Huge turnout expected for Bermuda Pickleball Open
Over 100 players are expected to converge on Pomander Gate Tennis and Pickleball Club for the Bermuda Blue Printing Pickleball Open, which starts on Friday.
The four-day tournament gets under way with the juniors taking to the courts, and the action concludes on Monday when the finals are held. All entry fees for the event will be donated to the Pickleball Association of Bermuda to aid in junior development.
Liana Carrick, from the Pomander Gate Tennis and Pickleball Club, said organisers were keeping a close eye on the possibility of disruption to the schedule caused by Hurricane Lee.
“We have about 120 players in total and many of them are playing in more than one event,’’ Carrick said.
“It should be very exciting. We have the top players at 4.0 level and those events will be drawing quite a crowd. It’s very exciting to watch that level of play right in front of us.
“There is a lot of experience to be had by everybody at each level and some great competition. I think we’re going to have some very tired players and that’s exactly what we want to see.”
“We start on Friday, when we have a junior round-robin followed by the open singles, although with the storm there is a good chance that we’ll have to postpone those two events.
“Throughout the weekend, we have events from 8am to 8pm on Saturday and Sunday, and we’re hoping to be able to proceed with many of those events as we can, all being well after the storm.
“During the weekend, on Saturday we have all the ladies doubles events and all the men’s doubles events. On Sunday, we have all the mixed doubles events. Monday night, all going well, will be our finals night.
“Throughout the tournament we have the event at a number of levels, 3.0 to 3.49, 3.5 to 3.99 and then the top level of our players rated 4.0 and above. Hopefully we’ll be able to put on a final for each of those skill levels on Monday night.
“This is the first Bermuda Blue Printing Open and it’s co-sponsored by Island Embroidery, Franklin Pickleball who is represented by AC Brewer Distributors and BGA is representing four brands, Tide, McVitie’s, Abbot and Gillette.
“We've had some open pickleball in the past with Deloitte as a sponsor, so we've been finding our way with that over the last few years.”
In the build-up to the big tournament, beginners to the sport got their chance to assess potential talent last weekend.
“We started the event with two round-robins for players that are very new to pickleball,’’ she said.
“We even had a few that were trying it for the first time, so we just got them started. It’s a very easy game to learn so we were able to get them involved enough to play in the round-robin quite early on in the session.
“We had about 23 and one or two of them were actually quite accomplished on court, so they have taken a spot in the main event.”