McGuffin and Devidze Take Bronze As Championship Sunday Is Set At The USA Pickleball Nationals
Men's singles: Ben Johns and Julian Arnold will compete for Gold on Championship Sunday. Tyson McGuffin takes Bronze🥉
Women's singles: Anna Leigh Waters and Lea Jenson will compete for Gold on Championship Sunday. Salome Devidze takes Bronze 🥉
Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns find themselves in a familiar territory after earning their spots on championship Sunday in singles. Julan Arnold and Lea Jenson will have their shot to dethrone these pickleball giants after strong showings today.
Ben Johns came into the day as the #2 seed behind #1 seed, JW Johnson, but played like the top seed throughout the day. It did not always come easy for Johns as he dropped games versus Hunter Johnson and Julian Arnold, but Johns emerged 4-0 on the day and will play for gold on Sunday.
Sixth seed Julian Arnold fell to Ben Johns in the fourth round, but maintained steady play throughout the backdraw to earn his spot on Championship Sunday. In the Bronze medal match, Arnold faced off against Tyson McGuffin who was looking to earn back-to-back gold medals after his 1st place finish in the PPA Texas Open last weekend after defeating Johns in straight sets. But Arnold proved to have the hot hand on this date and beat McGuffin in 2 games (11-5, 11-7).
JW Johnson came in as the #1 seed, but was unable to get things going on Thursday. Johnson fell to former pro tennis player, Ryler DeHart, in his first match of the day. Johnson put together a bit of momentum in the backdraw winning his next 3 matches, but was unable to get past Hunter Johnson, losing the match 15-10. Hunter Johnson would go on to take 4th place on the day.
Anna Leigh Waters outscored her opponents 66-25 and did not drop a game as she cruised through the winners bracket on Thursday. Waters only played 3 matches with a pool of just 9 players, but defeated Lauren Stratman (11-2, 11-0), Parris Todd (11-2, 11-9) and Solome Davidze (11-6, 11-6) to earn her spot on Championship Sunday.
Lea Jansen’s path to the finals was an uphill battle after losing in her first match to Parris Todd (11-7, 11-6). But Jansen was able to rally to make it to the Bronze Medal Match to take on Salome Devidze. Jansen dropped game 1, but was able to win a tightly contested games two and three (12-10, 12-10) to defeat Devidze.
Salome Devidze has continued to impress in her first year of pro pickleball with consistent finishes on the podium. She walked away with bronze but was just a few points short of earning a spot in the finals.
Julian Arnold and Lea Jansen will have their work cut out for them on Sunday as they will be coming from the consolation bracket and must win the 2 out of 3 and an additional game to 15 if they want to take home the gold. Anna Leigh Waters has won gold in 13 of her last 14 pro singles tournaments, and will be the heavy favorite versus Jansen. Arnold has taken down Johns in other tournaments, and will be sure to bring his signature “high energy” style of play as he looks to do it again on Sunday.
You can catch ALL the action for the final 3 days of the Margaritaville USA National Championship on Selkirk TV!