In 2017, when she was just 15 years old, Rachel Elliott captured her first major title, the Women’s 19+ Doubles at the US Open in Naples, Florida.
Growing up in Oxford, Florida which is a neighboring community of The Villages. Considered by many to be the country’s most popular pickleball locale, Rachel didn’t have to travel very far to find a court to play on. “The competition and the people of pickleball is what attracted me to the sport the most,” said Rachel. “Everyone is so friendly and it is like being part of a huge family. I also love that the competition is always getting better and better each and every year.”
Having first picked up a paddle at 10 years old, Rachel has quickly developed into a top junior player. Recently, she won silver medals in Women’s and Mixed Doubles at an Engage tournament in Boca Raton. “More and more juniors and players from other sports, mainly tennis, are beginning to play pickleball. It’s also becoming very popular in schools. These new players are also bringing a higher level of competition to the current players. And, pickleball tournaments are starting to be sponsored by larger brands and events are starting to be held at more popular venues, like Indian Wells.”
The future of pickleball looks bright indeed with players like Rachel Elliott leading the way for so many juniors who are embracing the sport and quickly excelling at it.