The PPA is heading down to beautiful Charlotte, NC this weekend for its ninth tour stop of the 2023 season. Hosted at Life Time Charlotte, over 900 players will compete in the tour’s standard singles and doubles formats.
At the previous PPA tournament, the Newport Beach Doubles Shootout, we saw several new faces take home some hardware, including the sibling duo of Jorja and J.W. Johnson who won their first gold medal together in mixed doubles. This week, we will see the return of some classic partnerships and some new exciting ones to watch out for!
Anna Leigh Waters is back after taking a month off, and you better believe she will be fired up to start taking home more gold medals. Catherine Parenteau took the top spot back at the PPA Red Rock Open while Waters was away, so we expect to see an incredible match between these two if they meet in the main draw or finals.
Another player to watch out for is Judit Castillo. Castillo just won her first gold medal in women’s singles at the APP Sacramento Open last weekend, where she fought hard through the main draw to win by default in the finals due to an illness by silver medalist Megan Fudge.
Castillo started playing pickleball at the end of last year and has quickly been climbing the DUPR ranks. Coming off of her big win in Sacramento, we think there’s potential to see her in the finals.
Ben Johns is still absent from the PPA this weekend, and we’ve got a wide field to watch out for. Tyson McGuffin will be the top contender, defending his victory over Pablo Tellez at the Red Rock Open. After being out with a foot injury for several tournaments, McGuffin has been looking better than ever lately.
We’ve also got the return of Collin Shick to watch out for, who made his famous run from qualifiers to the finals at the PPA Florida Open. Shick’s a med student at the University of North Carolina and has been on a mission to make a name for himself in pickleball. Shick’s recently been doing incredible things at pickleball’s collegiate level, having recently earned a Triple Crown at the DUPR Collegiate National Championship.
Mixed Doubles always feels like it can be a wild card, especially with all of the new pairings we’ve seen in recent tournaments. The Johnson siblings are at the top of our list, as the two earned their first gold medal together at Newport Beach. They’ve also played incredibly well in men’s and women’s doubles separately, so it’s exciting to see Jorja and J.W. succeed together as a team.
Tyson McGuffin pairs up with Catherine Parenteau, an interesting pairing that shouldn’t be underestimated. The two have been incredibly successful in both singles and doubles this year, and if they can get their chemistry right together, they could be unstoppable.
Anna Bright and James Ignatowich are out for revenge against McGuffin, as they lost to him and his partner Lacy Schneeman at PPA Newport. However, the two recently snagged their first gold medal as a couple at Red Rock, and it’s exciting to see their on-court chemistry continue to build.
The dynamic duo of Catherine Parenteau and Anna Leigh Waters is back! They’re considered one of pickleball’s winningest teams but haven’t played together in several tournaments. It’ll be interesting to see if they can jump back into the mix together and come out on top.
Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith come off of a huge win at Newport Beach, where they took down Andrea Koop and Anna Bright in one of the best doubles matches of the year. Expect them to make waves in this weekend’s tournament.
Meghan Dizon pairs up with Jorja Johnson this weekend; the two have been on fire leading up to this event. We’ve discussed Jorja’s recent success at Newport Beach, and Dizon won a gold medal alongside Etta Wright at Red Rock.
Both Johns brothers will be absent, allowing new competition and partnerships to take the main stage. At Newport, we saw J.W. Johnson and Dylan Frazier at their finest, taking down Matt Wright and Riley Newman for the gold. They’ll be the team to beat!
Everybody’s been talking about pro tennis player Jack Sock’s return to the world of pickleball. Sock made his pro pickleball debut at the PPA Bubly Team Championships last year, where he put on an incredible performance.
He’ll be teaming up with one of the top men’s doubles players, Tyson McGuffin, and together they’ll be highly explosive on the court. Sock will also compete in men’s singles and mixed doubles with Anna Leigh Waters, so it’ll be exciting to see how he does in each event.
How To Watch
If you’re hoping to see the event in person, tickets are available online through Tixr. Grounds Passes start at just $25 per ticket, with Courtside and VIP options available as well.
Viewers watching from home can catch all of the events live on the PPA Tour’s Youtube channel, and the mixed final will be aired on ESPN2 at 6 pm ET on Championship Sunday, May 7.
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