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April 10-14, 2024
VEOLIA HOUSTON OPEN

STORYLINES FOR THE FANATICS SPORTSBOOK NORTH CAROLINA CUP 

Author: Dave Fleming | March 28, 2024

OVERALL TOP 5:

  • 100 CROWNS: Anna Leigh Waters is a triple crown away from 100 PPA Tour titles. 
  • PICKLE AND PUCKS: Saturday Pro-Am features Carolina Hurricanes NHL alumni and PPA pros – no checking allowed.   
  • BIG POPPA IS BACK: James Ignatowich returns – Daescu won two golds in his spot in Austin. 
  • DO YOU KNOW THE McGUFFIN MAN?: Tyson McGuffin will play all 3 events, back from injury.  
  • CARY IS SO VERY: New outdoor venue for NC tournament this year.  

VENUE/TOURNEY/TV:

  • Event #6 of the year – one of 6 Cups in 2024, with 1500 points up for grabs for the winners. 
  • Progression Draw (playing all disciplines each day, with quarters Friday, semis Saturday, finals Sunday).
  • Coverage on Prime Video and PickleballTV
  • Broadcast start times are 11am Eastern Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Saturday coverage begins at 10am with a 2pm start for the Celebrity Pro-Am.  

WOMEN’S SINGLES:

  • Defending medalists: Anna Leigh Waters, Lea Jansen, Salome Devidze
  • Austin finalist Kaitlyn Christian (11) looks to make another deep singles run.
  • Genie Bouchard (18) will battle her doubles partner Dominique Schaefer (10).
  • Salome Devidze (5) won her last tournament in Minnesota.
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Anna Leigh Waters (1) – she is back in the singles draw after skipping singles in Austin with a minor injury. 

MEN’S SINGLES:

  • Defending medalists: Federico Staksrud, Tyson McGuffin, Christian Alshon
  • Ignatowich is in the singles draw as the 37 seed. 
  • After a slow start in singles, Ben Johns (1) has won his last two singles events. 
  • Potential round of 16 match featuring NC resident Jack Sock (11) and Jaume Martinez Vich (6) would be must see TV. 
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Federico Staksrud (2) – can he make a 6th consecutive singles final?

MIXED DOUBLES:

  • Defending medalists: Waters/Sock, Jones/Newman, Parenteau/McGuffin
  • David/Wilson (3) consistently hit the podium – tougher draw in the Waters/Johns half.
  • Fun partnerships to watch: Wright/Rettenmaier (11), Todd/Arnold (14), Jackie Kawamoto/Alshon (15), Stratman/Hewett (16), and Alix Truong/Collin Johns (23).
  • Parenteau/Sock (6) – Sock is the defending champ with ALW – can he and CP make a final?
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Bright/Ignatowich (2) – Bright/Daescu beat Waters/Johns in the Austin final. 

WOMEN’S DOUBLES:

  • Defending medalists: Waters/Parenteau, Grechkina/Stratman, Irvine/Jackie Kawamoto
  • Rachel Rohrabacher and Anna Bright (2) are looking to win 3 titles in a row. 
  • Waters and Parenteau (1) are undefeated Tuesday through Sunday. 
  • NC resident Brooke Buckner and Lina Padegimaite are a dangerous 11 seed. 
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Smith/Jansen (5) – can this new team catch fire?

MEN’S DOUBLES:

  • Defending medalists: Newman/Wright, Johnson/Frazier, Rettenmaier/Deakin
  • Johns brothers (1) look to return to the top of the podium after being upset in their Austin backyard. 
  • Matt Wright is the defending champion (final victory with Newman) and won last week in Austin with Daescu. Back with Ignatowich as the 2 seed. 
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Minnesota winners Wilson and Alshon (5) – reunited in NC and could face Johns brothers in the quarters. 

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