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The Pros

Going Out on Top?

by Tyler Irvin on

In the last APP tournament of the year, Simone Jardim put on an absolute show for the fans, in what might have been her last professional pickleball tournament. The queen of pickleball started her championship Sunday with a win in women’s doubles alongside Jorja Johnson, then ran it back in mixed with Dylan Fraizer.

  • Jorja Johnson and JW Johnson both went double gold
  • Etta Wright earned silver in her final APP tournament
  • Federico Staksrud took double silver, but got double dipped

The queen of pickleball in her swan song, won both finals in straight games. In women’s doubles, she and Johnson beat Etta Wright and Susannah Barr 11-7, 11-7.  Wright and Barr played an unbelievable tournament, but they were no match for Jardim and the youngest women in the bracket. Wright recently signed a contract with the PPA, so this tournament was her last with the APP for the foreseeable future.

Jardim and Frazier had a relatively easy Sunday against Johnson/Young, but faced heavy opposition on Friday in regular bracket play. In the winner’s bracket semifinals and finals, they were taken to three games by Christine McGrath/Rafa Hewett and the eventual bronze medalists Maggie Brascia/Hayden Patriquin, respectively. But, the favorites were able to weather the storm and get the gold.

With JW Johnson not playing in mixed doubles, that gave him the opportunity to focus on men’s doubles and singles. And he delivered! Playing next to Dekel Bar, the one seeds cruised to a gold medal over Federico Staksrud/Chuck Taylor. Their toughest match came in the winner’s bracket final against Zane Navratil/Stefan Auvergne, where they barely hung on to win 11-5, 10-12, 11-8. Navratil/Auvergne still salvaged their tournament in the opportunity bracket by taking bronze.

On championship Sunday, J-Dub followed up his relaxed men’s doubles victory, with a double dip victory over Staksrud in singles 11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 15-10. It was Staksrud who bested Johnson in the winner’s bracket on Thursday, but Johnson was able to get the last laugh. The 20-year-old took the best two of three games to force the tiebreaker. In the game to 15, Johnson got out to an early 6-0 lead, leaving Staksrud an emotional mess. While he recovered a bit, the damage was already done.

Taking the last gold medal on the day was Jorja Johnson, who defeated Mary Brascia in women’s singles 7-11, 11-8, 5-11, 15-8. Like JW Johnson, Brascia was able to force the tiebreaker, but wasn’t able to get the victory. Despite losing the best two of three, the 15-year-old was able to recompose herself and take the victory. Jorja started her APP season this year with a silver in women’s doubles. In the last tournament of the year, at the very same venue, she secured the gold!

The surprise of the tournament came on women’s doubles Saturday, when the number one seeds in Andrea Koop/Lauren Stratman went out early. In the winner’s bracket, they lost to Wright/Barr, but that wasn’t the surprise. In the backdraw, they lost to Lina Padegimaite/Vivienne David! Yes, David is rock solid and one of the best women on tour. But that was definitely a match that Koop/Stratman should have won, especially with Koop coming off of a double gold at the PPA Takeya Showcase. But that’s pickleball for you and a great shock to end the APP year.

Men’s doubles: 🥇JW Johnson & Dekel Bar 🥈Federico Staksrud & Chuck Taylor 🥉Zane Navratil & Stefan Auvergne

Women’s doubles: 🥇Jorja Johnson & Simone Jardim 🥈Etta Wright & Susannah Barr 🥉Maggie Brascia & Mary Brascia

Mixed doubles: 🥇Simone Jardim & Dylan Frazier 🥈Jorja Johnson & DJ Young 🥉Maggie Brascia & Hayden Patriquin

Men’s singles: 🥇JW Johnson 🥈Federico Staksrud 🥉Hunter Johnson

Women’s singles: 🥇Jorja Johnson 🥈Mary Brascia 🥉Lina Padegimaite

Tyler Irvin

Tyler Irvin

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