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Eva Welsher Named as Tournament Chair of US Open Pickleball Championships

News Pickle4 Team 04-30-2024

Pickleball legend & Collier County resident to take on an active role in the future of Pickleball’s most prestigious event

NAPLES, Fla., April 24, 2024 — Pickle4 today named Eva Welsher to the role of Tournament Chair of the US Open Pickleball Championships.  Welsher, a former US Open Champion and a Naples resident who competed in her sixth US Open last week, will assume this newly created position in May.  The 2025 US Open will be held April 26th – May 3rd at East Naples Community Park.

Welsher will bring her love for the game, local presence, and extensive global network of pickleball relationships to her new role where she will serve as a principal ambassador for the US Open in Collier County, nationally and abroad.

Welsher, a former college tennis star at Northwestern University established herself as one of the top ranked senior women in the world during a professional career that started in 2019.  She retired from competitive play following the 2023 season to focus most of her time on the court to instruction.

The US Open is regarded by many as the most important event in pickleball.  The 2024 Open which concluded on Saturday drew over 3,000 amateur and 200 professional athletes as well as over 40,000 fans to East Naples.  Since the inaugural US Open in 2016, Collier County has become the country’s #1 pickleball destination.  More recently, the tournament has also become a beacon of the game’s growth around the world as a record number of international athletes from 31 countries competed this month.

“I love this game and in particular the US Open”, said Welsher.  “The opportunity to be an integral part of the next chapters of the US Open’s story is truly a dream come true.  I have always had tremendous respect and admiration for Terri Graham and Chris Evon and what they have built here in Collier County, my home and the undisputed pickleball capital of the world.  I can’t wait to get started on preparations for 2025.” 

“We are thrilled to welcome Eva to the team”, said Mike Dee, Pickleball4America chairman and chief executive officer, the parent company of Spirit Promotions, which owns the US Open Pickleball Championships.  “Her long time association and familiarity with the US Open will be instrumental in helping us shape the future of the premiere event in pickleball.”

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