Anna Bright and James Ignatowich competing at The Masters on Saturday.

Bright, Ignatowich power way into Championship Sunday

PALM SPRINGS, CA - The mixed doubles semifinal between Anna Bright and James Ignatowich, and Meghan Dizon and Tyson McGuffin, didn’t start the way that Bright and Ignatowich had hoped for.

The No. 6 seeded Dizon and McGuffin took Game 1 of the encounter 11-9, successfully countering the aggressive playing style of their opponents.

The No. 2 seeds would not be denied from there on out, though, gaining the advantage behind strong drives that allowed them to get to the net more easily on serve.

They rallied for a 9-11, 11-4, 11-5 victory, which sets them up to face No. 1 seeds Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns on Championship Sunday.

Bright and Ignatowich handed Waters and Johns one of their only two losses in 2023 at the PPA Finals in December.

It was both teams’ first match of pool play, and the pair won 11-8, 11-8.

Despite that win, though, Bright knows that the stakes weren’t as high as they will be in the final.

“I’ve been asked a few times now about that win last year, but there’s kind of an asterisk by that one,” she said. “They still won the tournament.”

Waters and Johns would recover from that loss and didn’t drop another game the rest of the way, while Bright and Ignatowich took home bronze.

Even though Bright is trying to avoid taking too much from that win back in December, she acknowledges that beating the No. 1 seeds will need to become a frequent occurrence to win titles.

“Most of our goals are process-oriented, but, of course, we would like to win titles. That implies beating Ben and Anna Leigh,” she explained.

We’ll see if a repeat is on tap in the mixed doubles final on Championship Sunday.