Okay you're good all right welcome back we've got our bracket here we obviously just had a win of kovalova and right they've advanced they're gonna take the winner on of this next match we have on Championship Court which is going to be the number five seed Cali Smith and AJ Kohler taking on the number four seed Newman and Newman.

On the bottom half of the bracket we have Jesse Urban and Jay devilier moving on they're gonna take on the winner of our next quarterfinal which is Tyler loong and Anna bright taking on Anna Lee Waters and Ben Johns what do you make of this Mayhem hi Irina well I think this is a great example of how stacked uh the Mixed Field at a PPA event is this is.

Quarterfinals and every single player in the bracket has um a title a pro title under their belt maybe some of them have grand slam titles and just great combinations also pre-seasoned and a couple of new combinations so just uh it's gonna be great pickleball we can all agree on that absolutely obviously.

16 of the top players in the world have advanced we have a newcomer of Anna bright everyone else on there looks really familiar players that we've seen that have been here and won on the PPA tour before I believe all of the other mixed doubles pairings besides bright and loong and Kohler and Smith actually have a PPA title to their belt.

So a lot of people that have been here before they've been here in the moment and it should be exciting to watch these next couple matches unfold this one in particular is when I circled early in the day and I said we need to make sure we get this one on Championship court because this is going to be a real close match.

That's one of my favorite things about brackets that trying to predict them um showing March Madness tennis ncaas and I heard you're pretty good at March Madness um only on the women's side men's are done really I don't really follow them women's college basketball it's awesome.

It's fun yes exciting exciting events and now separate March Madness too that's kind of cool definitely looks like the crowd's starting to fill in here you can see the beautiful mountains in the background we're here in Brigham City Utah about 45 minutes north from downtown Salt Lake home to one of the first ever.

Prize money pickleball tournaments a lot of historic value here Irena tarashinko's first pro tournament first tournament ever geez what more could you ask for yes um this is very emotional and next year I think it could be my 10th anniversary of playing pickleball so I think maybe we can celebrate it here absolutely.

10th anniversary that's a big deal you think a decade you're getting old yet so there is more to come Riley Newman comes right over the Middle with the signature pancake put away yes one thing I noticed um is actually Riley and Lindsay came came out with great energy and Cali and AJ there is no kind of warm-up feeling each other out.

By Riley you can see a little bit of wind creaking up and sometimes in those conditions what side you choose on the toss matters so we'll see if the site is a factor as we go through the day yeah you know we're looking at side we're looking at wind obviously on the.

Side that AJ and Cali are in now they're playing into a solid backdrop helps with quick exchanges beside that Riley and Lindsay are on now you're looking at fans you're looking at tents so a lot of different things go into the fact of what side you choose um you know do you think it's more important for side or serve or does it.

Just really depend on the conditions when you're choosing what to start out with if you win the flip I think in doubles if there's a little bit of wind or a little bit of sun side matters more in singles as well but you know service is a little bit more in singles more important in singles.

To choose we'll see if we see this pattern quite often thanks Lindsay Newman and AJ Kohler a little speed up in Riley's right there AJ getting a little impatient that's one of the advantages of that pattern um I mean Lindsay can dink all day and then if actually AJ chooses to.

Speed up he's going to be speeding up at Riley he's ready well they're just incredible defense by the new ones we saw Riley hit a two-handed backhand reset on his right hip three times in a row and then Lindsay just putting the balls nice and low from the Baseline taking her time.

Working her way to the net so slightly different style but it works for both of them all right he steps over and takes the whole core as Lindsay hurries on up to get to that ball they're playing great they're playing great pickleball right now and they obviously have a connection on the court they played together for.

Quite some time siblings growing up it's fun to see the Newman Newman combo back at it Lindsay obviously taking a little bit of time off had a couple kids over the past three years so it's great to see out here out here competing at the highest level.

Absolutely Lindsay is a trooper always great to see her in next and in women's doubles O'Reilly's being pretty aggressive moving his dinks around a couple of unforced tears from Cali and AJ great speed up there I think that's probably one of the main differences.

That I noticed this year on the pro tour just the amount of speed UPS the pros can do top level Pros can do from uh their shoelaces people really understand how to create a combination there the last shot by AJ was a great example but Jesse Irvin is also another person who has an incredible backhand flick from the lower.

Ball Ben Johns of course has a similar shot but with a little bit more topspin good variety and I think that's yeah one element of the game that just grew exponentially this year at the professional level you have to be alert all the time now yeah and you're seeing a lot of the people that are initiating the speed UPS.

They don't necessarily win the point on the initial speed up but they're ready for that that second that third that fourth ball and you're seeing a lot of these people that are initiating are actually winning a lot of these exchanges um I would agree with you and a lot of the top talent is feeling more.

Comfortable hitting that speed up as well absolutely Riley climbing under the stage to make sure he keeps the same ball yeah some players are very superstitious do you know of any superstitions that the pro players have I am not as familiar as you maybe you.

Can give us a an Enlightenment on some superstitions I'd like to hear this I would just be making it up I know Jesse Irvin has a ritual to calm her nose down we'll talk we'll talk about that later absolutely that's one I do know.

So Lindsay elects to knock gold for a lot on her serve either she just kind of gets it in same with Riley Riley started to maybe put a little bit more on it as of late yeah they're different schools of servers on tour Lindsay right over the post that was very well this guy shot Lindsay.

Probably has one of the better backhand down the lines it doesn't have too much power but the placement and accuracy of that shot is impeccable definitely it looks like we're gonna take a time out here as Cali Smith and AJ cooler elect to take a break and talk it over we'll be right back here in game number one of our quarterfinal match.

Right after these messages we can take a look at the crowd here as we come back it's starting to fill in we have a whole nother section that you can't quite see here on this camera angle where we've got covered VIP we seem to be pretty full right now we're going to be really full as we go on throughout the week people all.

Gathering here just north of Salt Lake City to watch the best players in the world play here on the PPA tour let's see if the timeout works for AJ and Khalid what see what kind of adjustments um they make it looks like they came out of the gate a little bit faster I think that's um that's a good.

Idea AJ trying to put a little bit of pressure with his serve and force a shorter return this time he gets actually an error from Riley the ball lands just a little bit out the side out and two quick points it looks like it was a great time out make that three and just like that six seven one yes I think the reasoning.

Behind it is also that Riley and Lindsay are playing a switch so they're covering a little bit more distance so it's a good strategy yeah all right wow they just decide to attack attack we're all knotted up at seven here well and this time Riley and Lindsay.

Actually stay it only took him two three points to adjust by the AJ and Cali still coming in hot talk about a great timeout I was alluring to earlier AJ speeds it up from the shoelaces and Cali's there to put it away that's one way to get the crowd involved.

Energy comes support be back after a quick short break and messages from our sponsors all right take a look here at AJ Kohler in the Australian yellow getting ready to serve here who is looking cool and collected in a 100 degree heat in Utah and a great time out from the Newmans they weather the run.

Here a great volley to the left of AJ and a good fist bomb celebration from Lindsay great concentration by Cali to take that off the net who Kelly would love to have that one back side out for the new ones we haven't really seen too many patterns.

Right and merge I feel like the players are kind of moving the ball around adjusting their level of intensity and then I would agree I haven't seen any patterns at this point I've spent a whole lot of pickleball switching things up short points defense looks pretty exciting to me something's.

Happening all the time quick side out back I feel like that's a hard thing to do the speed up Cross Court you just run out of court if you don't hit that thing perfectly it better be to the body absolutely I think when you speed up down the line your apartment has a little bit less reaction time.

You have a bigger margin for error and a better chance of jamming them uh if you are speeding up cross-corder you just have to yeah it's a little bit more difficult to execute and a little bit easier for your opponent to anticipate so you have to be careful but um it's definitely a shot that can work yeah is there a reason why um you know.

When I'm watching Pro pickleball I see a lot of the time the person that either pops the ball up or initiates a bad shot it seems like most the time they'll attack the other person is that is there a reason why that happens um I think you just get excited in the point and um maybe you're not sure.

You've made a few mistakes so you're not sure if you can hang in there and you're just trying to rush things up a little bit some players actually need to do it they need to come out and get a little bit more aggressive to maybe get their energy back up in their style I think Cali would definitely be one of them so it's okay for them they will always.

Make more errors but then they're winning or like Kill Shot ratio is going to be much higher so they compensate for that a little bit of a give tank yes all right the ball goes back to Cali Smith here eight seven it's been a while since the Newmans have scored I believe it was seven two or seven three now we're sitting here at.

Eight seven two yeah great move by AJ he anticipates the drop and then closes in at the right time big put away through the middle big point there and a great hold by the Newmans let's see if they can get off that.

Number seven Riley's looking to be aggressive he didn't quite make it through the transition zone great footwork and Anticipation by AJ Kohler as he hits the backhand Ernie.

And a nice deep serve yeah I feel like Riley and Lindsay feel a little bit rushed maybe that's why a couple on four stairs um a couple of attempts to finish the point too quickly and there's game number one talk about a run the Newman's jumped out to a 7-3 lead and um AJ and Cali put together eight.

Unanswered points they take the game 11-7 we're gonna take a quick break and we'll be back with game number two from the Tournament of Champions all right welcome back to game number two the first game went to AJ Kohler and Cali Smith 11-7 Newman set off to serve here in game number two I'm joining the booth with.

The legend herself Irina tarashinko what do the Newmans need to do this game Irina Um well hey everybody and um I think maybe one adjustment they can make is try to be a little bit more patient maybe explore the pattern of Lindsay dinking with AJ again and see um what happens if AJ speeds up first.

So that would be maybe my my suggestion let's see what happens and absolute Madness firefight and hands battle the crowd is loving it yeah both both male players slide middle and just go right at each other you could hear the roar there from the crowd and obviously the hometown favorite Hometown hero Cali Smith.

Born and raised in Utah played college tennis at both Brigham Young University and finished her career at the University of Utah the University of Utah only being about 45 minutes south from here family friends all coming out to watch Cali play oh AJ Spooks Cali a little bit here.

Um doesn't commit to the poach AJ and Tyler's been playing pretty much um on all the PPA tour stops throughout this year so pretty well world team they know where their strength is and uh is being aggressive and trying to control the kitchen winning these hands battles one too so we're gonna look for them to remain aggressive.

Good adjustment by Riley going behind AJ that way he's also opening up a little bit of space in front of Kelly if they wanted to switch the dinking pattern foreign by Lindsay I'm making AJ pay Again by going behind him coming over taking a lot of court and Lindsay just says no no no puts it.

Right to the left of AJ and that a little pancake misdirect pretty good move and all these strategic adjustments is also a testament of how good these Pros are they're constantly processing the information on the court making adjustments and.

That's why we witnessed great pickleball y just going for a little too much there I like that he's staying aggressive trying to score points but probably uh probably the wrong decision there one one two Riley's really trying to step over and take a lot of the balls here in game number two.

I'd like to see Cali and AJ maybe give him one or two to his side keep him a little bit honest and try to open up Lindsay absolutely it gets hard when you're just playing a little Target on the court did he hit him did she hit him Oh yes totally I.

G completely floated his poach and Lindsay was on top of that put away yeah rightfully so all right Cali commenced to this one let's see if the ball returns from the crowd fantastic thank you what that's what Riley and Lindsay are.

Looking for creating space for a rider to finish with his forehand his pancake he I think full credit to Riley on using the shot and adding it to his game with his grip it makes it perfect and he's a backhand dominant player but he found a way to efficiently finish the speed ups that he initiates.

Usually from the backhand side with any other players trying to take that shot and now implement it into their own game somebody like a Colin Johns multiple other professional players trying to also Implement what they see works well for Riley Newman kudos for him for trying to figure out that grip obviously makes it backhand dominant but.

Definitely something impressive that we've seen over the last two years on the PPA tour yes I've been also trying to add this to my game and mess around with the pancake unfortunately go go power ropes there for Riley Newman.

What a point it had everything and Riley looks quite proud of himself rightfully so he points to the crowd holder and Cali Smith elect to take a time out here Newman and Newman jump out to a 4-1 lead here in game number two let's see if Smith and Kohler can weather the storm when we come back all right we take a look at a few people.

Baking in the sun here coming to watch the best players in the world what do you want to see out of AJ and Cali here Irena you're the expert here tell me what they need to do I think they need to um continue well first they need to set out and then on serve maybe they can look into serving a little bit bigger and take.

Advantage of their third shot and then crashing and winning a few quick points if they can it looks like they tried just that but AJ overhistory just a little bit second try by Cali yeah let's see if they can keep an aggressive game here they really rallied off a ton of points after they took a.

Game a timeout in game number one by really just taking it right to Lindsay and Riley it looks like they are the beneficiary of the net right there and that's going to get them to two two four two it's a great shot by AJ going behind Lindsay she was pulled out wide on the.

Shot before so naturally you were gonna try to cover the middle but then the opponent goes and flakes the ball behind you I agree I think it would have been a winner without the net love this camera we get here on the PPA tour you can really see the action and how fast the game moves when we get up to the kitchen line.

Absolutely it's also fun for me as a player to kind of see it from a different perspective rather than from being on court see it on camera from different angles I'm learning a lot about my opponents Riley and Lindsay looking to Chip Away a couple of unforced errors here and there.

No big deal as part of the process I think that's a good tip for amateur and pro players alike you are going to make some mistakes it's not the end of the world it's more important how you deal with them on the next point flashy forehand put away by AJ Kohler The Iceman.

Hmm I hear there's a network special coming up on him called the Blades of Glory Jay Kohler 's forehand from Kelly Smith and The Crowd Goes Wild a great point we saw a lot of action there let's see if they can use that as momentum going forward yeah it was great point and uh Cali.

Anticipated Riley's attack really well was able to counter and finish the point the rally moves the spot of his attack this time at AJ and surprised him a little bit 3-5 here and the Iceman does it again he tries to go behind Riley Riley hits a ill-advised.

High ball and AJ makes him pay I feel like AJ only moves laterally and test it moving laterally yes when he moves back he's still um he doesn't turn and go sideways he still moves laterally backwards I don't know if he should be called The Iceman or the crap it's okay to have good two nicknames makes sense.

The shoe fits it fits absolutely another AJ another great example of creating a unique style of playing that suits your body type kind of your strength and weaknesses your natural tendencies very cool to see that it looks like it was a good timeout Ball's gonna flip back over to Newman.

Newman five five we couldn't be any closer than this here in game number two remember Newman and Newman need to secure a victory here in game number two to advance to a game number three I think the pressure sitting on the side of Newman Newman yes they've been struggling just a.

Little bit with their third shots on not able to get into the kitchen efficiently and my crab-like movement and he slides right over and is able to put that ball away unbelievable I do see him spending hours and hours stretching Have You Ever Seen The Iceman.

Stretch I haven't and so he's a true professional of the sport what a fun Point here Smith wow great anticipation in calories part and then a little bit of improvisation that she had to do to fix the timing of her earning but it pays off at the end.

Let's see if it goes wild on the next dead ball let's see if we can see a replay of that again from the truck great point Riley with his one-two punch combo she does a really good job holding his forehand and getting AJ to commit suicide first and then he goes opposite sneaky.

Yeah Riley the number one mixed doubles player in the world right now um one of the top players of course on the mid side when you're thinking of who the best players are in the game you know Riley Newman's definitely at the top of the list so it's fun to see him out here playing.

With Lindsay they've had a lot of success in the past it's fun to see her back out here on the court and some might say Riley plays his best when he's alongside his sister absolutely and um correct me if I'm wrong I think we've seen um a little bit of change in the standings for the mixed doubles we had met right there's a.

Number one player just a few weeks ago and then Ben Johns was number one a little bit before so it looks like there are a few people in the contention for the season and yeah number one spot yes that is right Matt Wright is the number one in mixed doubles and men's doubles at the moment um it's been fun to see the change.

Um Riley obviously right there at the top Ben Johns when you're talking about the the really the big three of them inside um you know I think most people would say you've got Ben Matt and Riley right there and it's been fun to see the mix-up in the standings throughout the year this year yes and then you have uh.

Jay and Tyson um knocking on the door I think Jay probably has some stronger results him and Jesse have done quite well um and makes doubles in the PPA they're either playing right now or maybe coming up soon in one of the matches yeah so they've they've Advanced the semi-final match they'll play the winner.

Of this match here to see who will punch their ticket into Championship Sunday and a chance to perform on Fox Sports 1. all right well Riley goes Ernie covered by by Cali well just the effort and the commitment of all the players on the courts.

Tracking down balls moving with the ball switching staying alert there's never a situation when somebody hits the shot and kind of stops moving as a fan of the sport this has been one of my favorite matches to watch today a lot of emotion from all four players on the court as Cali hits a forehand put away.

You couldn't ask for a better match here we're serving here at 6-8 in game number two well nice move by AJ they're continuing with the plan trying to stay aggressive on the first three shots Cali going for a big serve here great return by Lindsay.

Yeah Riley went a little too far did not keep his dink down and Kelly takes advantage of the opening Cross Court Optometry it's just science it's a science and they take a point there this is a big one here remember we're win by two here.

AJ are probably really eyeing that 10 number let's at least get to 10 before we give the ball back give us a little bit of security but who knows they may try to close it out here on this side out Newman and Newman take a strategic time out we'll be right back after these few messages from our sponsors all right guys we're back here at the.

Tournament of Champions you can see the beautiful scenery behind Championship Court we've got Riley Newman and Lindsey Newman taking on Cali Smith and AJ Kohler at Big point there Irina every Point matters.

And AJ and they take it on the first try the crowd is super excited we're going to see them play Jayden and Jesse in the studies and there it is guys game number two it goes to Cali Smith and AJ Kohler that is some great pickleball from them they're advancing to a semifinal we have yet to seen them in a championship.

Saturday or Sunday so let's see if they have what it takes to punch a ticket in to be played on FS1 on Saturday thank you guys for joining us here in the booth from Braxton Pardo and Irina tarashinko I'm gonna pass it on over to Yana gretchkina also known as Yana Newell thank you guys we're gonna take a quick break and we'll be right back with.

Another quarterfinal match
Watch as Callie Smith and Aj Koller take on Riley and Lindsey Newman at the 2022 Tournament Of Champions