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The PPA Carvana Mesa Arizona Cup Preview

by Erik Tice on

The Mesa Arizona Cup takes center stage this week in the world of professional pickleball. It's the third PPA Tour stop in the 2024 season and is being held at the Legacy Sports Complex, in Mesa, Arizona. There are 41 dedicated courts at the facility and the championship court has great seating for viewing. 

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The Mesa Arizona Cup is considered a “Cup” level tournament, meaning winners earn 1,500 PPA Points toward year-end results. In addition to pros, there are a lot of amateurs entered into the tournament – there are over 1,400 total contestants registered.

The PPA has switched to a Progressive Draw in “Slams” and “Cups”, which we saw at The Masters, in January. This allows for the PPA to know who is going to be televised on which court at approximately what time.

The qualifiers in men’s singles and men’s doubles took place on Tuesday, and then later Tuesday night the Round of 64. Wednesday will be the Round of 32, Thursday is the Round of 16, Friday is the Quarterfinals, Saturday is the Semifinals, and then Sunday is Championship Sunday.  

How to Watch the Mesa Arizona Cup

The Mesa Arizona Cup is going to be available to watch all weekend on Pickleball TV and elsewhere sporadically, including ESPN2 and FOX.

Here is where you can find the event: 

ALL TIMES EASTERN

Notable Players

Since this is a “Cup” level event, most of the top players are playing this weekend. Rachel Rohrabacher is the biggest name who is skipping the Mesa Arizona Cup.

Some notable players who skipped the Desert Ridge Open but are playing in Mesa are Jack Sock, Genie Bouchard, JW Johnson, Jorja Johnson and Jessie Irvine (coming back from injury for the first time in 2024).

Event Previews and Predictions

Women’s Singles

Anna Leigh Waters is the clear cut favorite in Women’s singles every time she plays. Here are some top players who will be seeded high in the bracket and should be contenders to podium:

  • Catherine Parenteau
  • Anna Bright - Usually does not play 
  • Lea Jansen
  • Mary Brascia
  • Lacy Schneemann
  • Parris Todd
Lacy Schneemann
Lacy Schneemann has the potential to go deep in Mesa.

Here are some higher seeds that I have my eye on:

  • Brooke Revuelta – 19 Seed and just won the women’s APP Next Gen event last weekend in San Antonio
  • Millie Rane – 39 Seed

Predictions: Anna Leigh Waters wins the event while Anna Bright, Anna Leigh, Mary Brascia, and Catherine all make the semifinals.

Men’s Singles

One of the biggest draws in pro pickleball, Ben Johns has not won a men’s singles gold medal in 2024. Is Mesa the place where he wins his first gold of the year? I don’t think so.

Predictions: I think the Progressive Draw is not great for Ben Johns, as he is usually a slow starter and singles is the first event each day.

Semifinals: JW Johnson, Connor Garnett, Jaume Martinez Vich, Jack Sock

Championship: Jaume wins the entire event over Connor Garnett in three games in the finals.

Women’s Doubles

As previously mentioned, Rachel Rohrabacher is skipping Mesa, so the team of Anna Bright and Vivienne David is new. Jessie Irvine is back and playing with Tina Pisnik. Lacy Schneemann is playing with Irena Tereschenko.

Predictions: Anna Leigh Waters and Catherine Parenteau lose their first match together in Mesa. 

Quarterfinals prediction: ALW & Catherine Parenteau, Callie Smith & Lucy Kovalova, Anna Bright & Viv David, and Megan Dizon & Etta Wright. Yes, I know this is complete chalk, but I think they all win their side of the bracket.

I am predicting Anna Bright and Vivienne David win the whole thing.

Men’s Doubles 

There are also a couple of lesser-known pairings that have a chance at making some upsets this weekend:

  • Gabe Tardio and Andrei Daescu – This is an extremely tall team and they could make a little run in Mesa. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them face off against Ben and Collin Johns and maybe even take a game off of them.
  • Kris Heddings and Dave Weinbach – Heddings and Weinbach usually play in the senior events now, but they are playing in the Men’s Pro bracket in Mesa. I like their chances of actually making a run and beating Tyler Loong and Quang Duong to play JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier.

Predictions: I like Wilson/Newman, Johns/Johns, Johnson/Frazier and McGuffin/Bar to make it to the semifinals and I believe the finals will look a lot like 2023 - Johns brothers vs. JW and Dylan, with the Johns earning the victory

Mixed Doubles

There are some new partnerships in mixed doubles that we haven’t really seen before:

  • Federico Staksrud and Jade Kawamoto
  • Lea Jansen and Andrei Daescu
  • Gabe Tardio and Mary Brascia

Predictions: The mixed doubles field is wide open in 2024. Ben Johns/ALW, Matt Wright/Lucy Kovalova, Dizon/McGuffin, and Staksrud/Kawamoto are my four to make the semis. There are three upsets in there, showing off how competitive the bracket is. I do believe Ben and Anna Leigh win the whole thing in Mesa.

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