Sarah Ansboury and Daniel Moore will be household names at the 2017 US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples, Florida. The average sports fan might not be familiar with either—but they should be.
They won the pro mixed doubles title last year at the Inaugural US Open Pickleball Championships. Ansboury also won the pro women’s doubles title, while Moore picked up a silver medal in the pro men’s doubles match.
The first USOPC drew 800 players from seven countries to Naples in April 2016. The matches were held over the course of five days and welcomed 10,000 spectators. This year, the tournament will return to the same location, but the number of players has increased to 1,300 (registration completely filled up in two weeks), and the number of days is now at seven (April 23-30).
USOPC is the dream of co-founders Chris Evon and Terri Graham, who worked together at Wilson Sporting Goods in its indoor racket sports division. They scouted locations in 2015 and knew right away when they found their home. “When we visited East Naples Community Park, we saw great potential,” says Graham.