Anna Leigh Waters & JW Johnson Capture Two Gold Medals Each at the 2024 Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships Powered by Margaritaville

April 25, 2024

Anna Leigh Waters & JW Johnson Capture Two Gold Medals Each at the 2024 Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships Powered by Margaritaville

50,000 Spectators and 3,200+ Players had the Time of Their Lives at the “Biggest Pickleball Party in the World”

NAPLES, FLORIDA – April26, 2024 – The largest and most prestigious pickleball tournament in the world since 2016 -- the 2024 Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships powered by Margaritaville awarded medals in over 260 events to players of all ages and skill levels plus a record $150,000 in prize money to many of the best professionals in the sport.  Over 3,200 players including 460 professionals from all 50 states and 31 countries competed in more than 5,000 matches during the week at East Naples Community Park from April 13-20, in Naples, Florida.

Although no professional earned a Triple Crown (singles, doubles, mixed) this year, both Anna Leigh Waters and JW Johnson captured two gold medals in the three marquee pro events.  Waters and Johnson teamed up to earn the mixed doubles title with a dominating 11-2, 11-3 win over Andrei Daescu/Megan Fudge.  The 17-year-old world number one also joined forces in women’s doubles with her mother Leigh to beat Simone Jardim/Allison Harris 11/5, 11/5.  Johnson earned his men’s doubles gold alongside Dylan Frazier with a comeback win over Daescu/Gabriel Tardio 9-11, 12-10, 11-1. Johnson also captured a pair of bronze medals – one in men’s singles and the other in the men’s split pro age alongside Mircea Morariu.

The gold medals for women’s and men’s pro singles were awarded to Jorja Johnson who defeated Megan Fudge 11-2, 11-3 and Jack Foster who upended Christopher Haworth11-5, 11-4.   For a list of all medalists, visit  

The US OPEN regularly draws a host of celebrity players from sports and entertainment who’ve caught the pickleball bug.  This year’s “celebrity” players included: NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry who captured three gold medals in the 80+ divisions of play (men’s singles 4.0, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles); former WTA great Joanne Russell won gold medals in both women’s doubles (age 65-69) and women’s doubles 5.0 (age 65-69) plus a pair of silver medals in mixed doubles (age 65-69) and mixed doubles skill 5.0(ages 65-69); 8-time grand slam winner Ivan Lendl partnered with former ATP player Mikael Pernfors to compile a 2-2 record in men’s doubles (age 60-64);actor and former ATP tennis player Vince Van Patten went 3-2 in men’s senior pro singles and 1-2 in men’s split age; and former Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel compiled a 1-2 record in both mixed split pro and men’s senior pro doubles.  

It marked the second straight year the US OPEN field surpassed 3,000 players.  Here’s a look at the year-by-year increase in participation: 2016 – 860; 2017 – 1,243; 2018 – 2,047; 2019 – 2,161; 2020 – EventCancelled; 2021 – 2,190 (limited due to COVID restrictions); 2022 – 2,822;2023: 3,000; 2024: 3,200.  

“We congratulate all of the medalists for their outstanding play and thank the thousands of players who traveled from all over the world to continue to make the U.S. OPEN the Biggest Pickleball Party in the World,” said Minto US OPEN co-founder Terri Graham.  “We also want to thank our supportive sponsors and tireless volunteers and staff who helped us ensure that the record-breaking crowds attending the most exciting pickleball tournament in the world had the time of their lives.”

The “Biggest Pickleball Party in the World™” once again provided players and fans an electric atmosphere throughout East Naples Community Park—the largest permanent pickleball facility in the world with 64 courts including the world-famous Zing Zang Championship Court. With perfect weather all week the event surpassed last year’s record crowd of 50,000 spectators.  The energy, spirit of community, pure joy and fun are unlike any other pickleball event.

The event once again proved to be an economic boom for Collier County, Fla, certainly surpassing the economic impact of $14 million in2 023.  Collier County offers sports in paradise, beautiful beaches, world class restaurants and more. The US OPEN will once again benefit two charities: Kiwanis which services children by fighting hunger, improving literacy and offering guidance as well as St. Matthews House, “the main food concessionaire for the US OPEN” - a social enterprise of St. Matthews House, which works to fight homelessness, hunger, substance abuse and poverty in Southwest Florida.

The Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships is organized by Spirit Promotions, LLC, a company formed by Terri Graham and Chris Evon in 2015 and now owned by parent company, Pickleball4America.  Information on the Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships is available at and on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram