Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith playing pickleball.
Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith competing at the Veolia Houston Open. PPA Tour

Smith, Kovalova outlast Todd, Black to make semis

ATASCOCITA, TX - They say that revenge is a dish best served on the pickleball court.

Ok, that might not be true, but some revenge was certainly served up on Humana Championship Court in the women’s doubles quarterfinals in Houston.

Callie Smith and Lucy Kovalova beat Parris Todd and Hurricane Tyra Black 11-8, 10-12, 11-8 to make their fourth semifinal of the year together.

The No. 2 seeds didn’t partner up in the previous tournament in North Carolina, but both players lost to the tandem of Todd and Black in different rounds of the event.

They didn’t want to suffer the same fate on Saturday. 

Smith and Kovalova nearly closed out the match in two games after rallying from 2-10 down in Game 2, but they didn’t panic. Instead, they let the experience that comes with earning 21 pro titles together help them win the crucial rallies late in Game 3. 

“When you have a really good partner, it’s easy to get on your game,” Smith said of Kovalova. “Lucy has always been a good partner to me as far as being positive on the court.”

Up next for the tour veterans is a semifinal matchup against No. 4 seeds Vivienne David and Jackie Kawamoto.