Today marks the beginning of the PPA Onix Austin Showdown, which is being held at Elevation Athletic Club in Lakeway, TX. The weekend-long event kicks off with Men’s and Women’s Pro Singles today, but there’s a whole lot more to get excited about this weekend.
The Austin Showdown is running all weekend long, from today, Thursday, March 16, to Sunday, March 19. Over 1,100 players are signed up for the main event, marking a 20% increase in participation, and after last weekend’s rise of Collin Shick, who knows who we’ll see on Championship Sunday!
Last weekend’s Florida Open saw the return of many familiar faces and the debut of a few new ones in both the main draw and at Championship Sunday. This week, we’ll see if this pattern continues as many of pickleball’s top athletes compete to bring home the gold.
Tyson McGuffin is officially back in action in singles, after being out for the last couple of weeks due to a foot injury. Collin Shick is the rising underdog who went from 31 seed in qualifiers all the way to the Championship match against Ben Johns. There’s a lot to be excited about in men’s singles this week!
Shick Is Getting Real: Collin Shick returns to the PPA once again after an incredible debut performance last week at the Florida Open. After making his way through the qualifiers and main draw, Shick ended up earning second place after going head-to-head with Ben Johns.
Because of his silver medal, Shick instantly qualified for the main draw this week and will going up against Christian Alshon in the first round. Alshon is gunning to be ranked in the top 10, so we’re in for an absolute dogfight right out the gates!
Catherine Parenteau is coming off of a big win at last week’s Florida Open, which made her the only player besides Anna Leigh Waters to win back-to-back events in Women’s Singles this year.
In fact, of the last 10 PPA tournaments, only four players have medalled: Catherine Parenteau, Lea Jansen, Anna Leigh Waters, and Salome Devidze. We’re all expecting stiff competition between these top 4 athletes, but last weekend’s bronze medalist, Callie Smith, might also shake things up a bit.
The Newman siblings are together again and back to take on Mixed Doubles! Lindsey Newman returns to pair back up with her brother Riley, and the two are known for being one of the most dominant doubles duos.
Last week’s Mixed Doubles bracket was dominated by the Johns/Waters duo, who are now 67-2 in this event. The Parenteau and McGuffin team unfortunately fell just short in the finals against Waters and Johns, but hopefully this weekend is their redemption story.
Another exciting set of newcomers to Championship Sunday was the duo of Lacy Schneemann and Jade Kawamoto. The duo was able to take down some seriously talented teams, including Lea Jansen and Allyce Jones who now have 2 bronze and 2 silver medals going into this weekend.
One of the highlights of last weekend was watching Catherine Parenteau and Anna Leigh Waters come together as one and absolutely dominate. The two play so well together, and after their winning performance in the finals, it’ll be very interesting to see what’s changed going into the Austin Showdown.
The Johns brothers once again locked in a win at the Florida Open, making them 4 for 4 in the tournaments they’ve participated in together this year.
Julian Arnold and Thomas Wilson put on quite a show last week in the finals, hopefully they can keep that momentum going into this weekend’s event. The number 3 Men’s Doubles players Matt Wright and Riley Newman once again partner up this weekend. The duo took down the Johns brothers at last year’s Club Tournament of Champions, will they be able to do it again?
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