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The Top 10 Pro Pickleball Players in the World

September 29, 2023

A breakdown of the world’s top 10 pro pickleball players highlights who the game’s greats are and the accolades that separate them from the rest.

Rankings run the sports world, and pickleball is no different. Throughout the year, fans can watch the world’s top 10 pro pickleball players with utter amazement at various tournaments. You know you’re in for a treat when you see the following names, whether you’re at the event or watching it on TV. 

1) Ben Johns

You can’t dispute that anybody is better at pickleball than Ben Johns. Johns holds the record for the most Triple Crown victories by a male professional and is the first pickler to have a lucrative endorsement agreement from JOOLA. If that isn’t impressive enough, Johns has spent the past three years as the top-ranked player in all disciplines (singles, doubles, and mixed doubles), netting 80 PPA titles. His doubles titles mean more because his brother, Collin, is his partner-in-crime.

Recently, Johns became a college graduate from the University of Maryland, earning a Materials Science & Engineering degree. Johns has accomplished all these feats and is only 24 years old. 

2) Anna Leigh Waters
There have been child prodigies for centuries. While Anna Leigh Waters didn’t write a symphony at nine like Mozart, we could make the argument winning pickleball triple crowns is equally impressive. 
At 12, most people can only dream about being a professional athlete when they grow up, but Waters made that a reality. She grew up playing tennis and soccer, thanks to the influence of her two parents, who both competed at the Division I level. It was her grandfather who introduced her to the game once the family relocated for a brief period because of Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Anna Leigh and her mother, Leigh, changed the game in doubles competition with their aggressive play. Now, Waters’s mom sits on the sidelines as a coach as Anna has different doubles partners, including Ben Johns. 
Presently, Waters can expertly juggle being a typical adolescent with her career as a professional pickleball player. But no one can mistake the intensity of her desire to win as her number-one ranking in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles show. 

3) Federico Staksrug
A common theme you’ll notice among the world’s best pickleball players is that they began their career as tennis players, only to eventually find their way to the pickleball court. Federico Staksrud falls into this category. 
The Buenos Aires native played competitive collegiate tennis at numerous schools, with the University of New Orleans and Tennessee Wesleyan being the most prominent. However, it wasn’t until he transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University for his master’s degree in Information Systems that he dabbled in pickleball.
Fortunately for Staksrug, he had a team full of pickleball pros ready to guide him, including one of the greatest female players of all time, Simone Jardim. Although Staksrug has only played for two years, his ascension to the number two ranking and his golf medals prove he could be on the brink of catching the immortal Johns.

4) Catherine Parteneau
One of Waters’s doubles partners is Catherine Parenteau, who is no slouch. Parenteau, once among Canada’s top five tennis players, now travels to participate in international pickleball championships, earning a top-three ranking.
Her maiden victory came at the 2018 USA Pickleball Association event, and she has since added numerous PPA medals and two 2021 doubles titles to her resume. Parenteau continues to prioritize her professional career but finds fulfillment in coaching others and organizing clinics.

5) Tyson McGuffin
It’s hard to miss Tyson McGuffin on the pickleball court, thanks to his immaculate collection of tattoos, but his resume is as long as his inked sleeves. 
McGuffin remains one of the top must-see players in pickleball because of his impeccable agility, speed, and defensive prowess. He is currently the world’s third-ranked singles and fifth-ranked mixed doubles player.
As a tennis player, McGuffin decided to teach the sport rather than compete on the ATP circuit. McGuffin didn’t discover pickleball until six years after his tennis tutelage career began. Since introducing the beautiful game of pickleball, McGuffin has had a huge hand in every facet of the community. He travels the country doing clinics and releasing instructional films to spread the word about this accessible and fun sport.

6) Lea Jansen
Even though she’s nearly twice the age of Anna Leigh Waters, Lea Jansen is another rising star on the PPA Tour with fierce competitiveness and a combative on-court demeanor. Jansen’s a newcomer to pickleball after spending most of her youth on the tennis and volleyball courts. 
She picked up a paddle in 2019, becoming a full-time player in 2021. Since she became a pro, Jansen has relocated to Austin, where she trains among other professional pickleball players. She has won medals at some of the sport’s most prestigious competitions, including two PPA golds.

7) Connor Garnett
Connor Garnett burst onto the scene in pickleball when he took home the silver medal in the first singles and doubles competition he participated in. Garnett, of course, comes from a tennis background from Santa Clara University. But what’s most impressive about Garnett’s accolades is being a hitting partner with one of the greatest tennis players ever, Novak Djokovic. Garnett is relatively new to the game compared to his peers, so he’s always motivated to improve his game en route to the number one spot. 

8) Irina Tereschenko
Irena Tereschrenko has been a major factor in women’s pickleball. Before Chris Miller, another professional tennis player, had Tereschenko participate in the Pickleball Tournament of Champions, Tereschenko was an ardent tennis player at Texas Tech University. After her first success, she devoted herself to pickleball and has since won five majors and two USAPA championships.

9) Jay Devilliers
Jocelyn “Jay” Devilliers, a Frenchman who has been a notable player in pickleball since 2019, demonstrates the sport’s worldwide popularity despite its Pacific Northwest origins. Devilliers is well-versed in multiple racquet sports, but it wasn’t until a career-ending injury forced him to abandon tennis that he picked up a pickleball paddle. 
During the 2021 Pacific NW Classic, Devilliers won the Triple Crown by taking first place in the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles competitions, bringing his total number of APP championships to over 20. Devilliers is one of the world’s top five male singles players and an ambassador for the French Pickleball Federation.

10) Mary Brascia
Whenever you can invent your shot, you deserve recognition. Mary Brascia’s “Mary-Go-Round” shot has been a sight on the pickleball circuit since 2022. The Mission Viejo native got hooked on the game after her parents introduced it in 2020. 
She has been successful in both professional singles and doubles competitions. Mary won a silver medal in women’s singles at the Acrytech Atlanta Open in the 2023 PPA season. Her defensive proficiency and determination got her where she is now. 
The top ten pickleball players in the world are forever changing, but it’s hard to see a way that Johns and Waters aren’t on top of the pedestal for years to come. Fromuth Pickleball has the freshest pickleball outfits you can see the pros wear on tour, considering we’re an official partner with Major League Pickleball! 

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