Lea Jansen hits a forehand.
Lea Jansen competing at the Veolia Houston Open. PPA Tour

Jansen downs Collin Johns in singles as Hustlers take memorable DreamBreaker over Carolina

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Though it doesn’t happen too often, DreamBreakers can feature men and women squaring off in singles.

Those matchups typically bring notable results and points, and that’s what fans at MLP D.C. got to witness twice Friday afternoon in a wild DreamBreaker between the New York Hustlers and Carolina Pickleball Club.

Before getting to that point, the teams had to split the four doubles matches. Unsurprisingly, Carolina’s Ben Johns won both of his matches: men’s doubles with Collin Johns and mixed doubles with Jessie Irvine.

New York’s two wins came from the women’s doubles team of Lea Jansen and Jackie Kawamoto and its second mixed doubles team of Kawamoto and C.J. Klinger.

In the DreamBreaker, a key lineup decision from New York proved to have massive implications on the outcome.

Instead of sending out both men’s players to compete first, which is the norm in DreamBreakers, the Hustlers sent out Jansen—an accomplished women’s singles player—in the second position and Klinger in third.

This move put Jansen up against Collin Johns and Klinger up against Andrea Koop.

“That was actually Jack’s idea,” Jansen said of the decision to stack the lineup. “It’s an old college tennis idea, just seeing if I could go 50-50 and maybe steal a few points. The guys play a little tighter against the girls, and then we wanted to put C.J. down to hopefully rack up some extra points.”

The beauty of the stack didn’t become apparent until the DreamBreaker’s tensest moments.

With the teams even at 16, Ben Johns snagged a perfect 4-0 rotation against Jack Sock to open up a 20-16 lead to all but guarantee the victory for Carolina.

Collin Johns then took the court against Jansen with the match on his paddle.

Jansen saved the first match point with a sharp angled crosscourt forehand winner to earn the serve back at 17-20.

Two consecutive return errors from Johns would cut the once amply sized lead to just one. He would go on to win the final point of the rotation to get the serve back and earn another match point for Carolina, but Jansen’s rally inspired new confidence in her teammates.

Klinger went 3-1 against Koop in the next rotation—even saving one more match point—which allowed Kawamoto to close out the match against Irvine to secure a thrilling 23-21 victory.


Sock—who dropped both his men’s doubles and mixed doubles matches against Carolina—gave all the credit to his teammates for finding a way to win even when he wasn’t at his best.      

“I’m glad my team put me on their back today because I was the LVP (Least Valuable Player), losing both matches and getting 4-0’d at 16-16 in the DreamBreaker,” he said. “That didn’t feel good, but I’ll turn it around for this evening.”

The next opponent for both teams is the Dallas Flash, with Carolina set to play at 4pm ET and New York scheduled for this evening on Grandstand Court.