The end of the year is synonymous with the word "busy." The holidays are looming and it just seems that there is always a rush to get everything done before the New Year rings in. Well, the professional pickleball tour is no different. The biggest, baddest, coolest pickleball tournaments and events are all coming up between now and December 2021. And, Anna Leigh and I (Leigh Waters), the mother-daughter duo making up Team Waters, are here for it!
First, we have the PPA Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, October 20th through Sunday, October 24th, 2021. This Tier I PPA tournament has the most prize money this year, with the champions winning $7,500 for first place. We (Anna Leigh and I) are so excited to head out to Sin City. AL and I love going to Vegas. No, we don’t gamble, stay out late, or run with the crowd. Instead, we love shopping on the endless Las Vegas strip, the amazing restaurants and food, and the shows that Las Vegas has to offer. While there, we have tickets to a Cirque du Solei show and reservations to dine at Lakeside, which is considered one of the best restaurants in Vegas located in the Wynn/Encore resorts.
Next, we head to Dreamland just outside Austin, Texas, for the inaugural Major League Pickleball event. AL and I are not on the same team, so we will have to play against each other in the women’s doubles event and, potentially, the mixed doubles event. While playing each other in a pickleball tournament setting is never fun, we are really looking forward to the team format with some serious prize money on the line. Plus, the finals will be aired on CBS Sports, which will be some great exposure for the sport itself. This is sure to be one of the coolest formats pickleball has ever seen to date.
No rest for the weary... from the MLP event, we will catch a plane to Palm Springs, California, where we will compete in the PPA’s celebrity pro-am event, followed by the Tier I PPA Masters. We are so excited to play at the La Quinta Waldorf Astoria resort where the attire for the pro pickleball players will be all white. We’re keepin’ it classy! And, who knows which celebrities we will get to play with!
Lastly, in December, we will head back out to Indian Wells, California, for the USA Pickleball National Championships to round out the 2021 calendar year. This pickleball tournament is special to us, as we are reigning National Champions! Due to the COVID pandemic, the USA Pickleball National Championships were cancelled in 2020 (so we have been reigning champions for two years). It will be very interesting this year, as the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (the facility that hosts Nationals) has implemented a vaccination policy for all players and spectators. Many pro pickleball players have decided not to attend due to this policy. Although we will miss some of our friends and competitors out there, we want to go and defend our title, and play in one of the most amazing facilities in the country. The energy on stadium court has always been electrifying and we expect this year to be no different!
So, just when you thought the 2021 calendar year was winding down... get ready, because it is going to be an exciting few months in the world of pickleball! Tune in, cheer loud, or come play where we are playing! Let’s make 2021 a year we will never forget (on the pickleball court of course!).