Underdog breaks sportsbook in Vegas

MLP moves to Dallas. Sock signs with Selkirk

Takeya Title

Happy Friday. “It’s me — hi — I’m the problem, it’s me” - Taylor Swift once she realizes she could have had a REAL baller BF:

We wish Taylor well with her current football-playing heartthrob, Travis Kelce of the Chiefs. The two brought newfound attention to the NFL when droves of Swifties tuned in to Chief’s games to scope their idol’s romance.

We could use those droves, T. Maybe you could write a song about pickleball? That would make for a true “love story.”

In This Issue:
📰 Underdog reaches the finals in Vegas
🤠 The biggest pickleball event? Of course it’s in Texas
🧦 Sock nabbed by big pickleball company

Shall we?

Counter Spin with Spin

Zane Navratil is a master of spin in pickleball. His chainsaw serve revolutionized the game, but we're not talking about serves today.

Zane encourages students to run a unique drill to familiarize themselves with spin. Two players will play out a singles point, but here's the catch: the server may only hit slice shots and the returner must use topspin.

When a sliced ball is struck with topspin, the effect is amplified. It is amplified again when the topspin ball is countered with slice.

"A lot of time people are intimidated when the other person is hitting with slice," preaches Navratil. His goal is to eliminate the fear by leaning into the spin.

These practice points put more action on the ball than you've ever seen, allowing you to harness the power of spin from an offensive and defensive perspective.

Gucci Zane also wants you to know what is happening at the point of contact.

  • A topspin ball will jump up off the paddle at contact

  • A sliced ball will dive down off the paddle at contact

Add this drill to your routine. Make spin a friend instead of an enemy.

Healthy Hydration

Drinking enough water isn’t just about keeping your blood pumping or your body properly hydrated.

You literally need water to stay smart and strong on the court. If you’ve ever asked yourself if you’re drinking enough water, the answer is: probably not.

Click here to find the best water bottle for you. Their bottles keep fluids cool all day, whether you’re practicing with friends or competing for gold.

MLP Moves to the Home of Nationals

The MLP November event will no longer be played in Los Angeles.

Now, it’ll take place on the front end of a conjoined MLP-PPA event near Dallas, marking what MLP says will be the largest pickleball event in history.

The freshly-rebranded MLP Dallas will take place at the Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas, the same location as Nationals.

  • MLP by Margaritaville (Nov. 2-5)

  • Nationals, aka the 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships powered by Invited and the PPA Tour (Nov. 5-12)

Confused as to why PPA & MLP would have a joint event?

Remember, the two have agreed to merge under the same ownership group.

They may still run separately-branded tournaments at least through the end of the year, but this newly-restructured event seems like an experiment in co-branding.

Speaking of Nationals…wanna go? All expenses paid? Learn how here.

Singles Action from Vegas and Dallas

PPA Championships in Las Vegas, NV

The name of the day at the PPA Championships is Aanik Lohani. The 23 seed started as the +550 underdog against Julian Arnold in the first round. Anyone willing to risk a C-note on Lohani was handsomely rewarded $550 via FanDuel.

  • Lohani wiped out Arnold in two games, 11-6, 11-4.

  • It took three games for Lohani to advance past Brandon Lane in the round of 16.

  • Also in the round of 16, Hayden Patriquin had the upset of the day when he eliminated the 2-seed and reigning champ, Federico Staksrud.

  • This helped clear the path for Lohani, who beat Patriquin in the quarterfinals.

  • Lohani proved his Cinderella run is no fluke with a win over JW Johnson in the semifinals, setting up a championship bout with Ben Johns on Sunday.

In the women's game, we will see another matchup between doubles partners, Anna Leigh Waters and Catherine Parenteau.

Hurricane Tyra Black withdrew before her first match, ruling out a meeting between her and ALW.

The beneficiary of the withdrawal was Dominique Schaefer, who made it to the semi-finals and finished the day with bronze.

Men’s Singles Final
Ben Johns vs Aanik Lohani
Bronze: JW Johnson

Women’s Singles Final
Anna Leigh Waters vs Catherine Parenteau
Bronze: Dominique Schaefer

Doubles action kicks off today at 1 pm ET on Amazon Prime.

APP Dallas Open in Dallas, TX

Megan Fudge continued her hot streak in Dallas. She and Salome Devidze will play for gold on Championship Sunday after playing a controversial match in Atlanta. Check out the PicklePod (below) for more detail on that.

Women’s Singles Final
Megan Fudge vs Salome Devidze 
Bronze: Judit Castillo

Hunter Johnson made things look easy on his way to another finals appearance.

He will take on the big man Chris Haworth for gold. Haworth racked up wins over Yates Johnson, Jack Foster, and Eduardo Irizarry on his way to the final.

Men’s Singles Final
Hunter Johnson vs Chris Haworth
Bronze: Eduardo Irizarry

Look for the broadcast from Dallas to start Saturday at 1 pm ET on ESPN+.

A Drink for Sports & Everything Else

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With flavors catering to every taste bud – it's designed for every athlete, especially the pickleball player striving to out-dink their opponent. For hydration that goes beyond mere thirst, choose Sap's.

Visit sapsoriginal.com and use code DINK20 at checkout!

Selkirk Signs Sock

Jack Sock is one of many former tennis pros to make the switch to pickleball, but some think he’s the best of the lot in terms of his upside.

That might have something to do with Sock and Anna Leigh Waters earning a doubles gold medal at his pro debut earlier this year.

It seems Selkirk sees the potential, too. Two weeks ago, PicklePod broke the news that Jack and the popular pickleball brand were set to announce a long-term sponsorship deal.

Now, we have confirmation that the deal went through. And one interesting detail has emerged.

According to the announcement, Sock “will be the face of our upcoming Luxx paddle series.”

We're hearing a lot about the Luxx paddles (and maybe apparel?) that are set to be released soon.

Maybe Selkirk will look to sign the Bryan Brothers next?

Looking for a Diamond in the Rough?

The Six Zero Black Diamond has been one of the hardest paddles to find in pickleball. That’s because it is sold out everywhere you look.

Everywhere except Fromuth Pickleball. Our discount code won’t work on the paddle, but save 10% on most other items with code 10DINK.

Line Calls Spark Controversy

One of the most viewed instructors on YouTube, John Cincola stops by the PicklePod.

He weighs in on the line call controversy at APP Atlanta, tells us who he thinks will join MLP in the shuffle draft, and almost spills his secrets for playing 2 vs 1.

Watch here or listen here.

Headlines & Quick Hits


Homecourt Havens

What do you do when you’ve got pickleball beef? Take it to the cage! Two teams enter, only one makes it back to the house for victory mimosas.

Let your home court pay for itself with Swimply.

A review from the Dink Fam...

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