The APP Tour’s fifth tournament of 2023, the APP Vlassic Classic, has kicked off at the Sawyer Point Pickleball Complex in Cincinnati, Ohio. Amateur events started Tuesday, May 9, with pro events starting today with men’s and women’s pro singles.
Over 900 players registered for the event, including about 200 pros, who will all participate in the standard APP format singles, doubles, and mixed doubles competition. Of the 200 pros playing, there are several you should be looking out for when watching the tournament – Let’s dive in!
Men’s Pro Singles
The Johnson Brothers, Hunter and Yates, have been a force to be reckoned with in men’s singles all year. Yates took down his brother in the finals match at the APP Sacramento Open, earning himself his first pro gold medal in men’s singles.
Looking at the bracket, we wouldn’t be surprised to see another Johnson brothers rematch in the finals, but there are a couple of other stand-out contenders that they need to face in the main draw. Watch out for the 5-seed Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez, who recently won most of his matches in the qualifiers at the PPA North Carolina Open. He’s on the same side of the bracket as Hunter Johnson, so if we see that match, it’ll be an electric one!
Women’s Pro Singles
Women’s pro singles should be interesting, as it could go a few different ways with Parris Todd not in the mix. Salome Devidze returns to the field, who recently won gold back at the APP Mesa Open earlier in the year.
On the other side of the bracket, we see the 2-seed Alix Truong, who recently earned a bronze in women’s pro doubles at the 2023 US Open alongside Milan Rane. Troung is on the hunt for her first podium finish in singles on the APP Tour, and we think she’s got a great shot at it this week.
Men’s Pro Doubles
It’s hard not to bet it all on Andrei Daescu, who’s won back-to-back gold medals in men’s doubles with Pesa Teoni. However, this weekend Daescu has a new partner: Rob Nunnery.
Nunnery just recently won silver in men’s doubles with Ryler DeHeart at APP Sacramento, where they faced off against the Daescu and Teoni duo. Nunnery’s experience playing against Daescu might give him a better understanding of how to play with Daescu. If the two build on-court chemistry quickly, they’ll be the team to beat.
Women’s Pro Doubles
I don’t think there’s been a more potent combination than that of Parris Todd and Simone Jardim this year. The two have won four-straight gold medals in women’s pro doubles this season, and it’s highly likely we’ll see them on Championship Sunday ready to secure their fifth.
Another team that’s likely to perform well is Susannah Barr and Megan Fudge. Barr is coming off of that big win in Sacramento in mixed doubles, and Fudge also just earned two silvers, bringing her total medal count for 2023 to eight. Expect to see this team cross paths with Todd and Jardim at some point this weekend.
Mixed Pro Doubles
Daescu’s switching things up in mixed pro doubles as well. Despite having just won gold in Sacramento with Susannah Barr, the two both found new partners for this weekend. Barr has paired up with Rob Nunnery, and Daescu teams up with Alix Troung.
While these new partnerships both seem like they could be threats in the main draw, they do have some tough competition in the formidable team of Hunter Johnson and Parris Todd. Their gold medal finish in Sacramento brings Hunter to a total of 11 medals this year, making him the winningest player on the tour. Todd also has proven her pickleball prowess, earning two Triple Crowns this year.
How To Watch
The tournament will be streamed live on APPTV, which is available on the APP Tour’s Youtube channel and Facebook page. Streaming will start at 1 pm ET on Saturday, May 13, and all of Championship Sunday, May 14,beginningg at 8 am ET.
There will also be coverage of the finals on the CBS Sports Network from 12-2 pm ET on Sunday, May 14.
You can also order spectator tickets to see the event in person through Eventbrite. Tickets will also be made available for purchase at the main gate of the tournament venue starting at 8 am ET every day.
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