Chris Haworth hits a pickleball forehand.
Chris Haworth will be looking for his second consecutive APP singles medal this week in Sacramento. PPA Tour

Gearing up for the APP Sacramento Open

DALLAS, TX - We’re just a few days away from the APP Sacramento Open, the second APP Tour stop of 2024.

Frequent medalists Hunter and Yates Johnson aren’t playing, and Parris Todd and Salome Devidze are competing at the PPA’s Indoor USA Championships, so there’s plenty of opportunity for other players to make some noise this week.

Here’s everything to note for the event in the City of Trees.

Men’s Singles

2023 Medalists: Yates Johnson, Hunter Johnson, Brandon Lane

2024 Outlook: With neither Johnson brother playing this week, the men’s singles draw should be a bit more open than usual. Chris Haworth comes into Sacramento as one of the favorites to take home gold after his title at APP Punta Gorda in January.

Another name to watch for in this draw is Gabriel Tardio. The 18-year-old has had a better start to the year in doubles than in singles (more on that later), but he’s shown in the past that he has the goods to make a deep run at any tournament.

He did so at the Hertz Gold Cup in November where he took down Federico Staksrud en route to a fourth-place finish.

Women’s Singles

2023 Medalists: Judit Castillo, Megan Fudge, Jessica Warren

2024 Outlook: Judit Castillo rolls into Sacramento seeking her second gold medal of the year after her title in Punta Gorda. She beat Megan Fudge 15-13, 18-16 in that final, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see these two square off for gold again this week.

Brooke Revuelta is another name to watch in women’s singles. She finished as the overall competition winner at APP Next Gen San Antonio in February, where she took home titles in singles and mixed doubles.

Don’t be surprised if the lefty does some damage this week in California.

Mixed Doubles

2023 Medalists: Susannah Barr/Andrei Daescu, Parris Todd/Hunter Johnson, Shelby Bates/Ryler DeHeart

2024 Outlook: Susannah Barr and Erik Lange make up one of the most intriguing mixed doubles pairings of the weekend. Lange is just a few weeks removed from earning a bronze medal in men’s doubles at the Desert Ridge Open alongside Zane Navratil

He hasn’t found that same success in mixed doubles yet (outside of Major League Pickleball), but he’s playing alongside the ever-reliable Barr, who racked up 13 mixed doubles medals in 2023.

Siblings Jorja and JW Johnson will also take the court together this week. Jorja won gold alongside Yates Johnson (no relation) in Punta Gorda and is coming off a bronze medal performance with JW at the Mesa Arizona Cup.

This pairing should be one of the favorites to medal in mixed in addition to Megan Fudge and Andrei Daescu.

Women’s Doubles

2023 Medalists: Simone Jardim/Parris Todd, Megan Fudge/Bobbi Oshiro, Genie Erokhina/Rianna Valdes

2024 Outlook: Just like in mixed doubles, Jorja Johnson is also coming off back-to-back medals in women’s doubles. She took home silver with Parris Todd in Punta Gorda and bronze alongside Mari Humberg in Mesa.

Her ability to play either side in women's doubles makes her tough to deal with, and her pairing with Jill Braverman should be an exciting one to watch this week.

Alix Truong and Mari Humberg is another duo that could make some noise. The effectiveness of Humberg’s unique, slice-centric game was on full display in Mesa, especially in the bronze medal match against Anna Bright and Vivienne David. 

Even though she and Truong fell in the Round of 16 in Punta Gorda, I expect a better result from them this week.

Men’s Doubles

2023 Medalists: Andrei Daescu/Pesa Teoni, Ryler DeHeart/Rob Nunnery, Stefan Auvergne/Brendon Long

2024 Outlook: Gabriel Tardio and Andrei Daescu are coming off an impressive performance in Mesa where they came away with a silver medal. 

Here’s a list of teams they beat to make it to Championship Sunday: Ben and Collin Johns, Jay Devilliers and Pat Smith, Riley Newman and Thomas Wilson.

They eventually lost to JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier in the final, but those wins speak for themselves and should give this tandem tons of confidence heading into this event.

One half of the pair that beat them in Arizona will follow them to California, too. JW Johnson will team up with Will Howells, who won gold in Punta Gorda alongside C.J. Klinger.

Johnson, of course, usually plays the left with normal partner Dylan Frazier; Howells, however, found success playing that same side with Klinger being left-handed and taking the right side. It’ll be interesting to see where each player lines up in Sacramento.