Monday, January 16, 2023
The first tournament for the PPA Tour now completed after an eventful, rainy end. We saw huge pro draws along with large qualifying brackets as well. All eyes were on Sam Querrey as he made his pickleball debut in all three events. The very first event he played was in singles and he played Alex Neumann in the first round. Neumann is a notable singles player in the sport who hasn't made a ton of podiums but someone you definitely are scared of in the first couple of rounds. He has wins over Jay Devilliers, Tyler Loong, Frank Anthony Davis, Hayden Patriquin and now Sam Querrey defeating him handily 11-3, 11-3. Sam went on to win his first round in the backdraw ultimately losing to Nico Montoya, 12-15. He had similar results with Wes Burrows in Men's and lost in the first round of the qualifying in mixed doubles with Christa Gecheva. Querrey's claims of being top 10 in three months into the 2023 season have officially come to a close as his performance in the PPA Hyundai Masters tournament left little to be desired. Ultimately, will Querrey's skill set from tennis with the big forehand and big serve benefit him in his pursuit of high level pickleball? Can he be the best in a game that relies on fast hands, deception, and ball manipulation? We'd bet Jack Sock has a better shot at overall domination in pickleball due to his tennis playing style. Are you there, Jack? Finally Sam being the first round draft pick in the Challenger Major League Pickleball league was just confirmed as being a really bad joke. It doesn't look good for the D.C. Pickleball Team as the teams that do the best in both halves of the year will be in the Premier level MLP League in 2024 with all the top players. DJ Howard team manager for the D.C. Pickleball Team has his hands full as Querrey was not originally the teams overall first pick. Ouch.