The APP Tour finishes up its 2023 season with a bang at the U.S. Indoor Championships! Faces old and new made their way to the podiums at Championship Sunday following some incredible finals matches.
Along with the recent 2024 Pro Team Competition announcement, the incredibly successful Indoor Championships lead us to believe we are entering a new era for the APP Tour in 2024. While the other pro organizations are picking up the pieces, it feels like the APP might be setting a firm foundation. Let’s take a look at the results of last weekend’s tournament and show off why the APP is back in the spotlight!
Men’s Singles – Chris Haworth vs. Hunter Johnson
Hunter Johnson fought his way back into the finals after losing in the semis to Chris Haworth, defeating Mohaned Alhouni in 2 incredibly close games in the losers bracket (11-8, 11-8). Johnson capped off the biggest year of his pickleball career with another gold medal after his finals rematch with Haworth went to a 15-point tiebreaker.
Haworth recently popped up on everyone’s radar after he managed to take down pickleball’s number one men’s player, Ben Johns, at the USA Pickleball National Championships! Since then, Haworth hasn’t let off the gas and used that momentum to earn himself a spot at the Indoor Championships final.
The double-elimination bracket isn’t for everybody, as some believe that second chances in the playoffs go against the whole point of having a playoff. Still, it does lead to some interesting moments like we saw in men’s singles. Haworth takes down Johnson in the semis, Johnson redeems himself in the finals, going 2-1, but because Johnson is playing from the back draw it pushes the finals to a 15-point tiebreaker that Johnson wins – It was an exciting sequence of events to witness.
Women’s Singles – Jenna Hessert vs. Jessica Warren
Women’s singles also saw a tiebreaker finale, but this time, it went to the player who fought hard through the winner’s bracket: 4-seed Jenna Hessert earned her first-ever APP Tour gold medal after taking down 3-seed Jessica Warren (10-12, 5-11, 15-9).
Due to the absence of the APP’s top women’s singles players, like Salome Devidze, Judit Castillo, Megan Fudge, and Parris Todd, the brackets opened up to some up-and-coming pros to take the big stage.
Warren comes from a tennis background and played hard in her first year of pro pickleball; she’s medaled several times this year despite only having started playing in pro singles back in April of this year! A silver medal is a phenomenal way to cap off the year, and we are excited to see her return in 2024.
Hessert has also made a name for herself this year, with a few medals under her belt, and managed to cap off the 2023 APP season the right way with a gold medal! Hessert’s dedication to pickleball is obviously seen through her athleticism on the court – the perfect way to end the season, and overall well deserved.
Mixed Pro Doubles – Todd/Johnson vs. Barr/Daescu
Johnson earned a second gold medal this tournament alongside Parris Todd after taking down their 2023 season rivals, Andrei Daescu and Susannah Barr. It’s difficult to remember a time when it wasn’t one of these two teams taking home a gold; it was an incredible showing between the two teams from start to finish!
Todd and Johnson started out strong with a 3-game victory over Barr and Daescu in the semis (5-11, 11-3, 11-9), pushing Barr and Daescu into the back draw. After defeating William Sobek and Genie Erokhina in the bronze medal match, Barr and Daescu swiftly took care of Todd and Johnson in the finals (11-8, 11-3), which pushed it to an incredibly close tiebreaker.
Despite Daescu and Barr’s efforts to push for what would’ve been their 8th gold of the year together, Todd and Johnson managed to clutch the final game, 15-12, earning themselves one last medal together for 2023.
Women’s Pro Doubles – Bohnert/Jardim vs. Harris/Humberg
Women’s doubles featured one of the most inspiring stories of the year, as one of the APP’s upcoming Next Gen stars, Riley Bohnert, partnered up with one of pro pickleball’s greatest veteran players, Simone Jardim. Despite this being the team’s first outing together, they played absolutely lights out all tournament!
At first glance of the brackets, everyone was fully expecting a Barr/Fudge vs. Truong/Glozman finals matchup in the finals. While those teams played as strong as ever, they were both knocked out in the quarterfinals by two new teams to Championship Sunday. Allison Harris and Mari Humberg are players we’ve seen make a notable difference in MLP Season Two, and their journeys also brought them together in the APP, where they first medaled at the APP St. Louis Open with a bronze.
This tournament, they managed to make it all the way to the finals where they took silver after an incredibly close match with Bohnert and Jardim. Bohnert showed serious love to Simone after their gold medal finish, pointing to Jardim as a major inspiration in her pickleball journey.
“When I first started playing pickleball, my parents and I sat on the couch and watched Simone play. Now, I’m on the same court as her, and it’s the best moment in the entire world.”Riley Bohnert
Men’s Pro Doubles – Daescu/Nunnery vs. Johnson/Johnson
Andrei Daescu and Rob Nunnery took a victory lap for their incredible 2023 season together, earning their fifth gold in a row and eight total on the year! We’re happy we got to see them face off against the Johnson brothers one last time, though a triple crown from Hunter would’ve been equally exciting.
In classic fashion, Daescu and Nunnery completely dominated the competition, with only one game dropped all tournament long. Their performance against Anderson Scarpa and Marioo Barrientos in the semis (11-4, 11-0) really sealed the deal in our minds going into the finals that the gold was as good as theirs.
However, the Johnsons also had an impressive showing for their last dance, breaking out of the back draw in a dogfight of a matchup against Scarpa and Barrientos. While they couldn’t quite get things going against Daescu and Nunnery in the finals, we think the Johnsons will remain one of the APP’s top contenders in men’s dubs moving into the new year!
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?