Tennis Star Jack Sock Dazzles in Mixed Doubles Debut, Bronze for Parenteu & McGuffin at PPA Tour North Carolina Open
Day 2 of the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Tour North Carolina Open was filled with thrilling mixed doubles action, as fourth-seeded Allyce Jones & Riley Newman and sixth-seeded Anna Leigh Waters & Jack Sock emerged undefeated to punch their tickets to Championship Sunday.
PPA North Carolina Open Mixed Doubles Championship (Sunday, May 7th):
(4) Allyce Jones & Riley Newman vs. (6) Anna Leigh Waters & Jack Sock.
Allyce Jones & Riley Newman:
Jones & Newman's journey to the finals was marked by their incredible display of elite defense. Showcasing exceptional hustle, resets, and drops, they not only stayed alive but also turned the tide within points. In a nail-biting semifinal match against the all-Selkirk duo of Catherine Parenteau & Tyson McGuffin, Jones & Newman emerged victorious with an impressive 11-3, 15-13 win. Displaying nerves of steel, they saved multiple match points to complete the victory and secure their spot in the finals.
Anna Leigh Waters & Jack Sock:
However, the highlight of the day was undeniably the outstanding debut of professional tennis player Jack Sock in his first-ever professional pickleball tournament. Teaming up with the world's number one women's player, Anna Leigh Waters, the duo went undefeated on the day. Sock showcased his elite and superior athleticism, taking on the top pickleball players on the planet and leaving spectators in awe.
Their biggest upset came in the Quarterfinal against Anna Bright & James Ignatowich, the third seed. Waters and Sock managed to completely shut down the offense of their opponents, comfortably securing an 11-5, 11-3 victory amid entertaining trash talk exchanges, further heightening the excitement of the match.
Despite a slight dip in quality in the semifinal, dropping the first game against Vivienne David & Julian Arnold 9-11, Waters & Sock rebounded brilliantly. With a combination of poaching, powerful ground strokes, and exceptional teamwork, they clinched the next two games 11-6 and 11-7. Sock's participation in professional pickleball is significant, as his pro tennis skills have translated seamlessly into pickleball. His quick adaptation to the sport has already placed him among the best players in the world, garnering the attention of both pickleball enthusiasts and tennis fans alike.
Reflecting on his transition to pickleball, Sock said, "The nuances of the game have been the hardest thing for me to pick up, especially in doubles and mixed doubles. Picking the right times to be aggressive and when to be patient is important, and trying not to play out of turn or position is big too. Sometimes it's easy to get excited and want to do something, but patience is something that the best players do so well."
Catherine Parenteau & Tyson McGuffin, despite their semifinal loss, continued their fine professional form as a partnership in a difficult field. Demonstrating resilience and tenacity, they secured a well-deserved bronze medal in the North Carolina Open. Their performance served as a testament to the strong partnership they have built over time.
As we look forward to gender doubles taking place tomorrow, be sure to catch all the action on the PPA Tour YouTube Channel, with livestream coverage starting at 10 am ET. With Jack Sock's captivating performance in his debut, along with the outstanding skills of other top players, the PPA Tour North Carolina Open promises to be a thrilling event for pickleball fans and sports enthusiasts alike.