Once Ryan Sherry got himself out of Las Vegas last weekend, he ended up just fine.
Now, it’s never easy to come back from vacation, but Sherry looked pretty pumped on Thursday after earning his first trip to Championship Sunday at the Invisalign North Carolina Open.
The No. 2-seeded Sherry beat No. 3- seed Frank Anthony Davis 3-11, 11-4, 11-9 in the semis and will face another first-timer on Championship Sunday, Julian Arnold.
“Last week was tough,” said Sherry in reference to his visit to Vegas where he spent time with some notable names such as Dana White and Rick Ross. “The Gronkowskis are friends of mine. They are trying to get into pickleball.”
TV hosts, rappers, football players. Quite the weekend that ended with Sherry dialing back into pro training on Sunday and for the rest of the week to prepare for the upcoming tournament and his favorite event – singles. “I got to give Parris Todd some credit,” Sherry said. “She got me out of Vegas.”
Yep. Out of Vegas and into the final. Not a bad run for Sherry, who takes on Arnold, who, as the 8-seed, defeated top-seeded Tyson McGuffin in the quarterfinals before toppingTyler Loong in three games, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7.
“I think it was just that will to win,” Arnold said. “I put everything I got into every point. Run for any ball I can get to. I left half my shoe on the court today, and I couldn’t be happier to play on championship Sunday.”
Arnold and Sherry have played three times in the past, but never in a final, with Arnold having won twice. Meanwhile, both players dropped their opening games in their respective three-game wins in the semifinals, coming from behind for the victories.
“I’ve got three days to prepare,” Sherry said. “I usually don’t get that. “With three days to prepare, I can beat anyone.”
It sure looked like Lea Jansen could beat anyone on Thursday. She’s back in the final after rallying from a sluggish start in a three-game semifinal win over Callie Smith, 4-11, 11-7, 11-4. Jansen, who allowed just eight points in her first two victories of the day, regrouped after falling behind Smith in game one. She’ll take on top-seeded Catherine Parenteau in the final.
Parenteau, beat Irina Tereschenko in the semis, 11-6, 11-1.
“I felt like I had to play my game, which is a hard serve and a good third ball,” Parenteau said. “We’ve played so many times. I was prepared, and I was able to pick it up and win.”
And winning all while chomping on some gum – something Parenteau says helps her focus and calm down, too.
“It helps with my nerves,” said Parenteau, who certainly looked calm enough, dominating in the final game, going up 9-0 before cruising to the win. “I grew up playing baseball and softball, and that’s what we did in the field. It just helps with my nerves. Anything mint. It helps me digest better too.”
The tourney continues all weekend in Charlotte with the pros playing mixed doubles on Friday and men’s and women’s pro doubles on Saturday.
Championship Sunday will be broadcast on FOX Sports.