Welcome everybody to mix doubles day here at the Guaranteed Rate PPA championships Dave Fleming here with Sierra Gayton Leach Sierra love having you in the booth welcome thanks for having me hello hello I'm really excited we're gonna see some great pickleball um it's a gorgeous facility let's go let's go and uh we are just slightly.
Delayed as our star Lucy kovalev is trying to just get her health in a good spot here uh you can see she's trying to get a uh just get set and she's trying desperately to be able to I hate bringing up her bloody nose on on the air but that's what we're dealing with here and you can see her there so I'm not going to dwell on that.
Anymore I am going to speak to what's going on so she's just getting warmed up here and we'll get this match started but this draw has been something else Sierra and the match we're about to see it's gonna be kovalovan Wright versus Catherine parento and J.W Johnson yeah and I was watching her match against Mary baraja because I'm good friends.
With Mary and Frederico and it was a battle that first set um Mary was able to pull it out and I guess they're able to fight back Lucy and Matt and the points were great so I know against uh JW and Catherine that's going to be a really exciting match great pickleball yeah they were able to lose that first game.
11-9 and then kovalev and right did come back and win 11 3 11-6 so they are eager to get back to Championship Sunday been a few in a row here where other teams were able to get there so that's kovalova and right on the other side Catherine parento and J.W Johnson new pairing today because we've got the Newman's playing together so and fun.
Fact I was actually just at the Johnsons training with Georgia um and hanging out with their family and they're great so we are doing a excuse me first Point here with the pink Dura ball there this is a ceremonial point just to honor all of the folks that uh.
Are a part of this great cause of the American Breast Cancer Foundation this is great to have them be a part of it and we're having quite a point with the paintball here this will not count on the scoreboard but uh we do want to acknowledge everyone that has beat everyone that has.
Been affected by and uh love that pickleball can be a forum for a grade and cause that has affected so many so so that ball is gonna go into the crowd as a souvenir the first ever pink Dura there it goes from Catherine parento nice catch sir so uh great touch we'll be doing that in the quarters in the semis and and all the way to.
Championship Sunday so we thank the American Breast Cancer Foundation for being a part of this and it's awesome Sierra how pickleball is now a forum for these important messages that affect us outside of the world of pickleball absolutely so now we're playing for real let's go J.W Johnson fires away to get the first.
Point again uh there you see Catherine parento has already punched one ticket to Championship Sunday she'll play the singles final so I can serve zero zero two JW Johnson has also punched a ticket to Sunday and then the men's singles so a lot of singles prowess on that side.
And then you played against kovalev and right what do they bring to the table here a lot of heat yeah we would like to talk about heart and make their presence known like that yeah beautiful handle of a ball off the tape you can get to you just sort of get spazzed out sometimes when that happens nice shot by kovalova foreign.
Yeah so Johnson's gonna be a terror in the middle for sure tremendous hands oh just deep from Koval over there so uh side out obviously we have a new partnership with so much talent here with parental and J.W Johnson thank you.
Toronto able to bail out one but not two on the ball left up by JW zero one two start out I think Kelly I mean Matt and Lucy are doing a good job making their presence known and they're closing and hard and they're winning those points second serve just backing up a little.
Bit so hard to know which balls to back up on and which balls to stay put on yeah it's some of the magic of this sport is shot selection and where your positioning needs to be and Matt Wright went charging to the Middle where J dub had been putting it in perfect example and said hello Wide Open Court yeah took.
It so one oh one Catherine Franco to serve just gets jammed up a little bit uh Lucy had a good block there though one one one you've got uh right in kovalev are Guaranteed Rate sponsored player so uh a little extra a little extra Guaranteed Rate signage here on their gear on the.
Net you do not get extra points of course if you hit that foreign look at this defense and then the ball the ball did not bounce so incredible that was bizarre unbelievable defense and then all the spin just it just sat in the kitchen ball seems to be fine tied at one that's the beauty of mixed.
Doubles right there o and D all in one point foreign foreign looks for the two-handed speed up and that was not where he wanted to put it nope JW was ready for hand metal is Jade Up's favorite I feel like that's gonna be a no-go zone for most.
Opponents here again the three seed kovaleva and right in the sixth seed Johnson and parento foreign to there but uh sometimes those balls that tight to the neck can be a problem well handled by right yeah and Lady's doing a good job of getting out of the way the men would let him play their.
Games it's Vicki Ryan following the score for us oh and indecision there and we talked about new partners who's taking what Catherine bailed out of there and three one two JW did not hit it and you get a clean winter on a ball going one mile an hour.
That doesn't happen very often that shows you how that shows you how it shows you how good JW Johnson's hands are that went off the net and he was still able to get his left hand there wow too bad for him he's a right-handed player first lob perfect nope and that goes just deep that's a.
Great track down by parento there but uh Johnson unable to execute in the middle five one two thank you side out so there is a good look at JW Johnson in the ever spinning or paddle Catherine parento served just deep one five two.
And the net taketh away from parento again as it's just deep there so five one that right to sir 5-1-1 sort of rolls that sucker in there I think Catherine's just backing up a little bit if she can stay up at the kitchen line um I think she's a little.
Bit scarier up there and able to do more of the ball yeah it has a lot of weapons foreign Court dank exchanges we're at least setting up a ball that Matt Wright can get after yeah six one two side out right stunned literally still standing.
There he's on the other side of course but uh can't believe that couldn't go over a ball going just under one mile an hour foreign that's the tough part when the guy takes too much core as a woman and you're like oh I could have taken that other one oh that's great oh kovalova wow because.
Johnson had the ball he wanted and she just blocked that right back in just wide there you see Johnson and parento again a nice day here at the darling Tennis Center we're west of the strip here in Las Vegas oh my very patient point and then kovaleva had one she could absolutely clobber and then her head said go now.
But it was a little too late it was a gift yeah I don't think she'll miss another one of those foreign that right was on it but finds the net in a run continues for Parental and Johnson within one oh my wow I know it's incredible and I think she's does a really good job of.
Blocking those back with her backhand that's what's so impressive about that definitely favors the backhand was ready there tape again unkind so you look at the scoreboard at 7-5 and there have been four balls that have affected parento and Johnson in a negative fashion off the tape.
Is getting a little windier too and I and pickleball just makes such a big difference knowing what way the wind's going yeah we're down in a little bit of an Amphitheater ball here so we'll probably swirl around a bit as well but we can feel it up here we're perched above the court.
And perched on that ball is J.W Johnson who just finishes just his feet are just standing there right it stays there yeah he's like go behind me try it oh foreign so JW Johnson is making his presence felt on this comeback there within one and we're doing an egg hunt for the ball.
We've got it a little lob Top Spin served trying to get an error foreign but still playing and another dink battle goes to parento and Johnson and when we're in Vegas it's Lucky Sevens everybody I think she was like that's gonna be a.
Timeout yeah she was a little good far back on that yeah she made the other one so Sierra gate and leech in the booth with me here Dave Fleming so obviously Matt Wright and Lucy kovaleva jump out ahead Johnson and parento come back if you're the team that had the lead what are you saying to yourself as you've let that slip away but we're still just down.
The line I think if Catherine can just stay up at the kitchen line on her shots because her hands are so good um and take their time away just a little bit I think they have shot well hello Tennis Channel fans welcome to pickleball it's the Guaranteed Rate PPA championships here in beautiful Las.
Vegas Nevada and we're thrilled you're here this is a quarterfinal matchup you will be joining I'm Dave Fleming joining the booth by women's Pro Sierra gate and Leach and uh we're thrilled to have the third seed playing the sixth seed there you see the sixth seed J.W Johnson and Catherine parento they were down here in game number one but have come back a.
Timeout was just called by Lucy kovalova and Matt Wright foreign looking that way you can see right struggling and look if JW Johnson sneak in there so I'm able to fight it off throwing the lob up into this sun Can Be an Effective play as Wright has one of.
The best overheads in the game but just couldn't see it and that's not today range for Lucy kovalova so again this is game one of a best of three to eleven quarter-final and Lucy kovalova's got the hand in the air and rips a winner down the middle defense to offense baby.
Couple of weird defensive postures in the middle of that but they kept getting the ball back and Matt writes Ernie attempt which is when you jump over that kitchen and he hung out over there for a minute bought some Vegas property for five seconds but didn't work out for him again then that has been a factor Sierra.
Oh and a nice Inside Out disguised Ball by J.W Johnson 971 second serve yeah talk about the power of the two-hander I know you enjoyed two-hander as well I love a good two-hander yeah Lucy kovalev has one of the best tuis in the game so you'll be seeing that.
Throughout this match oh indecision again so new team it's tough you gotta over communicate that's what I'm learning just talk to your opponent your partner as much as you can makes a difference yeah you can't say yours enough but if you think it and don't say it that uh that message isn't coming through we don't have the.
Technology for mind reading yet now that way it's easier to see the ball oh and it goes dropper get that Scamper from kovalova we're still playing some hands there wow so kovaleva hung in there but that last one is up and Johnson finishes Cross.
Court so 792. deficit Remains Two for the three seed it just stays in and he didn't that's one of those he didn't hit clean and that was the best news for him he ever have we've had like six net quarters today it's crazy so we've got.
J.W Johnson and Catherine parenta they're going to call time out here and just sort of think about what are we going to do so sometimes we talk about why to take a time out Sierra sometimes you just played a point that had you running everywhere you need the hydration yeah usually it's to stop the other team why.
Would a team take a Timeout on offense when they've got the ball and the lead yeah I'm tired in the heat maybe um yeah I'm not really sure usually when I'm ahead I keep it going so it is interesting what do you think yeah I think the uh sometimes you did exert something or maybe you saw something you want to tell your partner a little.
Communication get over there you know we're within two you can see J.W Johnson and Catherine parento they're really talking about what they want to do here so while they weren't communicating brilliantly on court they certainly are off the court here and you know this is a chance to sort of say hey where are we going to serve it where do we want to.
Drop it you know sort of run a play yeah right now they I think running plays is very important and uh shot selection making sure sometimes when people are up they go for too little targets and it's really important to go for a big Targets in the court so we'll see if they take Sierra's idea and find a big Target up to two points from taking game one and.
Matt Wright says I am the wrong big Target they must have misinterpreted what you meant he is very tall but that was not the big Target you had in mind so second chance to get to 10. so the time out which you were concerned about actually iced the team that called it there they didn't know that momentum.
Going so that doesn't work out still up too foreign just deep from right and he read that perfectly because kovalova has been flying up the court to cover these drops and there's what makes Matt Wright such a dominant player yeah and he was able to stay at the kitchen line and they had.
To back up and he just yeah was able to bring it eight nine two so he ends up on top within one I heard that shuffling of the feet from kovaleva wasn't set to get underneath that reset so nine eight JW Johnson to serve heavy.
You got what you wanted 982 oh two swings and misses and again just a little bit of indecision and parento does not take a swing at it so we'll see if that bites him lands in eight nine foreign to pulls the trigger right and that.
Sails deep letting balls go is a big skill yeah and the way Lucy just looks so comfortable dinking on her forehand side it's intimidating a little bit so we're at nine a piece and a big yell from Matt Wright as they take the lead 10-9 and you're not going to get a lot of yelling from the Johnson.
And parento team but you certainly will from the two from Wichita kovalovan right now the game point damn it and they get the mistake and after being up early they fell behind but it is Matt Wright.
And Lucy kovalova who take game number one this is going to be quite a battle it may take three we'll see after this welcome back everybody beautiful day here in Las Vegas and great first game goes to the three seed Matt Wright and Lucy kovalova Catherine parento to serve d.
It's a great region by Catherine I think if they can mix up the dinks a little bit more it might help so you were asking parento to stay close to the line she does listen to that and gets the first point of game two there you saw a two-hander you knew he was going to flick it by where he put his hands on the paddle there kovalev was.
Ready just on top of it so two zero two quick start for the sixth seed foreign Lucy Cove all over to serve you see we did play a ceremonial first point with a pink Dura and she's got the pink tape around her paddle today that was an interesting play Catherine.
Sped up to Lucy Cross Court but JW was running for the execution so yeah if you know it's coming it's okay you've cried attacking cross-court can put your partner in Peril sometimes but uh worked out well there and Catherine has definitely been more aggressive here to start game two it's a good overhead get from JW because.
They're facing the Sun so it's not easy to see that ball yeah that's it tough ball along now I do love and Matt Will Wright will continue to throw up offensive lobs from the kitchen there's a defensive LOB toy they're doing well with the speed up at Lucy and then JW is able to pounce on it so a little pattern developing here.
That's working well parental and Johnson again must win this game to force a third and that time that's the negative of a cross-court attack right there's your partner doesn't know it's coming Johnson was surprised but late four zero one late ended up being a good thing for him yeah JW's personality or Johnson's.
Personality kind of reminds me a little bit of a Federer he's very mellow out there just very classy I'm very talented uh so quick 4-0 start for Parental and Johnson zero four one thank you foreign cats.
Second serve yeah um what do you think you like when Catherine speeds up down the line I mean she's got to keep Matt right on us so I think that's the key but uh it's a dangerous spot so it can't be a repeated choice foreign so we gotta let's go from kovalova as they're on the board.
One four here in game number two perfect ball down at the feet and those pink shoelaces of kovalova that's what's so important it's not all your shots have to be super hard just so important pickleball placement over power Sierra look at JW Johnson hunt that down after a beautiful lob by Matt Wright I thought.
Matt Wright had him yeah five one one that's the tennis background of the Michigan State Spartan parento able to hit a two-handed back in overhead behind her and yeah it's timeout is coming and that's exactly what is coming so it is parento and Johnson who have flipped the script here in game number.
Two they would love to force a third we'll see if they can right after this all right welcome back everybody it is right in kovalova down big here in game number two just called a timeout another lob and a big overhead from Johnson the funny thing is to you I don't even think they spoke yours are mine she just got low and he knew he was.
There yeah that looks like a dangerous celebration yeah ferento seemed to be in the line of that overhead but uh great accuracy again placement and I know uh CR you actually played against Lucy kovilova in college tennis too I did yeah since she hit the ball hard in tennis too she's a beast I think she beat me in three okay.
Foreign so from college tennis to the pro pickleball tour there's a lot of that happening there is I think what's working well is both teams are speeding up right out their opponents and they're getting the points right now yeah JW Johnson absolute Menace in the.
Middle of the Court here 9-1 slide out so big mountain to climb for right in kovalova they discuss the side switch and they are going to go with a side switch so whoa I think what's important too is when sometimes guys will miss a couple points.
But they won't want to switch sides sometimes you just gotta mix it up even if the lady is on the backhand too let's try something different foreign let's see if we can finish the point off this time and they came out so the lobs have been great but the next ball hasn't been there and.
They are going to keep going on the left side uh the point construction look good it's just the execution wasn't there JW Johnson is everywhere making his presence known three of them over there and parento playing solid as well this is game point another Lobster foreign.
a slight lead at the end of game one they weren't able to finish it but JW Johnson and Catherine parento said hey we're gonna play three and they are lined up to try and take it we'll see if they can after this all right welcome back everybody the fans are loving this and we are going.
Three it's a great matchup Dave flemingham zero zero two women's Pro Sierra Kate and leech foreign yeah I think the biggest difference between the first and second set was JW and Catherine really went for their shots played a much more offensive style in his boy did it ever pay off 11-1 is a.
Massive payoff against the team with equality right in kovalova second serve so we'll right now say okay I see you Jade up I see you yeah let me go at you and I think both teams have won points going at him so each other I think a lot more foreign starts it and Wright finishes it and.
That's and after all that there's still no points scored tremendous from Lucy kovalova I think she loves her backhand she's ready for it sitting backhand metal waiting for the speed up and she's won a lot of points that way one zero one way to attack her is the right side of her body.
But then you bring that sideline into play that's why that's a dangerous place that's why a lot of the ladies actually fade explain what that means I'm working on that right now actually getting out of the way of the ball and leading to a certain side yeah okay so a little more fire from Wright and kovalova.
Two zero two oh foreign we will switch sides at six here in game number three so obviously we talked about the visibility of lobs on the side of Wright and kovalova actually oh my goodness corn yeah I think Lucy.
Needed to move over just a little bit more um she just thought Matt was able to come back and he wasn't so it was a great shot yeah right goes for the angle on the Ernie and thought he had it and there he is again so J.W Johnson is solid in the middle of the Court reaches out and hits a winner.
JW is able to have her back up and then once once I went on her feet very smart play there three two one and it is Lucy kovalova with an answer backhand there it is leaning back wow exactly textbook form but textbook execution she'll take that every time.
But they answered yeah I know you talked about what ball to take and what not from which play four two two foreign to and Johnson in game one gives them a point when they love to have it here in game three so if they get this we'll switch five two two.
Go behind them I mean behind them is the entire second half of the court but he covers so much court that you just never know gotta hit it you can't just flip it over there no I'll get it foreign once again Johnson's inviting that second speed up at his paddle and he's.
Ready it's just so important to take short backswing sometimes when the match gets close people want to take their backs and just keep everything tight and close together weird bounce on the serve there polenta was in trouble from the get-go bullseye foreign.
Johnson gets tagged again left it up reaching on the backhand and Matt Wright was there so within one four five two foreign but just couldn't get the ball down five four one foreign.
My goodness look at that she's on the deck and throws up a winner that's impressive that's that's Catherine prento at her finest so can J.W Johnson and correct Catherine parento finish this off they're laughing about that one as well they should fans are loving it we've got faces on the stick there and it is.
JW Johnson after one of the best topspin lob winners of all time yeah I'm going there folks that was ridiculous so I think that's really important too in mixed doubles going middle don't be afraid to go somewhere because a lot of people don't know who's gonna take that ball second steep on the serve from Johnson.
Foreign she was ready for it though she was sitting back in just jammed her a little bit and then when you had to bring this paddle in four two couldn't keep it inside the sideline oh what a get by Matt Wright.
And JW Johnson down the middle like I said mixed up the middle yeah mix it in he is everywhere 942 they drive by parento and we are Suddenly at match point for the sixth seed there's ten four two first try right here to move to the semifinals foreign.
welcome to Center Court I've got J.W Johnson and Catherine parento guys you're headed to the semi-final that was quite a back and forth in game one but you came out so fiery in game two what caused that yeah I feel like in the first game we were a little bit confused on who had the middle there and I told.
JW okay I'll give you more space I'll I'll put some ball ins and you just come in take the middle and that worked out for us for the second and third game it certainly looked like you figured that out JW Johnson it feels like it felt like you finished most exchanges with those fast hands what causes those fast hands where'd you get those how do you.
Develop them I get lucky for the most part but uh obviously I just play a lot of tournaments and then practices at home and that's pretty much it well guys you're both in singles finals on Sunday how do you build a versatile player so that you can play so strong in both the singles and in the mixed doubles side of the sport I would say a.
Lot of training a lot of off and on court stuff um and yeah I would say just Fitness because it's not easy playing singles and then playing two days of doubles JW do anything special to come out here and play so well in doubles after a long day of singles yesterday uh well first of all I have to have a.
Really good partner and I have that and then uh aside from that uh make sure my hands are ready that's right they are guys congratulations we're gonna see you later on today play your semi-final with that we're going to take it back to Center Court we've got AJ Kohler and Cali Smith taking on Ben Johns and Anna Lee Waters.
Watch as Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova take on Catherine Parenteau and JW Johnson at the 2022 PPA Vegas Championships