The Minto US Open Pickleball Championships are known for being the biggest party in pickleball. This has been a little more wild than they could have predicted.
We'll start with the CRBN paddle drama. On the 6th day of the 7 day event the paddle became illegal to use because of its removal from the USA Pickleball approved paddle list.
This means both pro and amateur players that use CRBN would need to find a new paddle to compete with the morning of their event. Not fun. It is the first time we have seen a paddle move off of the approved list during an event and become disallowed in the middle of a tournament. The paddle had been used by players all throughout the week including in one of the best singles matches of all time between JW Johnson and Ben Johns.
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The Greatest Singles Match of All-Time
The men's singles final on Sunday was one of the greatest singles matches of all time. JW Johnson who was using the CRBN1 paddle took on Ben Johns using the new Hyperion paddle from JOOLA.
Johns won the match but was pushed to the limit by Johnson. Johnson had match point in game two 10-7. An inspired, emotional, sweat-drenched Johns fought his way back to steal game two 12-10.
Wet N' Wild
Rain is always the biggest threat to an outdoor pickleball tournament. This weekend got hit pretty hard with the rain. Storms on Friday caused some of the doubles semifinals to be pushed to Saturday which was designated for mixed doubles.
More rain on Saturday delayed the mixed doubles play and interfered with the scheduled CBS Sports Network broadcast. The men's and women's doubles finals were played in the morning on Saturday then aired in the 7-9pm window for TV.
The intriguing mixed doubles field was pushed to Sunday and recorded but not streamed. It will be shown at a TBD time and date. This bracket saw the return of Lindsey Newman, the return of the Johns & Jardim, and the formation of Team Skechers, Catherine Parenteau & Tyson McGuffin.
Of all the stories in the bracket, the team of Jessie Irvine & Tyler Loong would prove to be the major headline. Starting as the 7 seed, they defeated the number 2 and 3 seeds to advance to the final against Johns & Jardim.
Their run ended with a silver medal after losing in the final but the run to get there is still impressive. Irvine was missing her normal partner Jay Devilliers, who appeared to be in France this week. She subbed in a previous partner Tyler Loong and tore up the competition.
These two play an exciting brand of pickleball and their quarterfinal match against Kovalova & Wright and their semifinal match against the Newmans will be worth watching.
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Amidst all the chaos, the pickleball steadfast of Ben Johns winning stayed true. He won another triple crown this week but was tested in both men's singles and doubles this time around. This is a repeat of last year's result where he won with Jardim and his brother Collin. This year's triple crown was accompanied by a nice little $4,000 bonus. One of the largest prizes in the game.
Ongoing Paddle Controversy
The ban of the CRBN paddles has called multiple other paddles into question. USA Pickleball will have their hands full testing and retesting the new carbon fiber faced paddles that are pushing the limits on paddle surface roughness. A lot could change in the pickleball world between now and the start of the PPA North Carolina Open on Thursday, May 5th.
🥇Simone Jardim & Ben Johns
🥇Ben Johns & Collin Johns
🥇Catherine Parenteau & Lea Jansen
🥇Ben Johns defeats 🥈JW Johnson
🥇Catherine Parenteau defeats 🥈Lea Jansen
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