NYC is poised to become pickleball's mecca

Parents vs Pickleballers. Cat and Mouse Drill. JW Johnson's New Partner.

Pickleball, come on down!

One pickleball enthusiast found his way onto the Price is Right stage with Drew Carey last week. He was close to a showcase victory but lost at the final bid.

Pickleball found the spotlight again on the NBC show Late Night with Seth Meyers. Meyers roasted the game before he confessed how much he enjoys playing.

"Too rich for ping pong and too out of shape for tennis, try pickleball." No matter the reason you started playing, we're happy you're here.

By the way, we didn't even realize that our last issue was our 100th. If you've been with us for all 100...in the words of pickleball's newest fan Kevin Durant: "You the real MVP."

Thank you, Dink Fam. Let's do it!

APP Next Gen Dallas Results

Tom & Jerry...and Zane

The cat and mouse game is like fine wine to pickleball purists. Forget the big forehands and passing shots. We're going back to basics talking about the soft game with Zane Navratil.

Navratil teaches this cat and mouse singles drill on his Youtube Channel: Start with both players in the kitchen. Place the ball on top of the net and let it roll down in either direction.

Now, play out a point with the contingency that the ball is only allowed to bounce in NVZ. It will force you to use the full width of the kitchen to send your opponent from side to side. Warning, your hips are going to feel this one.

The basic concept is to develop a full suite of unattackable shots that do three things:

  • Drag your opponent out of position

  • Tire them out from sprinting sideline to sideline

  • Set up easy put away winners

It's also one of the few drills that forces you to focus on the height of the ball's bounce on the other side of the net. Maintaining control of the point is the name of the game. Be the cat, not the mouse.

Swap Zane's drill in as a replacement for your normal dink warmup. Not only will it get the juices flowing, but you will also have a new appreciation for the soft game.

New York City Pickleball

It is the year of pickleball in NYC. Nothing has moved through the fiver boroughs faster since Spiderman was slinging webs. The number of pickleballers has shot up like a dotcom stock in '01.

Let's move through a short timeline of NYC pickleball events:

  • Scenic brand new courts open at pier 2 of Brooklyn Bridge Park

  • Major League Pickleball takes over the NYSE

  • APP NYC Open at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center

Pickleball's swelling demand has left a shortage of courts in its wake and citizens have resorted to 'temp' courts in public parks and playgrounds, which has galvanized a new set of pb adversaries: parents. It might be justified. Pickleballers are repurposing every hard surface in the city. The handball courts in Central Park? Pickleball courts now. The paddle tennis courts in Stuytown? Pickleball.

The New York Post published an article titled "Parents furious as pickleball players overtake playgrounds." Self explanatory. The story focuses on courts throughout NYC specifically, and a city councilman even weighed in on the matter:

Apparently, it's become so heated that parents are asking their kids to deliberately interfere with pickleball matches out of frustration. It's true, we have a video of it. But the popularity throughout the boroughs is only increasing, and so too will the frustrations if a solution isn't presented.

Just yesterday, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White was spotted sharpening his dink game at the courts in question (no surprise, he plays with a Selkirk). Clubs like Pickleball NYC and West Village Pickleball have sprouted up in a matter of months. As far as a solution goes, it's pretty obvious: more courts.

While New York City is late to the pickleball party, it's undoubtedly doing its best to make up for lost time. We're used to seeing the desert and mountain backdrops behind courts, but the NYC skyline and Hudson river takes things to a whole new level.

APP Next Gen Dallas Recap

Austin Tchikatilov dominated the APP Next Gen in Dallas over the weekend, taking a triple crown along with $2,500. His mixed doubles partner Riley Bohnert walked away with a double (crown) and came out with the most points in the women’s field.

  • Jack Foster took second in points, earning a silver and a bronze medal

  • Ivy Tschetter was second in women’s, securing two medals of her own

  • Porter Barr narrowly missed out on some $ coming in sixth place overall

Tchikatilov used all of his 6’5" wingspan to eat up space in doubles and become virtually un-passable in singes. In mixed doubles, he teamed up Bohnert to beat Tschetter and Barr in the finals 11-5, 4-11, 12-10.

The Florida native, Tchikatilov, played with Eli Bertram in men’s doubles. From the 5 seed, they won the winner's bracket then hung on for gold in the medal match. They lost the first two games of the final but squeezed out the win in the tiebreaker game to 15.

The women’s first place points winner, who also walked away with $2,500 got her second gold medal in women’s singles, she defeated Tschetter in straight games in the gold medal match. The women’s doubles gold medal went to Taylor Crabtree and Sarah Williams, who snagged the victory over Bella Nelson and Ava Kusmider.

Weekend Preview

PPA ChampionshipsThis weekend the PPA Tour makes a Grand Slam stop in Las Vegas at the Darling Tennis Center. They have a full slate of talent in town for one of their biggest events of the year.

That includes a men's pro singles division that has a record high 76 participants. The division has been split into a qualifier round that will start early on Thursday morning and cut the main draw down to 48.

In women's singles, a highly anticipated rematch between Anna Leigh Waters and Parris Todd could be a Championship Sunday main event. Todd is the only player that has stood in the way of an undefeated year for Waters.

The return of Lindsey Newman pushes the women's doubles division to a battle between the top 5 teams. She will pair with Jessie Irvine which moves Anna Bright into a partnership with Todd. It also frees up Catherine Parenteau in mixed doubles to debut a new partnership with JW Johnson.

The men's doubles division is packed with talent. With a ton of players in the field, this could be the rare occasion where you see a break in the Championship Sunday stranglehold between the Johns brothers and Matt Wright/Riley Newman.

Tune into the action on PPA TV and the Tennis Channel.

APP Sunmed Alabama ClassicThe APP Tour will make a stop in AL at the state-of-the-art pickleball pavilion at the Opelika SportsPlex. The stop is a part of the tour's Challenger series meant to showcase some of the lesser known names on the tour.

Jorja Johnson will be chasing a triple crown over the weekend. Standing in her way are the likes of Lauren Stratman, Maggie Remynse and Megan Fudge, all of whom will be looking to get a warm up for next week's Major League Pickleball event.

The fiery duo of Julian Arnold and Alabaman Rafa Hewett will be tough to beat in men's doubles. This event will follow the traditional double elimination format, tune in on APP TV. Friday, Oct 7 - Mixed Doubles. Saturday, Oct 8 - Men's and Women's Doubles. Sunday, Oct 9 - Men's and Women's Singles.

Supercharge Your Water

Your water deserves the functional drink mix that feels as good as it tastes. The hydrating electrolyte mix from Cure is made with nature's essential electrolytes from coconut water and pink Himalayan salt. Pick your favorite flavor or try the starter kit here.

What game are you playing?

Pickleball is chess, tennis is checkers. Need we say more? Listen here or watch here.

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