Chicago loves pickleball more than deep dish

Pick your target. First-time champs.


‘Morning. It's still chaos in the world of pro pickleball.

But during APP’s event over the weekend, a sign of potential peace: the PB paparazzi snapped shots of MLP founder Steve Kuhn having an impromptu meeting with APP President Ken Hermann.

Source: Tim Mottl, Illinois Pickleball - North Facebook Group post

I wonder what they were discussing: Partnership? Merger? Best place to grab a deep dish near the venue?

In This Issue:

🧠 It’s about the destination (of your thirds)
🏙️ Windy City wins
❤️ Did you date my Grandpa?

Ejam! (that’s “Let’s go!” in Latvian).

APP Chicago Open Results

Pick Your Target

It’s easy to get out of control with your third shot. There’s a tendency to swing as hard as you can on the drive and try to overpower your opponents.

This is where you’ll see the home run ball that careens into the back fence.

Instead of just focusing on power, you should pick your target and drive with purpose.

Selkirk Pro Porter Barr shares his favorite place to drive the ball in this video.

  • He suggests you drive the ball at the opponent’s paddle side hip.

  • Try to jam them so they can’t make a strong play on the ball.

If done effectively, this drive has two additional benefits:

- It puts them on their heels. They start playing defense instead of being aggressive with their 4th shot.

- It opens the court. They’re frozen in place looking to protect their body. This frees up other driving lanes, specifically a cruise down the middle.

In life, it might all be about the journey — but on your drive, it’s all about the destination.


Labor Day has come and gone, but that doesn't mean you can't still soak up the last of the summer. For the next week only, PCKL will have their best sellers on sale including paddles, balls and apparel for up to 25% off!

Also a lot of people were pumped about their Facebook group last week, if you haven't yet, make sure to join!

A Chaotic Labor Day Weekend

The weekend was full of first-time champions and tiebreaker matches to 15.

Let's start with Tina Pisnik and Martin Emmrich, who have signed with the PPA Tour but were behind enemy lines in Chicago.

The duo took out the reigning champs Andrei Daescu and Susannah Barr in the quarterfinals. On Sunday, they went the distance in a heated final against Genie Erokhina and Spencer Lanier, winning 9-11, 9-11, 15-11.

  • The women's doubles final was also pushed to a final game to 15. Alix Truong and Vivian Glozman turned last week's bronze into gold on Sunday. They squeaked by Megan Fudge and Susannah Barr.

  • If you want to see pickleball resemble tennis, watch Dominique Schaefer and Salome Devidze slug it out from the baseline. Schaefer outlasted Devidze and won 11-5, 5-11, 11-4.

  • Men's singles went to Jaume Martinez Vich in a nailbiter game to 15. Martinez Vich battled through the loser's bracket for gold and landed a SC Top 10 highlight to cap off the win.

  • Men's doubles also saw a first-round loser take the scenic route through the loser's bracket. It took 7 back-draw wins for Stefan Auvergne and John Cincola to reach the final, and they made the most of it. They took the best of three and a game to 15 to double-dip Daescu and Rob Nunnery.

The APP Tour makes it three weekends in a row and heads to Avalon, NJ for the New Jersey Open this week.

Ben Throws Gas at Wrigley

Chicago was the place to be for the end-of-summer festivities. We had our first taste of MLP’s upcoming season last night courtesy of an exhibition match at Wrigley Field between the Bay Area Breakers and Chicago Slice.

  • The teams squared off on a court laid down at Gallagher Way just outside of the stadium.

  • The hometown team was also recognized on-field before the Cub’s game.

  • First overall pick and member of the Slice, Ben Johns, delivered a heater for the first pitch. Not bad.

Tour Wars Mini Update:

Season 2 of MLP is only two weeks away, and we’re still receiving mixed signals on whether things will proceed as planned, or if there will be a re-draft.

Apparently an important meeting today will consist of an owners vote and final decision on how to move forward with the remainder of the 2023 MLP season.

And on the note, our final update on the Tour Wars player signings:

  • MLP: 100 Total & 33 premier drafted players

  • PPA: 55 Total & 15 premier drafted players

Now we wait and see if there are any flips…

It’s Like Airbnb…but for Pickleball Courts

As if you need another reason to add a homecourt to your backyard, now you can share your court with local players when you aren’t using it.

Swimply allows court owners the chance to rent out homecourts and players the opportunity to reserve a private court for their game.

Tales from the Court, Part 10

This unusual pickleball experience comes to us from Marianne A. Send in your own interesting pickleball stories here.

One evening as I was overseeing leagues at our courts in Arvada, CO, a young man walked up to me to let me know that he found out I dated his Grandpa in the 60's in high school.

Since I work at the courts, I wear a name tag. When the high school kids start coming in around 8:30PM every night, they check with me to see if any courts are available, so they know me.

I assume my name and pickleball came up at a family picnic, and they put the story together. I did date his grandpa for seven years, and if I were 16 years old, I would definitely date the grandson!

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