The PPA season has officially hit the halfway point with the next tournament scheduled to start on July 13th in Denver. A lot has transpired from January to June (too much to write about) but here are my top 10 parting thoughts, questions and predictions as we turn the page to the second half of the season.
THE MIDSEASON REPORT
- Ben and Anna Leigh are having seasons we’ll never see again.
- Although it’s been a really unlucky stretch of bad weather for the PPA we do need more indoor venues as weather impacts pickleball more than most other sports.
- Tyson McGuffin still has a lot left in the tank.
- Seeding is a topic that needs to be addressed.
- Is 12 tournaments in 6 months too many?
- Federico Staksrud will win a doubles gold medal in 2023.
- Women’s doubles deserves more streaming time.
- Lea Jansen is the top threat to Anna Leigh Waters.
- The gap in the middle of the men’s doubles game isn’t all that big.
- Will we see the Johns lose in the second half of the year?
THE MCGUFFIN TRIFECTA
Tyson McGuffin had his best overall weekend of the year medaling in all 3 events he participated in ( 🏅singles, 🥈 mixed, 🥉 men’s). After an injury sidelined him for nearly 2 months it was safe to question whether he should start considering being more selective in what events he played singles in. Well since his double crown in Red Rock he has been on an absolute tear as he is showing other pros that it’s not only court time that matters in a pro pickleball player’s training regiment. McGuffin is now 19-3 in his last 22 singles matches in the main draw and although he is 34 and one of the older players still competing in all three events, this weekend was proof that he still has plenty left in the tank. With the fields growing in size and talent Tyson is still one of the guys you have to go through to make a podium and that’s saying a lot for someone who has been around since the beginning.
A SCARY 2024 PARTNERSHIP
As propickleballfanatics mentioned on their instagram, Lea Jansen and Hurricane Tyra Black were the fan favorites of the weekend, so much so that many fans were dying to know if they would be partnering up again in the future. Lea followed this up by tweeting “Lea and Tyra 2024 it’s locked in” and if this is true look out. When thinking about where pro pickleball is going in the future these two are the type of athletes that come to mind. They are both long, cover a ton of court, and possess the firepower necessary to put their opponents under relentless pressure from different areas, something we saw plenty of in their QF match vs Waters/Parenteau. We’ll have to wait and see if this happens as there is a long time between now and then but the thought of it is exciting to say the least.
NAMES ON THE RISE
Last but not least, here’s my list of 10 names on the rise to watch in the 2nd half of the season (in no particular order).
- Hurricane Tyra Black
- Gabriel Tardio
- Rianna Valdes
- Connor Garnett
- Tina Pisnik
- Collin Shick
- Rachel Rohrabacher
- Hayden Patriquin
- Vivian Glozman
- Judit Castillo