Steve Deakin hits a volley in pickleball.
Steve Deakin and Alex Walker are into the mixed doubles Round of 16 in Minnesota. PPA Tour

Walker, Deakin into mixed doubles Round of 16

LAKEVILLE, MN - Watching a lead slip away in a competitive match can be one of the most difficult things to recover from when you’re trying to stay alive in a tournament.

But Alex Walker and Steve Deakin put on a clinic in mental resilience in their Round of 32 match against No. 9 seeds Lacy Schneemann and Travis Rettenmaier.

After splitting the first two games, the No. 21 seeds jumped out to a 6-1 lead in Game 3 and switched sides, seemingly carrying every ounce of momentum.

Schneemann and Rettenmaier, to their credit, wouldn’t go down easily.

They went on a run of their own to erase the lead and go up 7-6.

From there, the match reverted back to the highly competitive, back-and-forth contest it had been for the first two games.

Whatever letdown there may have been from losing their early lead disappeared at the perfect time for Walker and Deakin, as they held their nerve at the crucial moments to come away with an 11-9 win in the third.

Focusing on one point at a time was key for the tandem to remain engaged.

“It’s just about never giving up and going on to the next point and looking forward every time,” said Walker.

“We had a few loose points, but I think it was just about putting the bad behind and looking forward to the good,” Deakin explained.

‘Team Canada’ will face No. 8 seeds Lea Jansen and Hayden Patriquin in the Round of 16.