PPA Orange County Cup Day 3 - Men's/Women's Doubles
Lights, camera, action..action…action. Non-stop action today as both Men’s and Women’s doubles will be coming at you simultaneously throughout the day. Top cap things off, the Mixed Doubles Gold Medal match between Ben Johns/Simone Jardim and Matt Wright/Lucy Kovalova will conclude today’s event. Don’t miss eighty-four of the best players in the world all fighting for a Gold Medal and their portion of the $75k payout. Catch the action on Facebook, and later today on WatchESPN. Follow us on Instagram to feel like you’re sitting on the sidelines.
10:50 PDT - Thomas and JB
The Men started off the day in San Clemente, CA. The bracket has remained pretty close to chalk except for one match. Johnny Goldberg and AJ Koller have taken down Adam Stone and Dekel Bar in the second round. Bar/Stone were coming into the match off a bye while Goldberg/Koller had a round one win. Thomas caught up with Goldberg after the match.
Goldberg said they were shaky in the first game, dropping that 3-11, but we’re almost flawless from there on. Minimization of mistakes was the key. They chose to target Stone on the cross-court dinks, and Dekel started to get a little overzealous with the poaches, which opened up the back court and they were able to go behind him a number of times. AJ’s hands at the net were too good and once he got some confidence, he got aggressive and seemingly took over.
They took the second game 11-6 and closed the match with an 11-9 win. They will go on to face Jay Devilliers and Pat Smith in the next round.
NewGuffin and Johns
11:30 PDT - Thomas
On the other side of the bracket, we had Tyson McGuffin and Riley Newman taking on Wes Burrows and Jeff Warnick. In the first game, Burrows and Warnick looked strong, playing aggressive and coming out on top of most of the skirmishes at the net. Both were playing pretty aggressive and were able to take the first game. After that, different story as Riley and Tyson seemed to dial in the gameplan and take it to them. Riley had some sneaky winners and defensive plays on Warnick that made it pretty obvious that he knew Warnick’s game inside and out. The third game was smooth sailing and the Bash Bros move on. Warnick and Burrows go to the consolation, where I would be surprised to see them in the Bronze match.
In Round three the Johns bros lined up against Rob Cassidy and Rob Nunnery. There were some fun firefights and highlight reel plays but this was an easy one for the Johns Bros. Cassidy and Nunnery would have needed the game of their live’s to beat the brothers. Ben may not have shown one smile the entire match despite playing against one of his closest friends and podcast co-host Rob Nunnery – Ben means business today. Pray for the field!
12:21 PDT - Thomas and JB
The last matches to decide the the final four just wrapped up on center court. It was a tough match for new partners Dj Young and Matt Wright as they faced off the with long time partners Spencer Smith and Tyler Loong. As expected, plenty of ernes and hands battles in this one. Matt and DJ took the first game but it was all Loong and Smith after that. The third game saw Loong and Smith coast to the win and ended in a nice paddle spike by DJ.
In last qualifier, Johnny Goldberg and AJ Koller couldn’t touch Pat and Jay. While they were off to a strong start taking a 7-3 lead in the first game, they gave up 11 in a row. They lost the second game 11-7 as well. Smith and Devilliers chose to target Goldberg and it paid off as Goldberg started to show signs of exhaustion. Koller tried to take over, as he did in their first round upset but it wasn’t enough. The final four is set, Johns/Johns keeping it in the family against Devilliers/Smith. While, Smith/Loong will have one of their best chances at PPA Gold with only Team NewGuffin standing between them and the final.
The Women’s Doubles will be firing up soon. We are expecting to see another student vs teacher showdown between Simone Jardim and Catherine Parenteau in the finals. They are with their usual partners today, Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith.
Let the Ladies Play
12:50 PDT - JB
The Women’s Bracket got off to a later start because of the smaller field. The familiar faces have moved through their first-round matches and things are about to get interesting. Irina Tereschenko/Jesse Irvine and the Waters crushed in the first round. They will square off in round two. Lea Jansen/Vivienne David were all about the defense only allowing 3 total points. They will see Parenteau/Smith in round two. If these matches weren’t exciting enough, there is still another side of the bracket. Lauren Stratman/Michelle Esquivel will take on the new combo of Lindsay Newman/Corrine Carr. Jackie Urbinati and Christine Mcgrath also had an easy match winning round one in two games. They get the unfortunate opportunity to face Lucy and Simone, who had a bye.
1:45 PDT - Thomas
Lucy and Simone were simply too much for the power-playing newcomer Jackie Urbinati and Franklin’s Christine Mcgrath. They are mechanical and have arguably better chemistry than any two on the pro tour, Mens and Womens. But that didn’t stop Urbinati from having a highlight reel worthy firefight with the veterans – she’s not afraid to go toe to toe with two of the best in the game. Lucy and Simone move on and are still fresh given their first round bye. They are easily the favorites on the women’s side.
Team Waters takes down Irina and Irvine in two games. Plenty of emphatic “come on!”’s and fist pumps could be seen and heard throughout. Like Simone and Lucy, the waters’ secret weapon is their chemistry. On to the next one!
Men's Doubles - Semifinals
3:00 PDT - Thomas
Not too much to say about the Riley and Tyson match. They didn’t relinquish control and looked comfortable against Loong and Smith. They’re headed to the finals on Sunday where they’ll meet the winner of the upcoming match between Devilliers/Smith & The Johns Bros. I know what you’re thinking, but I’m here to tell you (predict with 0 confidence) that this will be an upset and the Johns Bros will miss out on the doubles final for the second straight PPA.
The last time the Johns Bros came up against team Euro, it didn’t go their way. This time around however, Devilliers & Smith couldn’t handle Ben and Collin, who made quick work of them. Always some fun highlights when these two teams play, but that’s about all we got from this match. The number one mens team are number one for a reason: they’re absolutely clinical. They’ll go to the final to play Riley and Tyson tomorrow.
Women's Doubles - Semifinals
5:15 PDT -Thomas and Jack
Simone & Lucy are moving on to Championship Sunday! The Semis were short and sweet. Stratman & Co simply didn’t have the juice, making one unforced error after another.
One the other side of the court, Simone Jardim continues to flex her defensive prowess like no other!
The second Semi Final match was conceded by forfeit from Smith/Parenteau to the Waters. The Waters automatically advance to Championship Sunday. Smith’s personal beliefs prohibit her from competing on Sunday and in order to have a final match, it was necessary to allow the Waters to advance. This was known before the tournament started and Parenteau and Smith agreed this would be the course of action if they advanced to the semis. They will still have an opportunity for Bronze today.