Tennis fans erupt at pickleball's takeover

You know that post-Thanksgiving dinner, unbutton the pants, immobilized in a food coma feeling? That's kind of how we feel after all that pickleball over the weekend.

A couple of notable names were spotted at the MLP and PPA events. Jamie Foxx scoped out Championship Sunday at the Selkirk Labs Showdown and Kareem Abdul Jabaar took in some teamwork at Major League Pickleball.

And while we were enjoying a pickleball stuffed Sunday, some tennis fans were...well they were the opposite of enjoying it:

Meanwhile, pickleballers blissfully indulged in an all-you-can-eat pb buffet and then rode that momentum into National Pickleball Day yesterday.

Here are a couple of our favorite photos from yesterday's festivities. If you look closely you can see Heisman winner and NCAA National Champion Tim Tebow out on the courts.

Ok, let's go.

Alright Tough Guy

Where do you stand when your partner is returning serve?

You know that person who crowds the middle line to intimidate or distract the server by leaning over the service square? Oh, that's you? Well, you're making your partner's job a lot more difficult...

Stand closer to the sideline to make your partner's life easier. Instead of the middle, move all the way to the sideline. This opens the whole court for your partner's return.

You can even encourage your partner to return the ball back to the server. Put that ball deep in the corner and force them to deal with the player at the kitchen line.

After the return of serve crosses the net, move into a more comfortable position on the court. This pattern makes it easier to disguise and fake poaches. If you're moving towards the middle on every point then your opponent can't tell if you're moving to poach or just to get into position. Just don't get burned down your own sideline.

Get BIG at the kitchen line. You have the most advantageous position on the court. Use it. Protect your partner from dipping drives. Defend them as they move through the transition zone.

Standing on the center line isn't scaring anyone. Step to the side, your partner will thank you.

The Ranchers Dethrone BLQK

The Pritchard Cup and the $100K prize was awarded to the Ranchers on Sunday evening. Led by co-MVPs, Anna Bright and Jackie Kawamoto, the new look Ranchers defeated BLQK to become MLP Champions.

James Ignatowich and Jackie Kawamoto were added to the roster during the off-season and joined Anna Bright and DJ Young. The team improved from an 11th place finish in Austin to an undefeated 5-0 in Newport Beach.

The young league met a rules controversy on Saturday. The 5's made plans to use a sub if they reached a Dreambreaker singles tie-breaker. Sure enough, the first match Saturday morning went to a Dreambreaker.

  • The 5's subbed in Gabriel Tardio for Rob Nunnery for the Dreambreaker against The Bus (Nunnery is fresh off Meniscus surgery, and the 5's preferred him not overdo it in singles)

  • The 5's won the Dreambreaker and advanced to the quarterfinals

  • MLP officials decided that Nunnery would have to miss their quarterfinal match against Florida Smash Saturday evening

The league rules were brought into question as multiple alternates were used throughout the weekend. Rules in major sports leagues are altered almost every year, it's normal to expect these types of growing pains, especially in a league that is so young. Now MLP must decide how to handle this type of roster management moving forward.

The Ranchers will defend their title at the third and final MLP event of 2022, MLP Columbus, Oct 14-16.

Selkirk Labs Showdown

Up in Tarzana, CA the PPA Tour was mixing up the normal partnerships with a pool play event. The partnerships were mixed but there's no denying the number 1's on the tour.

Ben Johns started the weekend with a loss but didn't drop another match all weekend. He won gold in mixed doubles with Jessie Irvine and in men's doubles with Jay Devilliers.

Both Johns and Devilliers are accustomed to covering more than their fair share of the court. Seeing them scramble around the court together created some exciting points, but there was no getting past their level of talent. They closed out the final, 11-9, 11-5.

One of the showcase matches of the weekend had Irvine and Johns taking on both of his usual doubles partners, Collin Johns and Anna Leigh Waters. The event was designed to create this type of scenario and let fans see a change to the normal partnerships seen throughout the year.

Anna Leigh Waters and Callie Smith have been trading women's doubles titles back and forth in 2022, but secured gold together in this one.

The PPA Tour is back in action this weekend with the Skechers Invitational. The event will feature two matches broadcasted on CBS on Saturday and three matches shown on CBS Sports on Sunday. Saturday's historic matches will mark the first time pickleball has been aired live on a major network.

Everything You Need For Pickleball Under One Roof

Rhino Pickleball has paddles, balls and portable nets perfect for players at all levels. It's the best selection of training aids to support player development. Up your game with court markers, cones and other fitness accessories that take drill work to the next level.

The Franklin Family Adopts the Johnsons

The trophy room at the Johnson household is running out of space. JW, Jorja, and Julie Johnson rarely leave a tournament without some hardware.

They remained free agents in the paddle game longer than anyone expected. Their patience paid off. They bet on themselves winning, and now JW has won more pro medals than anyone this year by a large margin. Jorja has simultaneously emerged as a threat on the women's side with multiple medals of her own.

Franklin finally locked down the family that breathes pickleball. They will design a signature paddle to debut in 2023.

There's Always Time for Pickleball

Tuesday Night Pickleball at The Orchard introduced a new broadcast format with the ladies last week, and now it's time for the men to shine.

  • Two games are played with a 20 minute time limit on each game

  • The team in the lead at the end of 20 minutes wins the game

  • If the teams split the two games, the match is decided by a singles tie-breaker

The introduction of timed games is a new concept in pro pickleball. Fans vote each week to determine the teams for the event. Tune in this week to see Ben Johns and Tyler Loong take on Collin Johns and AJ Koller.

Pickleball for Good

Pickleball is doing good all over the nation. One of the best things about the game is the ability to bring people together and raise money for a good cause.

The King County Play Equity Coalition is joining forces with players from the Mariners, Kraken, Sounders and other local Seattle celebrities to host a pickleball fundraiser.

Headlining the event from the pickleball world is Irina Tereschenko, who will be providing clinics, and taking on challengers. Funds will advance equitable play, sports, physical activity and outdoor recreation in King County.

Headlines & Quick Hits


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