The PPA Red Clay Hot Sauce Florida Open saw many familiar faces take home the gold at Championship Sunday. However, the journey to the podium finishes was filled with exciting matches and some new faces.
Held at the beautiful Pictona at Holly Hill in Holly Hill, FL, the PPA Florida Open proved once again that Daytona Beach is home to some of the best pickleball action in the world. Let’s take a look at what went down at each main event on Championship Sunday.
An incredible lineup that you won’t wanna miss 🤯 Tomorrow! 10am ET 🕙 only on the PPA Tour YouTube Channel 📺 pic.twitter.com/hI5r66mlzc— CARVANA PPA TOUR (@PPAtour) March 12, 2023
Men’s Singles – Ben Johns vs. Collin Shick
Everyone loves a good underdog story, and Collin Shick truly embodied that role for the Florida Open. Shick fought through the qualifying bracket of his first-ever PPA Tour event to earn himself the 30 seed in the finals bracket.
Shick is a med student at the University of North Carolina who spent his undergraduate playing tennis at the University of North Carlina State. His tennis experience has translated well into his pickleball game, as he fought through the qualifier to make it to the main draw.
Not only was he able to reach the main draw, but he managed to take down Dylan Frazier, Wyatt Stone, and Julian Arnold to go all the way to the championship match against Ben Johns. Shick believed being the underdog gave him an advantage, as his opponents couldn’t draw up a game plan beforehand.
“I think being an unknown player has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s nice no one has a clear game plan against you and that can translate to some early leads before guys figure you out. I think it can be a bit of a disadvantage as well in not being an established player so no other players fear you and everyone thinks and believes they should beat you.”Collin Shick
Shick had a strong start against Johns, winning game 1, 11-6. However, Johns made some quick adjustments in game 2, winning 11-3. In the final game, Johns took over, sweeping Shick in an 11-0 win.
Johns gets yet another trophy win in men’s singles, and the pickleball world is now rooting for Shick, hoping to see him make another appearance in a future PPA tournament.
Women’s Doubles – Waters/Parenteau vs. Schneemann/Kawamoto
Another set of newcomers, Lacy Schneemann and Jade Kawamoto, also made their Championship Sunday debut by taking on one of the most notorious duos in women’s doubles, Anna Leigh Waters and Catherine Parenteau.
Kawamoto and Schneeman faced some tough competition on their way to the championship match, defeating the strong pair of Parris Todd and Anna Bright, as well as Lea Jansen and Allyce Jones in the semifinals. However, they were in for a battle against Anna Leight Waters and Catherine Parenteau, one of pickleball’s winningest duos.
In the championship match, Schneeman and Kawamoto put up a fight in all three games. Game 1 was an absolute battle, with Schneeman and Kawamoto taking a quick 3-0 lead. However, Waters and Parenteau were able to keep pace and came out on top 11-9.
Waters and Parenteau dominated in game 2, winning 11-3. For the third and final game of the match, Schneemand and Kawamoto kept it close and exciting before losing 8-11.
“Congrats to them, they played amazing, and we hope to see them in another finals that would be awesome. Anna Leigh’s just a beast next to me. I love playing with her, so it was a great weekend for us.”Catherine Parenteau
Men’s Doubles – Arnold/Wilson vs. Johns/Johns
Julian Arnold makes his Men’s Doubles finals debut alongside Thomas Wilson, going head to head against the Johns brothers. Ben and Collin Johns already have three titles together in 2023, so this was going to be an absolute battle for Arnold and Wilson.
Both teams are known for being powerhouses due to their high levels of athleticism and explosiveness on the court. This match reflected that, with all three games being incredibly close.
Despite Arnold and Wilson’s fiery energy, the Johns brothers Collin and Ben continued their winning streak, winning all three games, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9.
Mixed Doubles – Parenteau/McGuffin vs. Waters/Johns
Everyone was hyped to see Tyson McGuffin return to the pro circuit after dealing with a minor foot injury. He teamed up with Catherine Parenteau to take on the unstoppable duo of Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns.
Johns and Waters had an incredible record of 66-2 going into this match and beat the McGuffin and Parenteau duo earlier this year at the PPA Hyundai Masters. It was an uphill battle for McGuffin and Parenteau, who performed well but couldn’t win a game.
Johns and Waters dominated the event, winning all three games, 11-5, 11-2, 11-6. With this victory, Ben Johns secured yet another triple crown win this year on the PPA Tour.
Women’s Singles – Lea Jansen vs. Catherine Parenteau
The final event of the Florida Open saw Catherine Parenteau take on Lea Jansen in women’s singles. Parenteau had to defend her title from Jansen, as the two previously faced off at the PPA Vulcan Indoor National Championships back in February.
Everyone knew we were in for a show, as their last matchup was filled with fireworks. From Jansen’s strong 11-2 start to Parenteau’s unanswered 11 points in a row to win the match, the Indoor National Championships set the stage for an incredible performance at the Florida Open.
Parenteau started the match strong with a decisive 11-4 win over Jansen. While Parenteau was able to keep that pressure on going into game 2, Jansen kept things interesting by forcing Parenteau to 5 match point positions. Parenteau was finally able to clutch the match point, winning 11-2.
The PPA Tour continues this weekend for their sixth tour stop at the Austin Showdown, March 16-19. Be sure to check out the PPA Tour’s website for more information about the upcoming tournament, and stay tuned here at Pickleball Union for more pro pickleball coverage!
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