Welcome back, we’ve had a crazy couple of weeks of pickleball and it’s been nothing short of awesome.
2176 matches played on 45 courts at the PPA Atlanta Georgia Open over the weekend. We’ve got you covered with all of the highlights and storylines, including highlights from the match that some are calling ‘the best match ever.’ A five game slugfest featuring Simone Jardim and Lucy Kovalova vs Team Waters.
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Let’s dive right in, shall we?
PPA Atlanta Georgia Open Results:
Simone Jardim & Ben Johns
Tyson McGuffin & Riley Newman
Simone Jardim & Lucy Kovalova
Ben Johns defeats
Catherine Parenteau defeats
Senior Mixed Doubles
Eva Welsher & Scott Moore
Senior Mens Doubles
Dave Weinbach & Tao Thongvanh
Senior Womens Doubles
Linda Thompson & Eva Welsher
(W) Pocket Doc Unoppet
(M) Paul OlinHighlightsWatch the full match streams on the PPA Youtube channel.
Watch the full match streams on the PPA Youtube channel.
- “the greatest pickleball match I have ever witnessed!” – Connor Pardoe, PPA Commissioner. Need I say more? Watch the highlights from the womens doubles final between Leigh & Anna Leigh Waters and Simone Jardim & Lucy Kovalova. More on this match later
- What. A. Point. Jay Devilliers and Zane Navratil are notorious for their crazy singles points. Here is the most recent example from ATL and here is one from the Cinci Open. These guys know how to put on a show
- Ben Johns and Tyson McGuffin throw down in the mens singles gold match this past weekend
- This firefight from Atlanta had over one million views on our TikTok account
- Amateur play: 134 shot point – is there such thing as too much patience?
- Top 5 points from 2021 so far
As you can see, we’re stepping up our content on YouTube. You can expect to see all sorts of highlights, interviews and more moving forward.
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Ben Johns gets verified on Instagram
Ben is the first pickleballer to be recognized by Instagram’s elusive blue check mark. From his interview on CNBC, to his collaboration with celebrities and more, Ben is one of the sport’s great ambassadors.
It’s no surprise that he’s the first ‘verified’ athlete in the game. It goes without saying that this is another sign of where the sport is headed.
The Dink is all about growing the game, so naturally we like to shine a spotlight on evidence of growth across the country and around the globe:
- “The rapid growth of pickleball is not something that you see very often in the world of sports. Rarely, a sport comes along that captures the nation’s focus the way that pickleball has.” – Franklin Sports President Adam Franklin on the growth of pickleball and their foray into the sport.
- Global growth: pickleball arrives in Manchester, England, Canadians ‘can’t get enough’ of pickleball and Singapore is addicted
- USTA National Campus set to unveil pickleball and padel courts in June
- Stat: pickleball parcticipation has risen 650% in the last six years
Gen Z meets pickleball
We recently started posting pickleball highlights on the Gen Z hangout known as TikTok. Well, since just last week, the videos have amassed millions of views and thousands of comments.
Sports Illustrated reached out and asked permission to use one of the videos and Arby’s (yes, the fast food restaurant) even commented “ok, that’s impressive”.
Here are some of our favorite comments:
- “Want to play tennis? Nah…too much running. Ping pong? Meh…What if we made a ping pong table we could stand on?”
- “Oh, so THIS is pickleball”
- “Zzzzz…is this even a sport?”
- “I’ll send this to my parents next time they brag about how unbeatable their pickleball strategy is”
- “It’s like tennis for old people who don’t want to run” – ouch
Freestyle Boys Podcast
Pros Ben Johns and Rob Nunnery released the most recent episode of their Freestyle Boys Podcast this morning. Takeaways:
- Tournament payouts are an issue. The biggest problem? Low pay discourages newcomers to the sport and creates a barrier to entry. For the game to grow, the pay needs to increase
- Anonymous bloggers NML Pickleball are interesting, but if they want to be taken seriously, they should reveal themselves
- The PPA has been listening to the pros and making adjustments to accommodate some of their requests. For example, the top 40 men and women were given lockers in Atlanta. There was also a sectioned off players area for the pros to relax