Last weekend, the PPA Tour headed to the birthplace of pickleball, Seattle, Washington, for the PPA Baird Wealth Management Seattle Open. Over 1,000 players competed in this Golden Ticket Qualifier, including a nearly full cast of all the PPA pros we know and love.
Championship Sunday saw many matchups we’ve grown used to this season, and first-place finishes from the tour’s top players, especially in Anna Leigh Water’s sixth triple crown in a row. Let’s jump right into each event and break down some brackets!
Mixed Doubles – Waters/Johns vs. Bright/Ignatowich
In mixed doubles, we got to see the top 2 ranked teams going into the weekend move through their brackets with ease to reach Championship Sunday. The 1-seeded team of Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns claimed gold over the 2-seeded team of Anna Bright and James Ignatowich.
All year long, Waters and Johns have dominated the PPA, especially in mixed doubles. At the Seattle Open, they reinforced this claim with an impressive sweep of their side of the bracket. However, in the semifinals, the brother-sister duo of Riley and Lindsey Newman gave Waters and Johns a run for their money by winning game one and almost making a push in game three before just barely losing, 8-11.
Bright and Ignatowich have been overdue for a Championship Sunday appearance ever since their first big gold medal finish together at Red Rock. Their match in the quarterfinals against Hurricane Tyra Black and Christian Alshon was incredibly close (11-9, 10-12, 11-9), but they had a 2-game sweep in the semis against Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David (11-6, 12-10).
Men’s Doubles – Tellez/Staksrud vs. Johnson/Frazier
JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier earned their third gold medal of 2023 together, making them the number 2 ranked team on the PPA now, just behind the Johns Brothers. Ben and Collin were surprisingly knocked out in the quarterfinals by the 9-seed team of DJ Young and Patrick Smith, who then went on to get quickly swept by Pablo Tellez and Federico Staksrud in the semi-finals (2-11, 6-11).
Everyone was amped for the new partnership of Julian Arnold and Riley Newman, and they did well in the round of 16, winning 11-3, 11-3. However, Tellez and Staksrud have the advantage of being long-term doubles partners, and their built-in chemistry gave them the upper hand in their 3-game win over Newman/Arnold (7-11, 11-7, 11-4).
Frazier and Johnson were locked in all tournament long on the hunt for a gold medal, not dropping a single game leading into Championship Sunday. The first three games in the championship match were close, but going into game four with victory on the line, Frazier and Johnson locked in and beat Tellez and Staksrud 11-3 to earn the gold medal.
Women’s Doubles – Bright/Waters vs. David/Kawamoto
Catherine Parenteau was out all of July, which allowed Anna Bright to step in as Anna Leigh Waters’ doubles partner. Together, they are undefeated on the year, and the same held true in Seattle, where they didn’t drop a single game!
On the other side of the bracket, the 7-seed team of Vivienne David and Jackie Kawamoto battled their way to the top, taking down 2-seeded Lea Jansen and Lacy Schneeman in two games, and the 6-seeded Yama Newell and Lauren Stratman in the semifinals. While they put on a good show against the powerhouse Anna’s, they couldn’t quite find their footing in game three to hold out in the match (7-11, 0-11, 8-11).
Men’s Singles – Ben Johns vs. Federico Staksrud
Men’s singles saw the 1-seed, Ben Johns, take on the 2-seed, Federico Staksrud. Whenever these two players meet on the court, fireworks will fly, and that was definitely the case in Johns’ two-game win over Staksrud (11-4, 11-6).
Another tournament highlight was in the semis between Ben Johns and the 5-seed Connor Garnett. Garnett had one of the best tournaments of his career so far, and he nearly took down Johns in an incredibly close 3-game match (12-10, 12-14, 8-11).
Staksrud was completely dominant on his side of the bracket, which saw several upsets which positioned Staksrud for success. 26-seed Naveen Beasley pushed all the way to the quarterfinals after taking down 7-seed Dyland Frazier and 10-seed Ryan Sherry. Similarly, 11-seed Ryan Eveloff defeated 6-seed Pablo Tellez and 3-seed JW Johnson before losing to Staksrud in the semis (6-11, 7-11).
Women’s Singles – Anna Leigh Waters vs. Lea Jansen
Lea Jansen announced ahead of her finals match against Anna Leigh Waters that this was her last singles tournament ever. In her post-match interview after the semis, Lea explained that due to her ongoing battle with diabetes, she can no longer push her body in singles competition.
In her last dance with ALW on Championship Sunday, Lea got to take a game-one win with her for the road. Waters was able to bounce back in game two, winning 11-0, and claimed victory in game three, 11-3.
We’ve loved watching the ALW and Jansen rivalry this year and are sad to see Jansen bow out of the singles bracket. Fortunately, as far as we know, she will still be locked in for doubles for the rest of the year.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?