Men's doubles players compete in a game during the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championship at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.
A native of Perth, Western Australia, Morgan Evans is clearly one of the sport’s top competitors. A Pro Doubles Gold winner at the 2017 Tournament of Champions was followed up with wins at the US Open in 2018 in mixed age and a silver medalist in Pro Doubles at the Atlanta Open and SoCal Classic. He also excels as a coach for one the game’s top male players, reigning USAPA National men’s singles champion Tyson McGuffin. Playing alongside McGuffin earlier this year, the pair captured the men’s doubles title at the inaugural Pickleball Global Challenge Cup. “I met Tyson on the tournament circuit a few years ago, when I was still playing singles. I remember thinking, ‘this bloke is far too good-looking and I should never stand next to him.’ It wasn’t until the Bend PPF tournament in 2017 that Tyson approached me to be his coach. This wasn’t something that had been done before in professional pickleball so naturally, I was honored.” It’s no small coincidence that Evans pairing with McGuffin has enabled his student to skyrocket to the top of the men’s bracket. “Tyson has that “X” factor. His athleticism is unparalleled and his will is unbreakable.”
Evans started playing pickleball in the spring of 2014 in Palm Desert, his hometown and was instantly hooked. “I was immediately attracted to the challenge the game represented, as well as the opportunity to implement my style of tennis in a new arena. The sport really provides all things to all people, truly a racket sport’s jack of all trades. As a generation bridge, it gives families a competitive pastime to share in a very social setting and allows me to explore the highest level of the sport, at an age that many sports don’t afford.”
With the move of the USAPA Nationals to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which coincidentally is a short drive from Evan’s home, it has further elevated the stature of the sport. “Every once in a while the evolution of a sport doesn’t just crawl forward into mainstream society, it takes a giant leap. Indian Wells Tennis Garden hosting the 2018 National Championships, is that leap. It represents the kind of forward thinking that our great game must embody. I am confident that with this world-class facility on board, the future of pickleball is brighter than ever.”