The last time we saw Matt Wright and Riley Newman they were undone in three games by J.W. Johnson and Dylan Frazier in the final of the Newport Beach Open, extending a winless streak that dated back to November.
Newman and Wright looked tired, not exactly uninspired, but definitely on the business end of seemingly being worn out.
Quite the turnaround this week in Charlotte.
The pair dominated Frazier and Johnson this time, won their first gold of the season, and looked every bit as strong as they ever had, definitively proving themselves as the second-best doubles team on the PPA Tour and halting the rise of Frazier and Johnson – for now.
It was an 11-3, 11-8, 11-6 domination Sunday at the North Carolina Open, and just to make sure everyone understands, it’s not like the two have played poorly this year, they have six silver medals, but the two didn’t seem to be putting together the same fire and magic as they did last year.
“After we lost last time we had a long heart-to-heart phone call,” Newman said. “We rallied. We had big chemistry today and we got over the hump.”
That’s 20 gold medals in his PPA career for Riley, but just the first in 2023.
“It worked out today,” Wright said.
Definitely. It worked out all weekend. Ben Johns and brother Collin are the top team in the PPA, but the last time we saw the two, they were beaten in a second-round match at Newport Beach. The brothers weren’t in the draw this week, leaving the No. 1 seed to Newman and Wright.
The two smoked A.J. Koller and Julian Arnold in the quarterfinals, took down Travis Rettenmaier and Steve Deakin in the semis, and got some revenge in the final.
Meanwhile, Anna Leigh Waters started her day with a doubles win, alongside Catherine Parenteau as the top seed, and then went on to dominate Lea Jansen in the women’s singles final.
Waters and Parenteau won 11-3, 11-4, 11-0 over Lauren Stratman and Yana Grechkina. Waters has yet to lose a doubles match this season, improving to 24-0 with six gold medals. She moved to 22-1 in singles with an 11-1, 11-3 victory over Jansen. That makes five titles this season in singles for Waters.
Federico Staksrud won again. He beat Tyson McGuffin in two games, 11-7, 11-5 for the title in men’s singles. That makes Staksrud 27-6 this season with a pair of gold medals. He also improved to 3-0 against McGuffin all-time.