Pickleball, a sport rapidly gaining popularity over recent years, presents a fascinating spectacle. It is viewed as a hybrid of badminton, tennis, and ping pong, yet it stands unique. Unlike these sports, pickleball is easier to learn but don’t be misled; easy does not mean lack of depth. The arena of professional players in pickleball is a vivid testament to this fact. The top ten best female pickleball players of 2023 embody this evolution. They have emerged from a pool of growing and talented players, showcasing a blend of agility, strategy, and finesse that redefines the sport.
From my journey following this sport, I’ve seen firsthand how its popularity has skyrocketed. These women are not just players; they are pioneers in a field that is still unfolding its potential. Each player on this top ten list is not just playing a game; they are part of a larger narrative, one that speaks to the testament of pickleball’s charm and challenge. They exemplify what it means to be at the pinnacle of a growing sport – a blend of raw talent and refined skill, making each game a thrilling display of what it means to excel in pickleball.
Female Pickleball Players
6.14 DUPR (Doubles Rating) 16 years old Right Handed 5'6" tall
At just 16 years old, standing 5’6″ tall and being right-handed, she boasts an impressive 6.14 DUPR (Doubles Rating). Anna Leigh has not only taken the pickleball world by storm but also serves as an inspiration to young athletes everywhere. Her trajectory in the sport is not just about winning titles; it’s about redefining the potential of young talents in competitive sports.
2. Catherine Parenteau
6.09 (DUPR Doubles Rating) 29 years old 5'5" tall Right handed
In the dynamic world of pickleball, Catherine Parenteau stands out as a formidable force. At 29 years old and 5’5″ tall, this right-handed powerhouse has an impressive 6.09 DUPR Doubles Rating. Her accolades are remarkable, boasting $76,475 in Total Prize Money and 8 Total PPA Titles. Residing in Naples, FL, Parenteau has been making waves since she turned pro in 2016.
Born on August 26, 1994, Catherine, now 27, utilizes her height and agility to deliver unmatched performances. She plays with the Paddletek Tempest Reign Pro paddle, a choice that reflects her status as one of the most exciting and best young pickleball players. Her achievements include gold at the USAPA Nationals 2018 with Leigh Waters and victories at the 2019 Canadian Nationals with Athena Trouillot, as well as the Chicago Open with Riley Newman and Andrea Koop. Sponsored by Paddletek, her excellent performance continues to captivate pickleball enthusiasts globally.
3. Anna Bright
5.97 (DUPR Doubles Rating) 24 years old 5'8" tall Right handed
In the constellation of top pickleball talents, Anna Bright shines with a distinctive flair. At 24 years old and 5’8″ tall, this right-handed dynamo brings an athletic edge to the court, reflected in her 5.97 DUPR Doubles Rating. Anna’s choice of paddle, the JOOLA Scorpeus CFS 14, is a testament to her precision and power in play. Her stature in the world of pickleball is not just measured by her height but by the skill and strategy she exhibits in every match. Bright’s presence on the court is a blend of grace and competitiveness, making her a formidable opponent and a player to watch in the coming years.
4. Parris Todd
5.95 (DUPR Doubles Rating) 5.94 (singles) Right handed
Parris Todd, a relatively new pro in pickleball, has taken the sport by storm after transitioning from tennis, a game she started playing at 5 years old. Trained at the prestigious Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida since she was 8 years old, Todd was the #1 ranked junior in the country for ages 14-16. Beyond the courts, she also launched her clothing line, Waisted USA, with Macy’s, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit within just 3 months in business.
After finding pickleball in late 2021, she competed in her first pro tournament in January 2022 and quickly made a name for herself. Now calling pickleball her home, Todd has already collected over 20 medals in 2022 and has a 5.95 DUPR Doubles Rating. Known for beating top players like Anna Leigh Waters, her right-handed playstyle and impressive agility make her a formidable and exciting player to watch.
5. Simon Jardim
5.95 (DUPR Doubles Rating) Right handed 5 ft 8 in (173 cm) Tall
Simone Jardim, widely regarded as one of the best female pickleball players in the world, brings extraordinary prowess to the court. Originally from Brazil, she has won numerous titles, notably being a six-time US Open champion. Her collection of gold medals in both singles and doubles at the USAPA National Championships speaks volumes of her dominance in the sport. Known for her power and precision, Jardim is a true force to be reckoned with on the court.
Jardim’s journey in pickleball has been nothing short of stellar. She captured the No. 1 women’s player position from 2016-2020, earning the nickname “queen of Pickleball”. Her DUPR Rating stands at 5.86 in Doubles, a testament to her skill and strategic mastery of the game. Jardim’s influence in pickleball goes beyond her victories; she is a symbol of excellence and resilience in the sport.
6. Jackie Kawamoto
5.95 (DUPR Doubles Rating) 3.50 in singles Right handed 5' 3" Tall
Jackie Kawamoto, a former college tennis player turned pickleball pro, made a remarkable switch to pickleball in 2019 and has since emerged as a significant player in the professional pickleball scene. With a 5.95 rating in doubles and 3.50 in singles, her transition from tennis, where she played alongside her twin sister, Jade, at the University of Dayton, to pickleball has been seamless and impressive.
In pickleball, she continues to partner with her sister in doubles, showcasing a unique blend of teamwork and sibling rivalry when they play against each other. Kawamoto’s journey from tennis courts to pickleball arenas exemplifies adaptability and skill, marking her as a noteworthy player to watch.
7. Vivienne David
5.94 (DUPR Doubles Rating) 26 years old 5'4" tall Right handed
At 26 years old and 5’4″ tall, Vivienne David has rapidly ascended as a young Canadian player making significant strides in pickleball. With a 5.94 rating in doubles and 5.53 in singles, her skill set is undeniable. David’s journey in racket sports began with playing tennis at 8 years old, a foundation that greatly contributed to her transition and success in pickleball. Her family, particularly her father, a founder of Pickleball Global and Pickleball Pro US, played a big part in her interest and eventual obsession with the sport. Today, she stands among the world’s top female pros, symbolizing pickleball’s growing popularity and the emergence of new talent in the competitive arena.
8. Etta Wright
5.95 (DUPR Doubles Rating) 31 years old 5'10" tall Right handed
Marietta “Etta” Wright, standing 5’10” tall and 31 years old, is an up-and-coming player in the world of pickleball, showcasing immense potential for great things. With a 5.95 DUPR Doubles Rating, her trajectory in the sport is notable. Born in New Zealand and raised in California, Wright now resides in Utah with her husband and daughter. Her competitive tennis background, having played D2 tennis at BYU-Hawaii and serving as an assistant coach for their tennis team, laid a robust foundation for her transition to pickleball in 2021. Etta’s move to the pro scene has been marked by a blend of skill and determination, making her a player to watch in the coming years.
9. Callie Smith
5.87 (DUPR Doubles Rating) 32 years old 5'10" tall Right handed
Callie Smith, standing 5’10” tall and aged 32, is a veritable powerhouse in women’s pickleball. With a 5.87 rating in doubles and an impressive 6.00 in singles, she ranks among the top 5 female pros in the country. Her journey began as a tennis star, having played D1 tennis at the University of Utah and being a four-time Utah state champion. In 2018, Smith made a significant transition, swapping her tennis racket for a pickleball paddle. It all started when she played with her husband and 85-year-old grandfather, where she found herself hooked on the competitive group play of pickleball.
Discovering a new passion, Smith turned pro in 2019, rapidly climbing the ranks to become one of the top athletes in the sport. Her enthusiasm extends beyond the court as she is also the co-owner of Paddle Up Pickleball, alongside Kyle Smith, further cementing her commitment and influence in the pickleball world.
10. Leigh Waters
5.92 (DUPR Doubles Rating) 44 years old 5'6" tall Right handed
Leigh Waters, aged 44 and standing 5’6″ tall, is not just a top-tier pickleball player; she’s an icon of the mother-daughter doubles team alongside her daughter, Anna Leigh. With a 5.92 rating in doubles, she is one of the top 10 doubles players in the world. Her list of accomplishments includes winning multiple U.S.
Open gold medals and holding 6 PPA titles, making her a favorite in the pickleball community. Waters, who turned pro in 2018, balances her passion for pickleball with her full-time job as a lawyer, a testament to her commitment and skill. Her ability to spend time with her daughter on the court has endeared her to many, making her not just one of the biggest names in the sport but a true fan favorite.
As a pickleball fan, it’s exhilarating to watch the sport of pickleball evolve, especially through the impactful plays of talented female players. The game has been growing in popularity, and at the heart of this growth are remarkable athletes like Anna Leigh Waters and Leigh Waters. Their skills on the court are not just about winning; they are making a mark and paving the way for future generations of women in pickleball.
These players are more than just competitors; they are strategic visionaries and inspirational figures, making significant contributions to the sport. Every stroke they play, every game they improve, is a step towards keeping the spirit of the game alive and exciting. It’s not just about being a player; it’s about being a part of something important, something much bigger than oneself.
As someone deeply invested in the game, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to recognize and support these women. They are not just playing a game; they are rewriting the narrative for female players in sports. Their actions on the court are a source of inspiration, showing us the worth of perseverance and dedication.
In conclusion, the Top 10 Female Pickleball Players are not just skilled athletes; they are the torchbearers for women in sports, inspiring us to keep an eye on the future they are making right before us.