The reigning USAPA Nationals women’s singles champion, Simone Jardim is considered by many to be the top women’s pickleball player in the world. A native of Brazil who now resides in Naples, Florida, she also teamed with Corrine Carr to capture women’s doubles a year ago at Nationals. The duo also captured gold at the 2018 US Open, a tournament in which Jardim also took home gold in the Pro Women’s singles defeating Lucy Kovalova. A mixed doubles gold medal would soon follow with partner Kyle Yates. Having also won all three events at the 2017 US Open, Jardim is a two-time defending Triple Crown winner!
Jardim moved to the United States at the age of 18 and quickly made a name for herself in the sport of tennis. She spent two years at Auburn before transferring to Fresno State where she was a two-time All American. At one point for the Bulldogs, Jardim and her doubles partner, Kim Niggemeyer were ranked number one in the country. After graduation, Jardim coached college tennis at Fresno State, College of William and Mary and then in the Big Ten for Michigan State, where she coached the Spartans for eight years before moving to Naples where she was first introduced to pickleball in January of 2015. “At first it was really about getting a good work out as I enjoyed playing singles a lot, but soon it became about the friends I made and how much fun we had playing on Wednesday nights.”
As with most pickleball enthusiasts, Jardim is excited about the growth of the sport and sees its potential to expand around the world. “I believe that in order for pickleball to become an Olympic sport it would have to grow in Asia. For now, I’m just hoping to we continue to see more prize money in professional events which will attract more talent, creating a bigger platform for pickleball. The more exposure we get the faster the growth.”