Nov 13, 2022

2022 Nationals Top 10 Moments

Today marked the final day of competition for the 2022 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships! This year’s event welcomed 2,291 players in total including both Pros and amateurs, 4,158 total matches, 102 USA Pickleball certified referees, and 176 brackets. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden also hosted 5,522 pickleball fans at the peak of Championship Sunday, the LARGEST-ever pickleball attendance. Additionally, this year’s competition marked the first National Championships in which every single match was overseen by a certified referee and 3,350 volunteer hours from 303 volunteers. Spectators were out in full force over the last 9 days to watch some of the best pickleball competition in the world. Let’s look back at the top 10 moments from the 2022 National Championships:

1. TRIPLE CROWN WINNER: 15-year-old Anna Leigh Waters is your 2022 National Championship triple crown winner! Waters ousted Lea Jansen in Women’s Singles on Sunday morning, followed it up with an extraordinary five-game Women’s Doubles win with Catherine Parenteau against Jessie Irvine and Anna Bright in the afternoon, and finished it off with a three-game Mixed Doubles win with Riley Newman in the evening.

2.BROTHER BOND: Ben Johns and Collin Johns teamed up to win the Men’s Doubles title on Sunday, besting JW Johnson and Dekel Bar in the championship match. The Johns brothers, having advanced through the losers’ bracket, won three games against Johnson and Bar before having to play one game to 15 in order to claim gold. Ben Johns also won gold in Men’s Singles and silver in Mixed Doubles to take home three medals from the week.

3. HALL OF FAME: The four Pickleball Hall of Fame inductees from the Class of 2022 were honored on Saturday at Championship Court following Thursday’s Hall of Fame Induction Banquet/Dinner at the Indian Wells Country Club. The inductees are Norm Davis, Pat Kane, Larry Moon, and Wesley Gabrielsen. Congratulations to all four on their induction into the Pickleball Hall of Fame!

4. NEW ATTENDANCE RECORD: Center Court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden hosted 5,522 fans at the peak of Championship Sunday, the LARGEST-EVER crowd of pickleball spectators!

5. RISING STAR: 10-year-old Leo Chun from American Fork, UT won gold in the Men’s Singles 3.0 19+ bracket on Thursday. Leo, who is sponsored by Franklin, also played with his father Cedric in Mens’ Doubles 3.5 19+ and Mixed Doubles 3.0 19+ with Nancy Cook. We look forward to hopefully seeing much more of Leo in the years to come!

6. DEFENDING CHAMPS: Senior Pros Dayne Gingrich and Jennifer Dawson successfully defended their titles and brought home three medals each from Palm Springs. Dawson defended her titles in Women’s Senior Pro Singles and Women’s Senior Pro Doubles with partner Cammy MacGregor. Gingrich defended his Men’s Senior Pro Doubles title with Dave Weinbach, won Men’s Split Pro Age with Dekel Bar after battling against Mircea Morariu and James Ignatowich in the gold medal match, and earned the silver in Senior Pro Mixed Doubles with Dawson.

7. MEN’S & WOMEN’S PRO SPLIT/AGE: A new and exciting doubles event was successfully introduced to the competition roster this year: Mixed Pro Split/Age! Anna Bright and Dave Weinbach claimed the first-ever title in this bracket, earning a resounding 11-5, 11-4 win against Eva Welsher and Rafa Hewett in the gold medal match. Bright, a former collegiate tennis player at the University of California (UC) Berkeley, complemented Weinbach’s aggressive style of play perfectly as the two didn’t drop a single game on their way to the podium.

8.LEGENDS TEAMING UP: NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry found another Hall of Fame inductee to play in this year’s National Championship with: Pickleball Hall of Famer Mark “Yoda” Friedenberg. The two joined forces on Sunday to earn the Senior Men’s Doubles 75+ gold medal. Barry has continued his time at Indian Wells, having won gold in Senior Men’s Doubles 65+ at the 2021 National Championships as well.

9. NEVER GIVING UP: Catherine Parenteau made an incredible shot on her way to winning gold in the Women’s Doubles bracket on Sunday with partner Anna Leigh Waters. Parenteau tripped and fell during play, returning a shot during the rally from the ground, and eventually won the point with Waters. The pair played in an exhilarating five-game match against Jessie Irvine and Anna Bright that saw Parenteau and Waters making a monumental comeback after dropping the first two games.

10. VETERANS DAY: In honor of Veterans Day, Indian Wells saw a number of events at Nationals honoring our veterans. Army veteran of 32 years and certified pickleball referee Tom Richardson was handing out stars to veterans from the USA Pickleball tent. The Palm Desert High School choir came out to sing the National Anthem on Championship court, while spectators enjoyed a flyover of two P-51 Mustangs, courtesy of the Palm Springs Air Museum. Franklin also honored Veterans Day by giving away free American flag-designed pickleball paddles to 100 veterans.

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