Articles, Blog

FULL VERSION! PRO Mixed Doubles GOLD – Minto US Open Pickleball Championships – CBS Sports

August 22, 2019


(upbeat theme music) – [Drew] Welcome to Naples, Florida, home of the world’s best beaches and also the Pickleball
capitol of the world. As we welcome you to the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships,
powered by Margaritaville. We’re not too far away, here, inside Zing Zang Championship Court. It’s been rocking, here, all week long. We have been sold out
over the last few days since the pros are set
to take center stage. And, we welcome you, everybody,
great to have you with us. Along side Melissa McCurley and Mark Renneson, I’m Drew Fellios. And, Melissa, 2018 has been action packed, so far, hasn’t it? – Action packed all week long. We’ve ran 2,000 players through
here, over 4,300 matches, and, it’s been electric
all week long, Drew. – And, Mark, I know you’re
following the individual stories. The talent, here, just gets
better, year after year. – That’s right, it’s been incredible. Two people that really stand out to me. On the women’s side, we see Simone Jardim, who’s really been dominant. As well as, Tyson McGuffin from Yakima, Washington, on the men’s side. – Alright, what is pickleball? For those of you who have not sampled this great sport, so far,
you are in for a treat. But, here’s some things to keep in mind, if you are planning to
take it up, Melissa. – [Melissa] Yeah, games are to 11 points. Teams must win by two,
the standard tournament format is best two of three games. Points can only be scored
by the serving team. – [Mark] and, about that serve, it’s gotta be an underhand serve. You have to swing from low to high. It has to be at a diagonal
serve that goes cross-court. And, the ball has to be
allowed to bounce twice. So, when you send that
serve, it’s gotta land on the receiver’s side and
when they send it back, it’s gotta be allowed to
bounce on the server’s side. That makes the third shot critical. – [Drew] And, of course, the
hallowed ground, the kitchen. – [Mark] That’s right, the kitchen is also known as the Non-Volley Zone. And, it’s a seven foot
space back from the net. You can go into that space, but, you can only hit the ball
if the ball has bounced. So, you’ll see players
get right up close to it, reach over it, but, only go in there to hit the ball if it’s already landed. – Today, the focus is Mixed Doubles. And, guys, I know you’ve been tracking these phenomenal teams
throughout the week. – [Melissa] Absolutely
have, Kovalova and Wright pretty much were sailing
through today’s brackets until they got to the semis
against Tereschenko and Johns. It took ’em three to get through that one. – [Mark] And, local favorites, Simone Jardim and Kyle
Yates, had a convincing 11-7, 11-6 victory in
their semifinal match. – [Drew] It should be a phenomenal match for the championship, we cannot wait. First serve, from Zing
Zang Championship Court in Naples at the US Open
Pickleball Championships, is next. (upbeat theme music) – [Drew] An awesome Saturday night in store, here, at the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships,
powered by Margaritaville. Tonight is the Dick’s
championship celebration. You’ll see the greatest
pickleball players in the world, competing for the prestigious
title of U.S. Open Champion. Just off the beaches of Naples, here, at East Naples Community Park. And, this is what they call
the Super Bowl of pickleball. Guys, it is jam packed in here and you can cut the energy with a knife. – [Melissa] Ah, you
can, this place sold out pretty much as soon as the
tickets went on sale, Drew. People could not wait to get
in here, it is electrifying. There is no other place in
pickleball that feels like this stadium that we have
here, in Naples, Florida. It’s an extremely special place
and I think we’re gonna see some extremely special pickleball tonight. – [Drew] So, we’re ready
for Mixed Pro Doubles. Lucy Kovalova, one of
the best in the business. – [Melissa] She is really one
of the best and she has been on fire ever since being
here at last years U.S. Open. She and Matt did win the
National Championship and the tournament of champions together. So, Simone and Kyle have their hands full. – [Drew] And, you’ve got Matt Wright, what makes him an exceptional
doubles player, Mark? – [Mark] Matt Wright is a power player, as good as they come. He looks to hit the ball
hard whenever he can. He’s taking this aggression
right to his opponents, forcing them to come up
with something in range. – [Drew] And, on the other
side, we’re gonna have Simone Jardim, who needs no introduction. – [Melissa] Simone Jardim, looking to get her second Triple Crown,
here, at the U.S. Open and she has just been dominating. Talked to her earlier today, Drew, and, she has been training hard. – [Drew] And, Kyle Yates, what
does he bring to the court? He has just been spectacular this week. – [Mark] Well, Kyle is a hometown boy, he’s got a lot of fan base here. Kyle can do everything,
he can hit balls hard, he can hit fast, he can hit slow balls, he can play soft into the kitchen, he can lob over his opponents and he does a lot of stuff around
the outside of the court, looking to intercept
balls and put them away. – [Drew] So, Simone Jardim will get us rolling, here, in the far court. Jardim on the left, Kyle
Yates on the top right. Matt Wright, bottom left with
his partner, Lucy Kovalova. – [Melissa] It’s great to
see Simone here with Kyle. Last year she was here with Oliver Strecker and they took the title. Oliver has since moved back to his home country in Germany
and I know he’s certainly missing pickleball, here, in the U.S. – Right in, zero, zero, two! – [Drew] There’s a light wind, should not be much of a
factor here today, but, it has picked up just a
little bit over the last hour. – [Melissa] And, right away, we see Simone are gonna get into a
cross-court dink, here, and the guys are gonna be looking for an opportunity to Poach, but, in that case Lucy was in a position to have to try to change
it up and try to hit it over the high part of the net. – [Drew] Now, Mark, the fact that Matt is also a partner with
Kyle in Mens Doubles, how do you think that plays into the strategies we’re gonna see here today? – [Mark] Well, they know
each others game well, but, all these players,
they’re on the tour regularly. They (mumbles) with each other a lot, so, they practice with each other. They know what to expect. One of the things I’m looking
for, here, we saw a good example of the exchange of
multiple fast balls in a row. What they’re doing here is
testing their opponents and see if they can weather the
storm with those fast balls. Here comes another one. (crowd applauds) – [Mark] Melissa, there
may be viewers at home who may be coming to
pickleball for the first time or they’re relatively new to the game, one of the things they should know is that red zone close to the
net, that seven foot zone, is called the Non-Volley Zone. They can’t hit the ball out of the air if they’re standing in that zone. So, that’s why you see players standing so close to the line and reaching over it. How do you think that the Non-Volley Zone, the kitchen, is gonna
factor into today’s game? – [Melissa] Oh, yeah, not
only into today’s game, but, any game that is
being played in pickleball. The team that can dominate that kitchen line certainly has the upper hand. Both of these teams are gonna
do a great job getting there and then we’re gonna see just
a lot of cat and mouse, here. Some real strategy and technique, just looking for that
right wall to put away. – [Drew] Winner.
(crowd applauds) – [Melissa] And, there was
one, right there, Mark. – [Mark] Yeah, that’s right. So, you talked about it earlier,
Melissa, that’s a pattern there we’re gonna see commonly, I think. Kovalova and Simone Jardim
hitting balls back and forth. When you play those low, low shots when you’re up in the kitchen,
those are called dinks. And, dinks are really effective if they’re slow enough and low enough
to force your opponents to hit up and to prevent
them from putting away a high ball that they can hit with speed. – [Drew] Now, guys,
we’re gonna see a lot of slow and low plays, as you
take a look at Kovalova there. But, when is it the perfect moment to try and go for that win? – [Mark] Well, it’s quite
simple, when the ball is at that level or above, if you
can hit on a downward angle, you can hit that ball hard
and keep the ball in play. Here’s the example, Kovalova went for a bit too much too soon,
the ball wasn’t high enough, she hit it straight ahead with speed. Simone Jardim will wisely moves out of the way and watches
that ball sail over. (crowd groans)
– [Melissa] Great anticipation by both guys, there. Matt is really, really strong down that line on the backhand. It’s difficult to get behind him, as well. Great presence. (crowd applauds) – [Mark] So, right there, what we saw, again, there was that dinky rally cross-court between Jardim and Kovalova. And, Kovalova missed that one. You better bet that Kyle Yates and Simone Jardim took note of that. They’re gonna keep looking
over to see if maybe there’s a little chink
in the armor, there. – [Drew] Stays alive
and Yates puts it away. – [Melissa] Great focus and I see the chemistry between
Kyle and Simone, as well. They’re moving very well on the court, staying focused, even when
Kyle’s trying to come over and poach and not quite able to get there. Simone, right there, still
ready to play in the point. – [Mark] In a poach, for
people who might not know, the poach is when you
take the ball that would otherwise be going to your
partner and you, instead, step in front of them, you intercept it. Players usually do this
because they think that they have a better chance
at either winning the point, outright, or doing something
constructive with the ball. – [Drew] Simone and Lucy. (crowd groans)
– [Mark] So, that’s interesting to me that, in two cases, Simone Jardim, she was the
one who changed the pattern. She stopped the cross-court exchange. That might be suggestive of the fact that she’s not that confident
that she can outlast Lucy Kovalova in those
cross-court rallies. Let’s how long she stays
with it, in the future. – [Drew] How ’bout that backhand? – [Melissa] Oh, that is
an impressive backhand. Lucy actually, I know, in singles, plays with a paddle that
has a longer handle on it, in order to get more top
spin on the pickleball. And, you do not wanna put it in her backhand wheelhouse, do you Drew? – [Drew] No.
(Melissa chuckles) – [Drew] Absolutely not,
she would destroy it. – [Mark] It’s interesting to note that both of these women, Kovalova and Jardim, use two handed backhands most of the time. They’re looking to hit with as much power as they can when ball is high. And, so, sometimes people think
that, in pickleball, you can only hit with one hand or you
should only hit with one hand. These two women are showing
that that is not the case. – [Melissa] Lucy and
Matt got into pickleball when they put pickleball courts at their country club in Wichita, at
the Wichita Country Club. Lucy also played tennis at
Wichita State and she is now the tennis and pickleball instructor
at Wichita Country Club. (crowd groans) – [Drew] Off the racket, that time. It’s funny, Kovalova and Wright
actually said that when they started playing in these,
first, it was just for fun and then they realized, “Hey, wait
a minute, we can win these.” Things just started to get a little more serious, time after time. And, here they are,
playing for a championship. – [Melissa] Yeah, when
they came in here in 2016, they were unknowns, none of us knew. And, they came in here
and made a statement and we’ve certainly known
who they are, ever since. (light applause) – [Referee] Two, six, two. – [Drew] Second serve, here. (crowd applauds) – [Mark] Here’s another example, where Kovalova is looking
to do something offensive. That’s smart, but, the ball wasn’t quite high enough to put downward. So, by hitting it straight,
she’s really hoping she’s gonna hit her
opponents with the ball, which is allowed in pickleball. But, Yates and Jardim are so agile, they can see that ball
coming, they get out of the way and let that ball go long. – [Drew] Remember, you cannot score in pickleball unless you are serving. Keep that in mind. – [Melissa] That’s right, and, each player gets an opportunity to serve. So, you get two serves on each side. – [Mark] And, so, when viewers are hearing the referee call three numbers. In this case,
– [Referee] Six, three, two. – [Mark] Six, three, two. What that means is, the
serving team has six points, the receiving team has three
points and the two means that they are on the second
server of their partnership. So, that player will continue to serve until they lose the point, in which case, it would either go to their partner or, if it’s the second server,
which is the case here, would be a side out and go to the receiving team, so they can serve. – [Melissa] I think we just saw, right there, from Simone,
Mark, why you had indicated she might be changing it up on the dinks. As far as being able to consistently get that back to Lucy, so, let’s
see if she can work that out. I think it will be important,
here, for her to do so. – [Drew] Hard stuff.
(Melissa groans) – [Drew] Oh, best point of the match. (crowd applauds)
(Melissa groans) – [Mark] Alright, well, there’s
our first Erne of the night. This is gonna take a little explanation. We talked about how the kitchen, the Non-Volley Zone is a
two-dimensional surface. But, that means you can reach over it if it falls out of the air. Usually, that’s done
behind the kitchen line, but, you can also jump
over the kitchen line, you can jump across it, intercept
that ball out of the air, so long as that you land
outside of the Non-Volley Zone. That’s called an Erne and we just saw one from Kyle Yates,
right there, well done. – [Drew] That Erne maneuver named after the great Erne Perry, something
that I’ve learned this week, as my education in this
great sport continues. – [Melissa] Your addiction
isn’t far behind, I promise you. – [Drew] I brought my racket and my ball and I’m gonna hit, some point today. Makes you just wanna play, watch these great athletes compete. (crowd applauds) – [Mark] There’s another
example from Kyle Yates. So, again, looking to get
outside of the kitchen line, he actually, sometimes we
call that jumping the corner. He jumps the corner, plays
that ball out of the air, which is legal so long as
you take off from outside the Non-Volley Zone and you land
outside the Non-Volley Zone. (crowd applauds) – [Melissa] Lucy was ready for that, too. It just kinda jammed her just a little bit so couldn’t get that vicious
forehand, overhead, on it. (crowd groans) – [Mark] So, there’s an
unforced error Simone Jardim. So far, Melissa and Drew, we have had six unforced errors from Yates and Jardim. And, only three outright winners,
that’s gonna be important. – [Drew] Even with the best
pickleball players, guys, that shot kind get into your
head a little bit sometimes. – [Melissa] Oh, it certainly
can, but, it certainly doesn’t take much to get get
out of your head, either. If she can gain a little momentum, here, Simone and Kyle, then we
can see it turn around. I mean, Simone and Kyle
are both real champions, they know how to get their way back out of any hole and
get back into the game. (crowd applauds)
– [Drew] Wow. – [Mark] There’s a good
example of how valuable the two handed backhand volley can be. We saw Kovalova under attack from Kyle Yates, hard on that backhand side. And, having the second hand, there, really provides some stability
against those fast balls. – [Referee] Out!
– [Drew] Just out. The first time we’ve had
an error on a serve, today. – [Melissa] Yeah, I guess the
wind does, based on what I see from the flags, blowing in
from the back of Lucy and Matt. – [Mark] Lucy’s really
improved her soft game, here. She looks so confident, hitting these dinks cross-court with Simone. – [Melissa] And, a great
example, too, Mark, of where she positions herself
there at the kitchen line, making it easy for her to
cut off those angles, there. Lucy’s pretty tall, too. – [Drew] Watch out. (crowd applauds) – [Mark] The crowd here,
at Naples, likes that when the hometown favorites,
Simone Jardim and Kyle Yates, can put some pressure
on Kovalova and Wright. Get the ball back, they’re
serving five and nine with one. The game goes up to 11. (crowd groans) (crowd applauds)
– [Referee] Second serve. – [Mark] That’s a great example of how important it is to
maintain the pressure. You can see Matt Wright kept
getting balls above net level. That meant he could hit with some speed and Simone Jardim was just
trying to get that ball a little bit lower so he
didn’t have to hit upwards. (crowd applauds) – [Melissa] Yeah, Matt was
being really aggressive, there and, then, that one
got just a little bit more past his reach and Lucy
wasn’t in the right position to be able to get the ball back. – [Drew] Simone really
working that short game. (crowd applauds) – [Mark] But, not enough, that time. – [Melissa] Yeah, not enough, that time. Lucy saw a little bit of an opening there, decided to take it and it paid off. – [Mark] Lucy Kovalova looks like she’s playing with a lot of
confidence right now. She looks like she’s willing
to enter into one of those cross-court dinking rallies
all day with Simone. Nine, six, one. (crowd applauds)
– [Drew] Guys, Kovalova told me earlier this week that that was the biggest adjustment for her, playing that soft game. Coming over from tennis where she stars at Wichita State, now. Game point for Wright and Kovalova. – Out!
– [Drew] There it is. (crowd applauds) – [Drew] So, Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova take the first step towards
a Mixed Pro Doubles title. We’re underway, here
at the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships,
powered by Margaritaville. Matt Wright, Lucy Kovalova, starring, here on Zing Zang Championship Court. (upbeat theme song) – [Drew] Beautiful beaches
of Naples and it’s been another gorgeous day,
here in Southwest Florida. We have dropped anchor at
East Naples Community Park, not too far away from the beach. Zing Zang Championship Court,
the site for the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships,
powered by Margaritaville. Drew Fellios with Melissa
McCurley and Mark Renneson. Minto, the proud sponsor
of this great championship. This U.S. Open event continues to grow an impressive first game
by Kovalova and Wright. – [Mark] So, one of the things
we saw early in this first game was how often both teams
use the third shot drive. A drive is when you hit
the ball low and fast. And, sometimes people think
that you should play the third shot slow and soft
so it lands in the kitchen, forces your opponents to hit
up and that can be useful. There’s another third shot drive. (crowd applauds) – [Mark] In that first game, Melissa, Yates and Jardim, they
used a drop 12 times. But, they hit their third shot
drive nine of those times. – [Melissa] And, how many
forced errors were there, Mark? – [Mark] Uh, hold on, forced
errors, there were seven total. (mumbles) drops and drives. And, for Wright and Kovalova, guess what, they used drops more often,
sorry, less often than drives. They have 11 drives on the
third shot and just nine drops. (crowd applauds) – [Melissa] What a very athletic
move by Kyle Yates, there, to be able to step around that
kitchen and do an inside out, out of the air, it’s pretty impressive. – [Mark] Yeah, we’ve seen
this a couple times (mumbles) When I’m around the country,
coaching pickleball and people ask me, “What is it that I need
to do to be a great player?” What is it that makes you the best? So, the most important
thing, if you really wanna be an elite player, is how
well you move on the court. You might have the nicest
swing that anyone’s ever seen, but, if you can’t get to the
ball, you can’t use that swing. And, we see, four really athletic players, here, ready and willing. They can’t get to every single ball. But, that desire to chase it down and find a way to get your paddle on it, that’s the real key skill
that’s an important foundation, if you wanna be an elite player. – [Drew] First serves now, it’s game for Kovalova and Wright. Simone really had a look of determination as she came out of that break in action. – [Melissa] Oh, yeah,
there’s a fierce competitor inside that pickleball
player, that’s for sure. And, we’re seeing it here. (crowd groans)
– [Drew] Wow. (crowd cheers)
– [Drew] Amazing. (crowd applauds) – [Melissa] That was definitely
the rally of the match. – [Mark] I think Simone’s gonna
wanna take a breather, here. Not because she’s tired
from the point, but, because that last ball ricocheted off the edge of her paddle,
hit her in the face. Looks like she’s okay. (crowd groans)
– [Melissa] Yeah, Lucy, very effectively, using
that third shot drive to get she and Matt onto the kitchen line. – [Mark] And, when you use that drive, you’re not trying to
win the point with that. I mean, if you do win the point out right, that’s a nice bonus, right? That happened in the last case, but, what you’re really trying
to do is you’re trying to hit it hard enough and
low enough that what your opponents give back is something
that you can pounce on. Whether that’s a high ball,
whether that’s a ball that goes to your partner who’s
coming into the net looking. So, very often, this third shot drive which we see a lot of tonight, is used as a set up
shot, which you’re then hoping that elicits something that’s weak. But, then, you can pounce on and put away. – [Drew] Look at Kyle
Yates, have not really seen his best stuff, up to this point. – [Mark] Well, we’ve seen some really athletic moves from him, he’s really been working
that outside of the kitchen. What’s happening, though, is that they’re mostly freezing him out. They’re not letting
him hit a ton of balls. He’s having to work harder
to get in on the play and Simone’s having to do the majority of the heavy lifting, here. (crowd applauds)
– [Drew] I think he heard me. – [Melissa] I think he did,
he was ready then, wasn’t he? – [Mark] Yeah, and so, players will know what’s happening in this match. They know that Simone’s
being targeted right now. So, her responsibility, really, is to not lose them the
point, to stay in it. And, if there’s that opportunity
that we just saw there, for Kyle to clean up all the garbage around them that he can put away. So, Simone’s doing the hard work, Kyle’s getting most of the credit. – [Melissa] And, she’s hit, really, a couple of very smart shots
these last couple of shots, to allow Kyle to get in
there and put the ball away. And, we just saw him giving her some credit for being
able to do just that. (crowd applauds)
– [Drew] Wow. – [Mark] Did we just
say something about the importance of being
willing to chase the ball? – [Melissa] Yeah, and,
he chased the ball down. We just talked about
Simone setting him up, but, how well did he just set her up? (crowd groans) (crowd applauds)
– [Melissa] Yeah, so, we’ve definitely seen a different
game here, haven’t we? A real big shift in momentum. – [Drew] I think it is clear
who this crowd is behind. They appreciate great
pickleball on both sides, but, no doubt, with Yates and Jardim, a little bit of extra buzz
every time they have a point. – [Mark] Well, I think the crowd wants to see a third game, Drew. (Melissa chuckles)
– [Drew] You’re right. – [Melissa] Yeah, I was
talking to Simone earlier and she cut back on her
lessons two weeks prior to coming in here to the
U.S. Open and she said she and Kyle did a lot
of singles play together to help with some of the conditioning, to be ready to play out here, as well. (crowd groans)
– [Mark] Simone, of course, was the singles champion this year, in this tournament. She and I, we spent a little
bit of time of her practicing, beforehand, and, one of the
things that’s so, we talked about the two handed backhand
being used for power. The other thing that it’s great for, especially important in
singles, is being able to disguise where you’re gonna hit that ball. Using that non-dominant hand
is a really effective way to make your opponents think you’re hitting one direction then hit another. I know she fooled me a number of times. – [Melissa] I know we’ve talked a bit about Lucy and Matt’s tennis background. Simone, she went to Auburn for two years and also Fresno State. She was number one in the
country in Women’s Doubles, she was an all-American twice, she was also an assistant
coach at Fresno State and went onto William
and Mary before, then, becoming the head coach at
Michigan State University. She was there eight years
before moving, here, to Naples. – [Drew] Hearty attempt by Wright. – [Mark] Look how balanced
these players are. (crowd applauds) So, one of the things that’s important, we talked about athleticism
in getting to the ball, but, the more balanced you are
when you’re hitting the ball, the better chance you have
to play it the way you want. And, so, what you’re seeing
here is players working really hard not to just get
their paddle on the ball, but, to get behind the
ball, to get well set up so they’re on balance when they hit. Whether it’s a volley, like we see here, or whether it’s playing a softer shot from the back of the court or a dink. Being on balance is critical if you wanna play with consistency. – [Drew] Short game, Simone is the target at least 90% of the time,
it seems, on the dinks. – [Melissa] Yeah, you’ll just primarily see that in Mixed Doubles,
as well, you know? The men have to really work hard to get themselves into a point. – [Mark] Been looking at
some of the stats, Melissa, and, we said earlier that
Yates and Jardim had nearly a 50/50 distribution of drops and
drives on their third shots. Soft balls versus fast ones. Now, that’s changed
here in game number two. (crowd applauds) – [Mark] So far, they’ve hit only three third shot drives,
but, 11 third shot drops. So, no doubt, after
losing that first game, they went back in the
second and they said, “Hey, we’re not over powering. “They’re too good at the
net with these fast balls, “let’s start dropping it softly into “the kitchen and work the big game.” – [Drew] Kovalova, in right,
can tie here with a point. – [Melissa] Great consistency being shown here by both ladies. Kyle ready at any moment, as is Matt. – [Mark] This takes incredible focus, to be able to stay in this rally so long. It’s hitting high quality
balls, again and again. Let’s see who blinks first. – [Melissa] So far, it’s the
longest rally of the game. (crowd cheers) (Melissa cheers) (crowd applauds)
– [Mark] Wow. – [Melissa] And, that
will certainly, not only, fire up Simone but will
fire up this crowd. – [Mark] So, while balls are normally hit over the net, if you
get pulled out wide enough, you can hit around the net post. It can be as low as you want,
hitting it lower the better. And, that’s what we saw here, from Simone, a great forehand around the
post shot, also known as an ATP. (crowd applauds) – [Drew] Back to back winners. – [Melissa] And, that’s not
as easy that Kyle just made. – [Mark] We got a time out,
here, from Wright and Kovalova. They want to regroup
and stop the momentum. – [Drew] Kovalova and Wright
trying to weather the storm. Right now, all the momentum
on Jardim and Yates side. One more look and what could be the shot of the match, so far. Second game, here at the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championship. – What the U.S. Open Minto
Championship has done right is, basically, it has made us and rewarded us for being pro athletes. Every other tournament, you just feel like a good player, right? Everybody knows we’re 5-0s. This, in this stadium, at this venue, this crowd, the prize
money, we are professional athletes and, it’s just a great feeling. And, there’s nowhere else in the world that they create this kind of atmosphere. So, we love it for that reason. It’s special and it’ll always be very, very meaningful to me. – [Drew] Powerful words from Scott Moore, Triple Crown champion this year, at these Minto U.S. Open
Pickleball Championships. Kovalova and Wright, on your left. Jardim and Yates on the right. – [Melissa] And, Scott is the first male to win the Triple Crown,
here, at the U.S. Open. – [Drew] And, there are
many pickleball events around the country and
around the world, Melissa. But, this one, I think, is
the hottest one right now. It’s the biggest draw, the players get most pumped up to play. And, it just seems like
that the ceiling is endless. – [Melissa] It certainly is. There’s no other venue in pickleball that has this stadium like this. So, it gives it that special feel — (crowd applauds) – [Melissa] Always great crowds in here, you have the music, you
have the entertainment. And, then, you’ve got 49 other courts going on out around you. And, this year we had 2,000 players, Drew, participating in this tournament. We ran over 4,300 matches
over a seven day period. And, people are just here
looking to have a great time. (crowd groans) – [Drew] This hit, right
there, by Simone Jardim. She has been the star of this second game. – [Referee] Nine, five, two! – [Mark] Nine, five, two is the score. Kyle Yates and Simone Jardim would love to win a point here and set up game point. Let’s see if they can do it. Looking for Kyle Yates to intercept the ball, here, any moment now. (crowd groans) – [Mark] What a rally. – [Melissa] Yeah, the Erne
didn’t work that time, but, Lucy did a great job
of getting a low cross-court dink that had significant
pace on it, as well. So, that’s about the only
shot Simone had to try, there. – [Drew] So, the serve will go back over to Kovalova and Wright. – [Mark] Yeah, when you
get pulled that wide, it’s very different to
get behind the ball enough that you can hit it back cross-court. So, typically, when you’re
pulled that wide and reaching for a ball, you’re more
likely to hit done the line. That’s why you’ve seen
these dinking rallies, Kyle Yates, especially, when the ball gets pulled out wide to Lucy
Kovalova in front of him, that’s when he’s looking to Erne. That’s when he’s looking
to come to the outside of the court, kind of anticipating
down the line shot. And, if Lucy doesn’t want him to go to intercept it –
– (crowd applauds) – [Mark] She better go cross-court. – [Drew] Easy putaway for Yates. – [Referee] Five, nine, two. – [Melissa] And, Lucy’s got great reach. She was hoping to reach it
and really push that ball into the body of Kyle and
the net just clipped it. (crowd applauds)
– [Drew] A little bit long, so the serve goes back over,
now, to Jardim and Yates, with all the momentum on their side. – [Referee] Nine, five, one. (crowd groans) – [Mark] Yeah, this is
what you’ll see, and, recreational players at home
will be familiar with this, if you give your opponents a high ball that they get to hit hard, there’s a very good chance,
if you do get it back, there’s gonna be more high
balls coming right afterwards. It’s really tough when you
receive a really fast ball that it’s really difficult to send
that ball back short and low. We call those resets and,
so far in this match, Yates and Jardim, they’ve got, let’s see, they’ve already got 16 resets where they’ve been in trouble
and they found a way. Game point. (crowd cheers) – [Drew] All even, at one a piece and, headed to a third game. And, I think that’s what this crowd wants, here on Zing Zang Championship Court. Best match that we’ve
seen this week, I think. Mixed Doubles, two teams going at it. Third game coming up. – [Drew] Well, the License
to Chill VIP lounge, here at the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, powered by Margaritaville. This is the hot spot, this is where you wanna be throughout the week. And, all of our phenomenal
volunteers have made it happen. A place to settle in, sit
back, relax and enjoy the best pickleball play you’re gonna
see in the entire world. – [Melissa] And, no place like the VIP License to Chill lounge. And, Drew, we had over
300 volunteers here, giving 10,000 hours to put on this event. – [Drew] And, they’re seeing
probably one of the most competitive Mixed Doubles
matches that we have ever seen. And, not just Mixed Doubles, but, guys, we’ve seen some good
matches all week, but, as far as intensity and the crowd being on the edge of their seat,
I think this tops it all. – [Melissa] I would have
to agree with you, Drew. We’ve seen a little bit of everything and a lot of consistency, a lot of skill, a lot of patience…. good strategy. Different looks at what it
takes to get to the kitchen. Just had it all, Mark. – [Mark] Yeah, it’s been great and I think we’re gonna
continue to see Jardim and Yates use the strategy that worked
for them the second game. They’re gonna continue
to work those cross-court dinky rallies between Jardim and Kovalova. And, I think Kovalova and Wright are gonna continue playing that power game. But, they’ve gotta be careful because if they give away a few
loose points, (mumbles) this can get out of their control quickly. – [Melissa] We had talked about that cross-court dink, there,
that wasn’t working too for Simone in game number one. But, she zoned it in in game two and is still in the zone,
here, in game three. (crowd applauds)
– [Mark] Wow. I think this started
again, we saw Simone being the first one to change
the pattern, right? She stopped being in that
cross-court pattern with Lucy. She went down line with Matt Wright. Going down line is risky,
it’s a high part of the net, it’s a short distance
away from your opponent. And, with Matt Wright,
who’s got a long reach, that’s when things went
against Simone and Kyle. So, you gotta be careful
when you go down the line, you better make sure it’s short
low or else your opponents will reach ahead and
start hitting with speed. (crowd cheers) – [Mark] So, it’s that, again, there. That time it was Kovalova going
down the line to Kyle Yates. He’s able to hit fast and
starts controlling the point. – [Melissa] Well, I’m
really impressed with Kyle’s focus here and being
able to keep himself into a point when it takes awhile
for him to see a ball, Mark. He’s really showing a lot of discipline. (crowd applauds)
– [Referee] Point. – [Mark] Yes, sometimes it’s easier to stay focused when you’re
the one who’s actively involved in hitting ball
after ball after ball. When you’re the one
who’s frozen out of it, when you’re the one who’s
waiting to see something, sometimes it’s to get a
little bit flat footed. But, you’re right, Kyle
looks ready for anything. Every single time his
opponents hit the ball, he should expect the ball’s coming to him, like he did there —
(crowd applauds) – [Mark] And, then, he has an opportunity to not just defend but to counterattack. – [Referee] Two, one, one. – [Drew] Seems like Kyle
Yates is just getting better and better as
this match goes along. – [Melissa] Yeah, he sure is, he’s certainly feeling it here. – [Mark] There’s a rare drive that we have not seen many
drives on the third shot from Yates and Jardim,
since that first game. And, that’s a rare one
and I think Kyle’s gonna think twice about it
because, well, maybe not. He just thought twice about
hitting it to Matt Wright again. (crowd applauds)
– [Referee] Point. – [Melissa] And, there’s
that cross-court dink, Mark, that I was talking about, that Simone has really zoned in on. And, we see a lot of great foot
work from the ladies, here. But, in that case, Lucy didn’t really have her feet moving to get
out wide to get that. (crowd cheers) – [Mark] So, viewers at home
who are pickleball players, themselves, they’ll be familiar with this. When that ball gets
elevated just a little bit, you pop it up a little too high, that gives the opportunity
for your opponents to hit the ball hard and to hit it down. And, when you get that ball
up, it’s tough to come back. – [Drew] What is tougher
to overcome in this game? Is it mental fatigue
or or physical fatigue? – [Melissa] I think I,
Drew, it’s equally… I wanna see this point, here. (chuckles) – [Drew] Meanwhile —
(crowd applauds) (Mark chuckles) – [Melissa] Meanwhile, there’s no mental or physical fatigue
going on in this stadium. – [Mark] Well, that’s what I was gonna say is, I think, with these players, these are people who
play a lot of pickleball. They’ve been ready for this, they’ve had some time to prepare. I don’t expect either team to falter on both the psychological
or the physical one. – [Referee] One, four, two. – [Drew] Like a key sequence,
here, for Kovalova and Wright. (crowd applauds) – [Melissa] Yeah, and, it seems like Lucy’s feeling a little
bit of pressure, here. And, so, this is something,
if Simone and Kyle get another point here, this is where, if I’m Matt and Lucy, I’m
taking a time out, regrouping, thinking about what was
working for them in game one. (crowd applauds)
– [Drew] Wow. – [Mark] So, we saw, here, Kyle Yates hit. It was an around the pole
shot from Simone Jardim, but, it was defended by Matt Wright. Watch here, he gets the ball back in play, that’s great defense. – [Melissa] Matt and Lucy choosing not to take a time out there. And, they’re down, one to five. We’ve talked about the
number of balls there that — (crowd applauds) – [Melissa] So, they will switch sides at six in game number three. Pickleball players are very welcoming. Walk up to any court,
anywhere in the U.S., and you’re gonna find
somebody who wants to put a paddle in your hand and
introduce you to the game. And, make you an addict,
along with the rest of ’em. Getting a little windy in here, guys. The wind at our backs, so, at the back of Kyle and Simone.
(crowd applauds) – [Mark] That ball was almost behind Kyle Yates by the time he hit it. He’s got such quick
reflexes and he’s strong. So, when that ball, even though it wasn’t (mumbles), he
was able to speed on it. Seven, one, one. Jardim and Yates
dominating this third game. – [Drew] Yeah, this is 18 to 6 run since the start of game two. So, that’s pretty dominant, for Jardim and Yates, as of late. – [Referee] Seven, one, two. – [Mark] So, guys, I’m
told by our statistician, Josh Elliot, that Yates and Jardim have not yet made an unforced
error in this third game. (crowd applauds)
– – [Referee] Point. – [Melissa] And, certainly,
the scores reflecting that. – [Mark] Oh, that’s a
correction, that’s my error. They made two unforced errors,
that’s my unforced error. – [Melissa] Well, that
number’s still very low. – [Mark] Yeah, but, only
two, they’re up 8-1. (crowd applauds) – [Drew] Since when do we
let facts get in the way of a good story, right?
(Melissa and Mark laugh) – [Mark] But, I do have to say, Josh Elliot has been a
super help here, today. Josh, himself, is a pro level player and talk about speed around the court. This young man is definitely a threat. – [Melissa] Always appreciate
him being here with us. Helping us track the
stats of these matches, here at the U.S. Open
Pickleball Championships. (crowd applauds)
(Melissa gasps) And, Lucy had what she wanted there. Her paddle just opened up on
her and that ball sailed long. – [Mark] Yep, she sped up the point well. That’s a good fast ball against
it, she gets the high ball. The paddle face just a little too open, not getting on top of the ball enough. And, we’re at one, eight, two. Wright and Kovalova need
to get a point, here. (crowd applauds)
– [Drew] Much needed. – [Mark] Yeah, and, you can see
how happy Lucy is with that. It’s a way to come back from that error on the previous point. They’ve still got a long way to go. Two, eight, two… they
gotta get a chance. – [Mark] Hm, that’s trouble.
– [Drew] Too easy. (crowd applauds) Simone’s got that game face. – [Melissa] Yeah, she is full of passion, intensity and fire for
this game of pickleball. She truly, truly just loves it. She said when she’s
teaching in her lessons that she’s always pretty
much drilling, as well. (crowd applauds) – [Drew] Just a little
bit long, that time. – [Mark] So, folks,
that’ll be the ninth… the seventh unforced error in this game, alone, from
Kovalova and Wright. Nine, two, one. (crowd applauds) – [Drew] Wow, unfortunate. – [Mark] Alright, this is setting up championship point, here. – [Referee] Ten, two, one. (crowd cheers)
– [Drew] There it is! – [Melissa] And, that certainly means a lot to those two players. Matt and Lucy have been
dominant all year long. So, for them to get this, and, get this here in their home stadium, here at Championship
Court, it means a lot. – [Mark] There it is again. They found a pattern that
works and they stuck to it. Simone Jardim going
cross-court all day long in the big game and that paid off. Congratulations to them. – [Drew] So, Jardim and
Yates push to a third game. I think this, though,
came down to experience, in the end, would you say, guys? Just being there, time and
again, and, making adjustments. Jardim and Yates, victorious. Here at the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, our coronation is next. (crowd cheers)
– [Drew] There it is! – [Melissa] And, that certainly means a lot to those two players. Matt and Lucy have been
dominant all year long. So, for them to get this, and, get this here in their home stadium, here at Championship
Court, it means a lot. – [Mark] There it is again. They found a pattern that
works and they stuck to it. – [Drew] And, guys, what
a thrilling match it was. You guys were sensational. A little bit of a tough start, what changed in games two and games three? – Well, having the whole
crowd behind us was one thing. You know, down a game,
we’re playing against a defending national champion,
so, the whole crowd roaring, we’re, like, “We’re gonna
give it everything we’ve got. “This whole crowd’s behind us, so, “we’re just gonna go out and play.” And, that’s what we did. – Simone, I know you’re like a household name in this great sport. This is your territory, this is your home, you can really feel it today,
the home crowd was behind you. – Absolutely, I mean, in the first game, Matt and Lucy were playing unbelievable. I feel like we weren’t
playing that poorly, it’s just that they were playing well. And, when we started the second game, our mind set changed a little, we softened the game
and were not gonna miss. And, from then on, we just
really got hot and kept going. And, the crowd got
behind us and (mumbles). – [Drew] Alright, guys, thank you so much. Champions, from start to finish. Simone Jardim and Kyle Yates,
here at the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, from Naples. (upbeat theme music)

14 Comments

  • Reply Richard's World Traveler August 10, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Hopefully the announcers stop calling it a racket.

  • Reply ucctgg August 10, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    You lose all credibility when you start off by saying Naples has the "world's best beaches". Also, how do you cut electricity with a knife ?

  • Reply digitalreporter August 11, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    37:00 Simone Jardim hits the pavement on her backside

  • Reply Carl Rodrigues August 12, 2018 at 1:28 am

    Be said energy

  • Reply debbie thiem August 17, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    great match

  • Reply David Rix August 23, 2018 at 12:34 am

    OMG! So the "Erne was named after Erne Perry. I played with Ernie for years in Everett WA in the 90's. I remember when he was first starting to develop that tricky frustrating shot. He took it down to Arizona to all those tournaments and made it popular.

  • Reply Kevin Ruback September 2, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Wow, What a match! Simone is such a champ! Kyle got off to a bad start but sure made up for it later on.

  • Reply Duane Parkinson September 2, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Wright surely does a lot of poaching…….

  • Reply Rick Haughton September 29, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Nice job Mark!

  • Reply Fred Schlichting November 23, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Kitchen fault at https://youtu.be/Kc21GVv5EhY?t=1277? Opinions?

  • Reply Akron Ohio April 18, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    I'm going to start getting into this sport. It's really big where I live. Time to give up basketball and other sports lol

  • Reply DAVID COULOMBE May 4, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    13:13 Matt helps his partner by going all the way to her side of the court to DINK the ball over the net. Thank god he was there to accomplish this magnificent feat! Not sure why I bothered pointing out 13:13, he does this consistently throughout the match. One of the worst examples of blatant poaching I've seen yet. Really fucked up his partner too. But glad to see Jardim take advantage os his overzealous play at times.

  • Reply Alex Dashkoff May 7, 2019 at 4:49 am

    5.0 tennis player here. I want to learn how to play a little bit. My question here is, when they’re both short at the net, why don’t they try to hit to the middle more? In doubles tennis, the team that control the middle always wins the match, but I don’t seem to be seeing that here

  • Reply Thor Matt May 17, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Commentators please shut up!

  • Leave a Reply