Christian Alshon is among the many players to watch at The Masters this week in Palm Springs.

Breaking down the draws for the PPA Masters

DALLAS, TX - The first pro tournament of 2024 brings with it some new players, partnerships, and opportunities for incredible matches.

All three collide in the draws for the PPA Masters.

Let’s break it down.

Men’s Doubles

Topping the list of new pairings are former tennis professionals Jack Sock and Donald Young. Sock will join forces with Collin Shick in the No. 30 slot, while the unproven Young will round out the automatic qualifiers in the No. 48 slot joining forces with Alvaro Terron.

Christian Alshon and Julian Arnold could do some damage as the No. 7 seeds. Alshon made great strides playing the right side in 2023 and should be an effective complement to Arnold’s aggressive play on the left side.

Julian Arnold is teaming up with Christian Alshon in Palm Springs.
Julian Arnold is teaming up with Christian Alshon in Palm Springs. PPA Tour

On that same side of the bracket, Jay Devilliers and Patrick Smith will reunite as the No. 8 seeds. The pair haven’t teamed up since 2021, but they have earned 10 medals—including three golds—playing together across the PPA and APP tours.

An exciting new pairing for 2024 features Tyson McGuffin and Dekel Bar, who hold the No. 6 seed. In their first event together at the PPA Finals in December, this duo gave us a glimpse into what they can do with a solid win against James Ignatowich and Matt Wright.

With McGuffin and Bar switching over to JOOLA within the last week, lots of eyes will be on this big-serving team in Palm Springs.

Men’s Singles

No. 18 seed Gabriel Tardio should come into Palm Springs with some momentum from the end of 2023. He made a run to the semifinals at the Hertz Gold Cup in November, picking up a win against second-ranked Federico Staskrud in the process. He’ll have to get past 2023 bronze medalist Dylan Frazier to achieve a similar result in Palm Springs, but he’s shown what he can do when he gets hot. 

On the other side of the bracket, look out for Gabriel Joseph in the No. 12 slot. He won gold at the Takeya Showcase in August and has the tools to beat the best on any given day. If he gets past Devilliers in the Round of 16, there’s potential for a match between him and no. 4 seed Connor Garnett. Their last two matches have gone to a decisive third game, with the players splitting the results.

Gabriel Joseph is definitely a player to watch this week.
Gabriel Joseph is definitely a player to watch this week. PPA Tour

Mixed Doubles

The mixed doubles bracket is the most intriguing ahead of the first Slam of the year.

Many eyes will be on the No. 28 seeds, Genie Bouchard and Tyler Loong. This is Bouchard’s first pro tournament since signing with the PPA in September.

Just as a new player enters the draw, a pro pickleball veteran steps back into the competition. Leigh Waters (not Anna Leigh, who is still playing with Ben Johns) will fill in for an injured Jessie Irvine and play alongside Christian Alshon in a coach-student pairing. This will be Waters’ first event since 2022 after missing the entire 2023 season because of an ACL injury, and the team enter the draw as the No. 26 seeds.

Just like in men’s doubles, McGuffin is ringing in 2024 with a new partner in mixed as well: Meghan Dizon. The duo will debut as the No. 6 seed.

McGuffin’s old partner, Catherine Parenteau, will partner with Jack Sock on the same side of the bracket. Sock has played in only one pro tournament, but he got the best possible result in mixed doubles, capturing a gold medal alongside Anna Leigh Waters. Sock and Parenteau will be the No. 8 seed in Palm Springs.

Jack Sock and Catherine Parenteau will be a tough tandem to beat.
Jack Sock and Catherine Parenteau will be a tough tandem to beat. PPA Tour

Another pairing to look out for is Parris Todd playing alongside Hunter Johnson as the No. 27 seeds. This duo racked up 10 medals on the APP Tour in 2023, winning gold on five occasions. They could certainly outplay their seed.

Women’s Doubles

One team to watch in the women’s doubles bracket features No. 3 seeds Anna Bright and Rachel Rohrabacher. This will be the pair’s first time competing at a PPA event, but they have plenty of reps together from playing on the Orlando Squeeze in Major League Pickleball. They will be a tough out.

Another team to watch on the other side of the bracket is Etta Wright and Meghan Dizon. Both top ten-ranked women’s doubles players, Wright and Dizon won two medals when they teamed up in 2023, including a gold at the Selkirk Red Rock Open.

Etta Wright and Meghan Dizon are joining forces in California.
Etta Wright and Meghan Dizon are joining forces in California. PPA Tour

That being said, taking down the undefeated pairing of Anna Leigh Waters and Catherine Parenteau is a tall order for any team.

Women’s Singles

No. 6 seed Judit Castillo is in a great spot to make a run at the Masters. The Spaniard capped off a stellar 2023 with a bronze medal at Nationals and could very well start off 2024 in similar fashion if she can keep her form.

An intriguing potential Round of 16 matchup would pit Castillo against Dominique Schaefer in a battle of players who both earned their first pro medals in 2023.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 8 seed Brooke Buckner is making her return to pro pickleball after giving birth to her daughter in November.