A picture-perfect day greeted fans and participants on Sunday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for Day 2 of the 2019 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships. While Saturday’s splendid action focused on the Men’s Doubles Skill/Age divisions, Sunday was all about the women.
An exciting lineup of play was highlighted by Women’s Doubles Skill/Age action in the 3.0, 3.5 and 5.0 skill groups for all ages, as well as Men’s Super Senior Open Doubles (4.5, 5.0) and Men’s Skill/Age Singles (3.5). While an array of pickleball matches kept spectators entertained throughout the day, ultimately it was the Women’s Doubles 5.0 matches that had fans glued to their seats on Championship Court.
It’s easy to understand why, with well-known pros including Catherine Parenteau, Irina Tereschenko, Lucy Kovalova, Leigh Waters and Simone Jardim all participating on Sunday. The 19+ division was undoubtedly one of the most exciting and competitive brackets coming into the tournament, as Parenteau looked to repeat as Gold champion while the team of Tereschenko/Kovalova hoped to upgrade their 2018 Silver medal into Gold this year. The scripts were flipped in 2019, as last year’s Silver medalists Tereschenko and Kovalova avenged their final match loss and took the title in the 19+ division. “We knew it was going to be a tough match because Catherine and Athena are such great players” noted Irina Tereschenko. “We always knew it would be a battle out there and our second set wasn’t our best, but I’m so happy we got the win.” It was an incredible match against the duo of Parenteau and Trouillot, as the new champions finally closed the show in a 3-set thriller.
In the 35+ age division, Waters made her debut alongside Jardim after winning gold in 19+ at last year’s Nationals with then partner Parenteau. The highly anticipated team of defending champions Mary Helen Atkins and Katie Dyer also hit the courts as they looked to repeat as champions in Indian Wells. In the final match, Waters and Jardim took the gold in their first year at 35+ and asserted themselves as one of the premier pairings in the sport. “The game is changing, so it’s crucial to develop a more complete game,” noted Simone Jardim after claiming her Gold. “Drives, dinks and lobs are all important and can be used in many different ways and times in a match.”
Fan favorite Cammy MacGregor returned to Nationals action this year in the 50+ division, as well as fellow 2018 medalist Jennifer Lucore. Ultimately, MacGregor and partner Jennifer Dawson were too much for the field as they took the Gold medal and continued to showcase why they are regarded so highly throughout the world of pickleball.
Let’s take a closer look at Sunday’s 5.0 gold medal winners:
Around the grounds, make sure to stop by sponsor row as tournament partners including Margaritaville, Latitude Margaritaville, Pickleball Central, City of Indian Wells, FILA Pickleball, HEAD Pickleball, Selkirk Sport and more have an on-site presence with giveaways and prizes for fans. Pickleball enthusiasts can also stop by the retail locations from these sponsors at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for paddles, apparel and more.
Now, let’s see what’s on tap for tomorrow:
Events – Monday, Nov. 4
Mixed Skill/Age Doubles – 3.0/3.5/5.0
Key Start Times
8am PST – Mixed Skill/Age Doubles (19+, 35+, 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+, 85+, 90+)
Who/What to Watch
Mixed Skill/Age Doubles 5.0 19+
Several notables to watch in the 19+ division, as Sarah Ansboury and Wesley Gabrielsen who were the team to beat a few years ago have reformed their partnership at the 2019 Nationals. Also of note is the team of Michelle Esquivel and Steve Deakin who bring a dynamic mix of power and patience on the court. Additionally, a special note of appreciation goes out to Thaddea Lock and Louis Laville who flew in from England to take part in this year’s Nationals.
Mixed Skill/Age Doubles 5.0 35+
The 35+ division is sure to be highly entertaining throughout the day on Monday, highlighted by the partnership of Leigh Waters and Jeffrey Warnick as well as Lucy Kitcher and Tao Thongvanh, the latter of who have had success together in the past.
Mixed Skill/Age Doubles 5.0 50+
In what’s sure to be one of the most hotly contested Mixed Skill/Age divisions, there are numerous strong teams in the 50+ group with podium potential on the teams of Bonnie Williams and Steve Cole, Jennifer Dawson and Mills Miller, Helen Wilhelm and Dave Fleming and Gold medal favorites Cammy MacGregor and Paul Olin.