Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David: Pro Pickleball’s Most  Consistent and Dynamic Team

David and Wilson PPA 2024
David and Wilson PPA 2024 (Picture Kerry Pittenger)

While no mixed doubles team is perfect, Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David are almost there.  They keep it light, loose, and fun, spreading smiles and laughter all around. Thomas and Vivienne are always in synch, supporting and coming through for each other, their communication a splash of beauty. When they are struggling or losing there is no scolding, no eye-rolling, no unloading. The intense heat of competition might overwhelm other players, but not these two. On tour they remain balanced, level-headed, and disciplined, a standard that all pickleball players—recreational and professional—should embrace. 

Wilson and David have power and finesse, weapons for every attack and defense.  Wilson’s forehand whip is among the most difficult to handle, his put-away power a gift from tennis;  slapped and angled just right, his balls do not come back.   David, too, has power and accuracy.  Add to that her patrol of the kitchen, her patient, controlled dinking, her ability to jam up anyone who tests her fast hands or her steadiness under pressure.  Opponents know it—Vivienne is ever reliable, a master of putting out fires!  But when shots get past her or clean-up beckons, Wilson covers ground lickedy-split–tracking down balls, spraying them here, there, everywhere.

Gold medalists on the rise, Wilson and David have battled the top teams and won the big matches. And even when their momentum is dipping and elimination seems imminent they never hang their heads. Believing in themselves and in each other has done wonders.

In Wilson and David’s domain, competing and winning is possible without the presence of ego, without shunning sportsmanship, without bickering or grumbling, without flamboyance, swagger, or braggadocio.  Whenever I’m paired with the wrong teammate, I think of Wilson and David—a snapshot of the pickleball ideal, developing in my imaginary darkroom. With that image in mind I always recharge and realign.

Wilson and David competing
Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David PPA 2024 (Picture Kerry Pittenger)

Pro players feed off Wilson and David’s energy and passion. The audience absorbs it too, giving it back to them not only in triumph but also in defeat. No matter how far behind in points, no matter how unsteady their game, Tom and Viv never mope, never paddle-smash, never lash out, never ignite drama or controversy, never chirp. Staying upbeat instead, returning for another chance stronger, smarter, and more determined than ever is what true champions do. And true champions they are.

Years ago when I was learning the sport and trying new things, Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David were two of the first athletes who earned my attention, respect, and admiration. In the recreational scene I had met players whose on-court behavior clashed with my own. I’d met so many of them, in fact, that I started to think that almost everyone postured around court, tossed out orders, was quick to sting, and reacted to losing by making excuses and assigning blame.  But every time I watched MLP/PPA tournaments, I saw Thomas and Vivienne ascending the ranks, rewarding audiences with their refreshing style and permanent smiles, not to mention their humility and grace. Nothing has changed. Tom and Viv are still Tom and Viv–appreciative of the fans and grateful to call themselves pickleball players. It has been my pleasure to watch them in action, to learn from observing, and, on recreational courts, to visualize their game as a towering example of pure, sound pickleball. 

Thomas Wilson hitting a pickleball
Thomas Wilson PPA 2024 (Picture Kerry Pittenger)

The sport needs Wilson and David. The sport is better with Wilson and David. Would anybody disagree with that? I doubt it. I hope not. Because Thomas and Vivienne always say something like “playing in tournaments is like Christmas morning.”

Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David: Thank you for the standards you uphold. Thank you for bringing attention to the benefits and pleasures of the sport.  And thank you for playing first-rate pickleball.  Wishing both of you happiness, success, and good health. 

Photo of author

About David Boyle

A versatile and diversified writer, David Boyle has written three short story collections, published by independent presses. Though he earned his readership by writing reality-based fiction, Boyle has gained a reputation for literary stories, essays, articles, reviews, interviews, analyses, travel writing, reportage, and poems, a good number of which have appeared in both print and online magazines. Inspired by his wife's passion for the sport, David now loves pickleball and aims to illuminate current pickleball events and subjects with a fresh, creative perspective, offering readers something they can't find anywhere else. | My website | | My Pickleball Journal

5 thoughts on “Thomas Wilson and Vivienne David: Pro Pickleball’s Most  Consistent and Dynamic Team”

  1. Wow – incredibly nice of you, Dan. Viv and I are fortunate to have a special partnership on court, and we are enjoying the journey!

    • Hey Thomas, this is Dan. Good to hear from you. To be clear, David Boyle wrote the article, not me. I will give David a heads up!

    • Thank you very much, Thomas, for taking the time to read the article and leave a comment. I know how busy you players get – jobs, families, school work, personal and professional commitments, competing on tour and everything that comes with it. Free time must be hard to find, so thanks again for spending a few moments here with us. All the best, David Boyle – Pickleball Portal

  2. This is a great summary of these two exceptional players, the word admiration doesn’t quite do justice to how much they make me want to play more, and continue to bring the positive and fun loving energy to my local courts that made me fall in love with the game.

    Viv and Thomas know that at the end of the day their worth isn’t in winning or loosing, so the joy of the sport really gets to shine through, it’s been fun to see others like Jack Sock and Jaume Vich Martinez also bring this spirit to the professional side of the sport! Great post! 🙂👍🏾

    • Jon Gonzales, Thank you for reading and for saying a few things. It’s good to hear that you’re bringing a positive attitude on court, showing your fellow players how fun and exciting pickleball can be. Keep it up! Your teammates probably play better (and like the sport more) because of you. And you’re right, many pro players smile and stay upbeat no matter what. Everybody appreciates that. Kind regards, David Boyle – Pickleball Portal


Leave a Comment