The second half of the year has officially begun for the PPA Tour! At last weekend’s Denver Open, the PPA resumed after a month-long break in style with another Double-Triple Crown performance from Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns.
As we anticipated in our preview, thanks to many pros being absent from this tournament, the narrow main draws allowed Johns and Waters to sweep through their brackets easily. However, we did see some top players break through and make their first Championship Sunday appearances for this year – let’s check it out!
Mixed Doubles – Waters/Johns (1) vs. Wright/Kovalova (3)
From the moment Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns hit the court together last weekend, we all knew they were going to take another gold home in mixed. They didn’t drop a single game all tournament, taking down the 5-seed team of Federico Staksrud and Meghan Dizon in a quick 2-game semis match before going on to win three games in a row against Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova in the finals.
The last time Wright and Kovalova faced the Johns/Waters duo was back at the Desert Ridge Open, which yielded similar results: An 0-3 sweep. However, it is exciting to see Wright and Kovalova back near the top in the mixed doubles event, as they were fun to watch all weekend long in the main draw.
Women’s Doubles – Waters/Bright (1) vs. Schneeman/David (6)
Anna Bright joined forces with ALW for the fifth time this year, and together they managed to take down the 6-seed team of Lacy Schneeman and Vivienne David in the finals. Waters now has 20 career wins in women’s doubles, making her just one win behind David, who holds the record at 21.
This was the first time Schneeman and David were in the finals together this season, and they made an impressive run together in Denver. They managed to topple the 2-seed favorites, Lucy Kovalova and Lea Jansen, in the semis with an impressive game three “pickle” (11-0).
Men’s Doubles – Johns/Johns (1) vs. Tellez/Staksrud (3)
You have to give it to the Johns brothers; they played lights out at the Denver Open and didn’t drop a single game! While Pablo Tellez and Federico Staksrud had an impressive run of their own in the main draw, defeating the new and exciting team of Dylan Frazier and Matt Wright, they fell short in game one (7-11) and couldn’t shift the momentum in games two and three.
One team to watch out for moving forward has to be that of Hayden Patriquin and Callan Dawson, who earned bronze in men’s doubles. The 17-year-old Patriquin has been improving with each tournament, and Dawson seems to be locked into the men’s doubles event lately.
Women’s Singles – Anna Leigh Waters Waters (1) vs. Irina Tereschenko (3)
Women’s singles was full of surprises in Denver, leading to an exciting finals match between Anna Leigh Waters and Irina Tereschenko. ALW had a hard-fought main draw but managed not to drop a single game throughout the entire tournament. Tereschenko also managed to battle through some tough matches against a couple of underdogs along the way, including Mari Humberg, who managed to take down 6-seed Lauren Stratman.
In the finals match, game one was neck-and-neck all game long, leading to ALW winning at a second match point (12-10). In game two, Waters managed to keep the energy from her win going and quickly took her triple crown title, 11-3.
Judit Castillo continues to prove herself in the PPA, earning a bronze medal by defeating Mary Brascia and taking down the 2-seed favorite, Lea Jansen, in the quarterfinals. Castillo won her first gold medal this year at the APP Sacramento Open, and it won’t be long until we see her at Championship Sunday in the PPA.
Men’s Singles – Ben Johns (1) vs. Christian Alshon (7)
The Tweener King, Christian Alshon, made his Championship Sunday debut against Ben Johns after an incredible run in the main draw. He managed to take down 2-seed Federico Staksrud and young gun Hayden Patriquin, and defeated rising star, Jaume Martinez Vich, in the semis.
In the finals, Johns came out the gates in control with an 11-1 victory and managed to maintain that hold on the match in game two (11-2), earning himself a third triple crown on the year.
In the semifinals, Johns went up against 29-seed qualifier Quang Duong, who also recently fought his way to the APP Newport Beach Open finals against Hunter Johnson. Johns was at the top of his game in Denver, defeating Duong with a quick 2-game match (11-3, 11-1); however, it is incredible to see how quickly Duong has impacted the pro scene.
This was Duong’s third PPA event, and he nearly made the finals. Keep your eyes on the “Avatar ball bender,” big things are sure to come his way in the second half of the season!
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