Players to watch at the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships in Naples
The tournament continues through the week, with the women's and men's doubles finals live on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, April 30.
Here's a look at players to keep an eye on:
Johns, who grew up in Estero before moving to Maryland, won the triple crown at the U.S. Open last year, taking the men's singles, men's doubles, and mixed doubles titles. He won the men's doubles with his brother Collin, and the mixed with Simone Jardim.
Johnson is from Delray Beach, and is coming off his second triple crown at an event, doing so at the Association Of Pickleball Professionals South Carolina Open last week.
McGuffin won the singles titles in Naples in 2018 and 2019. He will be paired with top-rated women's player Catherine Parenteau for mixed doubles this year.
Newman was the silver medalist in pro mixed doubles last year with his sister Lindsey. He is back playing with Lindsey this year, even though his sister recently had a baby.
Wright had a handful of silver and bronze medals and won the doubles in 2018. He plays with Lucy Kovalova in mixed and is teaming up with Newman in doubles this year.
The Naples resident has won the triple crown twice at the Open, and is co-founder of Peak Performance Pickleball Academy. At 42, she has said this will be her last U.S. Open.
Kovalova has been playing for six years and was the doubles champion in 2019. She is playing with 2021 doubles champion Callie Smith this year and with Wright in mixed doubles.
Parenteau moved to Naples after playing in the inaugural U.S. Open in 2016. She is the defending doubles champion but is playing with a new partner this year. She's also playing with Tyson McGuffin in mixed doubles. Both are sponsored by Skechers.
Smith won the doubles title with Parenteau last year but has a new partner in Kovalova this time around. Both have done well on the new PPA Tour, which has existed for two years.
Tereschenko won the pro singles title in Naples last year. She knocked off Jardim in the semifinals, then outlasted Lea Jansen in the finals.
Greg Hardwig is a sports reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @NDN_Ghardwig, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism with this special subscription offer at https://cm.naplesnews.com/specialoffer/