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July 20, 2022

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Hilary Marold

By Alice Tym

Home:  Corpus Christi, Texas, and Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

Age:  71

Married:  Charles Marold, 42 years

Children:  3, Grandchildren: 5

Pickleball Division:  5.0 Senior Pro

Ranking:  #1 Women’s Singles 70

Titles:  23 National gold medals, 29 Huntsman gold medals, 6 US Open gold medals, 4 Tournament of Champions Legend gold medals

You are a member of the Pickleball Hall of Fame. What does that mean to you?

It is really an honor for me. I have played 11 years and now that I know the process, it means so much.


What pickleball advice would you give to your grandkids?

Start early. Play multiple sports. Learn to put pressure on yourself and think strategically.


What do you see as the future of pickleball? Is it a fad?

I don’t think it is a fad. I think it will be in the Olympics someday. I do think USAP has so much potential to grow the sport.


Do you think the chainsaw serve should continue to be legal?

Players have to adapt.


Is the senior pro game different from the pro game?

Definitely. The seniors don’t have as much power. Senior pros are not as fleet of foot. There is a different strategy in men’s doubles versus women’s doubles. The men dink more, and they don’t pull the trigger as quickly as the women.


Why are women attracted to pickleball?

Pickleball attracts both men and women because it is a good workout, players have a good time, and you can get out there right away and play. It has longer rallies than tennis. The longer you can keep the ball in play, the more fun the sport. People feel better about themselves.


How important is the serve in your game?

Pretty important. I hit a deep topspin serve and move it around.


How have you kept so fit?

I go on 4.5-mile walks with pace. I use a treadmill, I swim, and I play a lot of pickleball. I drill with my husband.


Who was the most influential person in your life?

My mother. She drove me to every tennis tournament since I was 9. She just encouraged me and loved me to the moon and back.


Do you have a favorite star in the sky?

The brightest one there is! I take long walks at night and talk to those not with me. I believe there may be a guardian angel.


What is your favorite song?

“Anything” by Sara Bareilles. Her songs are positive and centered on females and how women see the world.


What book would I find on your nightstand?

I am reading a biography about Hemingway.


Do blondes have more fun?

No, girls have more fun.


If you could be any person, living or dead, who would you be?

When I was a kid, the first female athlete on television competing in the 1960 Olympics was Wilma Rudolph, running track. That is who I saw and wanted to be.


What is your favorite show on Netflix?

Anything nonfiction. I like documentaries. I like “Dead to Me” and the early seasons of “The Crown.” I watch when I am on the treadmill.  

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