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The Pros

Pickleball At Home and Abroad - The APP Tour Stops in England

by JB Jones on

Pro pickleball stamped its passport last weekend with a trip to the UK. The APP Tour and Pickleball England teamed up to run the 2022 English Open.

The English Open featured some fan favorite pros from the United States who put on a show. Or rather an exhibition. They showed off the MLP team style of play that has made the events in Austin so electric.

Pros: Irina Tereschenko, Lee Whitwell, Rob Cassidy, Michelle Esquivel, Daniel Roditi, Kasandra Gehrke

The APP pros also swept the pro doubles events. We saw Lee Whitwell and Michelle Esquivel pair up and win gold just days before the announcement that they are joining forces for Florida Smash for the Newport Beach MLP. Rob Cassidy and Esquivel won the mixed doubles open division.


Stateside Pickleball

Back in the good old US of A, USA Pickleball hosted the Newport Beach Championships. After a couple of up and down weeks, JW Johnson is back on top. He won the triple crown in Newport.

In mixed doubles, he and sister Jorja Johnson ran the table. They took out the number two seed, Lauren Stratman and Julian Arnold, in the winner's bracket final and in the gold medal match.

Stratman and Arnold are collecting better mixed doubles results with each tournament played. They have the possibility to jump into the top level of mixed play by the end of the year.

Johnson and Frazier snatched another gold medal on Saturday. They are looking relatively unbeatable outside of PPA Tour events.

Johnson's singles title might have been the most impressive performance of the weekend. He escaped Sunday without dropping a game. Johnson had a rough showing at the APP LA Open but seems to have acclimated to the West Coast.

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Women's Game

In the women's game, Anna Bright took home her first singles title since the APP South Carolina Open in April. She was able to avoid Mary Brascia on Sunday with the help of Megan Fudge. Fudge beat Brascia in the main draw and bronze medal match.

The Fudge vs Brascia matches could not have been much closer on Sunday. Both matches went to 3 games and of the 6 games played, 5 were decided by two points. They were trading haymakers back and forth throughout the day.

Bright, who finished 2nd to Brascia in the last two events, repaid Fudge by beating her twice on the day. Bright won in the final 11-5, 11-9.

This was not Bright's only gold of the weekend. She also teamed up with Parris Todd in women's doubles. These two have been on a bit of a collision course since entering the pro ranks at about the same time.

It is only right that they would pair up and win gold together. In partnerships, timing can be everything. Top-level partners are usually spoken for so having someone on the same trajectory as you helps accelerate the doubles success even faster.

Pickleball goes dark for the next two weeks as players get a much needed break from the travel and grind of pro pickleball. The next event is the APP Tour's stop in western Michigan, the Beer City Open. That event starts on 7/21.

JB Jones

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