matt Wright 🥉Steve Deakin & James Ignatowich
Women's doubles: 🥇Anna Leigh Waters & Leigh Waters 🥈Jessie Irvine & Anna Bright 🥉Catherine Parenteau & Lea Jansen
Mixed doubles: 🥇Anna Leigh Waters & Ben Johns 🥈Catherine Parenteau & Riley Newman🥉Etta Wright & Travis Rettenmaier
Major storylines emerged at the conclusion of the PPA Baird Wealth Management Texas Open, with Anna Liegh Waters sixth, triple crown and Tyson McGuffin’s epic comeback leading the way!
The most electrifying man in pickleball threw his paddle and hat into the Rockwell, Texas crowd after beating Ben Johns in straight games to take home the gold, 11-8, 11-9. Only one man could possibly bring that much hype into a pickleball match. Yes, we’re talking about Selkirk’s own: McGuffin. With the mullet and mustache combo rocking, McGuffin completed an epic seven-point comeback to take the dub.
The Washington native noted in his post match interview that he was tired of losing to Johns for the last three years in the finals and decided it was time to flip the script. Even with the loss, Johns will still retain the number one spot in the PPA singles rankings, but McGuffin has closed the gap. Rounding out the podium was Julian Arnold who beat fellow Californian Gabriel Joseph to take the bronze.
Speaking of Joseph, pickleball fans were excited that they got to see him in some pro singles action, which unfortunately hasn’t happened too often in the recent past. Joseph showed that despite his infrequency in tournaments recently, he is still a star on the singles side of things.
While he missed out on a medal, the 12 seed Christian Alshon stole the show on Thursday in his match against Johns in the semi-finals. The former University of Chicago tennis player was hitting all sorts of theatrical and brilliant shots, but was only able to take one game off Johns, who took the win.
Despite sustaining a knee injury in the women’s doubles finals on championship Sunday, Anna Liegh Waters rolled to take a victory over Lea Jansen in her singles showdown, 11-4, 11-2. The 15-year-old phenom showed that she just might be human on Thursday, being taken to three games by both Anna Bright and Salome Devidze. However, she weathered through those defeats and ultimately won the matches and her 13th singles gold medal this year!
Fans finally witnessed a match between the superstar teenager and the former professional tennis player in Devidze. As most people expected, the Georgian international put up a valiant effort, but it was always Waters' match to win. After losing to Lea Jansen, Catherine Parenteau battled through the opportunity bracket and defeated Devidze to take the bronze. Ninth seed Jenna Hessert had a nice run in the backdraw winning three matches and showing that she can keep up with the top women in this division.
No surprises here as Ben and Collin Johns handled business against their rivals Riley Newman and Matt Wright in four games, 13-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-9. The number one seeds have once again clearly established themselves as the best men’s doubles team on tour. Newman/Wright have been giving them trouble the last few tournaments, but with this win it’s clear that the Johns brothers are the team to beat.
Another Selkirk star in James Ignatowich picked up his first-ever PPA men’s doubles medal, doing so alongside Steve Deakin. The number nine seeds came out victorious in the bronze medal match against Travis Rettenmaier and Wes Burrows, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10. Both of these teams showed their pickleball prowess by making tremendous runs in the consolation bracket to even put themselves into this match.
With the bronze, it’s even more evident now that Ignatowich is an all-around pickleball player. Ignatowich rose in the pickleball world by way of singles earlier this year, benefiting from a high-level tennis background. But this time it was his doubles game that got him some hardware.
I think I can speak for pickleball fans everywhere in saying we would really love it if Burrows played more tournaments. Burrows has one of the best forehands in the game, not to mention his ability to find ernes, especially when he’s on the left side.
Anna Leigh Waters and Leigh Waters bested Jessie Irvine and Anna Bright in the finals, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4, 11-7. Daughter Waters suffered a knee injury in the second game, but battled back to win the next two games and the gold. As a result, Momma Waters stepped up her game immensely, giving her daughter a little bit more of a break in the middle. Irvine/Bright tried a few different tactics in games three and four, but couldn’t beat the enigma that is the Waters duo.
Irvine and Bright are an exciting duo and complement each other's games extremely well. Bright provides the offense that sometimes Irvine lacks, while Irvine makes up for it with her division-leading defense. Irvine/Bright got into the championship action with a massive win in the semi-finals against the number one seeds: Callie Smith and Lucy Kovalova.
After the loss in the winner’s bracket, Smith/Kovalova were dropped into the backdraw where they lost in the bronze medal match against Parenteau and Jansen, 11-0, 11-3.
In the last event on championship Sunday, Anna Leigh Waters took her sixth, triple crown of the year with a gold medal in mixed doubles. To complete the triple crown, Waters had gold medals in singles, doubles and mixed doubles: a truly impressive feat. Waters and Ben Johns made it look easy as they beat Parenteau and Newman, 11-3, 12-10, 11-0. Parenteau and Newman gave it everything they had in game two, but ran out of steam in the final game.
Completing the podium was Etta Wright and Travis Rettenmaier, who had an incredible win in the bronze match over Irvine/Devilliers. With the win, Wright earned her first PPA pro medal and her first pro mixed doubles medal. The 19th seeds had to beat a plethora of talented teams, including Bright/Tyler Loong and Leigh Waters/McGuffin.