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April 10-14, 2024
VEOLIA HOUSTON OPEN

Daescu and Bright win two golds each and end runs by Johns and Waters

Author: Andrew Gilman | March 18, 2024

Streak stoppers! 

What a week for Andrei Daescu and what a way to win a pair of gold medals.

Hard to imagine anyone could do better.

But Anna Bright might have done just that.

Daescu won a pair of golds. Bright won a pair of golds and Anna Leigh Waters’ golden streak is over.

How’d it happen? 

“I’m just proud of us,” said Bright after she and partner Rachel Rohrabacher won their second tournament in a row beating Catherine Parenteau and Waters. “We’re great friends and we’re always talking about how we can get better as a team. I think things are starting to click for us.”

“Click” is what has happened the past two weeks as the pair has gone back-to-back, but what happened Monday in Austin at the Veolia Championship was more than “clicking,” it was more like “snapping.”

Take a bow, Anna. 

All Bright did was beat Anna Leigh Waters, not once, but twice on Monday, stopping two of the most-prolific streaks in PPA history.

Bright and Daescu won their mixed doubles match Monday morning, ending a run of more than a year without a defeat by Waters and Ben Johns, and then Bright and Rohrabacher ended another run, beating Waters and Parenteau, a team that had never lost. Never.

Not bad for a Monday.

Waters and Johns had been in 30 finals together coming into Monday. They were 30-0 and hadn’t lost at all since February of 2023.

Meanwhile, Parenteau and Waters had won more than 60 matches in a row, a span that included 14 gold medals together. 

Now those streaks are over and Bright was part of them both.

Daescu earned gold Sunday afternoon, dodging the raindrops and waiting out numerous rain delays, pairing with Matt Wright in a win against Christian Alshon and Zane Navratil He followed that up by earning another gold, alongside Anna Bright on Monday.

What a weekend.

We knew we had to play our best,” Daescu said after he and Bright beat Waters and Johns. “We had a couple of lucky breaks. Anna was the key to the match, and we have great chemistry.”

And now the two have a pair of titles in Austin. That’s three in two tournaments for Bright and two golds and a silver in his last three PPA stops for Daescu.

Meanwhile, Waters didn’t get a gold in a tournament she’s entered for the first time since 2021. An impressive run of more than two years. Waters skipped the singles draw, due to injury and then wound up with a pair of silvers.

Johns, who didn’t medal in the first two singles events of the year, has now won back-to-back tournaments he’s entered. Johns beat second-seeded Federico Staksrud and got to celebrate his 25th birthday with a title.

“Well, you never want to lose, but what’s worse is losing two,” Johns said Monday afternoon. Winning the last two is gratifying. I think I can get better.”

Judit Castillo beat Kaitlyn Christian in the women’s final. It was the first gold for Castillo.

“I did not expect it at all,” Castillo said. “I don’t even know if I stuck to the game plan or came up with something different. It worked out.”

It all worked out for Daescu and Bright, who were the talk of the tournament Monday.

“We went through some adversity,” Daescu said after he and Bright won. “I’m happy we were able to make it through.”

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