Ben Johns hits a pickleball backhand.
Ben Johns competing at the Vizzy Atlanta Open presented by Acrytech. PPA Tour

Game 3 rally propels Johns into semis

PEACHTREE CORNERS, GA - If we learned anything from Friday morning, it’s that you can never count out Ben Johns.

The No. 2 seed overcame a 6-10 Game 3 deficit against No. 9 seed Quang Duong to make the men’s singles semifinals.

It looked like Johns may pull away in the final game after he turned an 0-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead, but five consecutive winners from Duong turned the tide and earned the 18-year-old a 10-6 advantage.

Despite the impressive—and timely—hot streak from his opponent, Johns maintained his composure and saved four match points on his way to an eventual 12-10 victory.

The key for Johns was remembering all the other times he has come back from tough spots throughout his career.

“I think it’s mostly just knowing that you’ve been in that situation before and come out on top, so you can always rely on that previous experience,” he shared.

This is Johns’ first singles tournament since losing his No. 1 ranking to Federico Staksrud in late April. Despite a new number next to his name, the goal remains the same for the 25 year-old.

“It doesn’t really change anything,” Johns said. “I’m always here to win no matter what the number is.”

He will continue his singles campaign on Saturday against the winner of the match between Tyson McGuffin and Dylan Frazier.