Chris Haworth hits a backhand.
Chris Haworth competing at the Select Medical Orange County Cup presented by FitVine Wine. PPA Tour

Haworth downs doubles partner Goldin to make semis

SAN CLEMENTE, CA - Chris Haworth booked his spot in the men’s singles semifinals with a 12-10, 11-4 victory over Grayson Goldin on Friday afternoon.

The day’s final singles match on Grandstand Court, however, had a special twist.

Haworth and Goldin played together in men’s doubles this week, making it from the qualifying rounds all the way to the Round of 16.

That dynamic made for an especially entertaining battle.

“It was a lot of fun,” Haworth said after the match. “Grayson brings a lot of energy and a lot of excitement. He’s a great guy, and I wish him the best going forward. I’m definitely glad to get this one.”

Apart from the extra pride at stake with two good friends competing against each other, the match also gave fans some incredible rallies featuring world class ball striking from both sides.

That wasn’t necessarily surprising, given the fact that Haworth and Goldin are two of the hardest hitters in pickleball.

“When playing against someone with that much power, you just have to try and get to the net,” Haworth explained. "[Grayson’s] going to hit some winners, and you just have to be kind of okay with that. I always tell myself to just weather the storm, and hopefully you can get a paddle on the next one.”

That’s what Haworth was able to do, in addition to hitting a number of blistering winners himself.

With this win, the No. 11 seed is into the semifinals where a clash with No. 2 seed Ben Johns awaits. These two last faced off in the finals of the CIBC Texas Open powered by Invited, with Johns prevailing 2-11, 11-3, 11-9.