Welcome back to the Windy City where the wind wasn't so much a factor this time because the State Farm 2023 APP U.S. Indoor Championships took place inside the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The lights may have been staged, but the courts and the pickleball were real. Let's take a look back at the last APP event of the year through the keyboard strokes of social media.
Ready For His Closeup: Andrei Daescu began his week in Chi-town with a trip to the WGN studios and taught a pair of hosts how to play pickleball. He must be an excellent coach because they were able to keep a rally going! It was the perfect hype up for the week ahead.
Switching it Up: It was a different look all around, as the APP brought pickleball indoors and out of the cold...er...hot. Much of the time at an APP Tour event, it's hats, sunglasses, and SPF all around, but Chicago in December offered a new opportunity to show off some style and nobody was disappointed.
What's Up, Sportscenter: Riley Bohnert had herself quite the weekend. After partnering with Simone Jardim for the first time and booking her inaugural trip to Championship Sunday where they beat Allison Harris and Mari Humberg, the soon-to-be 19-year-old, who was part of the Next Gen National Team this year, found herself on Sportscenter's Top 10 with this well-placed ATP.
New Faces in New Places: Mario Barrientos and Anderson Scarpa teamed up for the first time and landed on the podium in the men's pro doubles event. There was a lot of success this tournament with new pairings, so here's to trying new things!
Out With A Bang: Daescu finished the year as the most decorated APP pro in 2023 with 29 total medals, more than any other pro on the Tour. He capped off the State Farm 2023 APP U.S. Indoor Championships by winning a silver with Susannah Barr in mixed pro doubles and gold with Rob Nunnery in men's pro singles. He chronicled his entire tournament experience live on the APP Player Blog. Check it out for all his championship secrets.
The Future is Now: No matter how good the pickleball was throughout the tournament, nobody outshined 8-year-old Lily DeHeart, as she became the youngest person ever to win gold at the APP Tour when she won the women's singles skill 3.0/3.5 event. She also got a little recognition on Championship Court 1 during the Championship Sunday broadcast. Proud momma, Megan Fudge, knows she's raising a champ!
It's All About the Fans: At each APP Tour event we want to make sure that everyone has a memorable experience, from the amateurs, to the pros, to the fans. We love it when a plan comes together!
Naughty or Nice: Santa Claus took a break from the North Pole during busy season and came out to Chicago to catch a little APP action. He took in multiple days of the tournament, including Championship Sunday, which means his list is pretty comprehensive. Which APP players will end up with coal in their stockings this year?
Did You See That: This fire fight between Daescu and Barr and Parris Todd and Hunter Johnson was quite possibly the best rally of the tournament. We told you the pickleball was real and it's just getting better. Daescu and Bar won this point, but it was Todd and Johnson that ended up taking gold in mixed pro doubles.
We Rise by Lifting Others: It's competition all day every day during an APP Tour event, but at the end of the day most on the tour will tell you that the relationships are tight and the bonds are strong. APP pro Lee Whitwell may not have medaled in this tournament, but Chris Haworth won silver in men's pro singles to Hunter Johnson's gold, and Jenna Hessert won her first women's pro singles title of the year by beating Jessica Warren. That's two medals for Lee, right?
That does it from Chicago, the State Farm 2023 APP U.S. Indoor Championships, and our 2023 Tour! We'll see you again in 2024 as we begin anew with the APP U.S. Collegiate Championships and Midwest Open on January 3rd followed by the APP Punta Gorda Open beginning January 17th!
*Coming to a future APP Tour stop? Use the hashtag #APPTour and you could be featured in a future Social Roundup!