Former Wimbledon Champ Leaves Tennis for Pickleball

Win a Trip to Nationals. Try this Trick Shot. PPA & APP Recaps. MLP & PPA Previews.

Happy (belated) World Pickleball Day!

Yesterday's 10.10.22 worldwide celebration of pickle went down across the globe. From Australia to India, Norway to Peru, pickleballers everywhere were out on the courts to celebrate the day and spread the game.

Spreading the game? Our bread and butter. That's why we teamed up with Selkirk to send one Dink Fam member to the 2022 Margaritaville National Championships. More on this below.

Tennis announcers tried to call pro pickleball, one team got a little too much desert sun and a first timer won gold in Bama, we have a ton to cover from a weekend doubleheader.

Proceed with caution.

PPA Championships Results

APP Alabama Classic Results

Make Your Opponent Quit Mid-Game

To the dismay of your coach, we're back with another 'trick' shot. We've covered this shot previously, but its popularity is soaring and its applications have evolved. Players are now leveraging it as a speedup, a down-the-line winner and even a singles ankle-breaker.

Watch Shea Underwood demonstrate 'The Kyle' (named after Kyle Yates) in this video. As you can see, it's a point-ender when executed properly.

So how does it work?

In this circumstance, Shea is about halfway through the transition zone and on the left side (our right) of the court. His backswing and body position indicate a backhand cross-court drop. This is crucial. Success hinges on your ability to deceive your opponent by concealing what's coming. Sell it.

At the last second, he inverts his wrist; his backhand becomes a forehand. He sends a passing shot down the line and the victim is left to nurse broken ankles. Note his paddle position in the middle image. His paddle is vertical and the handle is directly above the paddle face.

In singles, the shot doesn't even need to be that strong, as long as your setup and backswing are convincing. There is too much court to cover. If you can catch them leaning the wrong way, there is plenty of space to hit a winner.

In doubles, you'll want to pick your moments more carefully. It's more commonly used as a speedup when both teams are at NVZ. It's worth noting that the more you use it, the less effective it will be.

Your Chance to Attend Nationals, On Us

We have teamed up with Selkirk to give one lucky member of the Dink Fam a trip to Nationals. See your favorite players in action at the state of the art Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Palm Springs, CA. Click here to find out more!

PPA Championships Recap

Vegas, baby. Those who tuned in saw a whole lot of Anna Leigh Waters and a whole lot of Anna Leigh Waters winning.

The teenage phenom completed her fifth triple crown of the year. She and Ben Johns ended the impressive run of first-time partners JW Johnson and Catherine Parenteau in three straight games. Waters then dominated, like seriously dominated, in women's singles, cruising through the field without dropping a game (again). Have we ever seen a streak like this?

But somehow, her most impressive performance of the weekend came in women's doubles. In the face of adversity, Anna Leigh showed composure beyond her years.

In the quarterfinals, Leigh Waters took offense to her opponents Yana Newell and Regina Franco-Goldberg using the sun to their advantage. They racked up a few points from repeated lobs that Mama Waters lost in the bright desert sun. After a third missed overhead, Waters had some unsavory words for her opponents. This led to a commotion on-court and online.

ALW wisely called a timeout and dumped some, well, water, on the flames. The mother-daughter duo dropped that second game but came back to win game three, the match and continue on to win the gold. Watch this clip of the two pumping each other up during a timeout. Talk about chemistry. What an awesome moment.

In the final, they met Anna Bright and Parris Todd who were on a Vegas heater of their own. It took three big wins to get Bright and Todd to the final including a win over Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith.

The Johns vs Johnson men's final was a bit of a dud for the viewers. The expectation was another instant classic, what we got was Ben Johns doing Ben Johns things. He took down Johnson in three games.

An instant classic came in the men's doubles final. In a five-game slugfest, Riley Newman and Matt Wright righted the ship just in time to save gold. We love this rivalry.

∙ Newman and Wright took the first two games 11-2, 11-2∙ Johns and Johns stole the momentum and games three and four 9-11, 9-11∙ The final game went the distance but late fire from Newman/Wright ended it 11-8

APP Alabama Classic Recap

Down in Alabama, hometown favorite Rafa Hewett won both doubles events but came up short in singles. He crushed the ball all weekend and took gold with Lauren Stratman in mixed and Julian Arnold in men's.

Arnold brought home his second gold on Sunday with a win over Jack Foster in the finals. Pablo Tellez rounded out the men's podium with bronze. Ewa Radzikowska took home the women’s singles crown in her first-ever pro singles tournament. She played Megan Fudge in the finals and won in convincing fashion.

These two were scheduled to meet in the first round but a peculiar situation caused Fudge to withdraw. Her husband Ryler DeHeart was in a barn burner singles match on another court and Fudge could not step away. She elected to forfeit. And the Wife of the Year Award goes to...

That moved Fudge into the loser's bracket where she worked her way back to eventually meet the Polish former pro tennis player in the gold medal match.

Jorja Johnson and Bobbi Oshiro snagged a big win in women's doubles by stifling the number one team of Stratman and Maggie Remynse to secure gold.

Another underdog hit the podium over the weekend. The seven seed Tito Lladro and Jordan Kinney powered through the men's doubles bracket to win silver.

The APP Tour is back in action next week for the inaugural Houston Open.

Leaving Tennis Behind

ESPN released a story yesterday about former junior Wimbledon champ Noah Rubin who officially announced that he is stepping away from tennis. Once ranked #125 in the world, Rubin is exiting pro tennis for the greener pasture of pickleball.

In an IG video, Rubin joked that at 5'9 he is better suited for a pickleball court, "The tennis court is just way too big and there's way too much ground to cover...this is where I belong, this is home now. And in this sport, size doesn't matter."

Rubin joins the long list of players that have made the transition from tennis to pickleball. His journey will be a fascinating case study in the wave of players that make the jump. Not many players can match his level of tennis experience and he'll be entering pickleball at a self-proclaimed 'billion miles an hour.'

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.

Weekend Preview

MLP ColumbusThe highly anticipated Major League Pickleball Columbus event kicks off this Friday at 8:30am ET. The largest prize in pickleball is up for grabs again with $100k for the winning team.

The event will be played at the brand new Pickle & Chill venue, a converted tennis house that will make its grand opening in a grand fashion. Tune in on the Major League Pickleball Youtube and don't miss the final Sunday night on CBS Sports.

PPA Round UpSaddle up for the celebrity athlete showdown and more PPA Tour action from Frisco, TX. The main event will be the celebrity pro am featuring Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Romo, Jordan Spieth, Scottie Scheffler and John Isner. You can catch that at 8:00pm ET on Thursday.

Headlines & Quick Hits

∙ ‘He Would Absolutely Kick My A**'- LeBron James’ $765 Million Entertainment Firm’s CMO Boasts of Defeating Draymond Green in Pickleball ∙ Pickleball Machine Market Size Estimated to Hit USD 43.26 Billion By 2029 ∙ The Burlington pickleball problem is 'one wrong choice after the next' ∙ End the struggle to find players, use the pickleplay app 

Highlights

∙ This is why Lebron bought a team ∙ The speed on this one is insane ∙ This dude is undefeated and always will be ∙ Incredible rally from Vegas 

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