James Ignatowich hits an ATP during PPA Desert Ridge.
James Ignatowich hits a memorable ATP during PPA Desert Ridge in Arizona. PPA Tour

Ignatowich’s ATP is a 'panty dropper' and SportsCenter No. 1

PHOENIX, AZ – James Ignatowich made history on Friday as the first pro pickleballer to snag the No. 1 spot on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10.

Ignatowich's sensational ATP - a.k.a. around-the-post - in mixed doubles play during the PPA Desert Ridge Open in Phoenix was certainly worthy of the honor.

Ignatowich and partner Anna Bright were battling Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David when the highlight-reel effort wowed the crowd.

With the score tied 5-5 in the second game, Bright served and the point began like any other with a little cat and mouse and some strategic dinking. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then, Wilson hit a cross court dink that barely landed inside the kitchen line, which forced Ignatowich to lunge and return the ball with the back side of his paddle behind his back to cap the sequence in style.

It was blink-and-you-miss-it kind of fast, and all David could do was watch as the ball sailed past her.

Fast forward to the 19:30 mark of the YouTube clip below to watch the point.


PPA broadcaster Dave Fleming was amazed by Ignatowich's effort.

“That's one of the best shots you will ever see... This is insane,” he exclaimed. “Please alert ESPN! That has got to be SportsCenter Top Ten. Come on!”

Barstool Sports even called the ATP a “certified panty dropper.”

Personally, I didn't spontaneously lose my undergarments after watching that shot. Sure, my eyes widened a little bit, maybe a nod of approval, but no wild hormones here.

Barstool's Jordan “Jordie” Demcher wrote that hitting an ATP “feels like you just did something dirty that you really shouldn’t be allowed to do.”

“You have this entire sport where the concept is to put the ball over the net to your opponent and all of the sudden you decide to change the game and go around the post instead,” Demcher continued. “It feels like it should be illegal, it’s fun being bad.”

Despite how over the top and bold the claim was, he was exactly right. An ATP just feels illegal. I remember when I first came across someone in rec play who hit an ATP. I argued with them for 10 minutes, claiming there’s no way you can just hit the ball around the net.

And yet, it's perfectly legit.

Ignatowich continues to be a powerhouse on the pickleball court, and with shots like these in his arsenal, the sky's the limit. But, I wouldn't recommend losing our underwear over it.