Another close one on the court. PPA & APP wrap ups.
Look, we know you wanna crush the ball. We ALL wanna crush the ball.
But maybe don't?
We have a valuable doubles strategy to share, tournaments to wrap, and another story of near-disaster on the court, so...
PPA Masters Results
APP Punta Gorda Open Results
"Squeeze" to Stop the Targeting
Targeting the weaker player is inevitable in pickleball, especially in competitive play. It's a good strategy -- but what if you're on the other end of it?
You squeeze. Let us explain:
Players C & D are targeting player B, and avoiding player A at the kitchen. So, AB should shift to their right.
Player A is now responsible for 75% or more of the court. Player B's duty becomes hitting consistent shots back, typically cross-court to player C.
By shifting, AB have reduced the amount of space that CD can hit the ball to. They've made the target smaller. CD now have to be more accurate with their shots to continue to target B. This increases the chance for errors, and decreases their comfort level.
The mounting pressure will likely cause CD to play a ball back cross-court to stretch Player A out wide. This will open the game back up, and level the playing field. If CD opts for the middle, AB can dictate where the ball goes next.
If your weaker player is being targeted and you aren't at least occasionally cycling through a squeeze, then you're allowing your opponent to have their way.
If you are B in this scenario, then it's up to you to recognize this, shelf your ego, and allow your partner to assume a higher percentage of court.
Read more details on this strategy here.
Pure Pickleball Fuel: Why Bars
Why not reach for a snack bar that's as good as you are?
Let's keep it simple: Why Bars are made with ingredients you can pronounce, perfect for before or after exercise.
Their portable, energy sustaining snack allows you to focus on your activity instead of your hunger.
Available in: Apple Almond, Blueberry Bliss, Cherry Chia, Choco Peanut, Super Cacao, Mango Ginger, and Zesty Lemon. Try them today!
New Year, Same Champs
The all white attire at the PPA Masters provides one of the most visually appealing stops on the pro calendar.
What was different about this stop was the downpour in Palm Desert. Rain delays put a damper on the weekend and prevented the completion of the back draw in men's and women's doubles.
But the change in schedule did not affect the tour's top dogs.
Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns both started the year with a triple crown finish. Waters debuted a new partnership with Anna Bright and the two Annas did not drop a game together.
Vivienne David and Thomas Wilson made an inspired run from the 11 seed to a bronze medal finish. They knocked off Jay Devilliers/Callie Smith, Matt Wright/Lucy Kovalova, and Tyson McGuffin/Catherine Parenteau along the way.
- Sam Querrey fell short of the podium in the pro main draw but won the qualifier draw in mixed doubles
- Newly qualified senior pro, Altaf Merchant, teamed up with Dayne Gingrich for gold in men's senior pro doubles
More on the PPA Hyundai Masters can be found here. The PPA pros will be back in action at the first MLP event of the year Jan 26-29 in Mesa, AZ.
Stop Getting Hurt, Please
The last few months have been rough for at least two pickleballers. Last time, we told you about the guy who turned his head too fast and wound up seriously hurt (he’s back on the court now).
Today, we bring you: guy goes into cardiac arrest on the court (again, he’s ok). The man apparently stopped breathing and collapsed suddenly while playing on January 4th in Santa Clara, Utah.
“We couldn’t feel a pulse. We started CPR and Sharon, a nurse, started chest compressions, and I was opening his airway,” says Paul Wagner, a bystander who came to the rescue that day.
Local first responders say that the immediate aid administered by the bystanders allowed them to bring the man back to a steady heartbeat before they even reached the hospital.
It’s good to know that fellow picklers have your back. But an increase in pickleball injuries and incidents like this reminds us of the value of CPR training and, perhaps even more importantly, the presence of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at more pickleball facilities.
According to a local report: each minute defibrillation is delayed, the odds of survival are reduced by approximately 10%.
Todd sets the Tone at Punta Gorda Open
The APP Tour's first event of the of the year was dominated by Parris Todd. APP President Ken Hermann dished the championship trophy to Todd three times on Sunday as she completed the first in what could be a year full of triple crowns.
Her mixed partner Hunter Johnson brought home the singles title over Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez. Simone Jardim helped Todd survive a gritty onslaught from the women's doubles challengers, Megan Fudge and Alix Truong.
Andrei Daescu and Kyle Yates went to the mat with Joey Farias and Andreas Siljestrom in men's doubles. Siljestrom's 6'9'' frame attracted spectators and stymied opponents throughout the weekend, but the vets Daescu and Yates clung on for gold with an 11-6, 11-6 finish.
Noah Rubin's debut ended without a medal but the former tennis pro was optimistic about the year ahead. Read more about the event here.
The APP's next stop is Feb 8-12 in Daytona Beach, FL.
Headlines & Quick Hits
- Our free paddles for life giveaway is now extended to Friday -- learn more!
- Pickleball is the WA state sport; it may soon have a license plate
- Pickleball craze has Canadians of all ages headed for court
- Hell's Kitchen Park to get pickleball court, prompting mixed community board reactions
- Research Shows Pickleball Improved Fitness, Lowers Risk of Depression
- The good old days of pickleball 😌
- Dads when new courts open nearby
- Stick and move 🥊
- DOMINANT pickleball 😤
It’s like Airbnb...but for Pickleball Courts
As if you need another reason to add a homecourt to your backyard, now you can share your court with local players when you aren’t using it.
Swimply allows court owners the chance to rent out homecourts and players the opportunity to reserve a private court for their game.
A review from the Dink Fam: