Is pickleball a threat to tennis? What makes hardcore tennis fans resist the hype?

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Pickleball, which is considered by many sports fans today as the closest ‘cousin’ of tennis, is rising so much lately and it has been gaining so much popularity, that it is also somehow perceived as a threat to old-school tennis. There is a big part of tennis hard-core followers, who believe that pickleball puts their favorite sport at risk, especially as more and more superstar players like Jack Sock and Donald Young are actively crossing over the two or in some cases are leaving tennis and turning entirely to pickleball.

Pickleball’s popularity is peaking in the US at the moment, but very soon it is expected to skyrocket in other parts of the world as well, reaching widespread levels, especially as it becomes more accessible as a sport, more interesting and attractive as a betting market offered by sites across the globe, including Zambian sports betting sites at and more fun to watch as a sports event.

The more it takes over the world of sports and gains active players and fans, however, the more it gets to be disregarded by those who do not really appreciate hybrid sports. But pickleball is nothing but a newly invented sport. In fact, it was invented back in the 1960s, only now it is becoming more mainstream among the average sports fans and the casual bettors and sports gamblers who are usually surfing around sites at

Those who do not really like pickleball, have several reasons for not doing so, but are they any good reasons justifying this kind of “animosity” or is it simply that they believe this sport is stealing tennis’ thunder?

For one thing, those who dislike pickleball say that it’s just a mixture of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. In its simplest form. It doesn’t require any special skills or tennis competencies whatsoever and you certainly don’t need to be even a sportsperson to start playing pickleball. It’s too easy, they argue. This translates to a sport with ultra-low entry barriers and consequently, a game that is more a consumable event and less of an actual sport.

But the truth is far from that. Pickleball is a demanding sport, even if it appears to be an easy one in the first place. Probably it can’t reach the level of professional tennis, let’s say, but still, it isn’t a walk in the part. That’s why we get to see more and more tournaments featuring great players, who have already built their careers in tennis, shifting now to pickleball to take advantage of both the increased popularity and the fact that they can use their skills and capabilities in a context where they get to have more control of.

The other major reason for not particularly liking pickleball is that even though it currently draws on retired tennis players or those who are thinking of ending their careers in the sport, it is soon anticipated to reach record levels in viewership and participation, given its fast-growing popularity. Getting all the hype seems like a big threat to its ‘cousin’, for all those fans who expect big names to stay in the tennis realm. Tennis is a unique sport and anything distorting this uniqueness or lowering its prestige is considered to be an enemy. Having pickleball gain more fans and greater attention is likely to make tennis lose some of its grandeur and this is quite a challenge for the hard-core followers of the sport.

Pickleball is still in its early stages and if many of the tennis pro players are giving it a shot already, it might be a good thing for people to give this sport a chance too. Maybe it won’t grow at the expense of their beloved sport, maybe it’ll grow in parallel, giving all of us, who appreciate a good tennis match, the chance to enjoy more games like that.

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