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.”
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