Connor Garnett hitting a forehand on the run.
Connor Garnett competing at the Select Medical Orange County Cup presented by FitVine Wine. PPA Tour

Late run helps Garnett, Alshon down Devilliers, Smith in two games

SAN CLEMENTE, CA - Connor Garnett and Christian Alshon are into the men’s doubles quarterfinals in San Clemente after an 11-2, 11-9 victory over No. 9 seeds Jay Devilliers and Pat Smith.

The No. 6 seeds came out strong and took advantage of some loose errors from their opponents to take Game 1 in under ten minutes.

Game 2 is where things got interesting.

As expected, Devilliers and Smith settled more into the match and jumped out to a 9-3 lead, as going to a deciding game became a very real possibility.

But Garnett and Alshon stormed back, scoring the match’s final eight points to close it out in two games.

Garnett says the tandem’s versatility is what makes them dangerous.

“I think the beauty of it is that two singles guys are doing well,” shared Garnett, the No. 3 ranked singles player in the PPA rankings. “On the doubles court, we both can the play the two sides. There were a couple stretches in this match where we both needed to play different sides, which we were fortunately able to do.”

This is the first event in over a month for Alshon, who is still recovering from a gastrointestinal operation he had in May.

The 23-year-old couldn’t be happier to be back on the court.

“You can take me out of pickleball, but you can’t take pickleball out of me,” he said.

The pair will face the winner of the match between No. 2 seeds JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier and No. 15 seeds Craig Johnson and Pesa Teoni in Friday’s quarterfinal round.