Selkirk Sport - We Are Pickleball


Quang Duong shares his journey from tennis star to pickleball phenomenon — The James Ignatowich Show on Selkirk TV

By James Ignatowich

on Jul 20, 2023

Quang Duong talks pickleball and tennis on The James Ignatowich Show

In the newest episode of The James Ignatowich Show, Episode 26, James welcomes 17-year-old Quang Duong after his semi-final run at the PPA Denver Open. The two discuss Quang’s racquet sports background, his future in pickleball, and his Instagram antics.  

Quang Duong background:

Quang has had a successful youth career in tennis, winning several big matchups including the 16U Orange Bowl and the U.S. Open Paddle Tennis in Venice Beach. He first picked up a pickleball paddle three years ago but didn’t begin seriously training until this year. James and Quang discuss the success he’s already seen on the professional pickleball tours. 

Pickleball or tennis?: 

Even though he’s already seen success on the professional tours, Quang says pickleball is his “side project.” He shares what his schedule looks like for the coming months and how he plans to pay for his various ventures.

Playing doubles: 

Quang has dominated in singles recently, making it to the finals at the APP Newport Beach and the semifinals at the PPA Denver Open. He breaks down his training regime for doubles events with his younger brother and how he balances pickleball and tennis practice. 

Who does Quang watch in pickleball?: 

Quang says he doesn’t watch too much pickleball, but he did spend some time before the PPA Denver Open studying fellow Selkirk pro Dylan Frazier. He shares that his Dad helps him strategize so that he can focus on execution. 

Grip status: 

James says he notices Quang uses a Western grip, which is typical of tennis players but not so common among pickleball players, and questions whether Quang plans to keep using it. Quang shares his strategy for different grips in different situations on the court. 

Where did the name “Avatar_Ball_Bender” come from?: 

James admits he’s spent a lot of time looking at Quang’s Instagram and questions where his handle comes from. Quang shares that his dad has called him Avatar since before he was born. The two share a love for “Avatar the Last Air Bender,” and Quang even had his hair shaved into an arrow shape for Halloween. 

Tennis player by day, MMA fighter by night, pickleballer by weekend: 

Next in the great Instagram inquisition, James questions Quang’s bio. Quang breaks down his experience with tennis, MMA, and pickleball.

APP Newport Beach over Junior Wimbledon:

Quang’s ITF ranking was high enough that he could have played Junior Wimbledon, but due to a wrist injury, he opted to participate at APP Newport Beach. He breaks down the different tolls tennis and pickleball take on your body. 

Quang and racquet sports: 

Quang has a background in pretty much every racquet sport available — he’s even good at ping pong thanks to his dad, who was on the Vietnam national team. He shares which are his top three and how his dad helps him train for each. 

The degree of difficulty in pickleball: 

In a deep-cut Instagram reference, James questions a post that Quang made in which he breaks down the degree of difficulty for tennis, paddle tennis, and pickleball. Quang breaks down his ranking and the most difficult area of each sport. 

Quang’s overall grade in PPA Denver Open: 

After each professional tournament, Quang’s father gives him a grade for his performance, based on his mental toughness, resilience, and skill — not the outcome of the tournament. He shares his most recent grade and what it would take for him to consistently receive an “A.” 

Where does Quang train: 

Quang is currently based in Manhattan Beach, California. He shares his doubles training regime with his 12-year-old brother and how they plan to be the next tough lefty-righty duo on tour. 

Quang playing doubles in upcoming tourneys: 

Quang has plans to play singles in the upcoming PPA CIBC Seattle Open and PPA Takeya Showcase. He’s open to playing doubles because he says he needs to get as much professional experience as possible. 

PPA or APP?:

James is signed to the PPA and questions whether Quang prefers the APP or PPA tour. Quang shares his answer and breaks down the competition level at each event. 

Dylan Frazier vs. Quang Duong: 

At the PPA Denver Open, Quang faced off with Dylan Frazier, eventually winning 11-8 and 11-6, after going down 8-11 in the first game. He shares how important rhythm is when he’s on the court and the changes he made to take home the win. 

Download the Selkirk TV app HERE to watch the complete episode and many other Selkirk TV original shows, podcasts, lesson series from the pros, and much more.
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