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Some Fresh Faces Could Make a Splash This Week at the PPA Orange County Cup

by Erik Tice on

The PPA Tour is back in action in San Clemente this week at one of its best venues – The Life Time Rancho San Clemente.

This is a Cup level tournament, so 1,500 points to the winners and a progressive draw.

A Look at the PPA Tour Points Race and Who Has Work Left to Do the Rest of the Way
The PPA Tour season is at roughly the halfway point and the points race is starting to take shape. We examine the current standings and who has work to do to make the season-ending Finals.

Weather Forecast

I don’t think you could ask for better weather – mostly cloudy and highs in the 70s. The ball won’t play as soft as it did in Sacramento and it doesn’t look like weather should be an issue at all.

How to Watch the PPA Orange County Cup

All times are EST

Wednesday - Round of 32

  • 2-8pm - Humana Championship Court - PickleballTV
  • 8-10pm - Humana Championship Court - ESPN2
  • 2-10pm - Grandstand Court - PPA YouTube

Thursday - Round of 16

  • 2-10pm - Humana Championship Court - PickleballTV
  • 2-10pm - Grandstand Court - PPA YouTube

Friday - Quarterfinals

  • 2-10pm - Humana Championship Court - PickleballTV
  • 2-10pm - Grandstand Court - PPA YouTube

Saturday - Semifinals

  • 2-10pm - Humana Championship Court - PickleballTV

Sunday - Championship Sunday

  • 2-8pm - Humana Championship Court - PickleballTV & Tennis Channel
  • 1-5pm - Bronze - PPA YouTube

Women’s Singles

Click here for the Women's Singles draw

Players to watch

  • Courtney McIntosh (No. 40 seed) – She doesn’t play full time, but I saw her in person at the PPA Desert Ridge where she finished 10th, beating Lauren Stratman. McIntosh has a really tough draw with Madalina Grigoriu first and then Catherine Parenteau.
  • Mari Humberg (No. 31 seed) – Humberg plays both on the PPA and APP Tours and goes back and forth. Because she doesn’t play as much singles as some other players she is seeded really low, but I could see her winning her first-round match and then beating Lauren Stratman to face off against Kaitlyn Christian.


  • Semifinalists: Anna Leigh Waters (1), Judit Castillo (8), Parris Todd (7), Lea Jansen (3)
  • Finals: Anna Leigh beats Lea Jansen for another gold

Men’s Singles

Click here for the Men's Singles draw

  • There are 48 slots for the Pro Main Draw and eight qualifier slots - THERE ARE 106 PRO QUALIFIERS in San Clemente this week.
    • Grayson Goldin, Kyle Kozsuta, Zack Taylor, and Jack Munro are just some of the names that have to go through qualifying.
  • The last time Federico Staksrud didn’t medal was over seven months ago at the Hertz Gold Cup.
  • Quang Duong is riding a lot of momentum – he just finished third at the PPA Sacramento in singles and played for the Ranchers in Major League Pickleball, going 16-16 in Dreambreakers against the likes of Ben Johns, Dekel Bar, and Jack Sock.

Players to watch

  • Gabe Joseph (No. 8 seed)I understand he isn’t an underdog and is well respected in singles, but Joseph almost always has great tournaments in SoCal. I am predicting him to win the whole thing with wins over Fed and Chris Haworth.
  • Mitchell Hargreaves (No. 52 seed) – The Aussie has made the trip back to the U.S. to take on the world’s best. He is a VERY GOOD singles player and could make some noise, although he goes up against an extremely difficult first-round match against Anton Gudz.


  • Semifinalists: Federico Staksrud (1), Gabe Joseph (8), Quang Duong (6), Chris Haworth (11)
  • Finals: Gabe Joseph beats Chris Haworth for his first win since the Takeya Showcase last August

Mixed Doubles

Click here for the Mixed Doubles draw

  • No. 5 seed Lea Jansen and Riley Newman are partnering up for what I believe is the first time – a very interesting pair to watch.
  • With Jack Sock not playing, Catherine Parenteau is playing with Christian Alshon. Alshon has been out with a minor medical issue for the last month, so it will be interesting to see how he plays in his first tournament back.
  • Is there any chance Anna Bright and James Ignatowich can get over the hump and beat Ben and ALW?

Teams to watch

  • (11) Meghan Dizon and Travis RettenmaierThey are playing together after recently both signing with Proton.
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  • (16) Hayden Patriquin and Vivian Glozman – They are playing together while Lea is playing with Riley, but this is a powerhouse team.
  • Here are some mixed doubles pro qualifiers teams - I am predicting these teams make it through and at least one team will get a first-round win:
  • Yates Johns and Yana Newell
  • Jill Braverman and Jack Munro
  • Emily Cederquist and Roscoe Bellamy 
  • Christa Gecheva and Casey Diamond


  • Semifinalists: (1) Ben Johns/Anna Leigh Waters, (3) JW Johnson/Jorja Johnson, (2) Anna Bright/James Ignatowich, (7) Catherine Parenteau/Christian Alshon
  • Finals: Ben and Anna Leigh beat Anna and James in four games 

Women’s Doubles

Click here for the Women's Doubles draw

  • I feel bad for (14) Angela and Alex Walker - this feels like the third or fourth time this year where they face off against ALW and Catherine Parenteau early in a draw.
  • (9) Lea Jansen and Alix Truong are teaming up again after a 10th-place finish at the PPA Texas Open - they looked like a really good team last time.
  • Can anyone take on Anna Leigh and Catherine? Since losing to Anna Bright and Rachel Rohrabacher at PPA Austin, the top team has won four in a row, beating AB and RR handily in Sacramento, 11-2, 11-1, 11-5.

Teams to watch

  • (22) Jill Braverman and Natalie Raney They are playing together for the first time at a pro tournament - if you haven’t heard of Natalie, she is Jill’s sister. Hopefully this duo gets on the livestream.
  • (20) Christine Maddox and Kaitlyn ChristianThey are pairing up for the first time and I love it. They are both high-level tennis players and are playing their first year on the PPA Tour. They will bring a ton of power, reach, and athleticism.


  • Semifinalists: (1) Catherine Parenteau/Anna Leigh Waters, (9) Alix Truong/Lea Jansen, (2) Rachel Rohrabacher/Anna Bright, (5) Parris Todd/Hurricane Tyra Black
  • Finals: Parenteau and Waters beat Rohrabacher and Bright in four games

Men’s Doubles

Click here for the Men's Doubles draw

  • It seems like musical chairs in men’s doubles this weekend with a bunch of new partnerships:
    • (3) Matt Wright/Federico Staksrud
    • (5) Pablo Tellez/Hayden Patriquin
    • (7) Tyler Loong/James Ignatowich
    • (8) Zane Navratil/Riley Newman
  • 3 and 4 - It has been three-straight tournaments of finishing fourth for Ben and Collin Johns. They haven’t won a tournament in over a month and they didn’t play well in MLP Washington D.C. This feels like a must-win tournament for the brothers if they want to get back on track.

Teams to watch

  • (20) Quang Duong and Donald YoungThey are pairing up for the first time and play a qualifier. They will get Bellamy/Koller in their second-round matchup.
  • (19) Noe Khlif and Collin Shick – They could make for a good young pairing. Khlif was recently picked up in MLP and Shick is the only remaining player for the Bay Area Breakers.


  • Semifinalists: (1) Collin/Ben Johns, (3) Federico Staksrud/Matt Wright, (2) Dylan Frazier/JW Johnson, (7) Tyler Loong/James Ignatowich
  • Finals: Collin and Ben Johns get back to their winning ways and beat Dylan and JW in four games
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Erik Tice

Erik Tice

Erik produces content for The Dink related to pro and collegiate pickleball. He is an avid watcher of pickleball and became passionate about the sport in early 2022.

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