Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Sarah Ansboury pulls off double gold, Kyle Yates wins doubles at U.S. Open in Naples

By Adam Fisher of the Naples Daily News

Sarah Ansboury was exhausted by the time the sun went down Saturday at East Naples Community Park.

In her longest day of a long week, Ansboury completed her sixth match of the day as the sun dipped behind the bleachers of the championship court at the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships.

Getting the gold medal draped around her neck — her second of the day and third of the week — wiped away the fatigue and brought a wide smile to Ansboury’s face.

Ansboury was one of the stars of what the U.S. Open program called “the biggest night in the history of pickleball.” She won gold in the mixed doubles pro division, then won the women’s doubles pro gold an hour later. All in front of about 500 fans at the tournament, which has more players in its first year than any other pickleball event before it.

“I’ve felt really comfortable this week,” Ansboury said. “I’ve felt like I’m playing really good pickleball.”

Kyle Yates was feeling good, too. Overcome with emotion, the 21-year-old Fort Myers native had to compose himself after winning the men’s doubles pro title Saturday night.

“Man, it’s so cool,” Yates said. “It’s too much. I never expected this. I knew I could do it, but for it to actually happen is unreal.”

Yates and Dave Weinbach won 11-8, 11-3 over Wesley Gabrielsen and Daniel Moore. The victory meant more than a gold medal and prize money for Yates — it was the realization of a dream that started on the same court five years earlier.

A four-year tennis player at Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers, where he graduated in 2013, Yates has developed into one of the top players in the country. He’s also one of the youngest professionals and one of few from Florida.

“I remember playing my first tournament here when I was 16 on horrible nets and lines made of blue painter’s tape,” Yates said. “It was just a hobby. I was in high school. It was just fun. I just kept playing and kept playing.”

Pulling the gold medal double Saturday wasn’t an easy feat for Ansboury. It was mixed doubles skill group day at the U.S. Open. Though the women’s doubles skill events were Friday, the finals were held Saturday night to accommodate more fans.

Ansboury and Moore won five straight matches Saturday to take the mixed doubles pro gold medal. In the finals, they beat Weinbach and Gigi LeMaster, who Ansboury won the women’s doubles championship with at the 2015 USAPA Nationals. The score was 11-3, 11-6.

Less than an hour after the mixed doubles medal ceremony, Ansboury was back on center court with Christine McGrath in the women’s doubles pro finals. The duo won 11-8, 11-2, over Corrine Carr and Laura Fenton-Kovanda.

“It’s pretty hard to go from playing mixed (doubles) all day to then go to women’s, which is completely different,” Ansboury said. “I kind of struggled in that first game (of the women’s finals) getting the transition. Once I felt good, we got it going.”

A tennis pro in Portland, Oregon, for more than 10 years, Ansboury now travels the country playing and teaching pickleball. She and her partners split the $3,000 winners’ prize in both doubles divisions.

Playing in five events this week, Ansboury has lost one of her 17 matches so far at the U.S. Open. She will compete in the women’s singles pro division on Sunday, the final day of the tournament.

It was the second gold medal Ansboury and McGrath won together in Naples. On Wednesday, the first day of the U.S. Open, the pair won the women’s 25-and-over bracket. McGrath is seven months pregnant and playing in her final tournament before the birth to her second daughter, expected in July.

U.S. Open Pickleball Championships

At East Naples Community Park


Men’s pro doubles


Dave Weinbach-Kyle Yates d. Wesley Gabrielsen-Daniel Moore, 11-8, 11-2

Women’s pro doubles


Sarah Ansboury-Christine McGrath d. Corrine Carr-Laura Fenton Kovanda, 11-8, 11-2

Mixed doubles skill groups


3.0 — Steven Altis-Debbie Pazderka d. Sol Shatz-Susan Shatz, 11-4, 11-4

3.5 — Tom Roelse-Lisa Wehr d. Becky Fall-Jim Obremski, 11-4, 11-6

4.0 — Christie Bradley-Rick Colling d. Mingli Huang-Jeffrey Siegel, 11-5, 11-7

4.5 — Dominic Catalano-JoAnne Russell d. Archie Adams-Kristen Meyer, 11-2, 11-7

5.0 — Brian Ashworth-Catherine Parenteau d. Jack Oxler-Lynn Syler, 4-11, 11-3, 11-6

Senior — Kris Anderson-Michael Gates d. Mona Burnett-Scott Moore, 1-11, 11-4, 2-11, 15-2

Pro —Ansboury-Daniel Moore d. Gigi LeMaster-Dave Weinbach, 11-3, 11-6

Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

You May Also Like


From trendy restaurants to historic homes, there’s plenty to enjoy in the Downtown Fort Myers River District. If you’re on a tight schedule but want...


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Our friend Chef Cal from Bruno’s of Brooklyn cooked up an appetizer and an entree that are quick and easy...


ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – Two people were attacked by a dog in Englewood Wednesday afternoon. A man and a woman both in their 60’s were...


LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Local chef Brian Roland is being transferred to rehabilitation to continue his recovery process following an accident at a car...