Sliding into the DMs and then into the medal match: Black and Ge match up and now will play for a mixed doubles medal
February 3, 2024|
Augustus Ge was just shooting his shot. A wild one, but that’s the thing about a Hail Mary.
Sometimes they just work out.
And here we are.
Ge and Hurricane Tyra Black, the unlikeliest of partners – more on that in a minute – are a match away from winning a medal on the PPA Tour, which would be a first for Ge and a first for Black in mixed doubles.
“We’re playing with house money now,” Ge said. “We’re going to go for it.”
The pair came into the tournament, The Desert Ridge Open, the second of the season on the 2024 PPA Tour, as the No. 21 seed, and after a Friday where they beat Lea Jansen and Jack Munro, then Riley Newman and Jackie Kawamoto and then Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova, you have to think the immediate success will matriculate into a long-term partnership.
“I’d be down,” Ge said. “I know Tyra has a lot of partners, for sure, that she can call, but I’d love to.”
Not sure why it wouldn’t happen, but it almost didn’t happen.
“I was supposed to play with another person and I was a day late and then I was looking at hte draw and thinking I wasn’t going to play mixed doubles,” Ge said. “I saw Tyra didn’t have a partner by her name, so I just shot my shot and sent her a DM.”
Well, Black, who has ascended onto the scene, thanks in part to a singles win against Anna Leigh Waters in 2023, saw the message, but her response was, well, let’s just say, she’s gotten a few messages in the past.
“So, I have an interesting side of the story,” Black admitted. “People write to me all the time asking me to play. I didn’t know who he was, so I wasn’t going to answer. even though that was mean. I can’t answer everyone, but people told me about him and sent me some of his highlights and talked about how nice he is on the court. I watched some of his highlights and he looked like a lot of fun, so we played.”
A match made in digital heaven and now Ge and Black will take on Vivienne David and Thomas Wilson on Sunday for the bronze.
“He’s an insane player and it’s been a lot of fun,” Black said of Ge.
Always fun to take the PPA world by surprise. After all, Black didn’t know who Ge was before the two paired up, so obviously, no one else in the draw knew much about him either.
“I was a little surprised how well we did,” Ge said. “I knew that my level is there and obviously Tyra has been there. For me, I practiced with Riley (Newman), so I knew my level could compete. I’m just glad we got the job done.”
The day started with a match in the round of 64 and finished with a loss in the semifinals to the No. 1 seed, Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters, 11-7, 11-9.
Next up is the Sunday bronze medal match. Quite a step up for Ge, who entered his first tournament in 2022.
“I think it was a good thing that they didn’t know who he was,” Black said. “I’m pretty new, too, so I think it was a big advantage for us.”