Contenders at the Margaritaville USA Pickleball Nationals 2018

Contenders at the Margaritaville USA Pickleball Nationals 2018

In the history of pickleball, no tournament has been more instrumental to the spread of our sport than the annual USAPA nationals. This year’s tournament is generating more buzz than ever thanks to a monumental move to professional tennis tournament venue, Indian Wells Tennis Garden. This will be a showcase of how far the game has evolved since its early days as competitors from all over the world gather in Southern California to vie for the title of national champion. The Pickleball Trips team thought it would be fun to take an in-depth look at who are the favorites as well as contenders for each event. So without further adieu, here are our picks for the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball Nationals:

Men’s Doubles Open

2017 USAPA National Champions: Daniel Moore & Matt Wright

Out of all the draws, men’s open doubles might be the most difficult to predict because of the incredible amount depth in this field. All the big names of pickleball will be there including Kyle Yates & Ben Johns, Matt Wright & Dave Weinbach, Daniel Moore – Marcin Rozpedski, and Wes Gabrielsen & Morgan Evans. Who will come out on top of this heavyweight doubles slugfest is anyone’s guess.

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Kyle Yates & Ben Johns

Dark Horse Pick: Matt Goebel & Tyson McGuffin

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Matt Wright & Dave Weinbach

Dark Horse Pick: Kyle Yates & Ben Johns

 

Scott Moore’s Favorite: Kyle Yates & Ben Johns

Dark Horse Pick: Callan Dawson & Jeffrey Warnick

 

Men’s Doubles Senior Open

2017 USAPA National Champions: Steve Kennedy & Scott Burr

After winning 12 straight USAPA National Championship events from 2015 ~ 2017, Scott Moore was finally dethroned with partner Glen Peterson at last year’s tournament by the team of Kennedy & Burr. Although the pairings have been shaken up a bit, expect to see a lot of the same names competing for this year’s title.

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Scott Moore & Glen Peterson

Dark Horse Pick: Steve Dawson & Brain Staub

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Scott Moore & Glen Peterson

Dark Horse Pick: Steve Kennedy & Barry Waddell

 

Scott Moore’s Favorite: Scott Moore & Glen Peterson

Dark Horse Pick: Steve Kennedy & Barry Waddell

 

Men’s Open Singles

2017 USAPA National Champion: Tyson McGuffin

Over the past several years, either Johns, McGuffin, Moore, Rozpedski or Yates has won every major title in men’s singles. McGuffin may be the defending champion and hence the favorite, but Johns absolutely dismantled him in the finals of this year’s Tournament of Champions. But perhaps it’s finally time for a changing of the guard and an upcoming player such as Tyler Loong or Adam Stone will have a breakthrough. It may be a longshot, but upsets are why we play the game!

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Ben Johns

Dark Horse Pick: Riley Newman

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Tyson McGuffin

Dark Horse Pick: Tyler Loong

 

Scott Moore’s Favorite: Ben Johns

Dark Horse Pick: Adam Stone

 

Men’s Senior Open Singles

2017 USAPA National Champion: Scott Moore

Dating back to 2013, Moore has won every USAPA National Championships senior singles title. For those of us who are mathematically challenged, that’s five straight years. But if you think he’s slowing down, he’s also won the first two majors of 2018, The Minto US Open Pickleball Championships and Tournament of Champions.That being said, the competition continues to get stiffer every year as players such as Scott Burr, Steve Kennedy, Bill Muno, and Glen Peterson continue to close the gap.

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Glen Peterson

Dark Horse Pick: Joe Frasca

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Scott Moore

Dark Horse Pick: Steve Kennedy

 

Scott Moore’s Favorite: Scott Moore

Dark Horse Pick: Steve Kennedy

 

Mixed Doubles Open

2017 USAPA National Champions: Lucy Kovalova & Matt Wright

The team of Kovalova & Wright have been nearly unstoppable in mixed doubles since they began playing together a few years ago. But if anyone has an opportunity to challenge that dominance it will be the duo of Simon Jardim & Kyle Yates who are two of the best all-around players in the game. Look for this event to be a two-horse race unless teams like Irina Tereschenko & Callan Dawson, Corrine Carr & Wes Gabrielsen, Christine McGrath & Marcin Rozpedski, or Sarah Ansboury & Tyson McGuffin have something to say about it.

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Simone Jardim & Kyle Yates

Dark Horse Pick: Catherine Parenteau & Joey Farias

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Lucy Kovalova & Matt Wright

Dark Horse Pick: Sarah Ansboury & Tyson McGuffin

 

Scott Moore’s Favorite:  Lucy Kovalova & Matt Wright

Dark Horse Pick: Michelle Esquivel & Jeffrey Warnick

 

Mixed Doubles Senior Open

2017 USAPA National Champions: Kris Anderson & Kevin Booth

After an epic battle in last year’s senior mixed doubles final, Anderson & Moore have decided to team up and look to be the team to beat in this year’s event. But with other tough pairs such as LeMaster & Kennedy, the Dawson husband-and-wife duo, MacGregor & Staub, and Booth & Naumu, don’t count this as a shoe-in just yet.

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Kris Anderson & Scott Moore

Dark Horse Pick: Cookie Drake & David Redding

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Kris Anderson & Scott Moore

Dark Horse Pick: Cammy MacGregor & Brian Staub

 

Scott Moore’s Favorite: Kris Anderson & Scott Moore

Dark Horse Pick: Jennifer Dawson & Steve Dawson

 

Women’s Doubles Open

2017 USAPA National Champions: Corrine Carr & Simone Jardim

The combination of Carr’s consistency and steadiness paired with Jardim’s power and fiery competitiveness has proven lethal for their opponents. After several heartbreaking defeats in major finals to the aforementioned duo, Kovalova & Tereschenko are hungry for revenge. But the sleepers here might be McGrath & Ansboury, who are not far behind in the race for gold and would love to go home crowned as national champions.

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Corrine Carr & Simone Jardim

Dark Horse Pick: Kara Williams & Lindsey Newman

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Corrine Carr & Simone Jardim

Dark Horse Pick: Christine McGrath & Sarah Ansboury

 

Scott Moore’s Favorite: Lucy Kovalova & Irina Terschenko

Dark Horse Pick: Corrine Carr & Simone Jardim

 

Women’s Doubles Senior Open

2017 USAPA National Champions: Lisa Naumu – Gigi LeMaster

Senior women’s doubles is another bracket where a number of teams could come out on top on any given day. However, after taking gold at the Tournament of Champions in St. George last month, MacGregor & Dawson, who are both former professional tennis players, look like the team to beat. Standing in there way will be last year’s defending champs Naumu & Lemaster, experienced veterans such as Hamner & Lucore, and the power-hitting team team of Anderson & Williams.

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Cammy MacGregor & Jennifer Dawson

Dark Horse Pick: Alex Hamner & Jennifer Lucore

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Cammy MacGregor & Jennifer Dawson

Dark Horse Pick: Lisa Naumu & Gigi LeMaster

 

Scott Moore’s Favorite: Cammy MacGregor & Jennifer Dawson

Dark Horse Pick: Kris Anderson & Bonnie Williams

 

Women’s Open Singles

2017 USAPA National Champion: Simone Jardim

What the women’s singles draw lacks in quantity of players, it more than makes up for in sheer quality. Jardim has established herself as the Serena Williams of pickleball, but players such as Tereschenko and Kovalova may be closing in on her dominance as they each took her to three sets in September’s Tournament of Champions. Another player to watch is Kaitlyn Christian, who only dabbles in pickleball due to her flourishing professional tennis career, but is a physical specimen of pure strength and speed. There will be no ‘easy-outs’ in this bracket.

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Simone Jardim

Dark Horse Pick: Kaitlyn Christian

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Simone Jardim

Dark Horse Pick: Lucy Kovalova

 

Scott Moore’s Pick: Simone Jardim

Dark Horse Pick: Kaitlyn Christian

 

Women’s Senior Singles Open

2017 USAPA National Champion: Lisa Naumu

As more and more former top-level or even professional athletes pick up the game of pickleball, the level of play continues to be elevated beyond what was previously thought possible. In no bracket is this more evident than senior women’s singles. With former professional tennis players such as Naumu, MacGregor and Dawson, as well as a professional racquetball player in Laura Fenton, this draw is sure to be an exciting one!

 

Jon Moore’s Favorite: Cammy MacGregor

Dark Horse Pick: Vivian Edwards

 

Daniel Moore’s Favorite: Lisa Naumu

Dark Horse Pick: Jennifer Dawson

 

Scott Moore’s Favorite: Jennifer Dawson

Dark Horse Pick: Lisa Naumu