On April 26 through May 1, the U S Open of Pickleball was held in Naples, Florida. This was the largest entry tournament and number of matches played ever in a Pickleball competition. Over 800 competitors from 39 states and eight countries participated in an estimated 2,500 matches during the five days of competition. This was the first event in a pickleball tournament where 5.0 players qualified for professional status to compete for prize money.
Ford Roberson, a Robson Ranch resident, traveled 1,300+ miles to compete in this mammoth event in Florida. Competing in three age group events, men’s 65 singles, doubles and mixed doubles, Roberson was able to win the bronze in mixed doubles and the silver in men’s singles. Playing with Diane Baumgartner from the Portland, Oregon area for the first time, they placed third out of 28 teams. In singles, Ford’s only loss was to the USAPA defending national champion Jim Hackenburg from Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Texas had only two representatives from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and about 10 players from the Houston area. Three Houston area players each won a medal in the Open. Ford Roberson was the only double medalist from Texas. Roberson has been competing in pickleball for the last two years, has competed in 14 states and won over 50 medals. During the first four months of this year he has played in tournaments in Arizona (two), Oklahoma, Texas (three) and Florida. In the next six months leading up to Nationals in Arizona, he is scheduled to compete in California, Louisiana, Oregon, Indiana, New Mexico and Colorado.
USAPA Nationals will be held the second week in November at Palm Creek in the Phoenix/Tucson corridor off I-10. To follow tournament play simply log onto pickleballtournament.com, select the tournament and follow match play; results are posted as they are completed live. For other tournament information go to USAPA.org and click on tournaments.
Ford Roberson is currently serving as the president of Robson Ranch Denton Pickleball Club. He would like to invite Robson residents out to the courts to try a great sport. This sport can be played by young and old alike; see you on the courts. For more information you can contact Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org.