Exciting week of pickleball action at Pomander Gate
The Deloitte Open Pickleball Tournament was completed on the weekend with four hours of exciting finals played at Pomander Gate Tennis Club.
Bermuda’s first open pickleball tournament saw the island’s best players step on court together for a week of competition.
Events included women’s, men’s and mixed doubles played at two rating levels — 3.4 and below and 3.5 and above. And for the first time, singles events were offered with women’s and men’s groupings playing at the same two rating levels.
Dianne McLeod-Blais made finals in all three of her events, showing that her background as a badminton player for Canada is already putting her ahead in a game she took up only two months ago.
McLeod-Blais lost to Sue Chiappa 11-9, 11-1 in the 3.4 and below category before teaming up with Ryon Outerbridge to defeat Lydia Caletti and Tom Brown 11-9, 8-11, 11-7 in the mixed doubles 3.4 and below final.
McLeod-Blais also reached the women’s doubles final, where she and Maudy Kerkhoff went down to Tania Targett and Monika Burrill 11-8, 11-3.
Chris Rego picked up a pickleball paddle and drew on his past experience on the junior tennis circuit to power through to two finals at the 3.5 and above rating level.
Fast hands, head fakes and lightning movement proved to be the key to his game, as he and Lindsay Fisher won the mixed doubles 3.5 and above final against Sheila Fisher and Tim Proctor 11-4, 7-11, 11-4.
Squash professional Noah Browne, with two finals wins at the upper level, demonstrated that he can dominate in more than one racquet sport with enviable movement, control, touch and feel on the pickleball court.
Three junior players also reached Pickleball Tournament finals, with Jadon Spriggs, Matthew Banner and Cooper McGuire putting in amazing performances.
Spriggs lost to Ryon Outerbridge in the singles 3.4 and below final 11-4, 11-8; Banner teamed up with McGuire to win the doubles 3.4 and below final against James Paterson and Tom Brown 11-9, 9-11, 11-9.