Andrei becoming a giant in the pickleball world

Andrei becoming a giant in the pickleball world

DALLAS, TX - Andrei Daescu is the biggest name in pro pickleball that you haven’t heard of.

OK, OK, maybe you’ve heard of him. After all, he deserves it. Check the stats on that as his game is getting to be as big as his frame.

The 6-foot-4 Daescu is having an exceptional year after a solid 2022 where he won four times on the APP Tour, and this weekend in Chicago at the Indoor APP Indoor Championships, is just another example.

Daescu is in the mixed doubles and the men’s championship finals are set for Sunday.

Now, let’s talk about the fame behind the name.

A former pro tennis player who competed in the 2015 U.S. Open as well as competing for his home country of Romania in the Davis Cup, Daescu has been playing pro pickleball since 2017.


“I don’t personally know how you get to the ‘household’ name status, but one thing I know for sure is that there are a lot of very good players out there working very hard on getting better every day,” he said. “So to get to the top of the pickleball mountain these days you gotta work as hard and intensely as you can every day. There’s no shortcuts for sure.”

There’s Ben Johns and James Ignatowich. There’s Riley Newman and there’s a handful of others, but Daescu isn’t far behind, despite not having an overwhelming amount of PPA success like the others mentioned.

However, that’s likely going to change. Thanks to Daescu having major success at Major League Pickleball, and with MLP and the PPA Tour merging, we’re getting ready to see a lot more of Andrei the Giant.

In 2023, he hasn’t just won on the APP Tour, he’s dominated it, with 27 medals, including 19 golds in all competitions. He’s won an MLP title with his Orlando Squeeze teammates and finished runner-up in another. He had success on the PPA Tour with Dylan Frazier and Jay Devilliers and he did it all without injuries and staying healthy.

“2023 has indeed been a great season for me and I’m very thankful for that,” he said. “I was able to get a lot of medals on the APP tour with Rob Nunnery and Susannah Barr and a few others, I won an MLP championship with Anna (Bright), Rachel (Rohrabachker) and Zane Navratilwith the Orlando Squeeze and made some good runs on the PPA tour on a few events."

“I would say the biggest reasons for my success in 2023 is that I was able to stay healthy the entire season and I was also lucky enough to play alongside great partners.”

Daescu is playing alongside Nunnery in Chicago this weekend in the men’s bracket and alongside Barr in the mixed bracket.

And while he said he doesn’t know his entire calendar for 2024, it’s almost assured you’ll see a lot more of Daescu on the medal stand.

“In terms of goals for next season I personally am one of those people who don’t think too far ahead, and much rather take the ‘one day at a time’ approach and try to win the day,” he said. “I would love to be able to stay healthy and perform at my highest level while trying to become a better pickleball player every day I’m out on the courts.”

Maybe if that happens, Daescu will be one of the top names in the game.

"I definitely don’t like to sing my own praises and I’m a big believer that results speak louder than words,” he said. “I’ll leave it up to others to determine if I’m a ‘household’ name or not.”