2014 Pickleball Tournament of Champions – Mixed Doubles Finals, Masters

Wow…  what a match! I have been home three days (still recovering) and reliving the numerous, awesome moments of my mixed doubles matches. A shout out to my mixed partner Timothy Nelson who was… Great! I could probably write pages about his keen insight of the game and supportive encouragement, but I won’t.  Tim and I had only played a one-day tournament prior to our partnership at TOC, and together we accomplished something big. Of course I have to send a shout out to our competitors Gigi LeMaster and Enrique Ruiz – as you will see on the below video link they are as tough and solid as you can get.  The scores of the games reflect the intensity and closeness of the outcome. In the end they had 5 match points and we had one…

I feel so lucky to be a part of that finals and thankful that Tim videoed the match. A few funny’s from that day: When it was all over and we were sitting courtside, I said to Tim “Phew, it all seems like such a blur, I can only remember a few points” and he laughs and says “I can remember every single point”.  This match day also happened to be my birthday and Tim said it felt like it was his birthday too!  So many warm feelings at the end of a tournament day when you gave everything you had and it worked – GOLD!

2014 Tournament of Champions Mixed Open Doubles
Final Video – Presented by Timothy Nelson

Same videoed match unedited, and shot from other side of court – Presented by Valenti Sports
Championship Video 1 of 3     Championship Video 2 of 3    Championship Video 3 of 3

TOC Tim and Jennifer

6 comments on “2014 Pickleball Tournament of Champions – Mixed Doubles Finals, Masters”

  1. Keith, thank you for your kind words and insights into your world and what pickleball can do for all of us… It is amazing what this sport can provide to players… the list is long!

    1. Jennifer,

      Just a thought or two on the social aspect of plckleball. Before Allie and I retired, we dedicated our lives and our time to our children and to our professions. We had friends, of course, but we were both married to each other and to our teaching. Now that we are retired, plckleball has brought many, many new friends from our four or five times a week plckleball sessions. When we come into the YMCA gym, friends call out greetings. One buddy hollars, “Keith and Allie are in the house!” Our lives have been enriched by dozens of new friendships, and three couples have become that most precious of gifts: truly close personal friends, friends like your friendship with Alex Hamner.

      What a gift this game with the unfortunately silly sounding name has been in our lives!

      Keith James

  2. I have watched this match at least four times. I have always “protected” my wife when playing mixed doubles, but Timothy’s respect for your space and faith in your game has inspired me to do the same when playing with my wife, and we are a much better team beacuse of my doing so. I get fewer shots, true, but when I do poach, my wife knows it is for good tactical purpose, not just becuse I am hogging the ball. My wife’s self-confidence is flourishing, my patience and tactics are immensely improving, we are winning, and my wife of forty-nine years is loving me more each time we play. Allie, by the way, suffers nonstop chronic pain from peripheral neuropathy. She is by far my favorite pickleball warrior, all due respect to you, Jennifer, and your outstanding partner, Alex Hamner. Allie has told me that her pain is there when she plays pickleball, but her passion for the game and the fun of the competiton help that pain recede into a kind of muted backgound. I cannot tell you how much that means to me, as her condition is something I cannot fix, to my profound frustration. My wife is a retired high school English teacher (31 years), and I am a retired university English teacher (42 years). We are also both cancer survivors (Allie breast cancer and me prostate cancer). Both of us are fine, and at 68 and 70 are feeling athletic and vigoous and alive. I am a 4.5 who was recently rated a “soft” 5.0 by a very experienced player/coach. My doubles partner, 65 year old Doug Soule, and I regularly beat players half our ages and younger–AND:

    I still cannot believe that you and Timothy Nelson won that wild and incredibly tense third game!

  3. Such nice comments…. Steph, thanks for the post and kind words. Marian, love your feedback and the BOOM! Yes poaching is super fun and very effective. I do it often when I play doubles with Alex Hamner – it is something I have carried over from my tennis days. Such a great feeling shot when it works perfectly. You too should give it a try… Easiest when there is a high floating volley that you can step over to and volley away. Its the surprise, quickness and angle that makes it a winner.

  4. You were so awesome in that match. I totally agree with everything Stephanie said.

    I think my favorite part of all was when late in the third game, I think, when you were on the left hand court, and YOU poached one (or maybe two) shots. I had literally just said to my husband moments before, why shouldn’t the women poach now and then, and then BOOM, you do it. Good for you!

    You are are wonderful player to watch and learn from. And I enjoy your blog. Thanks for inspiring the rest of us.

    Marian

  5. It was THRILLING to watch!!! Jenn you played so TOUGH…. I’m still amazed at how many shots you “dug out”….
    What a team you both made together! Very happy for you!!!!
    You rocked it gal:~)))))
    ~steph

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