Jack Munro and Julian Arnold celebrate a doubles victory over Matt Wright and Federico Staksrud on Friday.
Jack Munro and Julian Arnold celebrate a doubles victory over Matt Wright and Federico Staksrud on Friday. PPA Tour

Impressions from day four of Select Medical Orange County Cup

SAN CLEMENTE, CA - The latest stop on the PPA tour rolls on in beautiful San Clemente. The crowds were bigger on Friday at Life Time Fitness, and the fans were not disappointed as the play was amazing.

Let’s get right to the highlights.

1. Close matches everywhere. It was quarterfinals day and of the 20 matches played, nine went to three games. We had two matches go 13-11 in the third game and another two were 11-9. You can’t get any closer and dramatic than that.
2. Big H comes up big. Hayden Patriquin was one of the stars of the day. He won his mixed quarterfinal with Vivian Glozman over Lea Jansen/Riley Newman. Patriquin/Glozman as a #16 seed is the lowest seed left in the tournament. Then he came back to team with Pablo Tellez to achieve the biggest upset of the day, beating Ben and Collin Johns 13-11 in the third game, after eight match points. Patriquin is fulfilling the promise he has shown and may well be ready to stake a claim as a top 10 player.
3. Who’s the best lefty? Jack Munro made a claim as the best last-handed player, teaming with Julian Arnold to defeat Matt Wright and Federico Staksrud. Munro/Arnold as a 12 seed are one of three seeds 10 or lower to still be alive. Can they go further? It will be a battle of lefties on Saturday, as Munro/Arnold go up against Tellez/Patriquin.
4. Can anyone beat ALW? Anna Leigh Waters was again dominant. In singles, Kaitlyn Christian played a very competent match and won all of three points for her trouble. ALW’s opponents averaged all of three points a game against her. At this point, it doesn’t seem to be a question for her of winning or losing a match or even a game; instead, the question would appear to be whether her opponent can get to five points in a game.
5. Ben is even tougher than you think. I made a point yesterday in my column that Ben Johns is absurdly tough once someone gets to 8 points in a game. He showed that in singles against Quang Duong. Game one, Duong up 8-2, final score, 11-8 Johns. Game two, Duong up 8-6, final score 11-9 Johns. Once someone hit 8, Ben Johns beat Quang Duong 14-1. Think about that for a minute. 14-1.
6. Nice guys finish first. Finally, the highlight of the day for me was to see Pablo Tellez (along with Hayden Patriquin) beat the Johns brothers. Tellez has faced some adversity, either with his partnership with Federico Staksrud ending, or Texas cutting him in MLP. But, he hasn’t complained, hasn’t whined, and has just kept grinding. He was rewarded with a huge win and a spot in the men’s doubles semifinal. If Tellez isn’t the nicest person on the PPA Tour, he is at least in the top two. Very good to see him win.
We will be back at it on Saturday, with semifinal action.

Come and watch, as there is no doubt the matches will be amazing.
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