Is this goodbye? Sherbear and Salome. Upper 90.
Some words of wisdom to start the day:
"72 hours with no sleep, you've got a problem in life. You better look at yourself in the mirror. But 71 has always been been my key" - Pro Ryan Sherry
PPA Orlando continues today with mixed doubles, but it was Ryan Sherry who stole the show last night as he punched his ticket to Championship Sunday with a surprise upset of #2 seed Tyson McGuffin. He followed it up with another iconic interview:
"I was on a lot of party buses this weekend, throwin' a little Casamigos back. But hey, I'm here, you know, on three days rest. Safe to say, I know I can beat anybody."
Lots to unpack. Le'go.
Striking the Upper 90
Hitting the perfect passing shot is kind of like scoring a goal in soccer.
You're playing keep-away with the goalie but also working within the boundaries of the net (court). One under-utilized pass: curl the ball into the top corner.
"The addition of height to a passing shot will increase the distance a player must cover to protect their court." - Pythagoras
A looping topspin pass can be just as effective as trying to burn the ball by your opponent. The distance they have to cover is key to them defending the ball.
This strategy is not strictly for singles either. Intentionally adding height can keep a ball out of reach for a ball down the line or through the middle in doubles.
Sending the ball into the proverbial upper 90 can help ensure that the pass stays in the passed. Here's a clip of Anna Leigh Waters using height to perfection to drop a ball into the back corner.
Nervous about employing the new strategy? Send the first couple down the line to their backhand. No one is going to hurt you with a backhand overhead. Well, no one except Jessie Irvine.
For the footie faithful, Team USA takes on the Netherlands tomorrow at 10am EST.
Custom Pickleball Athletic Wear for On AND Off Court
AVI focuses on one simple but important principle: elevating Pickleball by creating exceptional apparel.
They believe everyone — from professional athletes to casual enthusiasts — deserves well-constructed, expertly designed clothing made just for their sport.
Turf War Goes in Favor of Anti-Pickleball
Remember this article about the turf wars at some of the most popular courts in Manhattan?
Well, it seems as though the pickleballers have lost, for now. According to NYC Pickleball:
After several months of trying to find compromise, the @nycparks department decided to power wash the lines away and direct people to other locations, despite Servalli being empty about 80% of the time.
But it sounds like there was at least some compromise in the establishment of two new courts elsewhere.
Although the two new courts they created look great, it is still merely net neutral (even slightly net negative), not to mention the dispersion of the amazing community that had formed here.
But not all is lost, as Dec. 7 will prove to a be a pivotal day for all involved.
There will be a meeting next Wednesday the 7th and the decision to remove the courts is on the agenda. If you'd like to speak or listen you must register prior.
Regardless, it's insane to think that just three years ago, there was virtually 0 pickleball in New York City. Today, the shortage of courts is axiomatic (word of the day, you're welcome).
We'll keep you in the loop as things progress.
APP Sunmed Mesa Open Singles
Men's singles consisted of a back-and-forth between JW Johnson and Federico Staksrud for most of 2022. It's only fitting that we received one more showdown to end the year. These two will play for gold on Championship Sunday.
One of the year's most improved players, Hunter Johnson, ended the day with bronze.
Jorja Johnson survived a pair of three-game matches to reach Championship Sunday. She will face the two seed Mary Brascia in a rematch of the winner's bracket final. MLP star Lina Padegimaite landed in third.
End of an era?
Late last year, Simone Jardim announced that 2022 would be her final season of pro pickleball. If that holds true, this weekend will be the last matches of her storied pro career.
With a flood of prize money entering the game and the team pickleball format taking off, it's hard to imagine Jardim could walk away. Pickle fans hope she follows the path of GOATs like Jordan and Brady and makes this retirement a temporary one.
Tune into mixed doubles later today on APPTV.
Master Your Topspin
How many times have you heard someone ask (or asked yourself): how can I hit topspin like the pros?
Thankfully, there's a way to practice that doesn't even require another player.
TopspinPro makes an excellent gift this time of year and will have you spinning in no time!
PPA National Championship Singles Recap
Florida Gator alum Ryan 'Sherbear' Sherry made good in his home state. The fan favorite chomped through Travis Rettenmaier and Tyson McGuffin to earn a date with Ben Johns on Championship Sunday.
Known for his unique (to say the least) post game interviews, Sherry delivered another classic in Orlando, including the line "Safe to say I know I can beat anybody, including you Ben. So let's see what you've got."
Tyson McGuffin recovered in the bronze medal match. He put an 11-1, 11-1 stamp on a distracted Jay Devillers to end the day.
In women's singles, it's Salome Devidize who will be testing her luck against Anna Leigh Waters on Championship Sunday. Devidze had another contentious bout with Catherine Parenteau in the semifinals. Line calls continue to pervade these matches, and this one could have definitely benefited from some video replay.
The line call discussion spilled over into the bronze medal match, where Lea Jansen defeated Irina Tereschenko.
Mixed doubles is live now on PPATV and Tennis Channel.
The PPA dropped a little more news this week. As reported by ESPN, the Bubly Team Championships in Vegas will be broadcasted on ABC on Sunday, Dec 18.
Bonds between MLP and the PPA Tour were strengthened this week. MLP Founder Steve Kuhn was appointed as Chairman of Professional Player Relations for the PPA Tour. Though the PPA Tour & MLP continue to operate as separate entities, this news blurs additional lines between the two. Read more here.
Headlines & Quick Hits
- Nationwide Fitness Chain Partners with Break The Love to Expand Indoor Pickleball
- Convention Center now home to pickleball in Reno - KOLO
- Have you sent out your holiday cards yet? Ring in the season with pickleball cards
- More residents are threatening legal action because of pickleball noise - ARL Now
- Need a partner for next month's tournament? Find the perfect match with PicklePlay
- Not pickleball. DODGEBALL.
- Good thing there's no glass in pickleball...
- We bet this cat would be great at the net
- Lea Jansen is stoked to return to MLP
There are two ways to become the most popular house on the block. Full size candy bars on Halloween or put one of these in your backyard. The party pergola is perfect for an audience or resting up for your next game.
What did you think of today's newsletter?