Last weekend’s APP Newport Beach Open was the largest in tournament history, with over 1,400 pro and amateur players having participated. It was the largest APP event we’ve ever seen and had some record-setting moments from the tour’s top pros.
Parris Todd achieved her second-ever triple crown, winning in all three of her events, women’s singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles, and becoming the first woman in APP history to achieve multiple triple crowns. It was fitting for it to happen in her hometown of Newport Beach, where Todd first started playing racket sports.
“It’s been amazing to be back here in Newport Beach. I grew up playing tennis here, and to be back here winning the triple crown and being part of an amazing sport is so incredible. It takes a lot of hard work. Seeing the pickleball community evolving and helping people’s lives is so cool, and I’m so grateful to be part of it.”Parris Todd
Todd’s gold medal count for the 2023 season is now at 12, making her the winningest player on tour this season. She managed to do it alongside her trusted doubles partners: Hunter Johnson and Simone Jardim.
Women’s Pro Singles – Megan Fudge vs. Parris Todd
Todd went up against Megan Fudge in women’s singles, who has consistently seen podium finishes this year and has been fighting to achieve her first gold medal. Todd ended up winning the match, 2-1, but each of the three games was fought hard by Fudge.
This is Todd’s first gold medal in singles since the start of the year when she beat Salome Devidze at the APP Daytona Beach Open. Achieving a gold in singles set the tone for Todd going into mixed doubles with Hunter Johnson.
Men’s Pro Singles – Hunter Johnson vs. Quang Duong
In men’s pro singles, Hunter Johnson, the number one ranked player on tour, took on qualifier Quang Duong. 17-year-old Duong fought hard through qualies to then coast through the main draw, where he didn’t drop a single game until he went up against Johnson.
On the other side of the bracket, we saw Hunter’s brother Yates Johnson coast through the main draw before getting knocked out by Hunter in the fifth round. The Johnson brothers have been going back and forth lately as to which one earns the gold, and this week was Hunter’s turn.
Game one of the finals was close, with Johnson narrowly earning the win against Duong, 12-10. Johnson then kept that momentum going into game two, winning quickly 11-4, and earning himself his fifth gold medal of 2023.
Mixed Pro Doubles – Todd/Johnson vs. Harris/Mick
Johnson and Todd then met up in mixed doubles, where they took on the qualifying team of Andre Mick and Allison Harris. The wider player pool for this tournament also led to the main draws being more open for the qualifying competition, which Mick and Harris were able to take advantage of.
In the mixed finals match, Harris and Mick went up in game one, 11-6, but Todd and Johnson responded quickly with a fast 11-5 win. Todd and Johnson then went on to take game three, 11-5, securing their second set of gold medals for the day, keeping both of them in the triple crown running.
Men’s Pro Doubles – Daescu/Teoni vs. Lanier/Livornese
As expected, Andrei Daescu is now 7-for-7 in men’s doubles, winning the gold alongside Pesa Teoni for the third time this year. In the finals, they managed to take down Richard Livornese Jr. and Spencer Lanier, both of which were recently named APP Next Gen National Team members. Livornese and Lanier had the upset of the tournament, taking down the Johnson brothers in round three, thusly stopping Hunter’s chance at a triple crown.
Daescu and Teoni controlled the entire match, defeating Livornese and Lanier in a quick two-game match (11-4, 11-5). Daescu now has ten gold medals this year, making him the winningest men’s player, and Teoni’s three gold medals have elevated him to being ranked 11 in men’s doubles.
Women’s Pro Doubles – Todd/Jardim vs. Valdes/Erokhina
Who could’ve guessed that Simone Jardim and Parris Todd would win gold in women’s doubles? Everyone, that’s who. The Jardim and Todd duo are undefeated in the APP this year, having now earned seven gold medals together.
Todd and Jardim faced off against Genie Erokhina and Rianna Valdes, who made their Championship Sunday debut this tournament. While they put on an impressive performance in game one, narrowly losing at the third game-point, 11-13, they got swept in game two (5-11).
“We had to make a little comeback in the first game, but we were able to get the win. We pride ourselves on trust, and I don’t get nervous playing with Parris. I’m glad we could get it done.”Simone Jardim
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