The PPA tour heads to Sin City for the first of two professional tournaments this fall. The PPA Las Vegas Pickleball Open is underway with pro action beginning Friday, September 24. In true Vegas fashion this tournament is played at one of the most memorable venues in pickleball, the rooftop courts of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. Complete with a pool to jump in between games, this venue has gotten ahead of the pickleball curve and has been hosting high level play for years. It is a bucket list destination for pickleball travelers, but this weekend will host the best in the world in an all doubles event. Find your pickleball buddy and head up to the rooftop or to the PPA livestream on YouTube and Facebook.
Only four teams in this division which is unfortunate for the spectators. The four teams playing, however, are loaded with talent and we have the return of Lindsey Newman. We are interested to see how the seeding will shake out with some new pairings but without seeing the bracket, here is the podium prediction:
Simone Jardim & Catherine Parenteau
Jesse Irvine & Lindsey Newman
Lea Jansen & Irina Tereschenko
The mens field is also missing a couple of household names as some of the boys had to miss this trip to Vegas. Podium perennials Tyson McGuffin, Adam Stone and Jay Devilliers could not make the trip leading their partners to snag some free agents. Dekel Bar decided to go freestyle and pair up with fellow Austinite Rob Nunnery. Riley Newman brought in the Vegas local, AJ ‘Machine Gun’ Koller. Bar replaces Stone with another talented right side player and Newman pairs his elite defense with a player that can create his own offense. All the talent is there, let’s see if the chemistry is too. Spencer Smith and Tyler Loong have been developing chemistry and have become more of a threat throughout the year. This tournament is the perfect opportunity for them to put it all together and take home a PPA medal.
All of these teams will be trying their luck against ‘the house’ aka the Johns Brothers. With the back draw in play, a medal upset is less likely this weekend. Eventually the chips stack up against you, the dice rolls the wrong way or you get a bad bounce but at the end of the day ‘the house’ always wins. But in Vegas is pays to pick the underdog and going against those odds is what keeps you coming back for more. Without seeding or a bracket here is the Podium Prediction:
Riley Newman & AJ Koller
Ben Johns & Collin Johns
Dekel Bar & Rob Nunnery
Mixed doubles will finish off the weekend and roll into NFL Sunday. Jardim and Johns are the favorites as usual. With Lindsey Newman back, Catherine Parenteau had to hit the market for a partner. Her and the lucky lefty, Tyler Loong, will go all-in on a run for the title. Look for CP to line up on the left side of the court like Lindsey Newman, which will allow her to play offensive pickleball and open up forehand Erne opportunities.
Another team to watch for is Dekel Bar & Lea Jansen. When it comes to length and athletisism, they have it in spades. Vivienne David was racking up backhand Ernes with Dekel in Orlando, and now he is paired with Jansen who is probably more comfortable executing the backhand Erne than anyone in the womens game. Podium Prediction:
Simone Jardim & Ben Johns
Lindsey Newman & Riley Newman
Lea Jansen & Dekel Bar