Saturday, September 17th, 2022
(Photo: PPA Tour)
Nine months ago Anna Bright entered the tournament scene of pickleball. Now she is playing on the biggest stages and proving she is right where she belongs.
Anna Bright is playing on Championship Sunday in back to back weekends on the PPA Tour defeating their top dogs in Pro Women's doubles. She is doing that alongside veteran Jesse Irvine who is no stranger to playing any of the top PPA women.
We've seen Bright and Irvine team up for the past couple of months as a newer partnership after Irvine and Parenteau endured what felt like a break up of a great women's doubles team. At the end of the day, they weren't getting the results they wanted and Parenteau went on to play with Lea Jansen and Irvine went on to play with Bright. Irvine and Bright won gold at the Baird Wealth Management Open last weekend, defeating Team Waters in the semi-finals 11-5, 3-11, 11-8 and defeating Parenteau/Jansen in the gold medal match in straight games, 11-8, 11-1, 11-6. In both matches Bright hit the majority of the balls as Team Waters and Parenteau/Jansen seemed to have a game plan of keeping the ball away from Jesse Irvine. Totally understandable game plan if Irvine's partner wasn't Bright, who often seems completely un-phased by her surroundings and is there to simply play high level pickleball. Of course one would think since Irvine is the veteran and Bright hasn't played on this stage before that she is more susceptible to crack under pressure...right? Guess what folks...she didn't. She is rock solid and thus formed a formidable team with Irvine that has now gotten more reps in together, making them more and more dangerous as their tournament schedule expands with one another.
As it happens in pickleball, acquiring partners is always a fun game of musical chairs. We will start to see new partnerships at the top of the women's doubles game as we see new teams start to take over and old teams get frustrated. It ain't personal, it's business!
Team Waters will have to make an adjustment on Championship Sunday if they want to win. Irvine and Bright have done so well in large part thanks to Bright keeping her composure. Nobody has changed their game plan. Majority of balls are still being hit to Bright, and they have continued to win.
This is not a knock on Jesse Irvine who is an incredible player, but Bright makes Irvine's job easy. We are very excited to see a rematch between Team Waters and Irvine/Bright and are eagerly waiting to see what adjustments both teams make to take the best of 5 series in the women's pro doubles final at The Peachtree Classic.