Wednesday, April 17

Nearly 800 players set to compete in pickleball tournament in Delray Beach

Seven hundred eighty-eight players are set to face off at the APP Tour: Vlasic Classic in Delray Beach.

As the seasoned pros and elite pickleball players gear up to dominate the stage on Thursday.

Professional pickleball player Richard Livornese Jr. spent the day studying the courts and acclimated himself in preparation for his first-round action.

“Every tournament like this is super cool and a super unique thing, Livornese, who is ranked 10th, said. I came from a team sport background and it’s cool to be able to travel around every week is its own tournament. “

The championship rounds are set for Sunday, and the tournament winner will earn $100,000. Livornese knows he has a tough road to gold but said he already knows what he will spend his winnings on if he wins.

“I’m not a big spender, so maybe take my girlfriend out somewhere nice, he said. She’d like that, I’m sure.”

While Livornese is one of the sports’ top talents, Wednesday was dedicated to pros who want to qualify for the doubles and singles tournaments.

“I lost my first-round match of singles, but you learn something new each time you come down here, Alec Martone, who is a new pickleball professional, said. So, I’m taking notes as I play, saying, ‘This guy does this, this guy is doing that.”

Martone has only been a professional pickleball player for the past three months. While he’s new to the sport, he’s soaking up knowledge like a sponge from each tournament he attends.

While early success hasn’t come his way, he uses previous life experiences to motivate him on his new journey.

“When I was younger, I had an overwhelming amount of fear of failure, and the sport I played at the time was hockey, Martone said. I knew that I had the skill set to play at a high level, but the level of fear I had, held me back.”

After allowing fear to stop his dream of being a hockey player, Martone created the fail-first project to teach people how to use their failures to help fulfill their dreams.

“If I were to win that money, I would like to use it to really grow that mission, he said. I would really do what I can to empower other individuals to chase after things that really make them uncomfortable, but in the long run, they get so much growth out of it.”

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