INDUCTED IN 2020
BORN: April 26, 1950 in Santa Monica, California
Raised in Pacific Palisades, California
PLAYS: Right handed
Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
Since Hilary started playing pickleball in 2009, she has taught and spread love of the game in many countries: Mexico, Costa Rica, Japan, England, France, Spain, Canada, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos. The only permanent pickleball court in Corpus Christi, Texas where she currently lives, was donated by Hilary and her husband Charlie. She was a founding board member of John A. Gullo’s Professional Pickleball Federation (PPF) in 2015/2016. The PPF was the template and precursor organization to what we know today as the various Pickleball Pro Tours. She is on the Pickleball Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and a contributing member of the World Pickleball Federation (WPF), trying to spread the game of pickleball worldwide.
COMPETITION AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
2009 - 2019 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships
(Initially named USAPA National Tournament)
22 Gold National Championships which includes:
§ 10 Gold Womens Doubles - all with Yvonne Hackenberg
One of the 10 WD Golds was in the Open Division in 2010
§ 7 Gold in Women’s Singles in her age group (Open/5.0)
§ 5 Gold in Mixed Doubles (1 with Mike Stahl in 35+, 4 with Larry Moon)
Hilary started playing pickleball in 2009 at the USAPA National Tournament (now known at the USAP National Championships). Before the tournament, she had never played pickleball and purchased a pickleball paddle just days before the tournament. That year, she earned the gold in Women’s Singles 55+ age group as well as two silver medals in two different Women’s Doubles events with Yvonne Hackenberg.
Gold medal in Women's Singles at the 2009 USAPA National Tournament
2016 – 2019 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships
6 Gold US Open Championships which includes:
§ 2 Women’s Doubles with Yvonne Hackenberg
§ 2 Women’s Singles
§ 2 Mixed Doubles (55+ with Brian Staub, 65+ with Greg Whitfield)
2014 – 2016 Tournament of Champions (TOC)
4 Gold which includes:
§ 2014 Gold in Legends Open Mixed Doubles with Mike Stahl, Gold in Legends Open Women’s Doubles with Yvonne Hackenberg
§ 2015 Gold in Legends Open Women’s Singles (at age 65)
§ 2016 Gold in Legends Open Mixed Doubles with Scott Moore
2010 – 2019 Huntsman World Senior Games
29 Gold Championships which include:
§ 16 Women’s Doubles Championships with Yvonne Hackenberg
§ 9 Women’s Singles Championships
§ 4 Mixed Doubles (3 with Larry Moon, 1 with Pat Kane)
Breakdown by year:
2010: 2 Golds
2011: 3 Golds
2012: 3 Golds
2013: 3 Golds
2014: 2 Golds
2015: 3 Golds
2016: 2 Golds
2017: 4 Golds
2018: 4 Golds
2019: 3 Golds
2019 Vulcan U.S. National Indoor Pickleball Championships
2 Golds: Women’s Singles 65+, Mixed Doubles 60+ with Joe Nguyen
2017 Spanish Open Pickleball Championships in Madrid, Spain
Professional Pickleball Federation/Elite Open Women’s Doubles
Silver with Suzee Anderson
2017 Bainbridge Cup USA Team Member vs. Europe/Canada
2016 Canadian Open Women’s Singles Championship
Silver (66 years old)
o 2019 John A. Gullo “Tournament of Champions” Award The “4 Gold Legend Championship Ring
o 2018 A dedicated pickleball court plaque in honor of Hilary’s paddle/racquet achievements in pickleball and her various other sports – placed on pickleball center court at the Corpus Christi Country Club
o 2011 – 2019 Paddletek sponsored athlete. One of the original four female pickleball players to be chosen by Team Paddletek
o 2014 USTA Texas “Senior Spirit of Texas Tennis Award” given yearly to a female tennis competitor who “exemplifies sportsmanship, enthusiasm, conditioning as well as a high sectional ranking…”
o 2010 Earned #1 national ranking in USTA Husband/Wife Mixed Combo 120 (age) in tennis with Charlie Marold
o 1989 Buick Amateur Open Mixed Doubles Tennis Classic National Champion, Madison Square Garden, New York with Steve Issleib
Hilary first picked up a paddle tennis paddle at 4 years old to hit balls with her father at The Beach Club on the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, California. She competed in her first tennis tournament at 9 years old, always encouraged and supported by her mother. That was the start of her love of all racquet/paddle sports. Hilary Hilton Marold is referred to as “The Queen of the Racquets”. She is the only female athlete to hold many national titles in 4 different racquet/paddle sports:
1965 – 1973 Paddle Tennis (Pop Tennis)
17 National Championships
Hall of Fame Inductee, 2012
1974 – 1982 Platform Tennis
11 National Championships
Hall of Fame Inductee, 1998
2009 – Present Pickleball
22 National Championships
Hall of Fame Inductee, 2020
1972 – Present Tennis
19 USTA “Balls” (8 Gold, 8 Silver, 3 Bronze)
6 National Public Parks Championships
Bobby Riggs signing "I beat Margaret Court but not Hilary. I'd like to try again!" Bobby Riggs
In 1973, only one month after Bobby Riggs defeated Margaret Court in tennis and only a few months prior to his famous "Battle of the Sexes" match with Billie Jean King, Bobby lost to Hilary in paddle tennis singles after he challenged her. The results hit the 2nd page of the LA Times Sports Section with the caption, "Willowy Hilary Takes Riggs to the Cleaners 8-3."
In fact, Billie Jean King selected Hilary to be on the cover of her WomenSports magazine with the caption, “Hilary Hilton, the OTHER woman in Bobby Riggs’ life”. She is now honored to be included in the Bobby Riggs Museum in Encinitas, California, thanks to the great pickleball players, Steve and Jennifer Dawson who own the museum and are the curators.
Hilary has worked in the television and media fields. She has been a national television and radio broadcaster:
1976: Competed as an athlete on ABC's The Women's Superstars, alongside Martina Navratilova, Amy Alcott, Diana Nyad, Ann Henning, Althea Gibson and others.
1977: Broadcaster alongside Al Michaels for ABC-TV Women's Superstars.
1978: Broadcaster for NBC-TV The Wimbledon Championships, alongside Bud Collins and John Newcombe
1978: Competed as the only female athlete on CBS-TV World Racquets Championships against Guillermo Vilas, Marty Hogan, Sharif Khan, Rudy Hartono and Dan Seemiller.
1978: Appeared as a guest on the David Letterman Show, NBC-TV.
Hilary has also written an article for Tennis magazine on mixed doubles strategy as well as being featured herself in Sports Illustrated, People, Us Weekly, Paddle World, and Racquet magazines to name a few.
Hilary has been married to her husband Charlie since 1979. They have had three children: Chad, Burke and Morgan (deceased). They lived in Glen Ellyn, Illinois for 26 years and now live in Corpus Christi, Texas where they have been for 16 years. They have 3 grandchildren: Harrison (5), Emma (4), Monroe (2) and at the time of this posting, another on the way.
Hilary with Barney McCallum, one of the three inventors of pickleball.