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STORYLINES FOR THE VEOLIA HOUSTON OPEN PRESENTED BY JUST COURTS

Author: Dave Fleming | April 9, 2024

OVERALL TOP 5:

  • TRIPLE PLAY: Ben Johns grabbed his first triple crown of 2024 in NC, can he go back-to-back?
  • ALW101 WILL HAVE TO WAIT: Anna Leigh Waters and Catherine Parenteau are sitting out the PPA schedule until Atlanta.
  • WEEKEND PLANS: Second of 4 straight weekends with PPA tournament action.
  • SETTING THE BAR: Dekel Bar looks to continue his hot play with Thomas Wilson and Tina Pisnik as partners. 
  • HOUSTON, WE HAVE NO PROBLEMS: Exciting debut for the PPA in Houston.  

VENUE/TOURNEY/TV:

  • Event #7 of the year – one of 15 Opens in 2024, with 1000 points up for grabs for the winners. 
  • Traditional Draw (singles on Thursday, mixed Friday, women’s and men’s doubles Saturday, finals Sunday).
  • No defending medalists as it’s the first tourney in Houston. 
  • Coverage on Prime Video, PickleballTV, and Tennis Channel (on Sunday). 
  • Broadcast start times are noon Eastern Thursday through Sunday.  

WOMEN’S SINGLES:

  • Welcome to the number 1 seed Mary Brascia. 
  • Can the 2 seed Lea Jansen grab gold after a great battle with ALW in NC?
  • Texas was good to Kaitlyn Christian (7) who grabbed silver in Austin – is Houston her final breakthrough?
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Parris Todd (6) – her seed will continue to climb as she plays and earns more points. 

MEN’S SINGLES:

  • Ben Johns (1) looks for a 4th straight title (he skipped Minnesota). 
  • Youngster Cason Campbell (21), hat askew, looks to make another deep run. 
  • Martinez Vich (6) vs. Joseph (9) is a potential barnburner of a round of 16 matchup. 
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Federico Staksrud (2) – unbelievable consistency – can he make a 7th consecutive singles final?

MIXED DOUBLES:

  • Bright/Ignatowich (1) look to rebound from a disappointing performance in Cary, NC. 
  • Dizon and Bellamy (16) have lots of firepower – is this Roscoe’s breakthrough?
  • Maggie Brascia and Julian Arnold (13) – Maggie arrives in Houston after a semifinal run in mixed in NC with Todd Fought. 
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Former Seattle Pioneer partners and MLP Champions Etta Wright and Ben Johns (2) as they reunite.

WOMEN’S DOUBLES:

  • Rachel Rohrabacher and Anna Bright (1) were upset in NC but carry the 1 into Houston. 
  • Lacy Schneemann, finalist in NC, pairs with fellow California resident Jessie Irvine (5). 
  • Callie Smith and Lucy Kovalova (2) – separate over the last few tourneys but back together. 
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Vivienne David/Jackie Kawamoto (4) – great blend of offense and defense that could challenge for a title. 

MEN’S DOUBLES:

  • Connor Garnett and new dad DJ Young could dazzle as the 6 seed. 
  • Interesting 4 seed in Yates Johnson and Dylan Frazier. 
  • Wright/Ignatowich (2) have yet to reach a final – will this be the one?
  • WATCH OUT FOR: Dekel Bar and Thomas Wilson, two Austin area natives looking for gold down the road in Houston.

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