The APP Tour makes its indoor debut late into the 2023 pro pickleball season at this weekend’s U.S. Indoor Championships, hosted at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Nearly 700 amateur and pro players will compete in the standard APP double elimination bracket format.
It’s been nearly a month since the APP’s last tournament in Houston, where we saw many of the top-performing APP players hit the podium. Will there be any newcomers to Championship Sunday this weekend? Let’s take a look!
Houston saw one of pro pickleball’s biggest rising stars, Quang Duong, take home the gold for the first time ever! He took down some of the best players on tour last month, including Jaume Martinez Vich and Hunter Johnson. However, Duong will not be playing in the Indoor Championships, so who has a chance at taking his place?
With only 20 pro players registered, the main draw should be pretty cut and dry for our favorites. Hunter and Yates Johnson continue to hold our interest despite their absence from Houston’s finals match. The twins have dominated in singles all year long, and it’s about time they reclaim gold.
Chris Haworth is coming off of a huge performance at the USA Pickleball National Championships, where he managed to take down the number 1 men’s singles player in the world, Ben Johns. With the smaller draw this weekend, expect to see Haworth run deep into the bracket with his newfound success!
Keep your eyes peeled for some big matchups in women’s singles! With 28 players registered, the draw runs much deeper than the men’s event, which should make for a more exciting bracket.
However, singles will be missing the top three APP women’s singles players: Salome Devidze, Judit Castillo, and Megan Fudge. This should open the way for other top players to make an appearance in the finals.
Our favorites include Simone Jardim, Alix Truong, and Shelby Bates, all of whom have played incredibly well this year and are deserving of a medal finish! Dominique Schaefer is another player to watch out for, especially since she’s already earned a gold medal this year back at the APP St. Louis Open.
The player pool for mixed doubles is currently unavailable at the time of this preview, but we can tell you this: if Andrei Daescu and Susannah Barr team up yet again, they are the obvious favorites this weekend. They now have seven gold medals together on the year, making them one of the best doubles teams on the APP Tour.
Another team that will undoubtedly put up numbers if they play is that of Hunter Johnson and Parris Todd. While they didn’t play in Houston, we would be surprised if the two bowed out of yet another huge competition.
Still waiting on the player pool for women’s doubles too, unfortunately, but if the last few tournaments are any indication, then Susannah Barr and Megan Fudge already have this one in the bag. The two have won the last three tournaments in a row, meaning a fourth is expected this weekend.
However, we also need to give credit to Alix Truong and Vivian Glozman, as the two have consistently made bronze and silver medal finishes in the last few APP events! Glozman and Truong have battled through the trenches of the back draw to make it to Championship Sunday, and that type of determination has led them to some serious success this season.
Ideally, we’d love to see a Truong/Glozman vs. Barr/Fudge rematch, as the matchup never fails to impress and entertain!
Finally, let’s take a look at men’s dubs. Andrei Daescu and Rob Nunnery continued their winning streak in Dallas, now with four gold medals in a row and seven total in 2023. They’re all but locked into a Championship Sunday appearance at this point, so who might be joining them?
Stefan Auvergne is taking this tournament off, meaning Brendon Long will now be partnering with John Cincola. Long made it to the finals in Houston with Auvergne, and we think that his partnership with Cincola could yield similar results.
The Johnson brothers haven’t made waves in men’s doubles for quite some time, but we will yet again point to them as a prospective finals contender. If Hunter shows up this weekend, there’s potential for a triple crown in his future; however, it certainly won’t be easy, given the competition he will be facing in all three events!
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