French will see if left can be right at Texas Open

Here’s the deal: 

Brandon French is from the area. He’s got lots of family and lots of friends who want to see him play. He needs to be on the court.

Even if it means he has to play left-handed.

Yeah. Think about that for a second. Actually, think about it for a little longer. How?

French, who is a regular on the PPA Tour, injured his right wrist in two spots, so he’s out of the men’s draw this week at the Texas Open in Rockwall, Texas, but he’s not out of the tournament. French will be joining teammate Dillon Segur in the men’s 5.0 field Sunday, and who knows what could happen.

“I wanted to play because it’s a local event and a lot of my family and friends in the area will be there to support me,” French said.  “It will be a great time regardless of what happens, but it would be nice to get some wins. My partner is a great guy and someone I play a lot with in Dallas.”

Yeah, true enough, but left-handed? C’mon. Well, maybe the guys on the other side of the net will take it easy on him.

“I think now that I’ve been playing a lot more left-handed, I feel like we have a decent chance at 5.0,” French said. “My partner is really solid and he knows how to cover my weaknesses as a left-handed player. It’s difficult to hit a backhand with your off-hand. Additionally, sometimes it’s hard to take it seriously playing against someone playing with their opposite hand so I try to use that to my advantage.”

Possibly, but the Texas Open is a Golden Ticket qualifier to this year’s national championship which will also be in the Dallas area – another reason French said he wanted to play.

“I had a similar injury in 2020 from overuse,” French said. “I started playing left handed then so I could still hang out with the same crowd and get some exercise. I was around a 3.5 when I started then and worked my way up over time.”

French said the recent injury came from a combination of playing pickleball and playing golf. He admits to hitting some “weird” shots in pickleball where sometimes the paddle gets manipulated into awkward positions. In addition, French also said he tends to swing the golf club hard, which probably didn’t help matters with the already injured wrist.

But he’s feeling better and the wrist is nearly healed. French said he will be back playing right-handed in time for the Major League Pickleball event in San Clemente, Calif., on June 15.

“I’ve started drilling right-handed again,” French said. “I’ve played three-to-four days a week left-handed the last nine weeks, so I thought it would be cool to play a PPA event that’s local for me and see if we can’t punch our ticket to Nationals.”

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