This summer an exciting showdown will happen between two powerhouse pickleball teams representing North America and Europe at the 2019 Bainbridge Cup in Essen, Germany. Will you be part of the action?
Closely following this competition is another great international opportunity in the form of the first German Open. It’s time to mark your calendars for July 12 – 14th if you want exposure to some of the world’s top pickleball talent.
All players who register for the Open are placed in their respective teams based on country of origin. Last year Team North America won the title in with pro Daniel Moore at its helm, and Europe, with the guidance of Oliver Strecker, is eagerly looking to settle the score.
The German Pickleball Association is hosting the event at the TVN Tennis Centre. As one of the largest indoor tennis halls in Europe, its 14 tennis courts will be converted to an impressive 28 pickleball courts! It offers generous training rooms, showers, match seating, parking and new LED lighting along the courts.
TVN Tennis Centre
The Bainbridge Cup itself will take place Friday, July 12 and is an age/skill-based competition with men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. The same categories will apply at the following German Open on July 13 – 14th. The registration fee is $63 while the event fee for the Bainbridge Cup is $17 for all events and $17 per event for the German Open.
Essen is known for its important role in German industry due to its history in coal mining and steel production. It has a number of unique museums dedicated to this subject and others such as design and art. It’s also home to a series of beautiful botanical gardens collectively known as Grugapark that not only includes a wide array of plants, but aviaries with enclosures for herons, flamingos and owls.
With theatres, elegant churches and even a Baroque Castle (Schloss Borbeck), there’s much to enjoy.
This week the U.S. is hosting the lnternational Indoor Pickleball Championships in Centralia, but there’s another competition coming up you won’t want to miss if you’re seeking more opportunities for international exploration and honing your indoor skills: the Finnish Open!
Pickleball Finland will be hosting the tournament June 14 – 16 at the Esport Center in Espoo. This is the largest indoor sports complex in all of the Nordic countries. There are a total of 16 courts available and the venue is very polished, to say the least.
The Esport Center offers a large variety of services for participants and visitors, including a café with 70 seats, pro shop, locker and shower rooms, and saunas—an obvious “must” considering the location!
Espoo is only a 20-minute ride on the metro line from Helsinki, making it easy to shuttle back and forth. The capital of Finland provides plenty of options for fun when you’re not at the courts, from its famous market square where countless stalls and fishing boats sell their goods, to a church made from ancient rock, a zoo filled with 150 species, a giant central park, elegant museums and a UNESCO-protected island fortress.
The 3rd Finnish Open is a skill-level tournament (official of self-assessed) with singles, doubles and mixed events. Participants are guaranteed a minimum of four games per event. The deadline for registration is May 24th, so make sure to sign up through their management site soon.
The registration fee including one event is 45€ (~$50). The price lowers for each additional event you join, costing 15€ for the second and 10€ for the third. You can also add a full-course buffet dinner on Saturday for ~$40 and a special tournament t-shirt for ~$17.
Before the tournament begins, on Thursday (6/13) players can enjoy Pickleball Finland’s weekly open court session to warm up and meet your competition. A special deal has also been arranged with Sokos Hotel Tapiola Garden for discounted rates. Click here to read more about the opportunities for lodging.
Sokos Hotel is only about 1.5 mi from Espoo and has a number of enjoyable amenities including a shopping center, cultural center, the Espoo Museum of Modern Art and a Lutheran church. If you’d prefer not to walk the distance to the Esport Center, you can also take the affordable metro, bus or a taxi.
Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to take in the sights of beautiful Finland while fitting in your craving for pickleball. Go visit Pickleball Finland to reserve your spot!
France is renowned among many for its food, fragrances and fashion, but if that wasn’t enough to entice you to visit, you can now add pickleball to that list as well!
This year from August 30th to September 1st Pickleball France will be hosting the French Open Pickleball Championships. The locale is Fayence, a stunning medieval village within the Provence region.
Fayence is within an hour’s drive of popular cities like Nice and Cannes, but even within the village are plenty of activities including fishing, horseback riding, swimming, hiking and enjoying gourmet food. A total of 9 “perched villages” all reside within the same area so you can take in the picturesque landscape by exploring them all. Click here to learn more about Fayence and take in the stunning sights!
The French Open will host clinics with pro players Kyle Yates and Irina Tereschenko (both gold medallists at the US Open) the Thursday before competition begins as well as the first day (8/30). Events include:
Men’s and Women’s Singles
Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles
19+, 50+, 60+, 70+, 80+ (Depending on # of participants)
Every player is guaranteed at least four matches per category. Participation is limited 200 participants, so sign up now to avoid missing out! Official IFP rules apply, however this is not an IFP-sanctioned tournament. Everyone gets to enjoy a tournament dinner on Sat (8/31) including some of the region’s famous Rosé wines.
If you’d like to turn your trip into a real tour, you’ll be happy to know that Kyle and Irina will be running a bootcamp (for 16 participants) immediately after the Open. From Sept 2 – 5 you can receive personalized coaching from some of the best players in the world over the course of 5 sessions. You’ll also be swept away for a day-long busy tour to St. Tropez and dinner at the La Camandoule restaurant.
No need to stop there! Once you’ve warmed up and learned from the pros, you can even continue on to Madrid for the Spanish Open running from Sept 6 – 8th for a true European pickleball trial.
The venue for the French Open is the Tennis Club de Fayence which holds 16 outdoor courts. Registration fees are 40€ or approximately $46 for early birds (Feb 1 – May 31) or 50€/~$57 for standard registration (June 1 – July 31). It is 10€/~$11 per event.
Start planning your trip today and visit PickleballTournaments to sign up for this incredible opportunity to wander the dreamy south of France while testing your skills in your favorite sport!
In an incredible match at the Florida Grand Slam, world-class players Simone Jardim (US Open Triple Crown Winner) and Corrine Carr (Jardim’s US Open partner) were defeated by Leigh Waters and her daughter, Anna Leigh Waters, who is only 12-years-old.
There is an outstanding group of young picklers flocking to the game and performing at high levels, but to see an upset like this is a reminder of pickleball’s versatile nature and the ability for anyone to be a top contender regardless of age.
The Waters make an incredible duo and are certainly ones to watch in this year’s tournament circuit.
For those curious about the youngest competitor: Anna Leigh has a background in tennis and was introduced to the game in 2017 after moving from Florida to Pennsylvania due to Hurricane Irma. She originally began playing with her family as a way to pass the time and have fun.
She ended up winning gold in her first tournament 2 months after starting the game and clearly hasn’t slowed down since!
You can watch the showdown in the video below. There is some stuttering but if you skip ahead a few seconds at those points you will be able to see the action again.
Jardim and Carr performed admirably in the close matches and are sure to come back stronger than ever the next time they get the opportunity to play against the Waters.
We love it when things get shaken up in the world of pickleball and look forward to seeing more from all of these fantastic players!
Now that the intense competition of the USAPA National Championships has cooled down, we’ve heard plenty of feedback from individuals who have attended as both participants and observers. The event was a rousing success and many were extremely pleased with the professionalism and attentiveness displayed by the staff at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
For those who only got to watch the coverage on ESPN or are curious if it might be worth attending next year, here are a few of the positives attendees appreciated about the event and venue:
Parking at Indian Wells was $10 for the day, and many of the matches were completely free to attend. The Championship Court was only $10 to sit in the general seating area and ranged from $35 – 50 depending on the day and event for more premium seating.
The range of available food wasn’t incredibly varied and mostly included the basics (salad, burgers, hot dogs), but on the plus side the venue allowed visitors to bring their own meals, making it easy to maintain a budget or indulge in fine dining while watching games.
At PickleballCentral we also gave out over $9k in free merchandise, so you could’ve ended up leaving with more gear than you came with!
Around 2,300 players came to play on the 45 converted tennis courts at Nationals, and top talent from around the U.S. was on display. If you wanted to see some great games, Indian Wells was certainly the place to be.
Many visitors also noted that the pros were very approachable and enjoyed chatting with fellow competitors and attendees at their tents between games. Whether watching or participating, there were many opportunities to learn from the best by proxy.
Top Tier Management
The Indian Wells management team was noted to be very receptive to feedback and continually worked to ensure a pleasant experience for all involved. A number of observers noted that their comments were taken into consideration, such as asking for shaded bleachers outside the grandstand, and the next day portable umbrellas had been moved into the area.
Indian Wells staff held meetings with department heads daily after the games to determine what was running smoothly and what needed work. After the first day of play it was noted that the white chairs at one stadium’s end were creating a glare in the sun, and so overnight, the staff changed the chairs to dark green to improve visibility.
Clearly the staff cared about providing an exceptional experience for all involved, and they’ll only continue to get better over time.
The cleanliness and beautiful appearance of the Indian Wells facility was greatly appreciated by all present. There was live music, the courts were hosed down every night, and the seats were wiped down and cleaned.
Interestingly enough, the bathrooms were of particular note! Attendees noticed that they were continually cleaned throughout the day and had a very spacious interior. Seems like a small thing, but everyone appreciates it when the place they relieve themselves actually feels relieving!
If you got the opportunity to go to Nationals, what were some of your favorite moments or aspects of Indian Wells? We’re looking forward to another fantastic showing next year!
We are delighted to be able to share this wonderful news from Singapore. Enjoy!
Greeting from Singapore! It is our exciting “pickleball” time in Singapore. Our tournament season is drawing near. Pickleball is finally recognized and included into the 2018 Singapore National games. It will be a national tournament and will spread over 2 weekends, organized by our sport body in Singapore. There will be appropriately 300+ players participating. We are co-organizing the event and details of the tournament can be found on our website pickleball: https://www.pickleball.sg/sng-2018.
History of pickleball in Singapore
Singapore started to introduce pickleball in 1998. It started in a small community with very limited places to play and little awareness on the sport. Having said that, in the past 5-6 years we have experienced a tremendous growth in the sport. Many community clubs in Singapore started to organize interest groups for pickleball and our sport halls have had a steady growth of players joining their morning groups. In the Hillview area, we have a small group of senior playing pickleball on our only outdoor court. Our neighborhood community has also started a pickleball interest group.
Hillview Pickleball Group
We started to play indoor pickleball when our new community center was completed in 2017. Three months later, we re-established the group as Bukit Gombak CSC Pickleball Interest Group, serving more residents in Bukit Gombak and Chua Chu Kang. The Interest Group reached the max membership in October 2017 and we decided to setup a Weekend Pickleball group in December 2017 after securing 8 courts in Hillgrove & Lianhua Indoor Sports Hall. Weekend Pickleball hit the target of 100 members in March 2018. We have 2 new indoor badminton courts that we now play pickleball on regularly, Mondays (6-9:30 pm) and Wednesdays (9:30-12:30am).
Hillview Community Center
Our weekend pickleball clubs are also booming! In a short span of 3 months, we have 100+ members. Every Sunday we open 8 courts to accommodate 50+ players, the largest pickleball indoor courts in Singapore! Here is the link for Bukit Gombak CSC pickleball: sg/bukit-gombak-csc-pickleball. Our weekend pickleball website is: https://www.pickleball.sg/weekend-pickleball-lianhua.
Weekend Pickleball Group
Since we have been so well established, we have hosted an inter-constituency tournament (Hillview meets Nanyang) and a few more mini-tournaments within our club (such as Jingle & Mingle and Million Hongbao Challenge).
With our many successes and connections to on-line media such as Facebook, we are now connected to many players overseas and have hosted games for our visitors from the USA, India, New Zealand, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, etc. It is a great opportunity to meet players from other countries and exchange skills to improve our games. We have formally established our affiliation with the Pickleball Association of Hong Kong, China to host our members when they travel to our countries. Likewise, we are extending our invitation to your readers for games if they are visiting Singapore.
Pickleball.sg is a volunteer network for all communities and interest groups to share and promote pickleball activities in Singapore. We have started to chart down the places to play within Singapore and we are sharing tournament invitations on the internet. We are hoping to establish more affiliation with the other countries especially in Asia to promote and raise the standard for pickleball in Singapore and Asia.
Singapore National Games 2018
This is the 2nd year ActiveSG (our sport government body) to organise the Singapore National Games and pickleball.sg will be their official partner for this year tournament which will be held the end of July. Details of the SNG 2018 can be found in this link https://www.pickleball.sg/sng-2018. It will be the largest pickleball event in Singapore, this year we are anticipating 300+ players for this tournament.
The tournament is open for players above 21 yrs and we have a master group (women above 55 yrs and men above 60 yrs old). We don’t have player rating like in the USA, so the skill sets are simply divided into Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. Besides the individual event, this year we have added a team zone event. Each team comprises of 10 players of different age groups to compete to be the team champion. Bukit Gombak CSC Pickleball will be sending 2 teams for this tournament!
Thank you Michelle for sharing this wonderful story about the growth of pickleball in Singapore. I am sure some of our readers will be planning a trip to visit you soon to play pickleball.
The Bainbridge Cup made its debut in Spain last year with Team North America winning the inaugural event. This year the competition is taking place in another beautiful European destination: Montesilvano, Italy.
In exciting news, the Bainbridge Cup will not be the only tournament to take place this July. Immediately afterwards, the first Italian Open will begin with players guaranteed a minimum of 4 matches in round robin and double-elimination brackets.
The man behind these exciting developments is Zelindo Di Guilio, the founder and president of the Italian Pickleball Association. After meeting IFP (International Federation of Pickleball) president Mike Hess at last year’s Spanish Open, he realized “the strong socialization and friendship, international spirit and healthy competitive atmosphere [that pickleball fosters].”
This atmosphere was one he wanted to help promote, with the Italian Pickleball Association now a proud member of the IFP.
Zelindo has been heavily involved in tennis since the 80s, competing as a junior and running a club in Pescara where he organizes federal tournaments and championships. His interest in pickleball was ignited when he and his colleague, Marco Iacuone, were browsing a catalog from Gamma as part of their tennis distribution business. Along with the tennis equipment they noticed the arrival of pickleball gear, which was completely new to them at the time.
The Start of the Italian Pickleball Association
Zelindo explains how his curiosity and sense of adventure were piqued after he experienced pickleball:
“Marco and I participated in the Spanish Open and Bainbridge Cup in Madrid with limited pickleball experience. Our technical knowledge of pickleball was only through online videos. We trained every day for a month and signed up, asking to join the Elite bracket with some of the best players in the world. In the open play practice days, as soon as we took to the court, everyone immediately recognized us as tennis players, making common tennis player mistakes on the pickleball court. The thing that struck us most was the fact that everyone, especially the Spaniards, immediately gave us advice and provided us with a sort of intensive course!
“Basically, it was a very educational international event where we had the chance to train and play with some of the world’s top players like Marcin Rozpeski, Daniel Moore, Kyle Yates, Irina Tereschenko, Jennifer Lucore and many others. Our most memorable match was against the team formed by the Italian-American duo of Roberto Donati and Steve Wong. The overall experience was incredible from beginning to end.”
Zelindo Di Giulio (with sunglasses) and Marco Iacuone at the Spanish Open
After enjoying the Spanish Open, Zelindo explains that “the curiosity and the intuition of being pioneers of a new sport along with [pickleball’s] strong potential in Italy and Europe immediately led us to experimentation and practice.” This progressed into the formation of the IPA and Italy’s bid to host the Bainbridge Cup.
“For us [hosting the Cup] was an unbelievable opportunity as a new IFP member, so we submitted our bid a few days after being accepted. To present a strong host bid, we secured support from the local government, confirmed a venue large enough to host the event and strengthened our event management staff. Our enthusiasm and perseverance was rewarded, and we’re now very excited to collaborate.”
Pickleball’s Growth in Italy
Racquet sport players in Italy were initially skeptical of pickleball, but as it so often happens, many became addicted to the game after relenting and giving it a try. The government was even quicker to catch on, with Zelindo receiving early support from Tocco Da Casauria. The public now has access to 3 permanent outdoor pickleball courts and has established a large local group, along with other clubs in L’Aquila and Montesilvano.
The city of Montesilvano, through the Vice Mayor Ottavio De Martinis, has graciously allowed the IPA the use of their facilities for the Italian Open and Bainbridge Cup at the sporting venue Pala Dean Martin.
Montesilvano is a popular seaside town located in Abruzzo on the Adriatic Sea. The area is called the “Green Region of Europe” due to its three national parks. The venue is located only 200 meters from the beach, and Montesilvano is 8 km from Pescara, the main city of the region.
“Our region offers excellent local food, characterized by mountain dairy products such as sheep’s cheese, plenty of pasta and the excellent seafood dishes of our marine cuisine. We’ve organized an exclusive tour to one of the local wineries, called ‘Cantina Zaccagnini,’ where we’ll dine and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. For people wanting to see more of Italy, Rome is only two hours away, making it very easy to visit the capital of Italy and some of the world’s most historic attractions.”
Zelindo also notes that Mattia Astori, a friend he met at the Spanish Open, is working on the development of pickleball in the Milan area and that pickleball should gain a foothold in Rome in the coming months.
“Our short-term objectives are to create clubs in Rome, Milan, Florence and Venice, the most important Italian cities. I believe that the link between sport and tourism can facilitate pickleball growth in Italy, giving the opportunity to bring together new Italian players with experienced North American players. The short-medium term objectives, on the other hand, are those of having professionals who can represent Italy in international competitions like the Bainbridge Cup, as well as developing a training program with qualified instructors.”
The 2018 Bainbridge Cup and Italian Open
The 2018 Bainbridge Cup will start on Friday, July 20th with the Italian Open following on Saturday and Sunday, July 21-22nd. Players can find more information on the IPA’s website and register for both events at PickleballTournaments.com. The registration deadline is July 15th.
Some of the world’s best players will arrive in Italy as team captains. Scott Moore, Christine McGrath and Alice Tym will be leading Team North America, and Irina Tereshenko and Ernesto Cardenas will be heading Team Europe, with more captains to join.
Considering Team North America’s advantage when it comes to pickleball’s longer history and broader presence, what does Zelindo think of Team Europe’s chances this year?
“Pickleball in Europe is developing very fast and the quality and level of the players is rising. It will be very hard to win the Cup, but I’m sure that many first-class matches can be won by European teams. The Spaniards are strong; in England, in France, in Finland and in Holland they play all year round now. Germany has started playing. Europe has a very high level of tennis so we’re optimistic it won’t take long until we can win the Cup… and who knows what might happen this year in Italy!”
“We are very encouraged to see such a positive response from around the world. The Cup and Open are filling up fast, so we encourage anyone who is interested to sign up soon. It is sure to be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. We look forwarding to hosting players from around the world with our warm Italian hospitality. Speriamo di vedervi presto! (We hope to see you soon!)”
Have any questions?
Pat Murphy is one of the Bainbridge Cup organizers and can provide answers regarding accommodations or the events themselves. If you would like to ask him anything, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or (623)-363-6952.
In September of last year, PickleballCentral and PickleballTournaments.com became affiliate partners through the creation of products to help tournament directors run a successful event. Since then, PickleballCentral has also started using the PickleballTournaments.com system to help manage and run tournaments for our sister business, Pickleball Station. We just finished running our 7th tournament in the last 6 months.
A Continued Partnership
As both of our companies have found success in this partnership, PickleballCentral is pleased to announce that PickleballTournaments.com is officially joining the PickleballCentral family. On February 9, 2018 both organizations announced publicly that PickleballCentral’s parent company was acquiring PickleballTournaments.com.
We want everyone to know how excited we are to bring Melissa McCurley, the president of Pickleball Tournaments, into our family. She will be president of our Tournament Operations Division which is responsible for operating PickleballTournaments.com and other tournament-related businesses.
Melissa will remain based in Arizona along with much of her team and will continue to lead these efforts with the same drive and energy that makes her one of the most powerful forces in pickleball!
PickleballCentral has always taken a very serious approach to customer service and support. Our 40 employees already work with over 100,000 pickleball players, and we work hard to make sure our various websites and businesses run smoothly. Last year alone we sponsored almost 300 tournaments and provided support to over 1,200 clubs.
Pickleball Tournaments’ Success
These factors made joining forces with PickleballTournaments.com logical from both an operational and strategic perspective. This unification will allow for even more resources to be made available that will immediately benefit tournament directors, players and partners of PickleballTournaments.com.
Pickleball Tournaments’ meteoric growth has been nothing short of spectacular. Originally founded in 2004 by Bob and Jettye Lanius, PickleballTournaments.com has provided software, services, advice and on-site operational assistance to over 1,000 tournament. As they were “retired” and wanted to say that way, when the business took off they sought a way to have some serious “pickleball people” take over the company.
In 2014 Bob and Jettye sold the business to Melissa McCurley and her brother, Greg. Melissa and Greg were both I.T. professionals and Melissa was becoming a very good player. They continued the grass roots commitment to supporting tournaments of all types with Melissa traveling around the United States from event to event making sure things ran well for the tournament directors.
Miles and Mike Martin, bronze medalists from the Grand Canyon State Games… which is run through PBT! (Credit: Michael and Sherry Martin)
To give you some perspective on how far things have come since just 2014, in 2015 (their first full year of operations) Melissa and Greg helped tournament directors operate over 150 tournaments with over 22,000 participants. Compare that to what is planned for 2018 where they expect to support over 550 tournaments with over 60,000 registrants!
So why is there such synergy with PickleballCentral? What many of our customers and readers of this blog may not know is that the partners in PickleballCentral have over 70 years of software development experience in their background, and these skills have helped PickleballCentral.com (and its related properties) become the largest company in the world exclusively devoted to pickleball.
These skills have served our customers well as we have designed and deployed 5 websites to support our business including Pickleball.com and the USAPA’s online store USAPAStore.com.
As frequent users of PickleballTournaments.com’s software, PickleballCentral will assist Melissa in nurturing this incredible software platform with upgrades that will benefit the growing number of tournament organizers and players using the system. Stay tuned for more details as we intend to make another announcement about this topic soon.
With the addition of the resources available from PickleballCentral, Melissa plans to use this additional bandwidth to spend more time “in the field” in order to help make events successful and focus feedback from users back into new software features that will benefit tournament directors.
The Best Pickleball Competitions in One Place
PickleballTournaments.com can be used for both casual and USAPA-sanctioned tournaments in the handling of player sign-ups, organization and structure. No matter the size of the tournament, having all associated data stored in one easy-to-use web database allows for easy management and sharing of brackets and results.
The PickleballTournaments.com software is already used to operate over 90% of the major pickleball tournaments around the world including the USAPA Nationals and Regionals, the US Open Pickleball Championships, Tournament of Champions and the International Indoor Pickleball Championships.
The management team here at PickleballCentral is truly humbled by having someone with Melissa’s reputation join us. We are already home to some of the sport’s very best players, instructors and product development professionals including Peter Huduchko, Brian Ashworth, Glen Peterson, Tonja Major, John Cowley and Jimmy Blue.
This event is part of PickleballCentral’s continued evolution as a company devoted to meeting the needs of players around the world. In 2015 we acquired PickleballPaddlesPlus.com, and in 2016 we acquired Pickleball Inc. (the company which originally introduced pickleball to the world and continues to produce popular products like the Dura Ball and Champion Paddles.)
In 2017 we launched Pickleball Station, the Pacific Northwest’s premier pickleball athletic facility.
Pickleball Station’s Brian Ashworth and Peter Hudachko competing together at a Chicken-N-Pickle Tournament
We hope to continue unifying the world’s best pickleball organizations and businesses so that players everywhere will benefit from these wonderful services.
If you have any suggestions for features you’d like to see included on PickleballTournaments.com, please let us know in the comments or email us at email@example.com!
1st Indian Open Pickleball Championship – An Event to Cherish Please enjoy this report on the 1st Indian Open Pickleball Championship presented by Manish Rao:
Many of us dream of playing pickleball at the highest level among the best competitors. This is exactly what we Indian players got to experience on October 28-29 at the 1st Indian Open Pickleball Championship held at the Jamnabai Narsee International School in Juhu, Mumbai.
This event, hosted by the All India Pickleball Association (AIPA) and organized by event managers, Sports Wizards, saw many firsts in Indian pickleball. It was the first time Indians had a chance to witness international players at a tournament in their home country. Both groups had an amazing time interacting with each other and sharing their love of pickleball.
The biggest attraction was the squad from Bangkok, Thailand, captained by the group’s passionate mentor, Steve Cable. There were also participants from the USA and UK. We had the pleasure of hosting one of the kindest pickleball souls in the world during the tournament: the one and only Elaine Shallcross from the UK. She’s such an inspiring lady that even at the age of 64, she gave every player a run for their money!
Teaming up with the iconic Atul Edward of India, Elaine bagged the coveted gold in the Mixed Doubles category. She not only showed us her pickleball skills, but her people skills! Elaine’s positive attitude brightened every player’s day. Even for those who didn’t medal, interacting with Elaine felt like being showered in gold dust.
I have to throw out a mention to Emmett Williams from Alaska as well, a gentleman on a business trip to India who stayed back to play at the Open. In spite of the extreme heat and humidity, Emmett was amazing. He freely shared his enjoyment of the game with his Indian partner, and that’s what pickleball is all about! It’s not just the win or the loss, it’s playing to inspire others.
Footage from the Men’s Doubles semifinal featuring Nikhil Singh / Prashant Kalani (Rajasthan) vs Mayur Patil / Ajay Choudhari (Maharashtra)
It’s not easy to conduct back-to-back matches in the extreme heat of Mumbai. We made sure every match had a referee, scorer and linemen for all matches, including the league match. We required many dedicated and skilled volunteers to give their best throughout the event regardless of the tough conditions. The fact that everyone held out is a demonstration of the power of pickleball and the passion surrounding the sport in India.
The event was supported by many sponsors, including PickleballCentral. The national TV channel, Doordarshan, recorded all the finals and were aired a week later. The venue itself was an icon! We appreciate the Jamnabai Narsee Trust for providing us with a world-class facility where setting up 3 courts was possible. It took the event to the next level. Thanks to Mr Sujay Jairaj, the Indian Open saw some amazing competition and great friendships formed.
Every match was on schedule due to the great team effort from Tournament Director Rahul Wani and company. Each event had 16 teams with 4 groups each, meaning a total of 96 players took part in this inaugural event.
The highlights include –
This was a fight between the traditional rival states of Rajasthan & Maharashtra. Nikhil Rajput / Prashant Kalani beat Manish Rao / Bhushan Potnis 11-7, 5-11,11-5 in a cliffhanger which went to 3 sets. The young and energetic Rajasthan duo kept their nerve and got the better of the “Old Fox” duo from Mumbai. Pickleball itself was a winner too; the match was carried out in a cordial manner off the court while all cylinders were firing on court.
2017 India Open Championship Men’s Doubles: With Manish Rao, Mk Pickleball, Bhushan Potnis, Nikhil Singh Rajput and Ajay Chaudhari.
Atul Edward (India)/Elaine ShallCross (UK) beat Steve Cable/Suprarat (Thailand) 9-11, 11-0, 6-11. After winning the first set, Atul and Elaine let their guard down to be rolled over by Steve / Suprarat 11-0 in the second set. The 3rd set was an amazing contest of skill and mental toughness. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going, and that’s what Atul / Elaine did by utilizing clever tactics and closing on the kill. What a match, with a standing ovation to Elaine for her grit!
2017 India Open Mixed Doubles
Suprarat & ThitiWorada (Thailand) beat Karishma & Rutuja (India) 11-9, 11-8. The “Smiling Assassins” and “Thailand Duo” showed the importance of teamwork and made the win look easy. The Indian women were overawed by the occasion but still put up a great fight.
The Indian Open was not just about winning or losing. Every participant and organization involved in the planning of this event was a winner. Pickleball has been in India for the last 10 years and this tournament has shown the world that we have arrived in style.
To pull off an event of such magnitude shows that Indian pickleball is in right hands. Our passion and persistence is paying off and we hope to host many more international events!
Mixed Doubles semifinal with Atul Edward (Mumbai, India) / Elain Shallcross (UK) vs Ashwani Kumar Wadhawa & Geetam Sharma (Jaipur, India)
The bar has been set extremely high for the next Indian Open tournaments. We are well on our way to becoming the top pickleball event in Asia. We’d love to welcome even more competitors the next time around!
Pickleball Magazine continues to offer excellent articles about pickleball trends, best places to play and tournament features. In the latest issue, Wayne Dollard, publisher of Pickleball Magazine, shares his personal experience in “Building Your Dream Court.” Wayne shares the main reasons he considered building a home court, which include having a place for parties and social gatherings.
He also shares the list of things to consider before building a court, like space and cost. Excellent photos are included showing the stages of building the court, as well as a check list with a price breakdown. This article is definitely one of the best for explaining everything that goes into building a home court. The USAPA has also published a book, “Pickleball Courts: A Construction & Maintenance Manual,” that is helpful on this topic.
The Oct/Nov 2017 issue also contains two USAPA announcements: A Major Region Restructure for 2018 and the new USAPA Sanctioned League Play. It also has a great Q & A page “The Rules Guru” that answers some complex questions about the interpretation of the IFP Official Tournament Rulebook.
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