Drama, drama, drama…and Dinkheads is here for it! At the Guaranteed Rate PPA Championships in Las Vegas today, the women’s pro doubles match between Anna Leigh/Leigh Waters and Yana Grechkina/Regina Franco Goldberg took a wild turn when G & G took advantage of the sun in the mother/daughter duo’s eyes. They did what any smart team would do:
And they had spectacular success. So much so that it not only got in Mama Waters’ eyes, the strategy got under Mama Waters’ skin. Watch the next few painful minutes as Anna Leigh has to drag her mom back from the brink while she mouths off at Grechkina and Goldberg for deploying a time-honored racket sports strategy of weaponizing the elements against their opponents.
You know Anna Leigh was cringing inside. Muh-uh-mommmm! Stahhhp! (The following clip starts at 3:05:10 with G&G lobbing. Ignore the initial babbling of the commentators. At 3:05:38, the stream freezes for 10 seconds…and then Mama Waters goes full hothead.)
Mama Waters makes previous Meltdown of the Week sore-loser winner Rob Cassidy look like a saint, LOL!
As the Tennis Channel commentators noted (in one of their few accurate observations…see Dayne Gingrich on Facebook for more commentary on the often clueless livestream commentary), tennis players deal with lobs all the time and so must pickleballers. If there’s sun, tough noogies. If you’re short, deal with it. If there’s wind, watch out. Anna Leigh was already doing all the right things to try and neutralize lob-a-palooza: stepping back in anticipation, inserting herself in the middle, and running down the ball for a tweener (which failed, unfortunately, because Mama Waters got in the way).
Tons of pickleball lob defense videos abound. Always worth a refresher course:
Bottom line: Don’t pout. Instead, as one of the PPA’ Tennis Channel commentators put it bluntly:
“Figure it out.”
Postscript #1: Weirdly, the PPA’s YouTube livestream cut out right after Grechkina and Goldberg snagged game 2 amid the Waters’ nuclear implosion. Interesting timing for “technical difficulties.” But the mother/daughter duo apparently got their shizzle together in time to win game 3 (11-6) and advance to the finals tomorrow against Parris Todd and Anna Bright.
We’ll see if a parental time-out and good night’s sleep will prevent the Waters family from having to call the waaah-mbulance again.
Postscript #2: It is way past time for an intervention so Anna Leigh can move on to a more capable partner who will leave the toxicity on the sidelines…so the teenager doesn’t have to expend precious mental energy playing her mom’s anger management counselor.
Postscript #3: The keen observers at NML Pickleball blog also raise questions about the timing of the “technical difficulties” in the livestream…
“Although the sound and video were not matching up on the YouTube stream, the signs point to the PPA trying to protect their star duo from any additional meltdown implications from game 3. The Waters ended up winning 11-6 in the third game so none of it really mattered from a results standpoint. Intentional or not, the tantrum thrown by Leigh was something else.
The fact of the matter is that the Waters are currently the premiere women’s doubles team in pickleball. They were playing a team that shouldn’t have been all that competitive on paper. A team that was smart enough to try a David-type strategy in an attempt to shake things up. They shook things up more than they ever could have expected. How can you be part of the best team in the world and be mad when a team tries to do something funky to win a professional match against you?”