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2023 Player of the Year Awards, Multiple Winners Highlight APP Delray

by Erik Tice on

The APP Vlasic Classic in Delray Beach, Florida, was the second tour stop in a row in Florida for the APP, following the APP Miami Open a couple of weeks ago.

No triple crowns and some surprising results this weekend. JW Johnson earned three medals, but only got gold in singles. Jorja got two gold medals, but missed out in singles. Gabe Tardio got a silver medal in men’s doubles and gold with Jorja in mixed doubles. Will Howells continued his medal streak and took a bronze in singles.

In addition to the tournament, the APP hosted the 2023 Player of the Year awards celebration on Friday night.

  • Male Pro Mixed and Men’s Doubles - Andrei Daescu
  • Female Pro Mixed Doubles - Susannah Barr
  • Male Pro Singles - Hunter Johnson
  • Female Pro Women’s Doubles - Simone Jardim
  • Female Pro Singles - Salome Devidze
  • Female Most Improved - Alix Truong & Allison Harris
  • Male Most Improved - William Sobek & CJ Klinger
  • Male Rookie of the Year - Richard Livornese Jr
  • Female Rookie of the Year - Riley Bohnert

Biggest storylines from the weekend

Michael Loyd and Ryler DeHeart had a great run and even beat John Cincola and Brendon Long on their way to a fourth-place finish. If Loyd can string together a few more results, he will most likely get picked up by a Challenger Level team looking to make changes.

Loyd and DeHeart won bronze at APP Punta Gorda as well.

Dylan Frazier, JW Johnson, Andrei Daescu, and Gabe Tardio played in the men’s doubles finals, with Frazier and Johnson coming out on top. These four guys are the best players currently playing APP tournaments. 

Now that they are all playing MLP – along with Will Howells – it will be interesting to see what the men’s events look like when this group doesn’t play an APP event.

Chris Haworth picked up his second gold medal on the APP Tour in singles in Delray. He won the first APP of 2024 in Punta Gorda as well. Haworth is an elite top 20 guy in singles who is very streaky. When he is on, he is a top 5 guy in singles and when he is off, he can lose in the first round. 

Babolat Signs First Pickleball Athlete
French company Babolat announced Thursday on their Instagram account that professional pickleball player Chris Haworth has signed on as their first-ever pickleball athlete.

John Cangelosi is a relatively unknown name in pro pickleball. He is from Venice, Florida, and is definitely a name to look out for moving forward. He made it through the men’s singles qualifiers and all the way to a fourth-place finish in the singles main draw. The guys he beat on the way to fourth: Gabe Tardio, Ryler DeHeart, and Dylan Frazier. Not too shabby ...

Yana Newell seems to be playing full time again. She was absent in the beginning of the year but seems to be back now. Newell really picked up her game in the second half of 2023 - hoping to see more of her on the APP Tour this year, as she opted out of MLP. She and Will Howells had a great run in mixed doubles, only losing Daescu/Braverman and JW Johnson/Rane in the bronze match. Newell also got herself a bronze medal in singles.

Judit Castillo earned her third gold medal of 2024. She won APP Punta Gorda, PPA Austin, and now APP Delray. She was picked up in the MLP Challenger Division in the second round of the draft by the Las Vegas Night Owls. Castillo’s doubles game is coming along well and with elite athletic ability, Castillo could make a big push to be a top 25 female in the game within the next year.

Full Tournament Results

Women’s Singles

  1. Judit Castillo
  2. Megan Fudge
  3. Yana Newell

Men’s Singles

  1. Chris Haworth
  2. JW Johnson
  3. Will Howells

Women’s Doubles

  1. Jill Braverman/Megan Fudge
  2. Milan Rane/Jorja Johnson
  3. Simone Jardim/Allison Harris

Men’s Doubles

  1. JW Johnson/Dylan Frazier
  2. Gabe Tardio/Andrei Daescu
  3. Michael Loyd/Ryler DeHeart

Mixed Doubles

  1. Jorja Johnson/Gabe Tardio
  2. Andrei Daescu/Jill Braverman
  3. JW Johnson/Milan Rane

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Erik Tice

Erik Tice

Erik produces content for The Dink related to pro and collegiate pickleball. He is an avid watcher of pickleball and became passionate about the sport in early 2022.

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