The Best Pickleball Players Going into 2019

As pickleball continues to explode in popularity, we’re seeing tougher competition at the highest levels. So, who are the best pickleball players heading into 2019? The results are in:

Best Pickleball Players Going into 2019

To create our list of the best pickleball players going into 2019 we combed through the 2018 results of the ‘Big Three’ pickleball tournaments in the US. We found the top 5 players in each bracket (6 for the Women’s bracket due to a tie) and ranked them according to the medals they won. You can read more about our methodology further down the article.

Best Men's Pickleball Players 2018/2019

Best Women's Pickleball Players 2018

Best Senior Mens Pickleball Players 2018

Best Senior Women's Pickleball Players 2018/2019

How the Rankings Were Determined

Objectively determining who the best pickleball players are at any given point isn’t an exact science. While tournament players have a USAPA skill rating, the exact 4-decimal rating isn’t publicly available information. On top of that, the ratings can fluctuate fairly wildly from tournament to tournament. Ratings are useful as a general measure of skill level but may not be the best method for determining who the top players are.

Until an official ranking system is developed, the most objective method we have is looking at past tournament results from sanctioned events.

But there are still issues when looking at past results. Should you rank players based on total number of medals won? Should a gold medal be weighted more heavily that a silver and if so, by how much? Should a fourth place win contribute to a player’s ranking?

Recognizing these limitations, here’s how we went about ranking the top players.

Methodology

To collect our data, we looked at the 2018 results from the ‘Big Three’ pickleball tournaments in the US:

  1. Minto US Open Pickleball Championships
  2. Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships
  3. Tournament of Champions

We focused on the open/pro brackets in each tournament as they offer the highest level of competition and the largest cash prizes.

It’s worth noting that in addition to the open/pro bracket, many top players also compete in age restricted brackets. While most do play in these age restricted brackets, not all of them do. So, we opted to exclude these brackets as we felt they had the potential to unfavorably skew the results.

Weighting Medals

Rather than just counting the total number of medals won in the pro/open brackets, we decided a 1st place win should be worth more than a 2nd place win and created a simple points system.

  • 1st Place: 3 points
  • 2nd Place: 2 points
  • 3rd Place: 1 point
  • 4th Place and below: 0 points

Categories

We broke down the field into four separate categories:

  • Men’s
  • Women’s
  • Senior Men’s
  • Senior Women’s

These categories line up with how tournaments are organized and avoids trying to rank players against each other that don’t play in the same brackets.

Detailed Results

Best Men’s Pickleball Players

1. Kyle Yates

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Men’s Doubles (Open) with Ben Johns
    • Silver – Mixed Doubles (Open) with Simone Jardim
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Men’s Doubles (Pro) with Matt Wright
    • Gold – Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Simone Jardim
    • Silver – Men’s Singles (Pro)
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Bronze – Mixed Doubles (Open Pro) with Simone Jardim

2. Tyson McGuffin

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Men’s Singles (Open)
    • Bronze – Mixed Doubles (Open) with Sarah Ansboury
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Men’s Singles (Pro)
    • Bronze – Men’s Doubles (Pro) with Matt Goebel
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Men’s Doubles (Open Pro) with Matt Goebel
    • Silver – Men’s Singles (Open Pro)

2. Matt Wright

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Mixed Doubles (Open) with Lucy Kovalova
    • Silver – Men’s Doubles (Open) with Dave Weinbach
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Men’s Doubles (Pro) with Kyle Yates
    • Silver – Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Lucy Kovalova
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Mixed Doubles (Open Pro) with Lucy Kovalova

4. Ben Johns

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Men’s Doubles (Open) with Kyle Yates
    • Bronze – Men’s Singles (Open)
  • 2018 US Open
    • Bronze – Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Irina Tereschenko
    • Bronze – Men’s Singles (Pro)
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Men’s Singles (Open Pro)
    • Silver – Mixed Doubles (Open Pro) with Irina Tereschenko

5. Dave Weinbach

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Silver – Men’s Doubles (Open) with Matt Wright
  • 2018 US Open
    • Silver – Men’s Doubles (Pro) with Marcin Rozpedski
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Silver – Men’s Doubles (Open Pro) with Wesley Gabrielsen

Best Women’s Pickleball Players

1. Lucy Kovalova

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Women’s Doubles (Open) with Irina Tereschenko
    • Gold – Mixed Doubles (Open) with Matt Wright
    • Gold – Women’s Singles (Open)
  • 2018 US Open
    • Silver – Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Irina Tereschenko
    • Silver – Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Matt Wright
    • Silver – Women’s Singles (Pro)
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Mixed Doubles (Open Pro) with Matt Wright
    • Silver – Women’s Singles (Open Pro)
    • Bronze – Women’s Doubles (Open Pro) with Irina Tereschenko

2. Simone Jardim

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Silver – Mixed Doubles (Open) with Kyle Yates
    • Silver – Women’s Doubles (Open) with Corrine Carr
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Corrine Carr
    • Gold – Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Kyle Yates
    • Gold – Women’s Singles (Pro)
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Women’s Doubles (Open Pro) with Corrine Carr
    • Gold – Women’s Singles (Open Pro)
    • Bronze – Mixed Doubles (Open Pro) with Kyle Yates

3. Irina Tereschenko

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Women’s Doubles (Open) with Lucy Kovalova
    • Silver – Women’s Singles (Open)
  • 2018 US Open
    • Silver – Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Lucy Kovalova
    • Bronze – Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Ben Johns
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Silver – Mixed Doubles (Open Pro) with Ben Johns
    • Bronze – Women’s Doubles (Open Pro) with Lucy Kovalova
    • Bronze – Women’s Singles (Open Pro)

4. Corrine Carr

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Silver – Women’s Doubles (Open) with Simone Jardim
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Simone Jardim
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Women’s Doubles (Open Pro) with Simone Jardim

5. Sarah Ansboury

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Bronze – Mixed Doubles (Open) with Tyson McGuffin
  • 2018 US Open
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Silver – Women’s Doubles (Open Pro) with Christine McGrath

5. Kaitlyn Christian

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Bronze – Women’s Singles (Open)
  • 2018 US Open
    • Bronze – Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Maggie Remynse
    • Bronze – Women’s Singles (Pro)
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions

Best Senior Men’s Pickleball Players

1. Scott Moore

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Senior Mixed Doubles (Open) with Kris Anderson
    • Gold – Senior Men’s Singles (Open)
    • Silver – Senior Men’s Doubles (Open) with Glen Peterson
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Senior Men’s Doubles (Pro) with Steve Cole
    • Gold – Senior Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Lisa Naumu
    • Gold – Senior Men’s Singles (Pro)
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Senior Men’s Singles (Pro)
    • Bronze – Senior Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Alex Hamner

2. Kevin Booth

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Senior Men’s Doubles (Open) with Del Kauss
    • Bronze – Senior Mixed Doubles (Open) with Lisa Naumu
  • 2018 US Open
    • Silver – Senior Men’s Doubles (Pro) with Scott Burr
    • Bronze – Senior Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Kris Anderson
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Senior Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Kris Anderson
    • Bronze – Senior Men’s Doubles (Pro) with Steve Dawson

3. Brian Staub

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Silver – Senior Mixed Doubles (Open) with Cammy MacGregor
  • 2018 US Open
    • Silver – Senior Men’s Singles (Pro)
    • Bronze – Senior Men’s Doubles (Pro) with Phil Bagley
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions

4. Dave Fleming

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Bronze – Senior Men’s Doubles (Open) with David Redding
  • 2018 US Open
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Silver – Senior Men’s Doubles (Pro) with Randy Coleman

4. Del Kauss

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Senior Men’s Doubles (Open) with Kevin Booth
  • 2018 US Open
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions

Best Senior Women’s Pickleball Players

1. Jennifer Dawson

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Senior Women’s Doubles (Open) with Cammy MacGregor
    • Silver – Senior Women’s Singles (Open)
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Senior Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Gigi LeMaster
    • Silver – Senior Women’s Singles (Pro)
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Senior Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Cammy MacGregor
    • Gold – Senior Women’s Singles (Pro)
    • Silver – Senior Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Steve Dawson

1. Cammy MacGregor

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Senior Women’s Doubles (Open) with Jennifer Dawson
    • Gold – Senior Women’s Singles (Open)
    • Silver – Senior Mixed Doubles (Open) with Brian Staub
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Senior Women’s Singles (Pro)
    • Silver – Senior Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Laura Fenton Kovanda
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Senior Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Alex Hamner
    • Silver – Senior Women’s Singles (Pro)

3. Kris Anderson

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Gold – Senior Mixed Doubles (Open) with Scott Moore
    • Silver – Senior Women’s Doubles (Open) with Bonnie Williams
  • 2018 US Open
    • Bronze – Senior Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Kevin Booth
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions
    • Gold – Senior Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Kevin Booth
    • Silver – Senior Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Bonnie Williams

4. Lisa Naumu

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Bronze – Senior Women’s Doubles (Open) with Gigi LeMaster
    • Bronze – Senior Mixed Doubles (Open) with Kevin Booth
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Senior Mixed Doubles (Pro) with Scott Moore
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions

5. Gigi LeMaster

  • 2018 USAPA Nationals
    • Bronze – Senior Women’s Doubles (Open) with Lisa Naumu
  • 2018 US Open
    • Gold – Senior Women’s Doubles (Pro) with Jennifer Dawson
  • 2018 Tournament of Champions

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