Ben Johns hits a forehand dink.
Ben Johns will play for singles gold at the Mesa Arizona Cup. PPA Tour

Johns downs Garnett to make first singles final of 2024

MESA, AZ - Ben Johns hasn’t had the same level of dominance in singles that we’re used to seeing so far in 2024, but he’s into his first final of the year in the event after a semifinal victory over No. 4 seed Connor Garnett.

Garnett caught fire early and raced out to a 10-5 lead by painting both sidelines with some devastating passing shots, but Johns then reeled off seven in a row to clinch the first game 12-10.

He maintained the momentum from there and showcased an impressive mixture of powerful drives and finesse in the short game on his way to an 11-4 victory in Game 2.

Johns admits that it’s taken him a bit longer to find his form in singles to start off the year after the PPA introduced a new ball and new serving guidelines, but he’s found success in Mesa by looking to hit more volleys and half volleys.

Those changes seem to be paying off in his third tournament of the year.

“I feel like a little bit of a different player with the new ball and serve, but that’s probably for the better,” he shared. “It just makes you a more well-rounded player, and I’m happy about that.”

Johns will face the winner of the match between Jack Sock and Federico Staksrud in the final.