December 3, 2023, 5:46 p.m.
Great way to cap this tournament off and this season. It was a great performance from both Rob and myself. It's not easy, it's been a long day, for me personally I lost in mixed obviously, it made it a little more challenging. I'm just so happy to be competing with Rob, he brought the energy right away and picked me up at the start there. We were firing on all cylinders and like I said, I think this is the best way to end what's been a very good season. I don't keep track of the medals and all that, but I think it's been a fantastic season and I'm really happy to have shared it with Rob and Susannah. I'm looking forward to spending some time home with the family and get some rest.
December 3, 2023, 3:38 p.m.
So finals of the mixed doubles was a very good match on both sides. Everybody played great. Unfortunately it was not the result we wanted, we lost a very close one, 15-12 in the tiebreaker, but you know, sometimes it goes that way. It was still a great season with Susannah but it's time to close that chapter.
Now back into the players' tent, grab a little food, put some more drinks in me and off to men's doubles with Rob and hopefully a little better outcome in that one. Rob and I have had a great season together. We've won the last few men's events so we're coming off some good momentum. We won the main bracket which makes things a little easier, obviously, so hopefully we can keep the business pretty straightforward and take care of it.
December 3, 2023, 10:43 a.m.
Alright, welcome to Championship Sunday! First thing in the morning I had a good breakfast, tried to load up on carbs, got a good stretch, and have to take my paddles now to get tested, we have to do that before the finals. Then I'm going to see the trainer and get a good hit in before my first match of the day which is the mixed pro doubles finals. I'm happy to be playing with Susannah in the finals again. We've had a great season together, we've been very successful, and made a lot of finals. We won a bunch of them so hopefully we'll finish on a high note today. I've enjoyed my partnership with her. She's a great competitor, she's a great player, obviously - relentless out there and competes really well under pressure. She always fights hard so I really hope we can pull through today and finish off the year with a gold medal.
December 2, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
This last match of the day was definitely a much better performance. Not only pickleball-wise but interview-wise. I went viral unfortunately with my last interview, but you know what, we all make mistakes and that was a pretty good one I made! I'm just happy I got to flip the page on that and do a better interview and then also very happy now to be on to more serious things. I'm very happy to win the final of the main bracket - pretty straightforward like that. It's been a long day. We playaed a lot of long, tough matches and it's always nice to be able to finish it like that and save some legs hopefully for Championship Sunday tomorrow. I don't take it for granted at all, I think every one of those has been very hard to earn and I am just very happy and proud of the way I've been able to play this year on the APP Tour and I hope to have a great day tomorrow on Championship Sunday and get some gold medals!
December 2, 2023, 4:40 p.m.
So I'm coming off the main bracket semifinal win, both Will and Ryler were playing very well and they tested us really hard. In game 2 they were on fire, they didn't miss much, but Rob and I have been battle-tested this whole year. That's what I like I like about Rob, when it gets really tough that's when we gear up and really put in the work and we were able to come off to a great start in game three and kind of continue that momentum and take that lead all the way to 11 and get a good win. They were playing very well, very fast. Will, he's got great speed, so I'm just really happy to get that win under our belt and advance to the winner's bracket final.
So randomly you'll get stopped by fans for a couple of pictures, or you'll run into some people that you know from other tournaments, and they're fans/friends already. I have a bunch of friends here in Chicago that I know through pickleball and I think these guys were friends of my friends. So they stopped me after watching a couple of my matches and they were really kind to support me this whole weekend. One guy said his brother works for the Chicago Police Department and he was kind enough to give me a hat and I'm wearing it very proudly. I just want to thank the police department, not only in Chicago but all over the country for keeping us safe!
December 2, 2023, 1:45 p.m.
Alright, we're done with our quarterfinal match in the main bracket, Rob and I played very well - solid throughout the whole match, two straight game-win, we're happy to advance through and save some legs and some energy for the later rounds. Now I'm off to get some lunch here in the pro players tent, I got myself a turkey sandwich. The APP is kind enough to provide lunch for us. Ideally I will eat an acai fruit bowl, but you know what? This is good as well, it does the trick for me, it gets my energy going, gets my nutrients in and keeps me going for the rest of the day. I'm looking forward to the semi-final. Our opponents are still playing but both teams are very good so we know we are going to get very, very tested in the semifinal and hopefully we can come out on top.
December 2, 2023, 11:55 a.m.
So our first match is over, we played a solid team and we had to work, which is good. We got ourselves going, got the rhythm going, and physically I'm feeling fine and so is Rob. These guys actually played very well, I think they're going to make a good run today. I'm just happy to get our first win under the belt and move on to the quarterfinals.
Most of the time when I travel on the tour I stay in a boring, lonely hotel room, but once in a while, especially in big cities like this, you have friends and you get to stay in housing. So for this one I'm styaing in housing with a good buddy of mine, Glen. I've known him for a while now, he's a pickleball player as well. It's much nicer because you get to hang out a little bit at night, you get to talk to people, people you share common interests with, so housing is always a little more fun than the boring hotel room, so it's usually a mix between the two. Glen just had ACL surgery so he's not playing in this tournament, but he played in the APP Chicago Open earlier this year. A bunch of our friends who live in the area who come over, they're playing in this tournament, so we have five or six friends who are playing in the amateur division.
December 2, 2023, 10:25 a.m.
Alright, it's men's doubles day with Rob. We've been playing together for the last six months or more, it's always fun to play with him. Our team chemistry is there, our energy is there. Men's doubles obviously always comes after mixed, and yesterday we had a pretty long day, we didn't get out of here until about 8:00 p.m. so I grabbed some food to go and pretty much went straight back to the bed and I ate my food, took a quick shower, and tried to get as much rest as possible going into today. We just got a good warm up on the courts, loosening up, and yeah - we're ready to attack the day.
December 1, 2023, 7:50 p.m.
We were able to bounce back just fine after a tough loss in the main bracket final. Will and Genie have played great the whole day, they came off a big, big win the match before to play us, so they were pretty hot. I felt like we were able to start really well, continue that momentum, open up a big lead, and I'm just very proud of how Susannah and I were able to bounce back after a tough loss and just continue to play our level and believing in ourselves. I'm so happy we get to have another shot at Hunter and Parris on Sunday because losing 11-9 in the third, obviously it's a close match and it's unfinished business.
We have indoor conditions here so balls are flying a lot faster. I'm happy to be playing with my Proton paddle - they're a fairly new company in the pickleball market based out of Phoenix, Arizona. They've been extremely good with me in terms of feedback, working on developing the paddle and I think we've got a really good weapon on our hands and I think this match showed with all the fast exchanges with us being indoors, a lot of driving, and this paddle has definitely got the power. Not only that but it's got the latest technology when it comes to spin as well, so it helps me flick better and keep the ball low at the kitchen line.
December 1, 2023, 6:35 p.m.
So, coming off a tough match in the finals of the main bracket. Obviously Parris and Hunter are two of the top players on the tour and they've been playing very well recently and they're a tough team, but we had our chances. We started very well - we were a little bit down the second game, the third game we got down pretty big early, but we were able to climb back. Played some loose points late in the game to get down 10-6, but were able to get it back to 10-9. Just a couple of points that we missed on, but the margins are small at this level. The beautiful thing about the APP Tour is that you can come back, so hopefully we'll get back into the players' tent, stretch out, get some food and some electrolytes in us and play the finals of the losers' bracket and hopefully we can pull a win over there so we can have another shot and these guys. Obviously it feels like unfinished business when you lose 11-9 in the third. Not the ideal path, but still well within the tournament and it's all about regrouping here and playing a good match on the next one and hopefully be back here on Sunday taking our shot at them.
December 1, 2023, 4:40 p.m.
Alright, we're coming off a win in the semifinals. It was a pretty interesting match with big shifts in momentum. We came off, got to a good lead in the first game, and were able to close it out. Second game, they played lights out and beat us in a very one-sided game, and then third game we were able to start very strong again, they made a push late in the third game but we were able to close it out and happy to be in the finals of the main bracket now.
Those guys are tough. Richard Livornese Jr. and Amanda Hendry, they've played very well. They picked up some good wins on the way to playing us. Richard is part of the Next Gen program and APP is doing such a great job developing those players and aligning all the right conditions for them and putting together all the right scenarios for them to improve. You can see the results - both these guys came a long way from the start of the year and they're only getting better so I look forward to many more battles.
December 1, 2023, 2:18 p.m.
Alright, so we're coming off a quarterfinal win against Vivian and Yates two really good players. Theye both been playing very well. Susannah played a great match, I thought I was pretty solid, so super happy to walk away with a straightforward win like that and get into the semifinals. Hopefully we can keep this kind of high level play going because we're both clicking right now and playing very well. If we're able to do this I hope we only have two more matches for the day and then we can punch our ticket to Championship Sunday. But I've always liked to take in one match at a time. I know things could change in a hurry in this game, but I'm very confident with the win with the way we're playing, and very confident going to the next match and hopefully we can keep this great performance going.
To prepare for the next match I'm going back into the pro players' tent, trying to eat a little bit more of my lunch. I personally can't really eat that much during tournaments so I always kind of have to force myself a little bit. I joke around that I shove food down my throat sometimes. Not a whole lot of quantity, but I'm just trying to get some peanut butter crackers in there as well with some bananas. Oranges are a great snack. But like I said, light snacks, lots of them throughout the day. Then, even though we're indoors and we're not losing as much water as we would lose outside, I still try to keep some electrolytes in, so I'm drinking lots of water and then having some of those powder electrolyte drinks as well.
December 1, 2023, 12:24 p.m.
It's always nice to get the first win under our belts. It's a new tournament, new location, this one is especially different because it's indoors. The lighting is great, but it's obviously different than playing outdoors. The court is a rollout, so it's different than the hard court we're used to playing on, so just happy to overcome that adversity, and now we have that first match under our belts. Both Susannah and I played great, we had a really good warmup leading into it. We had a bye which is always tough to come off, but we played some points and practice plays before that, we stayed loose in between, started the match really well and we were able to carry that momentum throughout the whole match and we're off to an easy win, 11-1, 11-1. We're looking forward to our next match! Wins are always good, especially the first one and then you also want to save as much energy as you can for the later rounds because it's a long day, so we're able to do that. Now it's time to regroup, get loose again, stretch out and get a bite of food and back to the next one.
December 1, 2023, 10:28 a.m.
Welcome to the State Farm 2023 APP U.S. Indoor Championships, I'm super happy to be here! I had an early start to the week with an interview with a local TV station that went great, I had a lot of fun doing it. Those ladies were very entertaining and they played pickleball for the very first time ever! They could definitely hit and keep a rally going so that was fun. It's always good to promote the game of pickleball, so I was excited about the opportunity
And now onto the serious business, today is match day, I'm playing with Susannah Barr, it's mixed doubles day. I'm about to hit the courts for a warm up. Mixed doubles day is always the longest day, so I had a good breakfast, had a good night's sleep last night, got loaded up on electrolytes and a lot of liquids even though we're playing indoors. It's important to stay hydrated and just looking forward to another APP tournament. I'm always enjoying playing on the APP Tour. We had quite a bit of a break since the last one, and this is the last one of the year, so I think everybody wants to go out with a bang and hopefully we'll be the team that can do that.