The 2023 APP Daytona Beach Open played out Championship Sunday in front of a full house, with some of the biggest names in pro pickleball victorious in the five gold medal matches that were broadcast live on ESPN+ and later featured on ESPN2. Over 1,100 pro and amateur players took part in the five-day event, which concluded Sunday with Bobbi Oshiro and Brendon Long victorious in mixed doubles, over Parris Todd and Hunter Johnson. Andrei Daescu and Kyle Yates won gold in men’s doubles, and Simone Jardim was victorious with Parris Todd in women’s doubles. Todd also won women’s singles, defeating Salome Devidze, and Hunter Johnson won the men’s singles final against his twin brother Yates Johnson.
“It means a lot to me,” said Brendon Long after his first-ever gold medal at the pro level on the APP Tour. “I’ve been playing pickleball for a long time and have been playing tournaments for a while with Bobbi, so I’m really happy for both of us. It was a very good weekend, in general. I feel like I played great on the court in every match, so I’m happy to get this one pretty early in the year. Hopefully, Bobbi and I can keep it going and get more.”
“I’m feeling very good, very excited about that win, especially coming into this pro pickleball scene where there’s a lot of quality high-level players already in the draw and a lot of amazing players are coming in as well,” added Oshiro, who earned her first gold medal of the 2023 season. “To be able to play a big point and use the crowd’s energy, that’s what makes pickleball so special, and what makes this pro pickleball scene amazing, especially with the atmosphere on the APP Tour.”
Parris Todd came out firing to start the day’s events, cruising past Salome Devidze, 11-1, 11-4 to earn her second-straight 2023 APP Tour women’s pro singles gold.
Next up was a back-and-forth affair in the battle of the Johnson brothers for men’s pro singles gold. Hunter took the first game, 11-9, before Yates responded with a convincing 11-4 win in game two. Hunter then earned an 11-8 win in the third game, forcing a tiebreaker which went down to the wire, with Hunter finally emerging victorious, 15-13, to take home his second-straight 2023 men’s pro singles gold.
Susannah Barr and Megan Fudge then opened the women’s pro women’s doubles gold medal match with a game one victory, 11-9 against Parris Todd and Simone Jardim. Todd and Jardim responded in convincing fashion, taking game two, 11-2, and then the decisive game three, 11-7, to earn their second-straight women’s pro doubles title of the 2023 season.
“Parris and I played very well today,” said Jardim. “It was pretty windy, but we adjusted very well and ended up on top at the end. This is a great event for me as I’m based in Naples, Florida so it means my kids and my family can all be here together. I’m a mom, always a mom first, so it’s extra special to compete in front of my kids. We had a great crowd, everybody was really into the match. It was just fun to play in front of all of those people.”
In men’s pro doubles, Daescu and Yates began their title defense on a strong note, winning 11-3 and 11-8 in the first two games to force a tiebreaker against the Johnson brothers. The Florida duo would not slow down, grinding out a hard-fought 15-11 victory in the tiebreaker to keep up the winning streak they started in Punta Gorda.
“The crowd was awesome. I’m glad we put on a good show,” said Yates. “Obviously it’s high-octane pickleball, and the crowd loved it, screaming after every point. That really fires us up and keeps us engaged. So, it’s a blast. My heart’s racing just feeling all that energy.”
“Kyle was a rock the whole weekend,” commented Daescu. “He really lifted me yesterday and carried me through my tough day, and today he just played great again. We had a lot of fast-hand battles through the final, and the crowd was really into it. I felt like they were living the moment with us. It’s a lot of fun to play in front of crowds like that.”
For the second straight tournament, Todd and Johnson paired up in the mixed pro doubles gold medal match, this time advancing through the back draw. They met Bobbi Oshiro and Brendon Long in the final, and the matchup did not disappoint. Todd and Johnson won 11-5 and 12-10 to force the tiebreaker. But it was the upstart duo of Oshiro and Long that took command and won 15-6.
“It was a really fun weekend and I’m very blessed to have my whole family here supporting me,” said Todd. “APP and Intersport throw an amazing tournament. It’s been great to have all the fans come out and support us players. We love the atmosphere. It was so nice to have the stadium absolutely packed and just the atmosphere for all of us was just unlike anything else.”
“It was good to be able to win gold in singles,” said Hunter Johnson. “It was tough to play against my twin brother obviously – we both want each other to win – but just one of us succeeding is enough. Overall it was a really good week and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
The APP travels to California for its third event of the year, the APP San Diego Classic, Mar. 15-19 at The Hub in Spring Valley, CA. Registration remains open through March 5th. Full tournament information can be found on PickleballTournaments.com.
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FULL PRO RESULTS – APP Daytona Beach Open Open
Women’s Pro Singles: Parris Todd def. Salome Devidze (11-1, 11-4)
Men’s Pro Singles: Hunter Johnson def. Yates Johnson (11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 15-13)
Women’s Pro Doubles: Parris Todd and Simone Jardim def. Megan Fudge and Susannah Barr (9-11, 11-2, 11-7)
- Bronze: Bobbi Oshiro and Lee Whitwell
Men’s Pro Doubles: Andrei Daescu and Kyle Yates def. Hunter Johnson and Yates Johnson (11-3, 11-8, 15-11)
- Bronze: Stefan Auvergne and Brendon Long
Mixed Pro Doubles: Bobbi Oshiro and Brendon Long def. Hunter Johnson and Parris Todd (5-11, 10-12, 15-6)
- Bronze: Simone Jardim and Andrei Daescu