Following the conclusion of the Las Vegas event, the focus now shifts toward the upcoming CIBC PPA Tour Finals scheduled for November 30-December. 3 in San Clemente, California.
Qualification for this prestigious event is determined by The Race, a ranking system that evaluates player performance throughout the calendar year.
For a detailed understanding of how The Race differs from the traditional PPA Tour rankings, you can refer to the article we published explaining The Race ins and outs.
It’s crucial to note that the 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships, occurring from November 5-12, do not contribute towards PPA ranking points or The Race standings.
The final opportunity for players to accrue points for tour finals qualification is at the Hertz Gold Cup presented by TIXR at Pictona in Holly Hill, Florida, taking place from November 15-19. Click here for a preview.
The PPA 1000 event offers a maximum of 1,000 points in each bracket.
Let’s now examine the standings heading into this pivotal last qualifying tournament of the season.
All but one of the eight spots for women’s singles have been secured, with Lauren Stratman currently holding the sole remaining open spot.
Yana Newell, however, is within striking distance following a strong summer performance with consecutive medals in Seattle (bronze) and Fountain Valley (silver).
A similar showing from Newell in Holly Hill could secure her the final spot and a ticket to San Clemente.
At the higher end of the rankings, accomplished singles player Lea Jansen maintains the third position despite not participating in a singles draw since July. Jansen, who initially retired from singles, has confirmed her return to compete in San Clemente.
Similarly, for men’s singles, only one spot still needs to be claimed.
Pablo Tellez currently holds it after a quarterfinal run in Las Vegas. However, Tellez faces stiff competition from Jaume Martinez Vich, Dylan Frazier, Julian Arnold, and Gabriel Joseph, all closely trailing.
A standout performance from any of them could potentially overtake Tellez at the last moment.
Out of the 16 available spots for women’s doubles in the PPA Tour Finals, 12 have already been secured.
Irina Tereschenko, Yana Newell, Lacy Schneemann, and Jade Kawamato currently occupy the last four positions.
Notably, Tereschenko and Kawamoto’s commendable fourth-place finish in Vegas elevated them into qualifying positions.
Kawamoto’s ascent to the 16th position displaces Jorja Johnson, who didn’t compete in Vegas. Lauren Stratman closely trails as the second player on the cusp of qualification.
With only a marginal points difference between the three players, Johnson and Stratman both have a chance to secure qualification with strong performances in Holly Hill.
There’s just one remaining spot for men’s doubles, and Dekel Bar is in a favorable position to claim it following a seventh-place finish in Vegas. Callan Dawson and Tyler Loong occupy the first two positions outside of qualification, but they would need nothing short of a gold medal miracle in Holly Hill to surpass Bar.
While it’s a challenging feat given the expected competition, unforeseen outcomes are not unprecedented in such tournaments.
Mixed Doubles: Women
This category exhibits the closest race leading up to Daytona. Six of the eight spots are already filled, with Lucy Kovalova and Lauren Stratman occupying the final two open spots.
The competition for the last spot is remarkably tight, with just 25 points separating the final qualifier, Stratman, from the first two players outside, Lea Jansen and Callie Smith.
Any substantial performance –even a single win –by Jansen or Smith could be the game-changer that propels one into the finals and sends the other home.
Mixed Doubles: Men
The men’s mixed doubles race is relatively more settled, with seven out of the eight spots already taken.
Matt Wright currently holds the last spot, and only Julian Arnold stands a chance at catching up. However, this remains a slim possibility, as Arnold would need to secure a silver medal and hope for an early exit from Wright.
It’s worth noting that Arnold is partnering with his off-court associate, Lauren Stratman, for this tournament. Their performance will be crucial if they aim to secure the final mixed doubles spots in San Clemente.
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