One of the most personable and fun-loving players on the professional pickleball circuit, Irina Tereschenko, originally from Moscow, first picked up a paddle just a few short years ago in Bellevue, Washington. Across the net was Hall-of-Famer Billy Jacobsen and pickleball legend Chris Miller who helped shape Tereschenko’s game in its early stages. Miller, a former national men’s singles champion has been playing the sport for nearly 30 years and currently works at the Bobby Riggs Tennis Club in Encinitas.
A top flight collegiate tennis player herself, Tereschenko played #1 singles and doubles for the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. Success on the pickleball court though came quickly for the 35-year old. Tereschenko captured the women’s singles title at the 2016 USAPA National Championships. She would follow that up with medalist honors in Pro singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the 2017 and 2018 US Open, Beer City Open and the 2017-18 Tournament of Champions. Recently, she was the mixed doubles champion at the 2018 SoCal Classic.
Away from the pickleball court, Tereschenko is involved in coaching tennis, academic research in areas of sport management, coaching and sport psychology, as well in attempting other sports such as surfing, snowboarding, water skiing and kiteboarding. The move of the USAPA Nationals to Indian Wells has her excited about the future of the sport: “Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a world-class facility and home of one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. Staging the Nationals there is an unprecedented breakthrough and a privilege for the sport of Pickleball. It will provide a unique player and fan experience and the event will gain in notoriety with increased media exposure.” Tereschenko is also part of SickTRX, a group of pickleball pros who once again will be partnering with the USAPA and hosting the annual National Junior Party at the 2018 USAPA National Championships.