Another PPA Tour event down, another reason we know pickleball is the greatest sport in the world. (Well to us, anyway!) Last week, the best players in the world packed their winter coats and snow boots and headed up North for a pickleball battle. This past Sunday wrapped up the 2022 PPA Tour Ororo Indoor National Championships held at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville, MN. As expected, there were great matches, awesome hospitality, and countless rallies that left everyone in awe. Nothing was as impressive as the performance Anna Leigh Waters put on though!
The Women’s Singles draw was slim but mighty, packed with notable names like Callie Smith, Allyce Jones, Lea Jansen, Irina Tereschenko, and Anna Leigh Waters. Jansen and Smith battled in a breaker to see who would move on to the finals to face Waters in what we all knew would be a match full of intensity, incredible skill, and two fierce elite competitors. After over an hour-long battle, Smith knocked off Jansen in a tiebreaker to move on. Waters knocked off a talented Tereschenko in the semis in straight games to move onto the finals. And just like that, the finals were set. Two of the fiercest competitors in the women’s game faced off for bragging rights, but more importantly ranking points, and one of those big checks! (Do they actually deposit those giant checks?)
There was a little back and forth early on, with both players clearly coming to play and wanting the title as much as the other. But once Waters got flowing, that was it. Anna Leigh Waters walked away with the Championship in straight games: 11-4, 11-3, 11-3. A dominating performance against one of the best in the world.
Her performance begs the question: Can Anna Leigh Waters be stopped? At just 15 years old, to say the future for Waters is bright would be an understatement! Are we staring down the best female (singles) player we’ve ever seen? Although I think it’s a little early for the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) talk, it wouldn’t surprise us if, by the time Waters is 21, she’s cemented herself firmly atop the conversations as one of the greatest players to ever pick up a pickleball paddle.
Only time will tell.
The PPA Tour takes a break this weekend then picks up again at the Riverland Open in Port St. Lucie, FL from 3/10 - 3/13.