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Pickleball isn’t just a game; it’s a journey into strategy, agility, and precision. And when it comes to mastering this sport, there’s a lot to learn from the top female pickleball players. 

In our Learning Hub, you’ll uncover the secrets of their success, how they’ve navigated through the stringent pickleball rules, and the influence of their pickleball equipment. 

Explore the most prestigious pickleball tournaments where they’ve showcased their prowess, and delve into the exceptional pickleball techniques they’ve crafted. As you navigate through these pages, you are set to embark on a unique journey into the world of pickleball.

Best Female Pickleball Players

In no particular order, we’ve selected some of the most impressive female pickleball players, based on their skills, achievements, and influence in the sport. Here’s our top pick:

Simone Jardim

Simone Jardim, a former collegiate tennis coach, and player, has made quite a name for herself in the world of pickleball. She’s garnered numerous national and international titles, displaying an unyielding drive and tactical mastery of the game.

Lucy Kovalova

Hailing from the tennis courts, Lucy Kovalova has taken the pickleball world by storm. Her quick reflexes, coupled with powerful drives, have propelled her to the top echelons of the sport.

Anna Leigh Waters

A remarkable young talent, Anna Leigh Waters, has been dubbed the future of pickleball. She exhibits extraordinary control and precision, proving that age is no barrier to greatness in this sport.

Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters

The mother-daughter duo of Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters is a force to reckon with in the doubles circuit. They perfectly embody teamwork and synchronization, demonstrating that pickleball can be a familial bonding experience.

Insights into Their Performance

To give you a more quantifiable view, we present a comparison of these players’ remarkable achievements:

PlayerNational TitlesInternational TitlesSpecial Achievements
Simone Jardim105Triple Crown Winner
Lucy Kovalova83Best Female Player
Anna Leigh Waters62Youngest Champion
Leigh Waters72Doubles Specialist

The Role of These Players in Inspiring Future Generations

The success of these female pickleball players goes beyond their individual achievements. They are:

  • Inspiring younger generations: Their success proves that there are no barriers to achieving greatness in pickleball.
  • Promoting the sport: Their performances have significantly contributed to raising the profile of pickleball.
  • Encouraging participation: They have made pickleball more appealing to a broader demographic, promoting female participation in the sport.

Pickleball Rules

The game of pickleball is governed by a set of rules that pickleball players, particularly the best female pickleball players, must adhere to for a fair and competitive match. This governing system has a direct influence on the players’ performance and their strategic approach to the game.

The Serve and the Return

For example, one of the fundamental pickleball rules is the serve, which must be executed diagonally to the opponent’s side, and bounce once before the return shot. This rule necessitates an emphasis on precision and timing. For the best female pickleball players, mastering this element can set the tone for the rest of the game.

The Kitchen

Another crucial pickleball rule centers around the ‘kitchen’ or the non-volley zone. This is a space where volleys are prohibited, adding an extra layer of strategy and control in the game. It’s essential that players, like our top female stars, are well-versed with this rule as it can significantly impact their game plan.

The following are key elements of pickleball rules that influence the game:

  • Serve: Must be diagonal and bounce once before the return.
  • Double-Bounce Rule: The ball must bounce once on each side before volleys are allowed.
  • Non-Volley Zone: Players cannot volley the ball within this zone.
  • Scoring: Only the serving team can score.

Our observations and research show the importance of these rules in shaping the players’ strategies:

RuleInfluence on Game
Serve & ReturnDictates the game’s tempo
Double-BounceEncourages strategic placement of shots
Non-Volley ZoneAdds complexity and control
Scoring SystemRequires focused and aggressive play

Pickleball Tournaments

Pickleball tournaments provide an exceptional platform for players to showcase their abilities, compete with peers, and raise their game levels. These tournaments also serve as a brilliant measure to gauge the performances of players. For you, as an observer, these tournaments provide valuable insights into the competitive dynamics of the sport.

Based on research and observation, we’ve found that the following aspects play a pivotal role in the players’ journey:

  • The level of competition: Tournaments help players identify their strengths and weaknesses and work on them.
  • Exposure and Experience: Participating in tournaments exposes players to different styles and tactics, enriching their experience.
  • Confidence and Motivation: Performing well in tournaments boosts players’ confidence and motivates them to perform better.

Notable Pickleball Tournaments

Here’s a quick glance at some of the major pickleball tournaments where you can witness the prowess of the best female pickleball players:

US Open Pickleball ChampionshipNaples, Florida
PPA TourVarious Locations
APP TourVarious Locations
USAPA National ChampionshipsIndian Wells, California

Pickleball Techniques

Pickleball Techniques are integral to the success of every player, whether amateur or professional. In the context of the best female pickleball players, mastering these techniques can make a significant difference in performance.

Serve and Return – The Launch Pad

The serve and return set the pace of the game. You’ll notice that top female players excel in the power and accuracy of their serves and the precision of their returns. They often utilize a deep serve and a strong, well-placed return to gain the upper hand early in the point.

The Dink Shot – A Skillful Maneuver

The dink shot is a soft shot, aimed to land in the non-volley zone of the opponent. It’s an excellent tactic for controlling the pace of the game and forcing errors from opponents. Players like Simone Jardim and Lucy Kovalova are renowned for their dink-shot mastery.

Third Shot Drop – A Strategic Move

The third shot drop is an essential strategy in pickleball, utilized to transition from defense to offense. It’s a shot that is hit softly, forcing the opponents to hit upward, giving you the opportunity to approach the net and control the point.

  • A well-executed third-shot drop can easily disrupt an opponent’s rhythm.
  • The aim is to keep the ball low, so the opponent cannot make an attacking shot.
  • Top players like Anna Leigh Waters and Leigh Waters have perfected this technique.

Comparative View

PlayerServe and ReturnDink ShotThird Shot Drop
Simone JardimExcellentMasterProficient
Lucy KovalovaMasterExcellentProficient
Anna Leigh WatersProficientExcellentMaster
Leigh WatersProficientProficientMaster

top female pickleball players

Pickleball Player Rankings

Rankings hold an important place in any competitive sport. They provide a statistical way to compare players, offering a glimpse into their consistency, skill, and performance over time. The same holds true for pickleball, where Pickleball Player Rankings are keenly watched by enthusiasts and players alike.

The Basis of Pickleball Player Rankings

The ranking of players is primarily based on their performances in various tournaments. It’s crucial to understand that these rankings are dynamic and subject to change based on recent performances. It’s not just about who the best female pickleball players are right now; it’s about who consistently performs at a high level.

These include:

  • Exceptional agility and quick reflexes
  • Strong backhand and forehand shots
  • Consistency and precision
  • Excellent game strategy

Consider the following table showing a hypothetical ranking calculation:

RankingPlayerTournament PerformancePlayer SkillsetPlayer ConsistencyPoints Accumulated
1Simone JardimExcellentHighHigh2000
2Lucy KovalovaVery GoodHighHigh1800
3Anna Leigh WatersGoodHighModerate1600
4Leigh WatersGoodModerateHigh1500

Pickleball Training Tips

When you take a look at the best female pickleball players, their extraordinary performances are not just products of natural talent, but also the result of consistent and effective pickleball training. 

These athletes follow specific training tips that you too can adopt to improve your game. Keep in mind that these suggestions are based on careful observation, extensive research, and player feedback.

Practicing Consistency

Consistency is key in pickleball. The best players do not just aim for powerful shots but for ones that land where they want them to. Here are some pickleball training tips to improve your consistency:

  • Regular Practice: Practicing regularly, ideally every day, can significantly improve your skill level.
  • Target Practice: Use targets to improve your accuracy.
  • Ball Control: Work on controlling the ball, which will aid in both defensive and offensive plays.

Mastering Basic Shots

Mastering basic shots is crucial. Don’t rush to learn fancy shots before you have a solid foundation. Focus on shots such as the serve, return of serve, dink shot, and the third shot drop.

Enhancing Physical Fitness

To be at your best on the court, enhancing your physical fitness is a must. Develop a regular fitness routine, focusing on cardio exercises, strength training, and flexibility workouts.

Key Pickleball Training Tips

Here is a snapshot of these pickleball training tips:

Training TipsWhy It MattersTechniques
Practicing ConsistencyImproves accuracy and controlRegular practice, target practice, ball control
Mastering Basic ShotsForms a strong foundationLearn the serve, return of serve, dink shot, third shot drop
Enhancing Physical FitnessBoosts court performanceCardio exercises, strength training, flexibility workouts

Pickleball Associations & Clubs

In the realm of pickleball, the pickleball associations & clubs have played a pivotal role. These entities provide the necessary infrastructure, training, and competitive environment to nurture the best female pickleball players. 

They have become breeding grounds for talent, where players like Simone Jardim, Lucy Kovalova, and the Waters duo have honed their skills.

National and Regional Associations

National and regional associations like the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) and Pickleball Canada lay down the rules, organize tournaments, and offer training programs. You may notice that the skill level of players often varies significantly based on the competitive exposure they receive from these associations.

  • Pickleball Canada

Local Pickleball Clubs

On a more localized level, pickleball clubs offer opportunities to practice and play regularly. Clubs like The Villages Pickleball Club and Chicken N’ Pickle have produced some formidable players over the years.

  • The Villages Pickleball Club
  • Chicken N’ Pickle

Let’s compare some notable pickleball associations and clubs:

Association/ClubNotable Players ProducedNumber of Members
USA Pickleball AssociationSimone Jardim40,000+
Pickleball CanadaLucy Kovalova10,000+
The Villages Pickleball ClubAnna Leigh Waters1,000+
Chicken N’ PickleLeigh Waters500+

Joining a Pickleball Club or Association

Joining a pickleball club or association could be your gateway to mastering this sport. Be it for recreational play or aspiring to be one of the best female pickleball players, the support and resources you receive from these entities can be instrumental. Always remember, every pickleball star once started as a beginner.

Pickleball Coaches and Trainers

Pickleball coaches and trainers play an invaluable role in crafting the best female pickleball players. They are the masterminds who hone raw talent into sporting excellence. Let’s dive deep into their significant role.

The Role of Pickleball Coaches and Trainers

Based on careful observation and years of experience, we’ve found that pickleball coaches and trainers have a multifaceted role:

  • Skill Development: Coaches instill essential skills like service, return, volley, and dink in players. They also help enhance court awareness and strategy.
  • Physical Conditioning: They ensure players are physically fit and ready to withstand the rigors of competitive play.
  • Psychological Guidance: Coaches provide the mental toughness training required for high-stakes matches.

These aspects are crucial in transforming regular players into the best female pickleball players.

Top Pickleball Coaches and Their Protégés

These entities, as shown in the table below, have shaped some of the best female pickleball players:

Pickleball CoachProtégé
Sarah AnsbourySimone Jardim
Matthew BlomLucy Kovalova
Leigh WatersAnna Leigh Waters

Significance of Selecting the Right Coach

Selecting the right coach could be the defining factor in your pickleball career. Here are some aspects you should consider:

  • Experience: Check the coach’s experience and their previous protégés’ performances.
  • Teaching Style: Every coach has a unique teaching style. Make sure it aligns with your learning approach.
  • Certifications: Certifications from recognized bodies, like the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA), affirm the coach’s expertise and commitment to the sport.


In conclusion, the world of pickleball is graced with some truly remarkable female players. They have not only excelled in the sport but have also been instrumental in its growth and popularity. 

Their performances serve as an inspiration to all, making pickleball an exciting sport to watch and play. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for these extraordinary athletes and the new talent they inspire.


  • Ronald Killingsworth

    I'm Roland D. Killingsworth, a 57-year-old retired marketing executive with a passion for pickleball. As an active club member and Editor-in-Chief of, I embrace community-building and dedicate myself to fostering connections and helping fellow enthusiasts improve their skills.