Good morning. You’re never going to guess which sports have been tossed into the ring for inclusion at the 2028 Olympics.
Actually, you'll probably be able to guess a few of them. It’s really only one that has us scratching our heads, and not because of what it is, but because of what it isn’t ☹️. More on that below.
In This Issue:
🇺🇸 Team USA Pickleball will have to wait
🃏 MLP teams shuffle the deck
🥇 An all-time senior pro performance
Control the Point Before the Serve
Where you stand when returning the serve says more than you think.
Anyone back by the fence assumes a tough serve is coming and wants to give themself time to prepare.
If you’re close to the baseline, you’re likely just looking to chip the ball back and move to the kitchen line.
Some players won’t line themselves up in the middle. They stand 75-80% toward their left or right, usually to protect a weak backhand.
Selkirk pro Linda Thompson shares where she teaches students to stand in a new video.
Thompson positions herself 4-5ft beyond the baseline.
She shades slightly to her left to favor a forehand return.
Her goal is to return deep and get her momentum moving forward.
The biggest advantage you have as a returner is to move forward in the court and be first to the kitchen line.
Remember, you control the pace on the return. If you need more time to get to the kitchen line, you can add loft to your shot. The added hangtime gives you more time to move forward.
Check your feet next time you line up to return a serve. You might be losing the point before it even begins.
Happy Prime Day (to those who celebrate)
Yes, it's Prime Day again and today is the last of two days of savings.
PCKL is serving out some of the best pickleball deals we can find with most of their products 20% off. Full list of deals today
Wish they had balls on sale too... oh well Happy Prime Day!
Pickleball Misses the Olympic Boat
It absolutely astounds me that flag football is on the list of sports in consideration for the 2028 Olympics – but not pickleball.
No offense to anyone who takes that sport seriously…but up until now, I had no idea it was played outside of middle school gym class.
Five sports have been proposed by the LA28 Organizing Committee for inclusion at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028, pending approval from the International Olympic Committee…and somehow, none of them are pickleball.
I don’t want to harp on it, but…one of those things is not like the others.
Baseball? International appeal outside its home country, especially Japan and the Caribbean. Check.
Cricket? Already appeared in the Olympics once in 1900 but somehow wasn’t included again, despite earning over 2.5 billion spectators worldwide in recent years. Check.
Lacrosse? One of the oldest team sports still widely played, dating back to the year 1100. Check.
Squash? It’s a wonder Squash was never included in the Olympic catalog before. Over 20 million enthusiasts play regularly in over 185 countries.
But Flag Football…who’d have thought it?
We did some digging and as it turns out, lots of people take Flag Football very seriously. In over 70 countries, Flag is expected to overtake tackle football worldwide this year in terms of organized participation opportunities.
I suppose this means a bitter “Congratulations!” is in order. Fine. Well done, Flag (if it’s approved).
But 2032? We’re coming for you.
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The MLP Shuffle Before Dallas
Between each MLP event, Challenger Level teams have the opportunity to adjust their roster in the Shuffle Draft. Teams are able to draft from a pool of available players. The draft order is based on the teams’ rankings.
After MLP Atlanta, five teams decided to change course. The LA Mad Drops led the way with a complete overhaul.
LA Mad Drops: Selected Allison Harris and Andreas Sjilestrom and placed Olivia McMillan and Jordan Kinney on waivers
LA Mad Drops picked up Cierra Gaytan-Leach as a substitute for Brooke Buckner, who will miss event two of Season 2
Below are four other teams who elected to shuffle the deck:
Milwaukee Mashers: Selected Callan Dawson and Riley Bohnert and placed Pesa Teoni and Christa Gecheva on waivers
Florida Smash: Selected Mariana Humberg and placed Dominique Schaefer on waivers
New York Hustlers: Selected Kelsey Grambeau and placed Sarah Ansboury on waivers
California BLQK Bears: Selected Erik Pailet and placed Marshall Brown on waivers
Learn more about the new additions to the league here.
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A Look at the Weekend Doubleheader
PPA Championships in Las Vegas, NV
In Vegas the house as always wins, and in pickleball, the same holds true for Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters. Things may have felt unusual entering the weekend, but the results turned out exactly as expected.
It was another double-triple weekend for the game's top players. ALW and Catherine Parenteau won in four games against Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith. Then the partners faced off in one of their best singles bouts this year with ALW winning 11-4, 7-11, 11-4.
Unfortunately, James Ignatowich and Anna Bright were forced to withdraw from mixed doubles due to an ankle injury from Ignatowich. This gave Waters and Johns the title with no contest.
Johns' path to gold was just as dicey as Waters'. He ended the Cinderella run of 23-seed Aanik Lohani without much difficulty in singles but went 5 games against JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier in men's doubles.
The Johns brothers lost the first two games and this epic firefight before roaring back in game three. The match was back to the Johns’ methodical style of play in games four and five giving the brothers the win.
The PPA Tour has an extended break through October until MLP and Nationals in November. Until then, you can read more about the weekend here.
APP Dallas Open in Dallas, TX
Megan Fudge and Hunter Johnson headlined the weekend for the APP Dallas. Fudge turned in another double gold performance in women's singles and doubles.
Bobbi Oshiro and Milan Rane knocked out the top seed Parris Todd and Simone Jardim in doubles on their way to a silver medal. Their upset cleared the way for Fudge and Susannah Barr to bring home another title.
Hunter Johnson earned his gold in singles and alongside Parris Todd in mixed doubles. The pair got a big win over Andrei Daescu and Susannah Barr to reclaim the mixed doubles crown.
Daescu and Rob Nunnery teamed up for another gold in men’s doubles, this time beating Stefan Auvergne and Daniel De La Rosa.
The most impressive performance of the weekend was reserved for the men's senior division. Singles GOAT Mattias Johansson picked up a unique double gold of his own.
Johansson won gold in Vegas at the PPA Championships on Thursday, then hightailed it over to Texas where he picked up another singles gold at the Dallas Open on Sunday.
The APP has two weeks off before the Houston Open later this month.