I am still in Naples for a few more days recovering from all of the excitement of the US Open Pickleball Championship. I need to give my body a chance to recover and then get ready for a busy travel month … heading to Georgia, the Carolinas and Delaware.
The US Open is Unique
The US Open is not like any other pickleball tournament. One difference is the single elimination format, i.e. not allowing players to come up through the back draw. I think several Gold medalists from major tournaments this year came back to win. It was interesting to look through all the brackets to see some of the outcomes.
What I like most about the event, however, is the fans. Many of us agree it really is all about entertaining the people that come to watch. This tournament has many more spectators, especially people that only come to watch, than other events. The excitement they generate is what really makes this event.
They added a canopy over the main court which made it more comfortable for the spectators watching matches on that court. As a player, I found it more difficult to see the ball. It also created a wind tunnel effect on what was already a pretty windy day. I think the organizers are looking for ways to improve this next year.
Most Fun Match
The match I played with Daniel Moore on that court was both the most competitive and fun match I have been involved in. Daniel and I played two players we really hadn’t played before. It was fun to come up against a new team and it will be I can’t wait to see how well they do in the coming year! It was a great experience and we all had incredible points throughout.
The Mixed Pro match was a great experience! There were incredible points on both sides. During the third game, we were at 10-10 for I don’t know how long. At times you could hear a pin drop…at other times the spectators erupted in cheers and applause! And trust me, we enjoyed it every bit as much as the fans.
A big focus for me during the US Open was the announcement of Head Pickleball. I had a new paddle from them for the first time. If you are not familiar with Head, they are one of the biggest names in tennis, racquetball, and skiing. Now they will have offer a full line of products for pickleball. Of course, I have worn their court shoes for many years and you probably noticed me carrying a Head bag as well. But during the US Open, they had demo paddles for players to try out during the week. It was a sneak peak of what will be available in stores all over the world by September.
I am so excited about the new technology and resources a company like Head can bring to our sport everywhere. I am very happy to partner with them and do my part. At the US Open Head dealers were on hand to get introduced to the world of pickleball. In the next few months, you will see more and more from them. I can’t wait for all of you to get a chance to try these amazing paddles.