Gridley: Behind the pickleball upset of the year
Don't stop believin.'

October 12, 2021

If you need inspiration, watch this terrific account by Austin Gridley, who teamed with fellow top 30 pickleball athlete Mario Barrientos a few weeks ago to pull off a major upset win against #1 Ben Johns and his brother, Collin Johns at the Las Vegas Open. The Johns’ brothers were knocked down to the losers’ bracket after a first-round bye. Gridley and Barrientos took the match 12-10, 2-11, 11-6.

Gridley shares his insights on his backhand dinking strategy, conserving energy, coming back from behind, maintaining positivity, partner chemistry, and persisting through long rallies.

Bottom line, Gridley says, for players like him who don’t have traditional competitive racket sports pedigrees:

“I hope this is an example to everyone…even if you don’t have a college background in tennis, you can be really good at pickleball …. you can work extremely hard and get really good at pickleball. I hope we’re a good example of that.”

Love that message. Thank you, Austin, for giving us hope and encouragement! Austin mentions that someone out there recorded the match. We hope video of this epic match surfaces soon so those of us who missed the livestream can watch the magic of underdogs and learn from it, too.

Release the tape, whoever has it, please. The grass-roots people of pickleball want to see!

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