Quang Dong hits a pickleball forehand.
Quang Duong competing at the Veolia Houston Open. PPA Tour

Duong books spot in Championship Sunday

ATASCOCITA, TX - For the first time in his young pickleball career, 18-year-old Quang Duong will play for a PPA Tour title.

On his way to Championship Sunday, the No. 10 seed beat the likes of Michael Loyd, Yates Johnson, Ben Johns, and Jaume Martinez Vich.

And he did it all without dropping a game.

One of the distinct characteristics of Duong’s game is the grip with which he holds the paddle. He uses a western grip—a grip commonly found in tennis but rarely seen in pickleball—which allows him to generate more topspin than most other players on tour.

That extra topspin keeps the ball out of his opponents’ strike zones, making it difficult to change directions and attack Duong off the drive.

Even though the western grip is not commonly seen in pickleball, Duong says that his experience using the grip in other sports made it possible for him to bring that grip over to America’s fastest-growing sport.

“I’ve used a western grip in other racket sports like ping pong, tennis, and padel,” Duong explained. “When I switched over to pickleball, it was pretty natural for me because the paddle is like a mini racket in some ways." 

He’ll have a chance to bring home his first PPA title on Sunday and will certainly rely on that Western grip to do so.