Who Are the Top Pickleball Players in the World

Who Are the Top Pickleball Players in the World?

Pickleball is a fast-rising sport all over the world, and it now makes sense to recognize the game’s top players. So who are the top pickleball players in the world?

In this article, we will introduce the top players in different categories – from women to men, to seniors, and the oldest professional players.

Let’s dig in further as we get to know them and their achievements in the sport!

The Top Women Pickleball Players

More and more women are also getting interested in playing pickleball. Here are some of the top female pickleball players in the world now:

1. Anna Leigh Waters

She started playing the game in 2017, and at 15 years old, she’s already winning tournaments and bringing home the gold. She learned how to play the sport with her grandfather and continued to play along with her mother, paving the way for her to be a pickleball professional player at a young age.

2. Catherine Parenteau

Catherine Parenteau is a 27-year-old pickleball professional player who plays singles and doubles games. She is currently ranked number one in Women’s Singles and number 3 in Women’s Doubles rankings. She started playing tennis at the age of 4 and became a professional tennis player before discovering pickleball through her former tennis coach and another top female pickleball player, Simone Jardim. Aside from competing in pickleball tournaments, Parenteau also teaches the sport in pickleball clinics.

3. Simone Jardim

Like Parenteau, Jardim started her athletic journey with tennis, where she was ranked number one in doubles with her tennis partner, Kim Niggemeyer. She started playing pickleball and learned the sport quickly in 2015. She was number 1 in women’s pickleball in the Professional Pickleball Association Standings. Currently, she has won over 90 medals for playing pickleball professionally.

4. Irina Tereschenko

Another tennis professional turned pickleball champion, Irina Tereschenko, is one of the world’s most known and top-ranking female players. She became a pickleball professional player in 2016 and has played racquet-related sports for over 20 years. The 39-year-old player is currently the one who’s holding the PPA title in Women’s Pro Singles in Mesa, which she won in 2022. She plays pickleball in all three divisions.

5. Lea Jansen

She may be a newbie in the professional pickleball court, but her name is already climbing the charts of top female pickleball players worldwide. Lea Jansen started playing the sport in the summer of 2019 and competed professionally in 2021, where she has been bagging awards and taking home gold medals during tournaments. Like the others, she also started her athletic career with tennis in such a young age of 8 years old. The 29-year-old athlete is one of the exciting names in the pickleball world today.

The Number One Men’s Pickleball Player in the World

There are many known male pickleball players lately, and in this corner, we’ll get to know them, particularly the player currently regarded as the best in the world of pickleball.

Ben Johns

Ranked as number one by One37pm, Ben Johns is a young professional pickleball player currently ranked as the number one player by the Pro Pickleball Association. At 23 years old, Johns had already won 50 PPA titles. He plays professional tournaments for all three divisions – singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

He also started his interest in sports by playing tennis and table tennis as a child. He discovered pickleball in 2016 when he was 17 years old, and only a few months later, he was able to score a place in the US Open Pickleball Championships for the Men’s Single Division. A year later, Johns won his first gold medal for pickleball.

Today, his name rings an instant bell when people ask who’s the world’s best pickleball player.

Other Top Male Pickleball Players

Aside from Ben Johns, these names are part of the pickleball history in the male division:

Zane Navratil

Zane Navratil started his professional pickleball career at the age of 18. By then, he was still playing tennis and winning high school tennis state championships. He started playing and teaching pickleball as his full-time profession in 2020 after he left his job as an auditor. As a pickleball coach, he conducts his classes in pickleball clinics around the United States.

According to his website, he is ranked number one in Men’s Singles by the World Pickleball Rankings.

JW Johnson

JW Johnson is a teenage pickleball player already proving his worth on the professional court. Born in the Johnson family, who have been playing pickleball together for years, it doesn’t come as a shock that JW Johnson will also become a professional player. Their family tours and joins professional tournaments together, where they also win medals, including golds.

Johnson plays for all three divisions and has already won two triple crowns.

AJ Koller

Aside from tennis, AJ Koller’s previous sports include ice hockey before moving to pickleball. This 32-year-old player started playing pickleball in 2018, and in 2019, he entered professional tournaments. As a pickleball player, he already has his own trademark on the court, which is his crab walk. He first won a medal in a Men’s Doubles game in 2021 and currently has two silver medals and counting.

Jay Devilliers

Jay Devilliers is a 27-year-old professional pickleball player who ranks as one of the bests in all three divisions. As a child, he explored many sports before discovering pickleball, which includes tennis (a common denominator in our top pickleball players), soccer, badminton, table tennis, swimming, and others. He mainly focused on tennis and soccer during his younger years. After college, he was exposed to pickleball and started competing in 2019. He is now doing pickleball tournaments and goes on tour full-time.

Currently, he also plays the role of an ambassador for the French Pickleball Federation. He also teaches the sport when he has no tournaments to win.

The Best Senior Pickleball Player

Best Senior Pickleball Player – Men’s Edition

Scott Moore

Scott Moore’s name is well-known in the pickleball court, winning over 30 gold medals from various national competitions. He has more than 30 years of professional athletic experience with tennis, and in 2013, he discovered pickleball and never looked back.

His professional pickleball tournaments started in 2013 when his youngest son left for college, and his career progressed. He used pickleball to fill the emptiness he must have felt during his son’s physical absence in their home. Moore trained with him when his other son moved back home, and eventually, together, they started winning more national competitions. Eventually, they explored pickleball more by playing separately and with more people close to their ages, and they won more games with this.

Despite his age, he still stays active and healthy by playing the sport. His dedication to pickleball also plays a vital part in his successful wins during tournaments.

Best Senior Pickleball Player – Women’s Edition

Eva Welsher

Pickleball University hails Eval Welsher as the top senior pickleball player for the women’s division. Like Moore, being an empty nester is one of Welsher’s primary drivers in finding a new thing to do, leading her to pickleball. Her athletic career started with tennis when she was 10 years old. She became one of the top junior players of the sport in the country back then, winning several tournaments while she was touring the United States. Today, she trains and does a lot of workouts to keep in shape and in her best condition to win more games in the professional pickleball scene.

The Oldest Pro Pickleball Player

Doris Castaneda

At 90+ years old, Doris Castaneda remains a great professional pickleball player. In high school, she played various sports like basketball and volleyball. With her age, she ensures she continues participating in sports like pickleball. She also has experience playing paddle tennis, which helped her become at ease with pickleball.

Castaneda won her first pickleball silver and gold medals when she was 88 years old for singles and doubles games. Her achievements in the professional athletic scene, not just in pickleball, play an important role in the evolution of women’s involvement in sports and tournaments.

Final Thoughts

There is no age, gender, and length of experience required in playing pickleball. Since this sport is easy to understand and play, it is not shocking to know that more and more people, professional athletes included, are trying to be engaged with pickleball.

One common thing noticeable among the names included in this list is the fact that they all used to play other sports before focusing on pickleball. The most mentioned one is tennis, and it is understandable since there are a lot of similarities between pickleball and the said sport. Anyone can learn and be a pro as long as one has the right dedication and determination to play the sport. These players invested a lot of their time and effort in pickleball before becoming who they are now in professional tournaments.

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