Four teams, 24 of the world’s best pickleball players, and, you know, just for some extra color, throw in four standout tennis pros, too.
This combination and more is set for the PPA’s 2022 bubly Team Championships Presented by MGM Rewards starting Friday at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The four teams will compete in a series of doubles matches with a $175,000 payout.
Friday and Saturday’s rounds will be broadcast on the Tennis Channel and Sunday’s semifinals and finals will be shown on ABC at 10 a.m. local time.
The weekend’s event kicks off on Thursday with Major League Pickleball’s 2023 Draft at 6 p.m. local time where 24 teams of four players each will be slotted for the 2023 MLP season.
World’s No. 1 Ben Johns on the men’s side and world’s No. 1 Anna Leigh Waters on the women’s side are set to compete in the bubly Team Championships along with top pros Jay Devilliers, Matt Wright, Riley Newman, Lea Jansen, Callie Smith, Patrick Smith, Collin Johns, Tyson McGuffin, Jessie Irvine, and more.
Each of the four, seven-person teams will be joined by a pro tennis player who will serve as Team Captains. They are: Jack Sock, Donald Young, Sam Querrey, and John Isner. But the tennis pros won’t be just captains, they’ll be on the court alongside the pros competing for the top prize.
And the tennis pros haven’t kept quiet about what they think their chances are this weekend, engaging in some healthy banter on Twitter leading up to the event.
It’s over before it’s even begun,” tweeted Isner. “Who gets 2nd place will be interesting though.”
“Lol. We’ll let our paddles do the talking.” responded Sock. “Gonna be quite the weekend.”
The teams are made up of three women and four men. Each team will play the other in a round-robin format with each match-up composed of four games to 21 using rally scoring. In the event of a tie, the teams will play a mixed doubles tiebreaker to 11 using rally scoring. All seven of the players must participate.
In each match there will be two men’s doubles games, one women’s game, and a mixed doubles game. One of the men’s doubles games and the mixed doubles game must include a tennis pro. The men’s doubles and women’s doubles games count for one point each. The mixed doubles game counts for three points.
For the semifinals and finals on Sunday, the format is two mixed doubles games only, with a mixed doubles fast-breaker in the event of a tie.
On top of all this, there will be three exhibition matches on Friday night and two exhibition matches on Saturday night featuring PPA pros and the tennis pros.
Pro matches start at 11 a.m. PT on Friday morning.
This is the first pickleball event held at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the first-ever tournament held completely on Pickleroll courts.
Which team has the best chances of taking home the title?
Jay Devilliers, Tyler Loong, Callan Dawson, Anna Leigh Waters, Callie Smith, Yana Grechkina, Donald Young (Tennis).
Ben Johns, AJ Koller, Steve Deakin, Jessie Irvine, Lea Jansen, Linsdsey Newman, John Isner (Tennis).
Matt Wright, Tyson McGuffin, Spencer Smith, Catherine Parenteau, Etta Wright, Irina Tereschenko, Jack Sock (Tennis).
Riley Newman, Collin Johns, Patrick Smith, Lucy Kovalova, Meghan Dizon, Allyce Jones, Sam Querrey (Tennis).