It was a historical week of pickleball in Newport Beach, California, at the Takeya Showcase! Major wins were documented at the top on both the men’s and women’s sides which made for a spectacular Championship Sunday.
We kicked off the week with Men’s and Women’s Singles on Thursday, where we saw history repeating itself throughout most of the day, with the exception of some breakout matches.
Matthew Chou took down Joey Farias in the first round 11-3, 11-3 while Spencer Smith had a big win over Tyler Loong in the second round, defeating him 11-7, 7-11, 11-5. AJ Koller was playing hot and managed to take the first game against #1 seed Ben Johns in the quarterfinals, before beginning to cramp and eventually falling to Johns 9-11, 11-6, 11-3.
Gabriel Joseph cruised to the semifinals without dropping a game, taking down #4 seed Dekel Bar on his way. He then lost to Ben Johns in three hard-fought games 11-2, 7-11, 11-6. On the other side of the draw, #3 seed Tyson McGuffin and #4 seed Jocelyn Devilliers met in the semifinals and Devilliers came up with the victory 7-11, 11-1, 11-8.
Meanwhile, in the backdraw, Matt Chou had a good run, taking out both Tyler Loong and AJ Koller before coming up against Dekel Bar who was hungry for a chance at the bronze and taking no prisoners. Bar won that match 15-8, took down Tyson McGuffin 15-9, and went on to exact revenge against Gabriel Joseph in the bronze medal match, defeating him in three: 6-11,11-7,12-10.
Johns and Devilliers kicked off Championship Sunday with the Singles Final which brought us insane rallies and full-court gets that kept the audience dialed in. The fiery Frenchman ultimately fell to Johns 11-2,9-11,11-0,11-9 but not before winning the hearts of Newport fans with his determination and passion. His long-time doubles partner, Patrick Smith, was there courtside to coach him. Johns looked dialed in and ready to compete throughout the match and was likely happy to finish in four games, as he was scheduled to play the Men’s Doubles Final later that day.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Anna Leigh Waters took her chance to repay Lea Jansen for the five game heartbreaker that Waters lost to Jansen in the final at the Orange County Cup a little over a month ago. Waters drew Jansen first round and defeated her 11-3, 11-4 before continuing on and cruising past Irina Tereschenko in the semifinal 11-3, 11-7.
Callie Smith and Catherine Parenteau were set to meet in the semifinals on the other side of the draw, but Smith forfeited the match due to her religious beliefs about playing on Sunday (which was when the final was set to take place, were Smith to defeat Parenteau). This put a fresh Parenteau in the final against Waters, who appeared to be confident and focused, despite being significantly younger than her competition.
In the backdraw, Lea Jansen was able to recover from her early loss and fight all the way back to the bronze medal match against Annica Cooper. Jansen finished off the day by capturing the bronze 11-1, 11-9.
Waters and Parenteau faced off on Championship Sunday after the Men’s Singles Final, with Parenteau warming up with her partner Athena Trouillot and Waters with her mom and doubles partner, Leigh Waters. The stands were full and crowd support was strong for both women, who brought incredible athleticism and intensity to the court and kept us locked into the action from start to finish with their spectacular five game final that came down to the wire. Waters took the first game 11-3 and looked to be fully in control, but Parenteau came firing back and managed to take the next two games 8-11 and 9-11. Throughout the match, Waters received coaching from mom Leigh Waters and came out to start the fourth game looking determined to clinch the win. She performed brilliantly, taking the final two games 11-6, 11-2, cementing her victory, and earning her first PPA title.
Results at a Glance
|GOLD||Anna Leigh Waters|