Ben and Collin Johns competing at The Masters on Saturday.

Johns brothers, Wilson and Newman rally after dropping first game in men’s doubles semis

PALM SPRINGS, CA - One mark of a great team is the ability to circle the wagons when the going gets tough.

That’s what the teams of Ben and Collin Johns and Riley Newman and Thomas Wilson did in their semifinal matches to book their spot in the finals.

The Johns brothers took on Federico Staksrud and Pablo Tellez in a matchup that featured some of the most competitive doubles matches of 2023.

Staksrud and Tellez struck first, jumping out to a 4-0 behind some loose play from the brothers to start the match. They would hold on to that lead to take Game 1, 13-11.

Despite dropping the first game, the No. 1 seeds weren’t phased by the deficit.

“We’ve come back from a lot of matches before, and I don’t think it ever truly bothers us,” said Ben.

It was all Johns after that first game, as the brothers found their form and responded with commanding wins in the final two games, 11-3, 11-1.

Just a few hours later on Humana Championship Court, No. 4 seeds Newman and Wilson took on No. 8 seeds Jay Devilliers and Pat Smith.

Devilliers and Smith took Game 1, 11-8, but Newman and Wilson raced back to take the second game 11-0 by committing to their aggressive style that relies on the athleticism of both players.

“We were just like, ‘You know what? We need to swing out, be athletic and run around.’ And that ended up working out,” Wilson explained.

Sticking to that strategy helped the No. 4 seeds close out the match 11-4 in the third game.

This result sets a rematch of the gold medal match at the PPA Finals in December, where the Johns brothers emerged victorious from an intense encounter 11-2, 4-11, 11-9, 12-10.