HomeUSA Pickleball NewsPPA Tour NewsRiley Newman Makes a Comeback, After a Long Break

Riley Newman Makes a Comeback, After a Long Break

Riley Newman Makes a Comeback: He is one of the standout names in professional pickleball, and has been notably absent from the PPA Tour. After several months away from the competitive scene, his return was highly anticipated. Fans and fellow players alike were eager to see if Newman could recapture the form that once made him an intimidating presence on the court. The answer, it seems, was a bit of both: glimpses of the old Riley mixed with the inevitable rust from a long break.

Newman returned to the battle playing mixed doubles with Etta Wright and men’s doubles with Gabe Tardio. His first test came in the mixed doubles quarterfinals against the red-hot duo of Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David. In a match that showcased both courage and skill, Newman and Wright emerged victorious with a thrilling 13-11, 12-10 win. This was a significant result, highlighting that despite his time away, Newman still possessed the competitive edge and court intelligence that had previously set him apart.

The semifinals presented a serious test as Newman and Wright faced the worthy pairing of Anna Bright and James Ignatowich. The match was a rollercoaster, with Newman and Wright pushing their opponents to the brink. Despite ultimately falling 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, their performance was promising. There were moments of friction and miscommunication was understandable given Newman’s recent lack of practice and the novelty of their partnership. However, the foundation of a potentially strong team was evident.

In men’s doubles, Newman teamed up with Gabe Tardio, and the duo delivered a statement win in the quarterfinals. Facing the elite pairing of Ben Johns and James Ignatowich, Newman and Tardio prevailed 12-10, 11-9. This match was a representation of Newman’s current state: at times, he was the dominant force on the court, showcasing his trademark speed and aggressive forehand. At other moments, however, his rust was apparent, with uncharacteristic errors and missed dinks. Despite the inconsistencies, Newman’s flashes of brilliance were enough to secure the victory.

Newman’s mixed performance revealed both the strengths and areas needing improvement. His speedup skills and forehand skills were on full display, reminding everyone why he was once considered one of the top players in the game. But his rust, manifested in missed simple shots and occasional lapses in concentration, was also evident. The remedy for this is straightforward: more time on the practice court to iron out the stitch and rebuild the precision that comes from regular competitive play.

The partnership with Gabe Tardio appears promising. Tardio’s steady play complements Newman’s aggressive style, and with more time together, this duo could develop into an incredible team. The chemistry between them, while still in its initial stages, showed enough potential to suggest that Newman’s return to the top tier of pickleball is not a question of if, but when.

Riley Newman Makes a Comeback
Image credit: PPA Tour

Riley Newman’s return to the PPA Tour was a mixed bag, but one filled with promise. While the rust of months away from competition was evident, the flashes of the old Newman provided a glimpse of what could be. With more practice and continued partnership development, Newman is poised to reclaim his status as one of the sport’s elite players. For now, his return is a work in progress, but the foundation for future success is firmly in place.

News In Brief: Riley Newman Makes a Comeback

Riley Newman, a prominent figure in professional pickleball, has made his return to the PPA Tour after several months away. Teaming up with Etta Wright in mixed doubles and Gabe Tardio in men’s doubles, Newman displayed both his signature skills and some rust from his time away. He and Wright won a thrilling mixed doubles quarterfinal against Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David but fell narrowly in the semifinals to Anna Bright and James Ignatowich.

In men’s doubles, Newman and Tardio secured an impressive victory over top players Ben Johns and Ignatowich in the quarterfinals. Regardless of some inconsistencies and errors, Newman’s flashes of brilliance and the promising partnership with Tardio suggest a strong return is on the horizon. With more practice and competitive play, Newman is assured of reclaiming his elite status in pickleball.

Also Read: Wright and Newman Unexpected Win in Mixed Doubles

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