So the self-imposed deadline has come and gone. And still no official word on the MLP x PPA merger.
But one update did catch our eye - scope out the recently-updated Events page on MLP’s website:
Not pictured: “More info to come!” at the bottom of the page. Is everything rescheduled? Hopefully we’ll learn soon enough.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Imagine this:
You aren’t scrambling to buy a gift last second. AND, you have an ace in the hole, a gift you know they’ll love: “Quality, value, outstanding in every way. Makes a great gift for any pickleball nut!”
In This Issue:
🔺 Think triangular
⛈️ Storm over Phoenix
📱 DUPR app updates
A Simple Shape Helps Win Firefights
One of the favorite theories floating around the rec courts these days is called the “Triangle Rule.”
The rule applies to speedups against your opponent at the kitchen line. It’s used to predict their reaction to your speedup.
You’ve probably heard this one before or noticed it yourself; a speedup down the line is likely going to be countered to the middle.
Employing this rule is one of the best ways to set your partner up and take advantage of your opponent.
Speed the ball up down the line (preferably to your opponent’s backhand)
Watch them hit a less-than-stellar counter to the middle
Let your partner clean up the mess and end the point
Pickleburner takes the rule a step further and describes what to expect in other scenarios.
If you hit a speedup to your opponent’s forehand, their counter is likely to go right of your body
If you hit a speedup to your opponent’s one-handed backhand, it’ll go to the left of your body
And, if you hit a speedup to your opponent’s two-handed backhand, it’ll go to the right of your body
This theory will not always pan out, but a slight edge in these quick hands battles can add up to points quickly. Use the triangle rule to your advantage and leave them scratching their heads.
Show Your Love of the Game
The Selkirk Prestige Collection is here to make a statement on and off the court.
It's packed with the revolutionary Power Air technology, and features a stunning array of apparel from the Stretch-Wik and Pro-Lines, all adorned in the eye-catching Prestige colorway.
Dive into Selkirk's world of quality and style today, and set yourself apart on the court with the Prestige Collection.
Storms Brewing in Phoenix, and So Are Upsets
Wind played tricks on players all day during Singles Day at the PPA Desert Ridge Open on Thursday. A storm is brewing out West that generated heavy winds and will cause weather challenges all weekend at the JW Marriott.
At one point, in the last match of the day, Mary Brascia actually looked like she was getting blown away by the wind.
A few storylines from Day 1:
The GOAT goes down in three games to Jaume Martinez Vich. Ben Johns was a victim of the swirling winds. At one point Johns seemed visibly rattled by the conditions. After going down 11-4 in game one, Jaume Martinez Vich won games two and three, 11-5, 11-5.
Kaitlyn Christian is really making a name for herself. The No. 22 seed beat Salome Devidze in three games, 8-11, 14-12, and 11-8. She then handily beat the No. 6 seed Brooke Buckner, 11-5, 11-4. Christian showed a ton of mental fortitude and seems poised to be top 5 in singles by the end of the year.
Will Howells made it to the round of 16 as a No. 47 seed. We had eyes on Howells throughout the qualifiers on Wednesday and then he beat Ryan Sherry in three games. Yes, he lost to Federico Staksrud in two, but this guy is an up and comer, who is super athletic, precise on shots, and brings a very visible energy with him onto the court.
Jaume Martinez Vich (No. 8 seed) plays Federico Staksrud (No. 2 seed) on Championship Sunday. McGuffin and Devilliers are playing for bronze.
Anna Leigh Waters (No. 1 seed) will play the winner of Mary Brascia (No. 3 seed) and Lea Jansen (No. 2 seed) after a delay in their match due to rain. Brascia will pick up the match with a one game advantage.
Kaitlyn Christian (No. 22 seed) will play the loser of the Brascia/Jansen match for bronze.
Play In Vegas
We're excited to be hosting an exclusive celebrity pro-am and amateur tournament at the Plaza Hotel & Casino on the Big Game Weekend in Las Vegas!
Kick things off with pro player clinics on Thursday, February 8th, to sharpen your skills. The excitement builds on Friday, February 9th, with the Celebs & Athletes tournament, hosted by Matt Manasse & Kamryn Blackwood featuring stars like Kelly Dodd, The Pointer Brothers, Joseph Benavidez and more.
Saturday, February 10th, brings the heart of the event: the Amateur Tournament. Challenge yourself in mixed doubles in the morning and gender doubles in the afternoon.
This is your moment to shine in the Vegas Pickle Bowl. Sign up now and be part of an unforgettable pickleball experience, all while supporting the Inspiring Children Foundation.
At Long Last: DUPR Updates its Algorithm
Last week, DUPR revealed that $8 million in investments was secured, tennis great Andre Agassi and other investors were joining the board of execs, and MLP team owner David Kass took over as chairman.
Now — in news we’re sure app users will appreciate — DUPR has updated its algorithm. Here are the primary changes:
Points Matter. Was this a tight match or a blowout? DUPR now evaluates the closeness of the match, so a score of 11-0 will have a bigger impact on your rating than a close match of 11-9 against that same opponent.
Prior to this update, you could beat a team 11-0 or 11-9 and the change to your DUPR would be the same. Many players have been calling for this change for months.
Recency Matters. A match you played today will impact your rating more than a match you played six months ago.
Total Match Count Matters. If you've played in a lot of matches, your rating will fluctuate less compared to a player with a lower match count.
Every Match Matters (even against unrated players). Every match counts towards your rating, even if you are playing against someone who is unrated or new to DUPR.
While no rating system is perfect, this update definitely seems to be a positive one from DUPR.
Pickleball Slam Returns
The Pickleball Slam is returning to South Florida with four tennis legends: Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Steffi Graf, and Maria Sharapova.
Also playing in are former tennis players turned pickleballers James Blake and Jack Sock.
Three matches will be played:
Match 1: McEnroe/Blake vs. Agassi/Sock
Match 2: Sharapova/Blake vs. Graf/Sock
Match 3: McEnroe/Sharapova vs. Agassi/Graf
Pickleball Slam 2 will be held at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL.
Amateurs will also have their chance to compete in Miami Beach on the world-famous Lincoln Road. The Am-Slam (Feb 2-3) offers a $25,000 prize pool and a chance to play against the tennis icons.
Folks at home can watch Pickleball Slam 2 on ESPN at 8:30pm ET this Sunday. Learn more here.
Will China take over the game of pickleball?
Zane and the boys get raucous in Austin for his bachelor party. He endures the right of passage of the white rabbit run and falls asleep at a comedy club.
The PPA-MLP 'deadline' has officially passed but there are still questions unanswered. The guys discuss whether China prepping for Olympic supremacy should have pros concerned.
Headlines & Quick Hits
No neighbors complaining here. Just the perfect spot to train all day and finally launch your pro career.
Rent incredible homecourts like this with Swimply.
A review from the Dink Fam...