Unlike the NCAA March Madness brackets that saw upsets left and right, this last weekend for the PPA Tour couldn’t have been more by the books. The number 1-seed in each of the five event brackets took home the gold at the PPA Austin Showdown.
The PPA Tour ONIX Austin Showdown Powered by Invited was hosted at the Elevation Athletic Club this past weekend in Lakeway, TX. Over 1,100 players played in the weekend-long event, which led to an exciting, albeit par-for-the-course, Championship Sunday.
Men’s Singles – Ben Johns (1) vs. Federico Staksrud (2)
In Men’s Singles, Ben Johns sought to continue his winning streak after winning against newcomer Collin Shick at last week’s PPA Florida Open. He went head to head against the number 2-seed, Federico Staksrud in a tight two-game match.
Staksrud kept Johns on his toes in game 1, catching a stride with a 4-point run while Johns was at match point. However, Johns was able to claim game one with an 11-8 win.
Game 2, Johns kept that energy up, starting with 7 unanswered points. Staksrud couldn’t reapply the pressure he exerted in game 1, and Johns went one to win the match in game 2, 11-2.
Women’s Doubles – Waters/Bright (1) vs. Dizon/David (7)
Women’s Doubles saw the duo of Anna Leigh Waters and Anna Bright take on Championship Sunday newcomers Meghan Dizon and Vivienne David. Dizon and David made their way to the main event by beating the Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith, the 2-seed who were expected to rival the dominant duo of Anna Leigh Waters and Anna Bright.
Game 1 decidedly went to Waters and Bright, who won 11-2. They were able to keep that momentum up in games 2 and 3, winning all three matches and taking home the gold, 11-2, 11-7, 11-6.
“We wanted to play aggressive, that’s when Anna Leigh and I are at our best. We both like to grip it and rip it. [Dizon/David] are a new team, new partnership, but we’re pretty familiar with the players so we kind of had a gameplan going into it and executed.”Anna Bright
Mixed Doubles – Bright/Ignatowich (8) vs. Waters/Johns (1)
Bright and Waters went right from playing together in Women’s Doubles to being rivals on the Mixed Doubles court. Bright teamed up with doubles partner and boyfriend James Ignatowich, while Waters paired back up with Ben Johns who she’s now 67-2 with.
Game 1 was incredibly close. Despite Johns and Waters taking a strong 6-0 lead, Ignatowich and Bright were able to adapt and respond, applying pressure on Johns and Water at their match point, 10-8. Johns was able to clutch the win in game 1 with a powerful fifth-shot drive, 11-8.
Game 2 of this match was one of the most exhilarating of the whole tournament. Both teams kept their energy high in the early game, before Johns and Waters took a commanding 10-5 lead.
Ignatowich and Bright had other things in mind, pushing forward with some incredible cross-court dinks to tie it all up and even take the lead, 11-10. At a second match point, leading 12-11, Bright went head-to-head with Johns at the net and won, taking game 2, 13-11.
Johns and Waters took their full form in games 3 and 4, as they were able to really speed up their game at the kitchen line. They took game 3, 11-4, and game 4, 11-5. This set both of them up for a potential triple crown.
Men’s Doubles – Wright/Newman (2) vs. Johns/Johns (1)
Ben Johns pairs up once again with brother Collin Johns to take on the 2-seed team of Riley Newman and Matt Wright. These two teams have a lot of history facing one another, so we knew we were in for a thrilling match.
Game 1 was incredibly close, going to a second match point. With it all tied up at 10, Collin and Ben pushed forward to score two consecutive points, earning a 12-10 win.
The Johns brothers insisted on keeping that lead going into game two, and they were able to maintain it all the way through game 3. They commanded game 2, winning 11-3, and while it looked like Wright and Newman might be able to get something going, Ben and Collin maintained their composure and won 11-6.
This is the brothers’ fifth straight title of the year, and it’s unlikely that it will be there last.
“Five straight titles, I mean we didn’t even expect to necessarily get that. We were certainly going to try, but it’s been a dream start to the year.”Collin Johns
Women’s Singles – Anna Leigh Waters (1) vs. Catherine Parenteau (2)
Anna Leigh Waters takes on Catherine Parenteau in Women’s Singles, the final event for the PPA Austin Showdown. Both players had a lot to fight for in this match, and they absolutely showed up and put on a show.
Parenteau was looking to continue her winning streak after beating Lea Jansen at last week’s Florida Open. Waters on the other hand was definitely motivated by Ben Johns’ triple crown performance, knowing that she was just one win away from earning her own.
Waters and Parenteau went back and forth all of game 1 before Parenteau reached match point, 10-7. Miraculously, Anna Leigh fought for five straight points, earning herself the W in game 1, 12-10.
Game 2 saw the opposite: Waters was up 8-3, and Parenteau managed to fight all the way back for a comeback win, 11-9.
Everything was riding on game 3, which lit an absolute bonfire underneath Anna Leigh Waters. She earned her triple crown with a dominant 11-1 game 3 victory.
With that, Johns and Waters secured their third Double-Triple Crown in the PPA this year.
Next up for pro pickleball: MLP Daytona is going down this weekend, March 23-26, at the legendary Pictona at Holly Hill. Be sure to check out the MLP’s website for all details about the event, and stay tuned here at Pickleball Union for an MLP Daytona preview!
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?