NML Pickleball Player Rankings 3.0 – Singles
We have not compiled a rankings list since the end of 2021 and, cue the cliche, so much has changed in the landscape of pickleball since that time. It’s time for the 3.0 version of the rankings and for this go around we are providing a top 10, which we found was much harder to put together than a top 5. There’s a lot of depth outside of the top 5 or so and it’s a bit of a toss up where to go towards the end of these lists. Unlike DUPR, we are separating the gender doubles and mixed rankings because they are such different games. It may make sense to have one universal doubles rating but we still think it’s necessary to separate the rankings for these purposes.
As always, we are starting with everyone’s favorite event. Singles!
Men’s Singles Rankings
(1) Ben Johns
(2) JW Johnson
(3) Federico Staksrud
(4) Zane Navratil
(5) Tyson McGuffin
(6) James Ignatowich
(7) Gabriel Joseph
(8) Jay Devilliers
(9) Dylan Frazier
(10) Julian Arnold
Almost Made the Cut: Ryan Sherry, John Cincola, Rafa Hewett, Jake Kusmider, Pablo Tellez
While players and fans want to crown JW as the successor to Ben’s throne, we can’t do it until he beats him more consistently. JW almost got it done at the US Open but almost doesn’t bring home the bacon. Furthermore, JW has been losing to players outside of Ben, which literally and figuratively doesn’t bring home the bacon. JW still has to be #2 on the list despite some less than ideal losses.
The 3 through 6 slots could probably have gone in any direction for this next tier of players. Federico Staksrud has been arguably the most consistent player in terms of bad losses on this list. James Ignatowich is coming off his best result ever and his stock is only going up, but we still think he has to show it more. Zane dropped to where he is on this list because of the unknown serve variable. Fairly or unfairly, Tyson McGuffin doesn’t get top billing because of his soft PPA draws and how little we get to see him play against the rising players. When Tyson does play them, he isn’t finding as many wins as losses.
Gabe Joseph beat Ignatowich at the LA Open and this is what makes the rankings so tough. We won’t see Joseph all that much for the rest of the year and his lack of reps makes it feel inevitable that his time at the top can only last so long.
Jay Devilliers finds his way down the list to #8 as his singles game has plateaued along with his doubles game. Julian Arnold would have been the #9 player a few weeks ago but Dylan Frazier’s results have been too good the last couple of tournaments. All the players at the end of the top 10 and missing the cut have their flaws, but we have to let the recent results speak for what they are.
Women’s Singles Rankings
(1) Anna Leigh Waters
(2) Parris Todd
(3) Catherine Parenteau
(4) Lea Jansen
(5) Mary Brascia
(6) Anna Bright
(7) Callie Smith
(8) Salome Devidze
(9) Megan Fudge
(10) Jorja Johnson
Almost Made the Cut: Irina Tereschenko, Rachael James, Rosie Johanson
Parris Todd has all the momentum right now, and we believe she has what it takes to be the number one player but we need to see her do it a few more times before we give her the number one spot. Anna Leigh has still only lost one time in singles this year. With that said, it will be interesting to see how Anna Leigh responds to having a significant threat for the first time since she has risen to the top of the women’s singles game.
Catherine Parenteau is still one of the most consistent women singles players out there. We feel she may be not have the same room for growth in her game left that many other players on this list do, so it will be interesting to see if she can maintain her spot on this list. Lea Jansen has had a bit of a disappointing year, failing to beat Catherine and Anna Leigh. With more fresh blood in the game, are a new Franklin paddle, improved health and some different matchups going to help revive her singles game, or is she going to slide further down this list?
The 5 through 7 spots really could have gone a number of different ways, Mary Brascia might be benefiting a bit from recency bias, but her two gold medals in Southern California swing earned her the fifth spot despite some tough losses at Beer City. Callie Smith definitely has an argument to be higher and probably is being unfairly penalized because we just haven’t seen her as much as the women ahead of her on this list because of the PPA hiatus.
Fans may not love Salome Devidze and her line calls, but she is consistently getting results and her silver medal at Beer City has us wondering if she should be higher. Megan Fudge is always a tough out and gives a consistent effort and level.
We originally had Jorja Johnson outside of the top 10, which after the first few months of the year would have been inconceivable, but she had a couple rough months in singles in May and June. She did capture a bronze at Beer City. It will be interesting to see if those single results, were the result of fatigue or if opponents have figured her, and her flat ground strokes, out.
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9 thoughts on “NML Pickleball Player Rankings 3.0 – Singles”
Haven’t read it yet but YES! So excited for rankings round 3
Nothing to quibble about the top 3 spots. But let’s quibble over the 5 & 6 spots instead. lol. If you can move Zane down because what might be happening with his serve, then I can move James up ahead of Tyson. James I just seems to have momentum on his side. He has advanced very rapidly to a gold in steep competition. I can’t imagine Tyson beating him.
For women, it’s gone both ways with Mary vs Anna wins/losses. But Mary’s wins were not a deep field. Parris wasn’t in either of those tournament singles. And Jorja got knocked out early to losers bracket. So I’m not sure Mary has really been tested all that much. I would put Anna in front for now.
We quibbled with those 3 through 6 slots on the men’s side and the Mary-Anna spot for sure. It’s a tough thing and Salome probably could have been moved up on the women’s side too
Don’t think Tyson should be ahead of James. He’s still learning how to play and he’s improving rapidly. James played his first sanctioned tournament in March 2022. Last week James beat number 2, 3, and 4 (twice), on this list. Tyson doesn’t really beat anyone in the top 5, and if they play at TOC, James goes in as the favorite IMO.
AL ranked over Parris makes sense for now, and I understand why she is still ranked 1. But I’m pretty positive that Parris is the better player. It’ll be interesting to see those two go at it again.
Wish there was more overlap between the tours. Not impressed with Devilliers. I like Kusmider to beat them next time they play.
It’s so interesting because we had a number of instagram comments saying Tyson should have been 3. James may very well be higher if we do this in even 3 or 4 weeks. Jay is tough because we haven’t seen him really for a few months. That may be a legacy ranking for sure
Not to beat a dead horse, but putting TG above JI seems like this ranking was completed by a TG fanboy or a PPA bureaucrat.
Tyson was too low some people said on instagram but the logic of Tyson behind James is totally fair
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