Meet Anna Leigh Waters- The Biggest Star of Pickleball in 2024

Anna Leigh Waters

Anna Leigh Waters is a professional pickleball player from Delray Beach, FL, and the current #1 player in the world in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

The amazing part is, she is only 17 years old!

Yes, 17!

Anna Leigh is a force to be reckoned with on the court thanks to her aggressive playing style, which she and her mother developed together.

As if being a professional pickleball player at 17 isn’t impressive enough, Anna Leigh has racked up an impressive number of titles in her short time playing.

So who is the amazing Anna Leigh Waters?

A professional pickleball player, a homeschooled student, and a triple crown winner—all at 17 years old. Her story is already quite remarkable and she is only beginning!

Keep reading to learn more about this amazing young athlete!

Who Is Anna Leigh Waters

anna leigh waters 100th win
Anna Leigh celebrating her 100th PPA title on April 7, 2024: photo PPA Tour

Anna Leigh Waters is a 17-year-old professional pickleball player from Delray Beach, FL, and the current #1 player in the world in women’s singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. She became the youngest professional pickleball player ever when she turned pro at age 12.

She started playing pickleball with her mom, Leigh Waters, as her doubles partner.  Playing doubles together, they have developed an aggressive style of “banging” and “ripping”. Her motto is “rip, bang, win, cake” referring to her three-shot win strategy and celebration of cake!

This style was unlike the traditional women’s play which was more finesse and dinks.  Part of this came from mom Leigh’s background in tennis as a division one college tennis player.  They found success with this and have stuck with it. 

The crowds that come to watch truly appreciate this style of play for this mother-daughter team!  This allowed them to be one of the teams for the first nationally televised pickleball match.

For mixed doubles, Anna Leigh has played with some of the best in mens pickleball, Tyson McGuffin, JW Johnson, and currently plays with world number one Ben Johns. 

This almost doesn’t seem fair to have the top woman and man play together!  But it sure is impressive that the combined age of these two is only 39!  That’s right, Ben is only 23, and Anna Leigh is 17!  We could be watching these two for a long time!

Her aggressive playing style has earned her a record 24 triple crowns and recently achieved her 100th PPA Title!

She holds the title for most triple crowns in history! And she is only 17!!!!!

She has been homeschooled since she was a child, allowing her to focus on developing her pickleball skills and training.

It is no wonder that Anna Leigh Waters is quickly becoming the face of pickleball and a star athlete in her own right! With her drive, skill, and competitive spirit, she is sure to make more amazing accomplishments in the future.

ben johns and anna leigh waters
The two best, Anna Leigh and Ben Johns

How Did She Learn To Play Pickleball?

Anna Leigh’s story could have easily taken a different path if it weren’t for Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Anna Leigh Waters learned to play pickleball at her grandparent’s house when they had to evacuate Florida due to the Hurricane. Her grandpa, who had already been playing pickleball, began to teach her the basics of the sport.  She was immediately hooked and played with him and her mother for the next two weeks while they stayed at his house.

When they went back to Florida, Anna Leigh was eager to learn and practice every day, and she quickly developed a passion for the sport. With her natural talent and drive, she was able to take her skills to the next level quickly and started competing when she was just ten years old.

Anna Leigh’s hard work paid off and soon enough, she had become one of the top-ranked players in the world.

Today, she is proof that hard work and dedication can help you achieve your dreams—no matter how young you are!

Anna Leigh and Leigh Waters
Leigh and Anna Leigh win again!

Which Pickleball Paddle Does Anna Leigh Use?

anna leigh waters and her paddletek bantam ts-5 pro

Anna Leigh uses the Bantam TS-5 pro paddle from Paddletek, which suits her aggressive playing style perfectly. Its combination of power and control gives her the edge she needs to beat even the toughest opponents.  She has won 9 Triple Crowns (winning all three events at the same tournament), 6 US Open Gold medals, as well as 6 USAPA Nationals Gold Medals. She is a force to be reckoned with on the court!

See our Review of the Best Pickleball Paddles on the Market!

Who Are Anna Leigh Waters’ Sponsors?

Anna and her Paddletek
Anna with her mom and her Paddletek TS-5 Pro Paddle

Anna Leigh Waters is sponsored by two major sports companies, Fila and Paddletek.

As the #1 ranked pickleball player in the world for both singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, she is one of the most successful athletes to be supported by both sponsors. Her prowess on and off the court has secured her a place as a brand ambassador for both companies.

Fila provides Anna Leigh with the apparel and footwear she needs to stay comfortable on the court, while Paddletek provides her with the equipment, such as paddles and balls.

Both sponsors are instrumental in helping her reach new heights of success in pickleball and show that age is no barrier when it comes to achieving greatness.

Anna Leigh Waters is an inspiring example of what you can achieve when you set your mind to it, and she makes sure to thank her sponsors for their support on a regular basis! With the help of her sponsors, Anna Leigh continues to be one of the most successful players in pickleball today. 


Anna Leigh Waters is a shining example of what can be achieved when you set your mind to it. She has gone from learning the basics of pickleball at her grandparent’s house to becoming one of the top-ranked pickleball players in the world, all before turning 16. Her hard work and dedication have earned her nine triple crowns, six US Open Gold medals, and six USAPA Nationals Gold Medals—and she’s only just getting started!  We look forward to seeing even more success stories in the future as she continues on her journey towards greatness in this sport.

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