Pickleball vs. tennis: Which is better?


Fact Box

  • The origins of tennis can be traced back to the 12th-13th century in France before gaining prominence in Britain, Australia, and America. Pickleball was a variation of badminton made by Washington state Congressman Joel Pritchard in 1965. 
  • The main difference between pickleball and tennis is their equipment: tennis balls are larger and denser than the former. 
  • The Sports & Fitness Industry Association stated the number of tennis players amounted to 23.6 million in 2022. However, between 2021 and 2022, pickleball rose in popularity to 36.5 million.
  • The world’s most popular sports, according to World Atlas, are soccer, cricket, hockey, tennis, and volleyball.
  • A-listers celebrities known to play pickleball are Selena Gomez, Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Phelps, and Will Ferrell. Tennis has its own list of celebrity fans: Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Grant, Kate Middleton, and Brad Pitt.

Luis (Tennis)

When evaluating the needed technique level, the physical demands tennis makes on its players, its global popularity, and historical prominence, tennis is a serious contender in the sports world. 

Tennis requires skills like power, agility, strategy, and finesse, as its larger court and longer rallies demand more athletic prowess and varied shot-making. Given this, playing tennis can be more physically demanding due to the larger court size, longer matches, and greater ground to cover, making it appealing to those seeking a more rigorous workout. Tennis is considerably more popular worldwide, to the point where some tennis players are cultural or pop references that almost every person knows about. While pickleball has been making a tremendous effort to increase its popularity, it is just not comparable. A 'famous' pickleball player is less popular than a top-20 tennis player. Likewise, tennis is more entertaining than pickleball, offering longer rallies and considerably more challenging rounds for players, making for a more attractive game all around for audiences. 

Furthermore, tennis has a greater variety of skills and shots, including numerous types of forehands, volleys, smashes, drop shots, backhands, and serves. Finally, tennis has more prestige and tradition than pickleball, even developed a rich culture associated with it, along with iconic venues around the world and legendary players that are individually way more important than the whole history of pickleball. Considering their massive differences in popularity, prestige, historical presence, and entertainment value, and if only one can be chosen, tennis is the winner.

James (Pickleball)

While pickleball has often been associated with older generations, it has swiftly gained popularity in recent years, gaining players in lower age demographics, including among those aged 35 years and younger. This entertaining and thrilling game is comparable to tennis, though several key distinctions make it a fantastic choice for players of all ages and skill levels. Pickleball typically features a smaller court, a slower ball speed, and a lighter paddle than tennis, making learning the sport easier. Due to the fact that older individuals and novices may not have the same amount of movement or agility as younger players, it makes for a terrific activity. Additionally, there is less running and less strain on your joints since pickleball uses a smaller court and a slower ball. As a result, it provides a fantastic physical outlet for those healing from injuries or who have joint problems.

Tennis equipment usually costs more than pickleball equipment, which includes paddles and balls. Because of this, pickleball has become the more affordable sport for those who might want to spend less money on equipment. A further benefit of pickleball is that it is frequently played at a quicker tempo than tennis despite the slower ball speed. Because of the smaller court, players must be fast on their feet and have the ability to react quickly. Finally, pickleball is simple to accommodate people of all ages and players of all skill levels making it an altogether better and more accessible sport than tennis.

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