Gabriel Tardio hits a forehand.
Gabriel Tardio and Andrei Daescu are into the men's doubles quarterfinals. PPA Tour

Upset City: Johns bros ousted in Round of 16

MESA, AZ - Humana Championship Court played host to some extraordinary pickleball on Thursday, but no match got the people talking like Gabriel Tardio and Andrei Daescu’s upset win over Ben and Collin Johns.

The No. 16 seeds took down the No. 1 seeds 11-6, 11-5 behind impressive displays of athleticism, finesse, and hand speed.

Despite the looming challenge facing them ahead of the match, the tandem wanted to focus on one thing and one thing only: execution.

“We don’t really set too many expectations,” Daescu mentioned. “We just wanted to try and execute the best we can.”

And that’s what they did, while also finding ways to take advantage of their strengths.

For Tardio, one of those strengths is hands battles. The 18-year-old sped the ball up at the brothers on several occasions throughout the match.

“We practice with J-Dub (JW Johnson), James [Ignatowich], and all those guys that have super fast hands, so I trust my hands as well and I just went for it,” Tardio said.

That confidence paid huge dividends for the pair, and it helped them secure the biggest result of the day.

Tardio and Daescu will take on No. 8 seeds Jay Devilliers and Pat Smith in the quarterfinals on Friday.