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Anna Leigh Waters vs Ben Johns: Who’s Better?

Highlighting Two Pickleball Prodigies and Unveiling the Fan Favorite

Editor’s Note: Meet Kerry Pittenger, the eyes behind the lens at Pickleball Portal. With a knack for capturing the high-flying action, the nail-biting moments, and the pure joy of the game, Kerry transforms ordinary pickleball scenes into extraordinary visual narratives.

Pickleball, a sport that merges elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has grown exponentially in popularity over the years. Two names that have risen to the top are Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns, each exhibiting prowess and talent that has taken the sport by storm. This piece aims to delve into their journeys, analyze fan sentiments, and assess their standing in their respective divisions.

Understanding the Players

Anna Leigh Waters, born in 2007, started her Pickleball journey in Pennsylvania during a family visit. Her natural talent led to her becoming the youngest professional pickleball player in history at age 12. Her aggressive style, a mix of power and speed, has disrupted the traditional delicate placement game. Waters and her mother, Leigh, are the only mother-daughter team in professional pickleball, adding an intriguing dynamic to the game.

Ben Johns, on the other hand, was born in 1999 and took up the sport while vacationing in Florida. His journey is marked by a remarkable 108-match winning streak in singles and 22 consecutive tournament wins in mixed doubles. A significant highlight of his career is his achievement of over 80 titles on the PPA Tour, with 15 being triple crowns.

Fan Reception

The fan base for both Waters and Johns has grown in parallel with their impressive careers. While it’s challenging to quantify the exact size of their fan bases without conducting a detailed survey, both players have garnered considerable support and admiration within the Pickleball community.

Waters’ fan base has grown exponentially over the past few years. Her youthful energy, fearless play, and engaging personality have endeared her to a wide audience. Fans praise her tenacity on the court and her humility off it. Social media platforms and fan mail brim with admiration for Waters, many citing her as the reason for their increased interest in pickleball.

The fan base for Johns is immense and continues to grow. Fans are drawn to his unparalleled skill, tactical brilliance, and humble demeanor. His influence on pickleball is often discussed in online forums, interviews, and fan mail, with many attributing their fascination with the sport to Johns’ mesmerizing performances.

Player Statistics

Waters and Johns have an impressive track record. Waters has several wins to her name, including the doubles national championship at the Orlando Cup and gold in singles at the Newport Beach Showcase, Orlando Cup, and Texas Open. Johns, with over 80 titles on the PPA Tour, has showcased his dominance in the sport.

Who’s More Beloved?

While it’s challenging to definitively determine who is more beloved, both Waters and Johns have a significant fanbase and are respected within the pickleball community. Coaches, fellow players, and sportswriters have high praise for both Waters and Johns. Their personal stories and achievements have certainly endeared them to many.

Who’s Better in Their Division?

Waters and Johns play in different divisions, and their games may not be directly comparable. Each has their unique strengths and styles that make them top players in their respective divisions, but technically Waters has more medals (25) at the mid-point of the 2023 PPA season than Johns does with just 21 medals. However, it’s worth noting that Catherine Parenteau is not far behind Waters (20 medals).

Both Waters and Johns have made significant contributions to the sport of pickleball. They are exceptional players with considerable talent, and their ongoing careers are a testament to their skill and dedication.

Future Directions

The future holds promising prospects for both players. With their passion for the sport and commitment to excellence, it will be interesting to see how their careers develop. Keep an eye out for these two Pickleball prodigies, as their journeys continue to shape and inspire the sport.

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About Dan Langston

With experience in the ecotourism industry and time well spent as a fly fishing guide in the remote absaroka mountain range for 6 years, Dan brings a unique perspective on customer service to the digital world. As the operator, Dan is now committed to revitalizing Pickleball Portal and plans to build a support system for content creators and provide helpful information for the pickleball community. dan@pickleballportal.com

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