Sisters Angie and Alex Walker were two of three Canadians signed as part of last month’s whirlwind week when the PPA announced the signing of a whole slew of players for the 2024 season and beyond.
Canadian National Pickleball League
Angie and Alex were drafted in the inaugural Canadian National Pickleball League — Angie was the top pick, and Alex was picked eighth.
The sister joined fellow Canadian ex-5th WTA-ranked Genie Bouchard of Montreal, Quebec, in becoming a part of the PPA Tour.
Angie, of West Vancouver, BC, was also a college tennis player but now plays for the West Coast Wolverines. Angie has also played various PPA events in the past.
Alex had played NCAA Division 1 tennis at the University of Montana and became a member of the Rocky Mountain Rush of the CNPA.
These signings mean Canada now has five representatives on the PPA Tour, with Steve Deakin and Catherine Parenteau completing the quinumverate.
“Hitting Balloons Around The Living Room”
The siblings began their tennis journey while they were very young. Angie told Tahmina Aziz, CTV News Vancouver Multi-Media Journalist, “From probably three to four years old, we were hitting balloons around the living room, playing tennis in some form.”
They continued to dedicate themselves to competitive tennis through their teenage years, always aspiring to continue the sport in college.
However, even when they’d finished their education, they still yearned for the thrill of sports competition, and that hunger led them into coaching.
The Next Challenge
“That (competition) comes to an abrupt stop. You’re no longer a college athlete, and what? What else is there out there for us? The next challenge was becoming a professional pickleball player,” explained Angie.
They first tried the sport in 2020, swiftly developing a keen interest and liking of the sport.
“I think being an athlete has been something that I’ve been my whole life, and I love competing, and so pickleball has given me a new challenge, a new sport, to kind of dive into,” reflected Angie.
A Seamless Transition
Their proficiency in tennis meant a seamless transition into the Canadian National Pickleball League ranks. “I was so excited that I guess the hard work and the dedication I put into this, people are noticing,” Angie remarked, contemplating her status as the league’s top draft pick. “It paid off.”
While they relish their success, the sisters find little enjoyment in competing against each other. “We don’t like playing against each other, but if we do play against each other, it means that we both did well,” noted Alex.
Relocating To Arizona
This weekend, they are vying for the national championship in Toronto.
“It doesn’t matter, win or lose; we’re excited to be here. We’re excited to play, but we want to win. We’re both very competitive,” emphasized Alex.
So, what’s next for the sisters? They relocated to Arizona to pursue professional pickleball.
“It’s really amazing. I think both of us feel the same way. We get to wake up every day and train pickleball, play pickleball, travel to tournaments,” expressed Angie. “We just get to do something that we’re so passionate about and say that it’s our job.”
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