CINCINNATI — Some of the best pickleball players in the country competed here in Ohio this weekend, including a Cincinnati native who’s now part of the pro tour.

What You Need To Know

  • Cincinnati's APP Vlasic Classic attracted about 200 pro pickleball players and 750 amateurs

  • Cincinnati native FD Wilder won the men's super senior (over 60) doubles with Scott Moore

  • The facility at Sawyer Point was converted to pickleball from tennis last year

​FD Wilder was born in Cincinnati and worked for 40 years at Procter and Gamble’s world headquarters in the Queen City. He now lives in Naples, Florida with his parents but came back here for the APP Cincinnati Vlasic Classic.

“I’m just really proud of what our city has been able to accomplish,” Wilder said.

He won the super-senior (age 60 and over) with a pickleball legend, Scott Moore.

“This is my first time to play in Ohio,” Moore said. “I’m blown away—a lovely facility here.”

The facility was the brainchild of Pickleball at Sawyer Point president Gary Lessis. He convinced the city’s parks and recreation department to convert eight old tennis courts into a world-class pickleball facility.

“People absolutely love this facility,” Lessis said. “The feedback has been so positive.”

The pro tournament moved to the new facility from its home in Middletown. It attracted about 200 pro players and 750 amateurs, Lessis said.

“The community has just been awesome to work with - so much love of pickleball here,” said Ken Herrmann, the founder of the Association of Pickleball Professionals and the tournament director.  “Cincinnati is the heart of the Midwest,” Herrmann said. “It’s easier to get to for the players from the Southeast region, the players from Florida and the Midwest but what has been so unique is the venue. Sawyer Point is one of the top two venues in the Midwest.”

“Gary (Lessis) and his team have done a phenomenal job getting it here right on the river with  the trees,” Moore said. “I love it!”