Players to Watch – Irina Tereschenko
Originally from Moscow, Irina Tereschenko remains today one of the most fun-loving and talented players on the professional pickleball circuit. After first picking up a paddle just a few short years ago in Bellevue, Washington, she felt right at home on the pickleball court. Her early time on the court was playing with Hall-of-Famer Billy Jacobsen and pickleball legend Chris Miller who helped shape Tereschenko’s game in its early stages. Miller, a former national men’s singles champion has been playing the sport for nearly 30 years and currently works at the Bobby Riggs Tennis Club in Encinitas.
Tereschenko was an outstanding collegiate tennis player, competing at #1 singles and doubles for the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. Success on the pickleball court also came quickly for the 36-year old. Tereschenko captured the women’s singles title at the 2016 USAPA National Championships. She would follow that up with medalist honors in Pro singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the 2017 and 2018 US Open, Beer City Open and the 2017-18 Tournament of Champions. Irina also captured the mixed doubles title at the 2018 SoCal Classic. At the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships she teamed with Lucy Kovalova to win the Women’s Opens Doubles crown.
In 2019, Irina continues to collect gold medals. Women’s doubles titles at the Hawaii Open, Centralia and Golden State Championships where she also won a mixed doubles title. Add that on to another win in mixed doubles at the SoCal Classic and a US Open Pro Doubles title with Kovalova and you have another stellar year on the pickleball courts.
Away from the pickleball court, Tereschenko is involved in coaching tennis, academic research in areas of sport management, coaching and sport psychology, as well as being active with other sports such as surfing, snowboarding, water skiing and kiteboarding. The playing of the sport’s national championships at Indian Wells Indian has her excited about the future of the sport: “Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a world-class facility and home of one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. Staging the Nationals there is certainly a privilege for the sport of pickleball. It provides a unique player and fan experience and the event has gained an incredible level of notoriety and increased media exposure.”
Always one of the more personable players in pickleball, an Irina Tereschenko match is one to watch at the 2019 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships.