Pro Pickleball Players We Want to See Play Together

From left: Allyce Jones, Dekel Bar, Jack Sock, Tyra Black, Jack Munro, and Anna Leigh Waters

You could say that pro pickleball is still in its infancy. After all, only a tiny fraction of the millions of pickleball players actually know or care about the pro scene.

But that number is growing, and the people who do care about it are pretty fanatical. 

While I’m only a fairly recent convert to watching pro pickleball, I can’t help but imagine how some of the vibrant personalities we see on the court could mesh if they teamed up, and what feats of physicality and charisma we’d see as a result.

Here are just three of those fantasy pro pickleball teams – a men’s, women’s, and a mixed team – that I think would be really interesting to see, regardless of their lefty-righty combos, existing teammates, or anything else that would realistically keep them from teaming up:

Jack Sock and Jack Munro

Jack Munro, left, and Jack Sock, right

I could pair Jack Sock with anyone and it would be entertaining, he’s just that guy in pickleball right now. 

He’s incredibly athletic, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He wants to win, but he’ll sometimes purposefully take the shot that’s more fun over the one that’s technically the highest-percentage win, high-nosed fans’ opinions be damned.

Remember that time he challenged Ben Johns to a left-handed point in the middle of a semifinal, just for fun?

Or how about this display of insane hustle?

 Sock is the Merry Prankster of Pickleball and we can’t get enough of him. But there’s another Jack you should know.

If you haven’t already found Jack Munro via his Instagram account chock full of clips of him nailing Zane Navratil with bodyshots, you’re missing out.

Jack has cat-like reflexes and the ability to craft a point. I sat a few feet away from his doubles match with Julian Arnold versus Matt Wright & Federico Staksrud at PPA Atlanta, and although Munro/Arnold lost that match, they put on a show.

Jack tried for erne after erne and held his ground against Matt Wright, who has some of the fastest hands in the game.

If this hypothetical pairing of the two Jacks were to become a reality, it truly would not matter to me how they performed. The spectacle of acrobatics alone would be worth my time.

Side note: Let the record show that The Kitchen head chef Jared Paul wants Jack Sock with Hayden Patriquin. 

“Their trash talking prowess would be off the charts, and they can actually back it up. Plus, they are both fast and not afraid to attack,” Jared says.

Anna Leigh Waters and Tyra Black

Hurricane Tyra Black, left, and Anna Leigh Waters, right

Again, I’m relying on a formula: a well-known player paired with someone who SHOULD be more well-known…though in the world of pro pickleball, this is a relative term.

Before the die-hards start calling me out: yes, yes, I know this would never happen since they’re both left-sided players.

But this is a hypothetical based purely on my own standards. I didn’t say this list was of teams that dominate, I said it’s of teams I’d like to see

So, why this team?

For one thing, I think they’d mesh well. ALW is a great communicator on the court and plays offensively; Tyra plays a graceful defensive game. They could even practice together easily as they both hail from South Florida.

But most importantly, I think it would be interesting to see how ALW would play with one of the few people who has defeated her in singles:

 Clearly, Hurricane Tyra went into that match with a plan to defeat Anna Leigh. That’s a perspective that could benefit a partnership between the two of them.

I’m also just a big fan of Tyra. Within five months of playing her first pro match, she pulled a title. That takes dedication as well as talent, both of which ALW has in spades as well. 

The pairing could be electric if it wasn’t for the double-lefty issue (which, for the record, I think they’d overcome).

Dekel Bar and Allyce Jones

Dekel Bar, left, and Allyce Jones, right

We’ve seen Dekel perform well in men’s doubles with Matt Wright lately. But in a mixed pair, how could we recreate whatever is working there?

It comes down to finding Dekel a partner who can match his athleticism and energy. Someone who, like Matt, demonstrates true grit during tough points.

Allyce Jones is one of the grittiest players I’ve ever seen. She puts her body on the line to make some absolutely wild gets.

Allyce is everything that is great about pickleball. And while the other two doubles picks on this list may be less likely to happen, I think a Jones/Bar pairing could and SHOULD be a thing ASAP.

Share Your 'Fantasy Pickleball' Doubles Teams

Surely I’m not the only person who does this? I’m curious to know who you’d pick.

Send me an email here to let me know your thoughts. 

Read Next: Pickleball ‘Bangers’ are (Mostly) Good for the Sport

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