Pickleball Tournaments

Hyundai Masters Pickleball: A New Era of Tennis Stars

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By Jacob Jackson

Hyundai Masters Pickleball: Pickleball has exploded into one of the fastest-growing sports in North America. While many discover casual enjoyment of the game at local rec centers, the professional stage continues reaching new heights that demand respect on the global sports scene.

Hyundai, the title sponsor of the Hyundai Masters Pickleball Championship series by the APP Tour, is boosting pickleball’s global professional status. We delve into the 2022 tournament, featuring dynamic athleticism and behind-the-scenes insights on format, player rivalries, and the series’ impact on elevating pro pickleball to primetime.

Hyundai Masters Pickleball

Hyundai Masters Pickleball: Elite Competition Structure Showcases Masterful Play

The Hyundai Masters series is an innovative multi-event with a captivating competition format, featuring divisions, rankings, and prizes to incentivize top-tier play.

Pros compete in tiered APP Tour tournaments, like the Pro Championship in South Carolina and the Grand Slam in Las Vegas, earning points to qualify for entry into the Hyundai Masters held in November in Indian Wells, CA.

The prestigious season finale features the top 32 qualifying men and 16 women, with $100,000 at stake—the richest payout in pickleball. It also made history as the first live CBS Sports televised broadcast for pro pickleball, bringing visibility to a new mainstream spotlight.

Hyundai Masters Pickleball: Points Leader Ben Johns Cements 2022 “Triple Crown”

On the men’s side, #1 ranked “GOAT” Ben Johns left no doubt about his supremacy with another dominant season.

The 4x USA National Champion secured wins in three high-profile events—the US Open, National Championship, and Hyundai Masters Finale—achieving his first coveted Triple Crown.

His well-rounded mastery of strategically dismantling opponents through precision placement and consistency secured back-to-back Hyundai Masters titles, awarded far beyond the $16,000 top prize. Sustaining flawless elite play puts Johns firmly in contention as history’s best-ever male player.

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Anna Leigh Waters Triumphs as Queen of the Court

In the women’s bracket, Anna Leigh Waters showcased her distinction as the top-ranked female star in the Hyundai Masters finale.

Growth Not Without Growing Pains
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The craft veteran achieved her second career Triple Crown honors in 2022, sweeping the US Open, National Championship, and Masters trophy. She made history as the first woman ever to complete the Masters Cup triple after her debut in 2018.

Winning the winner’s share from the $16,000 purse not only enhanced her financial standing but also solidified her status as the undisputed queen reigning atop the sport. This recognition comes after years of showcasing impeccable placement precision and mental toughness. Fans are eager to see if Waters can achieve the elusive double Triple Crown defense in 2023.

Behind-the-Scenes: Growth Not Without Growing Pains

Hosting a flawless world-class event like the Hyundai Masters faces major threats from unprecedented inflation and supply chain shortages.

Yet deft management overcame the 55-degree weather complications in Indian Wells and fatigue from condensed scheduling logistics for a smoothly run competition that put players first. Media partners like CBS also helped expand viewership into new demographics of sports fans.

The APP leadership strives to improve accommodations for lower-ranked players facing financial struggles, enabling them to continue competing while managing the necessary cross-country travel. Exploration into additional secondary “feeder” circuits could help nurture up-and-coming talent.

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These 34 pros represent a fraction of the rapidly expanding base of over 4.8 million pickleball participants in North America. The future looks bright for increased diversity in champions, as teenage phenom Jacob Demarinis breaks out with performances, battling into top Seed #2 and upsetting veterans twice his age.

Hyundai Masters Pickleball Ushers in New Golden Era for Pro Pickleball

Elite pros like Serena Williams coach Kamau Murray, transitioning from tennis to pickleball, foreshadow major growth milestones. World-famous sports figures are helping shine the mainstream spotlight on the sport in 2023 and beyond.

For now, the Hyundai Masters Pickleball Championship Finals delivered a smashing success for its invested sponsors and ever-passionate growing community. Carrying lofty expectations, this pinnacle event managed to thrill with a display of sheer athletic spectacle meriting Pickleball’s primetime debut.

Fans witnessed history with the coronation of pickleball GOAT Ben Johns and women’s legend Anna Leigh Waters. These breakthrough stars had landmark Triple Crown seasons, personifying the golden era of professional pickleball on center stage.

Hyundai Masters Pickleball Ushers in New Golden Era for Pro Pickleball
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic rules of pickleball?

Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. Games are played on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified 36-inch tall tennis net using a perforated plastic ball and paddle. Scoring uses underhand serves and rallies similar to tennis within a quick fast-paced game, usually with doubles teams.

How can Hyundai’s sponsorship help me get into pickleball?

Beyond supporting the development of new local courts and tournaments to play competitively, Hyundai also helps make pickleball more accessible for newcomers through free intro lessons, gear donations to schools, and spotlighting inspiring local volunteers who are the heart of growing their pickleball community.

What big tournaments do the pros compete at?

The headline events are the three “Grand Slams” – the US Open in April, the National Championship over July 4th weekend, and the season-ending Hyundai Masters in November, which awarded Triple Crowns to Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters for sweeping all three 2022 titles. The Pro Championship, PPA Championships, and APP Tour Master’s Cup are other elite events.

How much money can pros make competing?

The Hyundai Masters awarded a $16k top prize plus overall 2022 pro earnings could approach $300k for dominant players like Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters, especially with sponsorships added. While not all pros make that much, upwards of $50k on average for consistent winners helps attract world-class talent that enhances skill level across tours.

In Summary

The 2022 Hyundai Masters Pickleball Championships marked a coming-of-age milestone as the marquee event on tour captivated audiences with an epic showing by respective GOATs Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters. Under the mainstream spotlight unlike ever before, pro pickleball continues its ascension into rarified air as an elite professionalized sport commanding global attention.

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