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Rising Star in Pickleball - Judit Castillo's Journey to the Top


By Kyle Whatnall

on Oct 31, 2023

Emerging as a formidable force in the professional pickleball world, Judit Castillo's rise has been both rapid and remarkable. Sponsored by Selkirk Sport and wielding the Vanguard Power Air Invikta paddle, Judit's story is not just one of athletic prowess but also of passion, dedication, and personal philosophy.

From Tennis to Pickleball: A Natural Transition as a Selkirk "Emerging Pro"

Reflecting on her introduction to pickleball, Judit recalls, "The first time that I heard about pickleball was when I was teaching tennis in Shreveport, Louisiana." Her initial curiosity quickly turned into a profound dedication, as she says, "I loved it but did not pay much attention to it until mid-October 2022." By February 2023, Judit was playing pickleball full-time, her commitment evident in her rigorous schedule of playing six days a week. A signing to Selkirk Sport's groundbreaking "Emerging Pro" program, which grants opportunities for emerging professional players to get their shot to compete and break through against the world's best, Judit didn't take long to seize her opportunity at some of pickleball's largest events. 

Choosing the Right Gear: The Power of the Vanguard Power Air Invikta

For Judit, selecting the right paddle is crucial. She explains, "I play with the Selkirk Power Air Invikta because it adapts perfectly to my game style. The color is fantastic and the feeling and power I get with the 13 mm is awesome." This choice reflects her emphasis on equipment that complements her aggressive playing style.

Personal Insights and Tips for Aspiring Players

Offering advice to fellow pickleball players, Judit emphasizes authenticity: "My best advice would be to be true to yourself on the pickleball court and allow to create your own game, which will help to have more and more fun with this sport." This approach not only aids in skill development but also increases enjoyment of the game.

Bridging Borders: An Ambassador from Spain

Originally hailing from Spain, where soccer was her childhood passion, Judit has now become an important representative of pickleball’s growing international appeal. Her Spanish roots and her love for soccer played a pivotal role in shaping her athletic skills and competitive spirit. "My favorite sport as a kid was soccer. I am from Spain and that is the most popular sport there. I grew up playing it every day with my friends," she shares. Transitioning from one sport to another, Judit not only brings her own rich cultural heritage to the pickleball community but also showcases the game’s global resonance.

The Social and Competitive Aspects of Pickleball

Judit cherishes the balance between competition and social interaction in pickleball, a sentiment shared by her family who also embraced the game. She notes, "I showed pickleball to my family when they came to visit for Christmas this year and they loved it. They all want to play again, so I would say yes, it is a family affair."

Achievements and Aspirations

Judit's passion and hard work have led to significant milestones, such as her first singles final at the US Open. She reflects proudly, "That was the beginning of my career." Her aspirations extend beyond the court, as she aims to "discover and immerse myself in as many cultures as possible - travel."

More than Just a Game

Judit's journey in pickleball is a blend of fitness, power, and joy. Her mantra for life is as inspiring as her gameplay: "To be true to yourself and be a good person; life is good, make it better."

A Reflection of Passion and Perseverance

Judit Castillo's story is a vivid illustration of how discovering a passion can transform into a pursuit of excellence. Her journey from being intrigued by pickleball as a tennis instructor to becoming a professional player is marked by her dedication, tactical skill, and unyielding spirit. Her advice and reflections offer a unique insight into the mind of an athlete who has rapidly risen to the top. As Judit continues to compete and inspire, her journey in the world of pickleball serves as a powerful narrative of ambition, skill, and the joy of playing the game.

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