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Player Blog: Megan Fudge

Player Blog: Megan Fudge

APP Pro, Megan Fudge, shares her personal insights and experiences at the 2024 Zimmer Biomet APP New York City Open

Megan Fudge
May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024, 9:25 p.m.

That's a wrap on New York City! I am very relieved we are finally over and done with, it's 9 p.m. and obviously a fantastic day, it was so fun. It was a fantastic week, and we finish it off with Lily winning gold in an absolute battle in the final, 15-13 to win it. They were so nervous! MJ, her 12-year-old partner, and Lily, who's nine, just came up clutch and it was amazing. Audrey Banada, who is MJ's mom, is also a pro pickleball player, and she's known as the Pickleball Mama. We were just on the sidelines and we're trying to keep it cool on the outside so the kids wouldn't see us, but we were definitely nervous.

Fantastic weekend, fantastic tournament, shout out to the volunteers, the hard-working staff at the APP Tour, and just everybody all around for coming out. Thank you for following along on my blog. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Seems like there was some pretty good feedback and maybe I should consider doing this more often! What a fantastic weekend, thank you, New York. We're out!

Golden Girls

May 26, 2024, 7:01 p.m.

Vendor village had so much to offer this weekend from Ora protein to Partake alcohol free beer -  it was constantly packed with people and great giveaways.  My coach is a huge Partake fan - I need to get him a sponsorship 😂
Such a cool thing at the APP Tour pro shop was the DIY t-shirt station!
Lily is into the semi finals of mixed. Day is not over yet. Two matches to go!

May 26, 2024, 4:10 p.m.

All right, it is finished! The Shuffle, the New York Shuffle is finished and I can't believe I'm getting to walk away with the first trophy of the New York Shuffle! I'm super excited, it was so fun to play! I adapted to the circumstances really well. Had my team on my side supporting me and had these fantastic partners on my side too. So credit to all the players, what a fun event. I am walking away with the women's triple crown, which is all three women's events: singles, women's doubles, women's Shuffle, I got it done! So very excited. I'm super proud of my hard work and going to stay hungry and now it's mom mode. Lily is playing so I'm running over to watch her court. My day does not end there. So mom hat is coming on!

May 26, 2024, 1:16 p.m.

Semifinal pool play, oh my gosh! I'm just trying to embrace it and have a lot more fun out here and my partners played unbelievably. I was trying to build off their strengths and support them any way I could. I know Carolina was super devastated that last one - as soon as Christa got to 12 points you knew that Christa was going through and Carolina wasn't no matter if we won or lost, so she was the one who got upset but she was like 'I'm gonna carry you through, I'm gonna finish it,' so she played unbelievably. I told her she proved herself, as an alternate she came in and just played amazing pickleball, so really impressed with her. Some really, really fun points too, out here and we definitely gave the crowd something to watch, so super fun. I was asked what I thought about this format and I said there's a quote Ryler told me this morning. You can be three things in chaos, which, chaos is hot water. So you can either be a carrot, and a carrot in hot water turns into mush. You can be an egg, which turns hard and shrivels up, and or you can be a coffee bean and change the water. So I'm trying to be the coffee bean. So that's what I'm going to leave you with right now.

With Carolina, who came in as an alternate but made it to the semis and played amazing pickleball!

May 26, 2024, 11:04 a.m.

First pool rounds are done and oh my gosh what a crazy format! It is just a lot of chaos. It is fun, but it's also super cutthroat. My group was super tight in all our matches. It was like 21-18, 21-19 and the last one was 21-15 that I won, so my last partner got the best out of me and was able to get the 21-15 win and will be moving on in the pool as well. I feel bad for my other two girls in the pool, Kelsey and Riley played really good pickleball too and we had some phenomenal matches, but we come out with Regina and I coming out of our pool and moving on. So make sure that you guys are checking up on the APP updates and checking out the pools. I know it's been an exciting one for the men's side too, with upsets and a few new ones coming through, so I need to check in with Ryler. I haven't seen an update on him, I had a feeling he didn't make it through by one point, but matches keep going and every match, every pool matters based on money, so we're going to keep grinding and keep having some fun out here.

May 26, 9:32 a.m.

It is Sunday morning, and I am running on fumes. I hope my parents don't read this but it's fumes and coffee right now. I'm pretty exhausted. It is been a long week, obviously an exciting week, worth the work, but I'm excited for today's event. I'm gonna give it my all, it's definitely a shuffle. We're going to have lots of different partners, it's different matches going to 21, and it's going to be fun. There's been rain this morning, but the volunteers are working super hard to get the courts dry so we're actually starting in 10 minutes. I'm going to finish out this blog post, get on court and start my pool. Let's go!

May 25, 9:29 p.m.

New York, I'm starting to like you a lot! What a finish! I played an incredible match with Yana. We were seeing the ball so well, in game one we were on fire! Game two Simone definitely wanted to turn up the heat a little bit and played a little hardball. It was a fantastic match. I felt Yana and I played some really great pickleball very, very aggressive. We took our chances, got our chances, gelled really well, moved really well together. Super excited! I looked over to the sideline, saw Lily with a silver medal as well. So proud of her, and Ryler finished so strong as well, finished ninth, that means he finished the day with a great win - finished ninth yesterday too, he'll remind me of! Fantastic day and we've got one more day left. The Shuffle is tomorrow and if you don't know what the Shuffle is, read up on it because tomorrow is going to be electric!

Thanks to everyone sending me messages who watched us win gold tonight ❤️

May 25, 2024, 6:47 p.m.

Just watched Lily win her semi final match. She’s heading to Gold!!

May 25, 2024, 5:37 p.m.

Watching the hubby work!
JR really enjoyed the stadium tour of Arthur Ashe! What a wonderful experience.

May 25, 2024, 4:18 p.m.

Wow. Just wow. Can I leave it at that? Wow. No honestly, what a great match. I knew it was going to be tough. I knew it was going to be a grind. We had to make it physical but I didn't think it was going to be that physical. Phenomenal respect for Susannah and Mari, they played great, I know they won a lot of let courts back from us. We got very lucky on big points, and unfortunately in pickleball one or two points here and there is literally what costs you the match. I obviously love being in the final. Yana played amazing. I thanked her for carrying me and I'm excited to keep gelling with her and working on things and just being a better partner for her and what she needs. We're still learning and excited for a lot of energy going into the final tonight. We're gonna be late. We're going to see the raccoons again tonight. I'm excited - Boris and Roddick are going to be waiting for me tonight and if you don't know what I'm talking about, you better read my last blog post! So excited! There is lots of energy, tons of fans out here, and they want more pickleball so we're going to give them more pickleball.

May 25, 2024, 12:27 p.m.

Shoutout to Omar, he’s been the trainer on site all week and been very busy. Really appreciate him taking care of JR with such kindness.

May 25, 2024, 11:54 a.m.

Awesome quarterfinal match! Yana and I totally gelled there, and we found our groove. It was a fun match - Bobby and Rianna played well. We got got the head on the hands battles, which was fun. There were lots of great points, all four players with really fast hands, so that led to a lot of exchanges.

There's a great atmosphere out here, the weather's beautiful, and I'm just enjoying the New York summer, I guess this is, and just excited to keep rolling. We're the second match on after 2:00 on center court for our semi finals, and we're playing someone I I know very well, we're getting to play Susannah Barr and and Mari Humburg, so a big battle ahead and just fired up.

I'm heading over now to watch Ryler, he's in the third, I just saw an awesome Erne and a huge - I don't know what you call it - a lawnmowers a cheer? I'm not sure but just so exciting. Great matches all around today.

May 25, 2024, 9:29 a.m.

It's just such an amazing experience to play against Kim Clijsters, obviously here where she won the US Open in tennis. She just strikes the ball so hard, it doesn't matter if it's a pickleball or a tennis ball. I was telling Yana, she just reloads so fast and she's a very clean ball striker. We got to beat her in pickleball today, which was super fun, and just a fun match. I did peg her in the match and I felt absolutely awful and she was definitely not happy about that, so I'm still apologizing right now. But that was an incredible experience. I'm going to send that one to my mom, she's going to be excited! And now on to the next one. It's going to be a tough one against Bobbi and Rianna, a very, very good team, and we're gonna have to figure some things out and hopefully come up with a win.

May 25, 2024, 8:19 a.m.

Alright, we're here this morning, it's an early start, we have an 8 a.m. bracket start. Yana and I are teaming up, we're super excited. We've got outfits covered! It was tough last night. Lily, unfortunately, was not feeling, she was well over-exhausted, just too long of a day and not enough food, and so we had kind of a long night with her. But she's feeling better this morning so mom status checked and she's eating and drinking right now, getting ready for her match later. She doesn't start till 2 p.m. so we're trying to keep her in the shade. I saw the draw this morning and I'm super excited to potentially play Kim Clijsters here at the US Open site - that would be incredible. Let's hope she wins her first match so that we get to play her. I'm fired up for women's doubles! Keep you posted

Rough night last night
The view from our RV spot

May 24, 2024, 9:34 p.m.

It was worth the wait - got the goal done! I'm super excited. I saved some game points in the first, Yana came out with an obviously great game plan and made some mid-match adjustments. Thanks to my team helping me there. I just kept my composure, kept my focus and and was able to get it done. I started finally swinging free in the second game and feeling the ball, so I'm super excited about getting the win and getting it done for the team and now we're so excited and so relieved. Obviously we're exhausted! It's been a long day. We've been here for over 13 hours together with Lily starting at 8 a.m. and now finished at 9:30. Obviously this is a job and I got the job done today and I get back to work tomorrow and we've got an 8 a.m. start so it's going to be a quick turnaround but that's what it takes.

We stayed so late the raccoons started coming out!

May 24, 2024, 5:16 p.m.

So I just finished watching Ryler in the ninth place back draw match, and he finished it out with a win. They played so well and it was super fun watching him and Kelsey play together and figure things out together. They played Delray together and this one was, I felt, night and day. They just gelled together and had a great energy so I'm really excited for him.

I haven't had much downtime yet just because I've been getting from match to match to watch Lily play and then watch Ryler play. Lily actually ended up going 2-2 on the day, her first time playing in the 3.5 division. So she played up this time and super proud of her. She got 17-15 in the quarters, and she told me that she knows how I feel! She thought it was so frustrating. She really wanted to win it but she's like "Mom, I really know how you feel now.' So that was really sweet. And I thought she played amazing and it's just part of the journey of adapting and learning and she needs to keep challenging herself.

Then checking in on JR, I've barely seen him today because he's been running around with his friends with a splint on his finger, but he's been playing a lot of table tennis. I asked him if the table tennis paddle is okay. And he said 'yeah, I'm just letting my little finger hanging off the end.' And I'm like, 'okay, all right. Sounds good.' And you know, he's happy when he's running around and doing sports. So that's his happy place. Other than that, I'm going to start gearing my head towards singles and getting my focus together and my team together and kind of go over my notes and start my thought process.

Lily and I during my break. She calls it "cuddle time"

May 24, 2024, 1:29 p.m.

That was a really tough match. I felt like we we gave it our all, it was very physical match, and we knew it was gonna be like that. We had match points in the second and didn't quite get it done. There were definitely some some mental games going on on the court and we just have to learn from it and get tougher and not let ourselves get engaged with conversations. I think we played well all around, I thought Mari played a great match. I actually thought we played her too much and we probably could have gone to CJ a lot more. Jack competed really hard, I thought he played well. There are some things that we have to clean up for next time and I'm excited to keep going with him.

I actually do not have an update besides the fact that Lily did go into the semi finals out of the bracket, so I'm hoping to get an update now. It's always a challenge after the matches to find her and get an update and see what Ryler has been doing and see if JR still has a splint on his finger. So I'll do the roundup now and find out what's going on, get stretched, reset my mind and get ready for the singles final.

May 24, 2024, 11:34 a.m.

Great first match under our belt, Jack and I just gelled really fast together which was nice. He's a super fun player, so creative, so it makes my life a little easier just to keep it simple for him. It was a great mixed match and I'm excited for the next one as well - we kind of watched a little bit at the end of that match. So we'll head against Mari and CJ Klinger, two very, very talented players. It's going to be a fiery match and lots of hands battles, I have feeling, so excited to get back to work and just keep growing. Now I have to check in with Lily - last I checked she was 1-1!

May 24, 2024, 7:51 a.m.

Hi, good morning, everyone! It's match day, and it's mixed doubles day. My day starts before the pros gets here as it's mom duty first and Lily starts at 8:00 a.m. so I'm out here early at 7:30. Unfortunately I had to take JR to the trainer already and we do think his finger is most likely broken, so we withdrew him from the tournament. He's super upset so we've been consoling him all morning and trying to look for new partners for his players that obviously want to play, and he's really upset to let his partners down, but that's part of the sport. So we're going to have to learn and deal with adversities and he'll get back stronger for it, but this morning I'm gonna watch Lily at 8 a.m. today. She's playing with a new partner and excited to watch her in the 3.5 women's doubles.

May 23, 2024, 7:31 p.m.

We finished up the day! We survived the rain, there was just one shower. Fortunately the courts are looking good. The team is working hard to get them all dried up, especially starting tomorrow with mixed doubles.

I'm excited to be in the final for singles as I said before, and now we've moved the singles to the final for tomorrow night. Yana, my doubles partner, is in the final, so we got to chat about it and we both agreed to play tomorrow after mixed doubles. We'll give it our best then and then we'll get to battle together on Saturday, so super excited.

I have to check in with my family. JR's finger isn't looking great. He is kind of humming and harring about whether he should play tomorrow, so I'll probably make a call tomorrow morning. Deciding whether he should be battling tomorrow or not - if he can hold the paddle he's in!

But overall, a good day, a good day of work. There's a good atmosphere even though there was a rain delay, but making the most of every opportunity on-court and I know the staff is working extremely hard, as well as all the volunteers. I met this man named Mike. He's the ultimate tape guy who's taping all the courts over and over and over again. He was phenomenal. He was on top of it. So shout out to Mike! I'm just excited to play again tomorrow and I've got a great partner in Jack Munro, Junior Mint, and we played last year together and we're reuniting this year and this will be hopefully one of many. So we're excited.

May 23, 2024, 6:21 p.m.

Got through another tough match. Bobbi definitely didn't have the start she wanted. I know she's a phenomenal player and she just made a lot of errors, but she made some great adjustments in the second though, and it came down to the wire. I got it done, 15-13, but props to her. She kept on staying - being Bobbi - she was steady and she kept on fighting and she was always still in it. So definitely kudos to her and a great match and I'm just excited to get through that one and be in the final. I think I'm playing my doubles partner in the final. I think Yana got through that one, I have a feeling. It happened behind me so I need to double check it, maybe she's still playing another match, but I'm excited to be in another final. Singles is always kind of up in the air. Everybody's like, 'Oh, you're so consistent and the most consistent player should keep showing up.' But to be honest, every match is just an absolute grueling physical and mental battle where I just try to set myself up to try my best, but it's hard, honestly, without my team, with Davidson and Ryler and Davidson's wife, Jenny, by my side. It's just hard and mentally it's hard. I find it mentally very, very hard to stay steady and keep fighting and me keeping positive to myself. Davidson, in my last match, kept on saying 'you're such a good teammate, be a good teammate to yourself. Work on positive self talk more.' And that was, I think, the difference maker there how I started. I started a lot more positive. So I'm hoping to take that into the final match as well. And I know anybody who I'm playing now is had a phenomenal day, so it's gonna be a tough one. I'm excited to put myself in this position and just keep going.

With my coach, Davidson

May 23, 2024, 5:09 p.m.

Alright, got through that one! It was a tough three-game match. Mari is a fantastic player. She's coming off a lot of confidence and she's a very loose player, she can go either way and I'm happy to pull that one out. I fought hard and I'm excited to be in the semifinals. I actually wanted to give a shout out to my previous opponent, Sofia. She's a pro tennis player and very, very new. This is her first tournament, so I thought she played really well. She was kind of talking to me afterwards trying to figure things out, so I complimented her being open-minded and looking into pickleball as well. Seeing new players every week on the women's draw, I think it's exciting to me. Some people see it as like, 'oh my gosh, more competition,' but to me, it's like, hey, we're helping grow in the game. And and I think my days are limited as such, but I'm just excited to be a part of the being an ambassador for the sport and and growing the sport so I just love seeing the players out here.

May 23, 2024, 4:14 p.m.

I just finished my first match. Right before my match I was watching Ryler. He lost a brutal 16-14 in the third - he was up 14-9 and there was a back of the line return, the skid and then there was a let court against him and he just didn't do anything wrong, but it's an unlucky match, so unfortunately, Ryler went into the back draw. Then of course right before I got called on court JR fell and had to go see the trainer and they think his fingers might be broken, so it was a mom moment right before I had to go play. I get the text to go on court and played, Sofia. I think she's still a current pro tennis player. I looked her up a little bit before and did my homework. She's obviously a very clean ball striker and I'm glad to get that one done. Playing out here, it's very humid after the rain, and just glad to get through and into the quarterfinals now against Mari who's obviously a very, very tough player with a lot of spin coming forward. Alright that's all for now.

Thankful for the trainers here on tour for us and all amateur players, too.

May 23, 2024, 11:29 a.m.

Rain delay means Uno battles!

May 23, 2024, 9:17 a.m.

It's singles day so it means it's a grinding day. We actually checked the weather and it's going to be potentially raining, so we've adapted and we brought some rain jackets!

We really enjoyed reminiscing. This is a very cool memory for us because Ryler played the US Open Tennis here, in 2008 he played Rafa Nadal. One of the people playing senior pro here is saying that he was actually at that match. He had tickets for the night match on Thursday night in 2008 against Rafa Nadal! So Ryler got to reminisce and we all got to enjoy the moments of his terrible dropshot at 2-4 in the third. But I'm excited to take the kids into Arthur Ashe Stadium to show where Ryler had been playing, knowing that the stadium was absolutely full, and chanting 'Team USA, USA,' so it was just an awesome memory for us. I remember watching it on TV, I hadn't even met Ryler yet at that time. It's a very, very special place to get a chance to play pickleball here and we enjoy it every year even though the city is a lot for us. We're not really used to city life. But but now we're adapting we're adapting to traffic. We're adapting to all the people and it's a super fun and I'm excited to start competing today!

May 22, 2024, 2:00 p.m.

Like Taylor Swift says, welcome to New York! We're super excited to say that I'm going to be blogging this week for the APP Tour and sharing some insights from behind the scenes with us as a family but also as a pro player. With so many sponsors involved at the Zimmer Biomet APP New York City open this year, it's going to be exciting. Looking forward to sharing more with you guys!

We're out here today at City Pickle, it's our first time playing on the courts out here. We were doing a photoshoot for our new paddle sponsor that we're going to be announcing tomorrow, so super excited about that announcement!

Obviously getting here with an RV, there's never a dull moment. We were driving yesterday for a couple of hours, and I guess we must have hit a bump pretty early on in the ride and little did we know that there was water flowing everywhere in the RV. Our dogs were not standing still, Lexi was covered in water we're like, 'what? Where's this water coming from?' I run into the bathroom thinking worst-case scenario is the is the toilet, but like thank goodness it wasn't the toilet. It was the shower head that had fallen down and turned on and water was flowing for hours. So we now have a very, very clean RV. Hours later we're dry and clean and yeah, we learned something about RV life again. Every week we feel like we learn something new but just a funny moment for the memory book - water flying everywhere and just a very confused moment as well as driving. Ryler was like: 'figure it out, Megan, figure out what's going on! Do I need to stop?'

But it's been it's been fun and today obviously with the photoshoot, it's a nice, beautiful day here in New York. It's like mid 80s, not what I expected. I thought it was going to be chilly. And of course I wake up to JR covered in paint on his face. Also not ready for his photoshoot! He had one of his teddy bears that I guess stained his face? So a mom moment of panic! Had to scrub his face for like, 20 minutes. But he was ready for the photoshoot! We had a lot of fun. Kids cooperated really, really well. They seem to be enjoying the moments in front of the camera.

Now we're going to head over to the site, get some practice in, and see how it's all set up, making sure that we're ready for tomorrow!

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