The PPA Tour makes its way from the heat of Texas to the cool ocean breeze of San Clemente, CA. If the pros can keep the heat from the Texas Open going, we’re in for an incredible weekend of pro pickleball!
Hosted at the Life Time San Clemente, The 2023 Select Medical Orange County Cup kicks off today with men’s and women’s singles, and will be followed up by mixed doubles on Friday, men’s and women’s doubles on Saturday, and the classic Championship Sunday. Let’s break down each of the brackets to see who we think has the best shot of taking home the gold.
One of the major storylines from last week’s Texas Open was the rise of 19-seed Jaume Martinez Vich. Not only did he make it all the way to the men’s singles finals match against Ben Johns, but he had one of the toughest draws to get there that we’ve ever seen.
He took down Yates Johnson, Jay Devilliers, Dylan Frazier, and Federico Staksrud, some of pro pickleball’s top-performing players. Martinez Vich’s on our radar this weekend, and he kicks off the main draw with a tough match right away against AJ Koller.
On the other side of the bracket, we’ve obviously got Ben Johns, who hasn’t let off the gas and took home the gold at the Texas Open. We’d like to see a match up of Johns vs. 8-seed Dylan Frazier in the quarter-finals, and then the winner of that match go up against 4-seed Tyson McGuffin in the semis.
After the heated women’s singles finals at Texas between Anna Leigh Waters and Lea Jansen, we’d love to see a rematch. However, Jansen will be taking this weekend off in singles to mentally prepare for next week’s MLP San Clemente tournament. So who’s going to take her place in the finals match against Waters?
Looking at Waters’ side of the bracket, it’s pretty apparent that she’ll be making it to the finals match. We expect to see either Judit Castillo or Irina Tereschenko facing Waters in the semifinals, but no one’s been able to stop Waters from reaching the finals all year long.
On the other side of the bracket, We’ve got Catherine Parenteau taking the 2-seed. This is interesting as she hasn’t faced Waters in the finals in a while, and the two are always so fun to watch. While she has a very good chance of making the finals, Mary Brascia and Anna Bright are some of our favorites for meeting Parenteau in the semifinals.
We’ve got a deep draw in mixed doubles this week, with plenty of qualifier slots. Will this be the week in mixed to see the rise of a new duo?
Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters defeated Lindsey and Riley Newman in Texas, and there’s a good chance we might see a rematch in the semifinals this weekend. While Johns and Waters is the safe bet for a finals appearance, the Newman Siblings swept their side of the bracket last week without losing a game.
We’d love to see Andrea Koop and Dylan Frazier make it to the finals to face off against Waters and Johns. The two have been killing it in their other doubles brackets, and we think this could be their tournament to make it all the way in mixed.
The Johns brothers have been tough to beat this year, having only one loss so far in the PPA. Last week they kept their winning streak going by taking down Dylan Frazier and JW Johnson in a three-game sweep.
This time around Johnson and Frazier are back on the same side of the bracket as Ben and Collin, but will also have to likely face Tyson McGuffin and James Ignatowich in the quarterfinals. They’ve got a tough road ahead of them, but we see it as a perfect test to prove themselves on of the top teams in the PPA.
On the other side of the bracket, we’d love to see Pablo Tellez and Federico Staksrud make it to the finals. The two have grit and toughness when on the court together, and we expect them to fight through a tough battle against Matt Wright and Riley Newman to make it to the semifinals. Who they’d face is a bit of a toss-up, though we could see Tyler Loong and Jay Devilliers making a run.
Parenteau and Waters are the favorites once again, as the two can’t seem to be stopped. Though, our guess is that they will face Anna Bright and Megan Fudge in the semis, and it’s going to be the best match of the tournament.
But who will face Parenteau and Waters in the finals? The other side of the bracket is looking pretty spread out this weekend, which will likely lead to some tight competition in the quarterfinals. Our favorites: The new team of returning Allyce Jones and Jorja Johnson.
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