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Carvana PPA Tour: Arizona Grand Slam Mixed Doubles Highlights And Recap



Pickleball is evolving as players look for more aggressive and faster pace, which is better for spectator value, but with the wind conditions at bell bank park and the colder games earlier in the morning, it encouraged a slower more traditional pace of play on the ball. Players don’t trust their touch as much when the wind conditions rise, so there were some shorter rallies today. Here is a recap and some highlights from championship court on Friday.


#7 Parenteau / Arnold

#26 Kawamodo / Navratil

This is the first game that Arnold and Paretneau have played together. Arnold is a great singles player with an upbeat style who recently was MVP at MLP for the Mad Drops. The two were testing out the middle of the court early in game one. Arnold who thrives on energy is not afraid to take chances offensively starts finding success on the back hand side of Navratil clogging the middle. You would think a 9-4 cushion would get it done, but Navratil and Kawamodo battle back to 9 a piece. Hard to see on tv, but Kawamodo was putting a ton of slice on the ball, creating indecision for Paretneau. FYI paddle brands, he is also a free agent as of a couple of weeks ago. Navratil then lofts one down the middle and the #26 seed takes game one 12-10. Shot maker Arnold led the charge and became unstoppable in game two winning 11-1. Navratil turned things around with Kawamoto and started game three with a big gain at 5-1, but Arnold pulled up the rear and they win in two.


#14 Dizon / Smith

#19 Buckner / Deakin

Buckner is new to the pro scene, but has played several times with Deakin and is a former D1 tennis player.  The depth in the draw is getting better and now anyone can beat anyone on any given day. Buckner has a backhand that can create more opportunities off of the 3rd shot. Buckner finds the chicken wing on smith for the first point of the game. Dizon on the other side of the net has a strong power stroke and can put away high floaters with ease, which probably stems from her time as a tennis player at BYU. She now trains in Utah with several other pros. So much of this story was the 3rd shot drive and speed ups for #19.  Its a fine line as the male player to be leading the charge, but you can’t poach too much or the error really start to creep in. Both teams did a good job of keeping that balance in check. Deakin and Buckner win in 3 for a first round victory.



#1 Waters / Johns

#17 Kawamoto / Ignatowich

Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns, a combination we know so well are defending champs at the Arizona Grand Slam. Anna Leigh is the youngest ever to turn pro at age 12. They faced Ignatowich who won a bronze yesterday, and is probably the most talented up and coming new face on the scene this year. Kawamoto plays similar to her sister Jackie, very aggressive. Kawamoto and Ignatowich are out of Indianapolis, and they have the skill set on paper to take the #1 down.  Ignatowich is well known for his two hand back hand, but finds trouble early with Anna Leigh not giving any freebees. Anna Leigh had a beautiful ATP and with matching outfits on cruise control, they win in 2.




#3 Bright / Newman

# Stratman / Frazier

A spot in the semi finals up for grabs. Austin seems to be a hotbed of pro pickleball players with Stratman now as a new resident along with Arnold making the move from Tennessee. This match was domination from Bright and Newman as they comfortably take game one at 11-3 and game two 11-5.



About Dan Langston

With experience in the ecotourism industry and time well spent as a fly fishing guide in the remote absaroka mountain range for 6 years, Dan brings a unique perspective on customer service to the digital world. As the operator, Dan is now committed to revitalizing Pickleball Portal and plans to build a digital support system for content creators and provide helpful information for the pickleball community. dan@pickleballportal.com

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