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Waters reaches another milestone, wins 100th-career gold medal

Author: Andrew Gilman | April 8, 2024

Less than three years ago, Anna Leigh Waters won her first gold medal.

Sunday, she won her 100th. 

With another triple crown, this time at the North Carolina Cup, Waters stayed comfortably “on-brand” as the best, most-dominant, no-doubt-about-it, of-course-she-won-again, champion.

Because in women’s pickleball, there’s Waters and then after that, there’s “not-exactly.”

With her friends and family present, posing for pictures, Waters celebrated a milestone.

Her first title came in August of 2021. Titles 98, 99 and 100 were Sunday in Cary, N.C., the final an 11-4, 11-4 victory over the second-biggest winner in PPA Tour women’s history, Catherine Parenteau.

“I’m getting emotional,” she said. “I’m super-happy I got my 100th here. This is where I grew up. I could feel the support in the singles match.”

She won a mixed gold title earlier in the day with Ben Johns and teamed with Parenteau to earn the women’s doubles title as well.

And after the 100th, the clincher against Parenteau, she ran to her mother Leigh and gave her a big hug – the first in a receiving line of congratulations from friends and family who cheered her own throughout the day.

Waters was as good Sunday as she ‘s been for her entire career. Nothing changed.

How good? 

Well, her 25th title, coming when she was 16, would rank fourth on the all-time list. She won 50 in a single season, from 2022-23 are 14, and those are 14 more than Parenteau’s 36 golds, which rank second all-time.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve been told to give 110 percent in practice,” Waters said “When I get on the court, it’s a can’t-lose mentality.”

It’s been a can’t-lose career so far. No one has come close to the greatness Waters has shown. Parenteau is next. Callie Smith, a great player in her own right for a long time, has nine career gold medals and she’s fifth on the all-time list.

Under the gold confetti, as Waters posed with a huge support group of friends and family and even a dog, she celebrated, getting a special commemorative trophy from the PPA all while wearing a special commemorative jacket presented by her sponsor FILA. 

“It’s not just me out on the court,” Waters said. “I’m definitely being supported. When I’m on the court, I can feel it.”

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