Parenteau and Waters Dominate, Jack Sock Claims First-Ever Gold and Waters Wins Another Triple Crown at PPA North Carolina Open
Championship Sunday at the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Tour North Carolina Open was an unforgettable day of thrilling matches, showcasing the very best of the sport. The event played a significant role in the growth of pickleball, bringing it to new audiences through a national ESPN2 broadcast today, further legitimizing its status as a professional sport. The energy of the crowd was palpable, as spectators cheered on their favorite players and reveled in the electrifying atmosphere throughout the day.
In the Men's Singles, top seed Federico Staksrud demonstrated his mastery over the game by defeating the third seed, Tyson McGuffin, with a score of 11-7, 11-5. Federico's precision targeting and relentless play never allowed Tyson to build any momentum, ultimately securing his victory. The crowd was on the edge of their seats as Federico executed his passing shots with pinpoint accuracy, fueling an infectious energy that permeated the entire venue.
The Women's Doubles saw the dominant top seed pairing of Catherine Parenteau and Anna Leigh Waters overpower the seventh-seeded duo of Yana Grechkina and Lauren Stratman, 11-3, 11-4, 11-0. Parenteau and Waters displayed an impressive blend of firepower, touch, and point control, keeping their opponents at bay throughout the match. The crowd's enthusiasm for their favorite duo was evident as they celebrated each point won and rallied behind their impressive performance.
"When you're playing against a new partnership, the strategy is usually to go towards the middle, so we did that and figured out what worked best for us," said Catherine Parenteau. "I felt like I was playing solid on the right side and Anna Leigh had more opportunities to attack from the left side so we decided to play that way today."
In a heated Men's Doubles match, the top-seeded team of Matt Wright and Riley Newman triumphed over the second-seeded Dylan Frazier and JW Johnson, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6. This victory allowed the veteran team to exact their revenge on the younger players after falling to them in the PPA event in Newport Beach two weeks ago, fueling an emerging rivalry between these two talented teams. The spectators' excitement reached a fever pitch as the two teams battled for supremacy, with the crowd eager to witness the unfolding drama on the court. This match in particular featured long dink rallies, well-timed speed ups and extremely fast-paced hands battles as both sides showcased their world-class reflexes.
The Women's Singles showcased the incredible skill of Anna Leigh Waters, who secured her title as the best singles player by defeating third seed Lea Jansen, 11-1, 11-3. Waters' incredible performance this weekend saw her triple-crown, as she won gold in all three events. Waters continues to stamp her name as the top player in the sport, and she is able to demonstrate her incredible blend of court coverage and power whilst on the singles court. Getting off to an amazing start with passing shots, especially on her backhand side, Waters jumped out to an early lead against Jansen and never took her foot off of the gas pedal.
The Mixed Doubles championship featured the pairing of Anna Leigh Waters and professional tennis player Jack Sock, who defeated Allyce Jones and Riley Newman. Sock's debut in the professional pickleball circuit was nothing short of impressive, securing his first-ever pickleball championship alongside Waters. The crowd's enthusiasm for the new pairing and Sock's arrival to pickleball's largest stage was undeniable, as they embraced the excitement of seeing a professional tennis player transition seamlessly into the world of pickleball.
The North Carolina Open not only highlighted the growth of the sport but also demonstrated the exciting potential for crossover appeal with professional tennis player Jack Sock's successful debut. This event marked a significant moment for pickleball, as the mixed doubles championship was broadcast nationally on ESPN2, bringing the sport to a wider audience and cementing its place in the world of professional sports.
The energy and passion of the crowd throughout the tournament were truly awe-inspiring, reflecting the increasing popularity of pickleball and the devotion of its fans. The PPA Tour North Carolina Open was a resounding success, and the future of pickleball looks brighter than ever.
The PPA Tour will continue to captivate fans and showcase the sport's finest talents with its next event, the Atlanta Open. The tournament is scheduled to take place at the Life Time facility in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, from May 17-21. As the tour progresses, fans can look forward to more thrilling matches, unforgettable moments, and continued growth of the game.