In an ever-evolving pro pickleball scene, 18-year-old Hayden Patriquin is making an effort to join that prestigious list of household names. After graduating from online school and putting more of his focus into pickleball, Patriquin has taken the court by storm these past few months.
“I’ll probably go to college in a year,” Patriquin said. “[I’ll] try to make a living out of [pickleball].”
For now, he is taking a gap year to give professional pickleball a shot, and safe to say, it’s going well for him.
Biggest achievements to date
- Quarterfinals at the Vulcan Kansas City Open
- Semifinals at the OH SNAP! Denver Open
- Securing a partnership with Franklin Pickleball
- DUPR rating of 6.76 in doubles
Most recently, however, Patriquin made a push to the men’s singles quarterfinals in Las Vegas at the Guaranteed Rate PPA Championships.
An easy win over Luke Wasson put him into the Round of 16 against No. 2 Federico Stakstrud. The Argentinian has solidified himself as one of the best singles players in the world and was coming off of his biggest win yet, trumping No. 1 Ben Johns to win gold in Cincinnati.
A thrilling 10-12, 11-7, 11-5 upset win saw Patriquin into the quarterfinals where Aanik Lohani would get his revenge after the two met in Kansas City in late August.
Major League Pickleball
Patriquin recently signed a three-year deal with Major League Pickleball. During Season 1 of MLP, Big H was a part of the New Jersey 5s.
On July 12, the Aces drafted Patriquin with the 28th pick for Season 2 of MLP, partnering him up with Catherine Parenteau, Andrea Koop and Tyler Loong.
The team, co-owned by celebrities including Drake, Kevin Durant, Michael B. Jordan and more, just finished play at MLP Dallas. A loss to the D.C. Pickleball Team sent the Aces packing, but not before they advanced to the semifinals.
Here, Patriquin is playing with Loong against the Miami Pickleball Club during pool play at MLP Atlanta:
Patriquin also has a couple of new partners on the PPA Tour. Playing alongside McGuffin in men’s doubles in Vegas, the pair advanced to the quarterfinals before getting knocked out by the Johns brothers.
In mixed, Patriquin and Maggie Brascia showed some good chemistry. The two lost to Riley Newman and Jessie Irvine in the Round of 16, wrapping up a very successful week of both singles and doubles in Sin City for Patriquin.
What makes Patriquin exciting to watch
Although being one of the youngest players on tour has a role in what makes him a thrilling watch, there are multiple aspects of Patriquin’s game that deserve attention, the first being his lightning quick hands and stellar footwork.
It’s no surprise these are two of his greatest strengths. After all, Patriquin spends some of his free time surfing and has 10+ years of baseball experience behind him.
On top of that, Patriquin boasts a killer two-handed backhand that creates otherworldly angles, putting an end to multiple points a game.
Here’s a clip from his match against Lohani that shows all of these strengths in action:
Now up to No. 14 in singles and No. 25 in men’s doubles, Patriquin is showcasing exactly why fans and players alike should keep their eyes on him.
Although he has only had one podium finish thus far, Patriquin is finishing the season hot and will look to use this momentum at the National Championships in Dallas as well as in the 2024 season.
Other Hayden Patriquin highlights
On MLP team, the Brooklyn Aces – point vs Johns showcasing quick hands:
Point showcasing hands and the two-handed backhand that can create tough angles:
“It’s different to play pickleball when you’re young because you still have a few responsibilities.”
“I’ll probably go to college in a year.”