Yana Grechkina and Pat Smith playing mixed doubles in the "MLP" Major League Pickleball as team ATX Pickleballers. (photo sent in by Yana)
Meet Yana Grechkina, born in Russia and now resides in Kansas city Missouri. She is the first female to win Gold in the APP Next Gen pickleball tournament in San Antonio, TX.
Yana 23 has hit the pickleball circuit with leaps and bounds. She recently was drafted into the MLP on team ATX Pickleballers and played along pro player Catherine Parentneau in womens doubles, the two played well together.
Yana with a background in Tennis Has a 43-40 career singles record, she holds a tie for the seventh-most singles victories in program history.
• How were you introduced to pickleball & how long have you been playing?
I have been playing pickleball for a little over a year. My tennis friends and my college coach introduced me to the sport a while ago. But the pandemic provided me with plenty of time to truly explore the sport and to fall in love with it!
• You were drafted in the MLP on the ATX Pickleballers team. I bet you were so excited. Tell us more about that day and how you were feeling. Also, what was it like playing womens doubles with Catherine Parentaeu? You both played so well together.
Every time I think about the MLP event I get goosebumps! It was certainly an honor to be selected to participate among the top players. I was so lucky to compete on the same side with Catherine, Pat, and Tyler. And do I need to mention our sweetest owner - Brene Brown, who came to every single match to support us and to cheer for us with her husband and her friends! Definitely one of the most emotional events for me. I was very nervous at first. I was pretty much a "no one" out there and I wanted to do well for the team. This is where Catherine came in and brought so much confidence in my game. We ended up winning every game after that, finishing very strong! And the crazy loud energy we had with Pat! We totally shook some teams' nerves :D We didn't end up being the MLP Champs in the end, but we did some damage on the court and developed amazing relationships among each other, which is a big win in my books!
Watch Yana here in a match with Catherine Parenteau in the MLP team ATX Pickleballers.
"MLP" event: ATX Pickleballers. Yana in the middle left next to owner Brene Brown, author of six #1 New York Times bestsellers and speaker of Ted Talks.
( Owners of ATX Pickleballers Brené Brown, Steve Alley, Charles Kiley. )
• What kind of pickleball paddle do you play with? Also what brand of shoes do you like to wear on the court?
I use Electrum. I love Nike tennis shoes.
• What do you see in the future for yourself regarding your goals and dreams?
I would love to see pickleball take on new heights and expand internationally attracting more foreign players, where I can proudly represent my home country. I see my life closely connected to pickleball in the future. It's amazing how socially connecting this sport is, which is a crucial factor for its development. My dream is definitely to help the sport grow and to keep growing with it!
• Do you have anyone you look up to or are inspired by?
I would not want to give credit just to one person, because I constantly find people who I look up to! I'd say I am inspired by the individuals who work hard and who have humble personalities! Well... I have to mention Roger Federer though - my all time idol! Maybe one day I'll play pickleball with him in Switzerland! (add this one to the dream list in the previous question :D)
• Do you have any hobbies outside of Tennis and Pickleball?
I love traveling, reading books, hiking, learning new things, and finding cool local coffee shops when I travel for pickleball tournaments :D
• What is your favorite quote or words of wisdom?
Tough times never last, but tough people do. (Dr. Robert Schuller)
Yana returning a hard drive in singles at the Chicken and Pickle NEXT GEN, San Antonio TX, which lead her to a Gold win!
Yana is the first female to win Gold in the APP Next Gen pickleball tournament held in San Antonio, TX.
Mixed doubles day with Ben Newell in Newport Beach, CA.
Yana with a background in Tennis Has a 43-40 career singles record, she holds a tie for the seventh-most singles victories in program history. University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Celebrating after winning the 2018 Conference Championship with her tennis team, WAC. Champions.
Hiking in Arizona.
Thank you Yana for taking your time out of your busy schedule to interview with us here at PTPC. You are appreciated! It was a joy corresponding back and forth with you and getting to know you more. Yana was a pleasure to interview, sweet and well mannered. It is exciting to watch the Next Gen pool of pickleballers come up amongst and along side of the pro players.
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