Jessie Irvine hits a forehand.
The Mesa Arizona Cup is Jessie Irvine's first tournament of 2024 after recovering from a tear in her elbow. PPA Tour

Irvine, Alshon victorious in first match together

MESA, AZ - It’s never easy competing alongside a new partner, but Jessie Irvine and Christian Alshon seem to have it down.

In their first match together at the Mesa Arizona Cup, the No. 8 seeds took down No. 9 seeds Lucy Kovalova and Matt Wright 11-5, 11-4.

Irvine, a steady force in pro pickleball since 2019, sees a lot of potential in Alshon, who discovered the sport during the summer of 2022.

“I’ve seen Christian play, and I know how good he’s getting and how much he improves after every match, so I asked him, and he said he was available for this,” Irvine recalled. “I was super excited.”

Communication miscues are a common occurrence for new pairings, but all it took was one during the first points of their match to get them on the same page.

“There was one point at the start of the match where we hit paddles going for the same ball, but then we quickly realized how to move together and got some good synergy on the court,” Alshon shared.

This tournament taking place at the Arizona Athletic Grounds is Irvine’s first of 2024 after taking some time off to recover from a tear in her elbow.

But the break in conjunction with other treatments like physical therapy has her feeling fresh out on the court.

“It’s a little nerve-racking not knowing how it’s going to feel, but it felt great out there, and I thought that showed,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the next one."

Irvine and Alshon will next face the sibling duo of Jorja and JW Johnson in the quarterfinals on Friday.