Why Do Tennis Players Hate Pickleball?

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Pickleball falls in somewhere between tennis, squash, and table tennis. No doubt, it’s super fun and a highly addictive sport. But why do tennis players hate pickleball? Or does it cause any harm to your tennis skills?

For competitive tennis players (rated between 4.5 to 5.0 level), it’s a serious concern to know whether pickleball affects their gameplay techniques or not. Even if it’s just a part of your weekend hangout, it may worry you too. No one wants to miss strokes and get embarrassed in front of friends or colleagues.

Pickleball harms your tennis game – it’s partially true. Besides, it’s also proven that the sport can enhance your tennis skills such as volleys and coordination of hands and eyes, etc.

There should be strict routine intervals between both games to avoid spoiling your skills. Read along if you want to know more about whether Pickleball actually ruins your tennis gameplay or not.

Pickleball vs. Tennis – What’s the Difference?

To understand the benefits or drawbacks of pickleball for tennis players, you need to know the key differences between both sports.

Pickleball and tennis both follow the same style but significantly differ in legwork and hand actions. It’s due to having a different ball and racket style, court size, etc. Let’s take a glance at them to understand further.

Bat StylePaddlesRackets
Average Bat Length16 inches27 inches
Average Bat Weight210g300g
BallsMade of molded material (usually plastic), have holesMade of rubber with fibrous cover, filled with air
Average Ball Diameter2.87 inches2.57 inches
Ball Weights22g to 26g56g to 59g
Court Size880 square ft.2808 square ft.

How Does Pickleball Harm Your Tennis Game?

The way pickleball impact your tennis gameplay mainly depends on your level of skills. Also, the pausing habits between both games can weaken your physical response on tennis courts. Let’s take a deeper look at these below –

How Do Pickleball Balls Affect Your Tennis Gameplay?

As mentioned above, balls used in pickleball are usually less weighty than tennis balls. Because of that, you need to apply less effort while taking your shots.

But how does pickleball hurt your tennis game in this sense? Many tennis rookies find this hard to adapt to tennis after playing pickleball as they get used to the lightweight balls. Similarly, some players lose control of their paddles when switching back to tennis from pickleball.

It happens as our muscle nerves act according to the action we make often. When our muscle nerves get used to applying less effort for a consistent time, they struggle to create more strength if required suddenly.

You can mitigate the problem by not taking long pauses between both sports. For example, don’t take a break of 1 month between pickleball and tennis matches.

Another reason pickleball balls make a difference is because of their less bouncy nature. Therefore, your shots become fairly predictive of the opponents.

On the other hand, rubber-made tennis balls are quite springy and thus, require solid eye coordination throughout the match. Stressing more on pickleball than tennis can reduce your tracking ability.

Read More: How to Line a Temporary Pickleball Court on Tennis Court

Does Pickleball Paddle Improve Your Tennis Gameplay?

Paddles and rackets make a satisfactory sound in both games. Tennis rackets are almost double the height of paddles with a lengthier handle, which allows you to take shots with both hands.

You have to take paddle shots with a single hand in pickleball sports since they come with a shorter handle than tennis rackets.

And if you get habituated to this one-hand action, that can create some complexities on the tennis court. However, occasionally playing pickleball can improve your single-hand shots too.

How Pickleball Advances Your Tennis Gameplay?

Read More: Can You Use a Tennis Court to Play Pickleball?

Does pickleball help your tennis? Or it just ruins your tennis gameplay? Yes, fortunately, it enhances your gameplay at certain levels, especially if you’re a beginner in tennis. To understand the benefits of pickleball for tennis players, continue reading.

How Does Pickleball Make Hand-Eye Coordination Better for Tennis?

Read More: Pickleball Court Marker Kit

Brushing up your hands and eye coordination is inevitable in tennis, especially to get yourself ready for bustling balls flights. Although amateurs often avoid this in their training routine.

Since pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts, you encounter these intense ball flights throughout the rounds.

As a result, you subconsciously create a strong mapping of hands and eye movement, making your actions more accurate and faster for tennis.

How Can Practicing Pickleball Improve Tennis Game?

To find the answer, you need to understand why pickleball is better than tennis. The gameplay style makes pickleball an effortless sport. Anyone can adapt to the game just after 30 minutes of warming up on the court.

Strokes in pickleball are more about placement rather than strength, so you get a handful of chances to sharpen your accuracy.

Both sports involve volleys (a stroke before the ball touches the ground.) But in pickleball, there’s no need to rumble around a large court like tennis. It lets you practice your volleys while executing less physical action.

To be a good tennis player, you certainly need to master drop shots, angle shots, lobs, and low shots. Pickleball allows you to train yourself with all these shot types.

Read More: Protective Eyewear for Pickleball & Tennis Players

Why Pickleball Is a Good Alternative for Competitive Tennis Players?

There’s no doubt that tennis is one of the most hardcore sports in the world. But like every sportsperson, tennis players also reach the tail-end at some point of their journey.

It’s hard to leave behind your passion when age doesn’t allow stressing your body anymore. However, once you figure out why is pickleball easier than tennis, this sport will certainly make sense for you at this point in your tennis career.

Pickleball can become a great choice when you retire from tennis, yet you want to get similar tastes in gameplay. Even if you’re suffering from leg or second-joint injuries, pickleball can be a perfect sport for daily warm-ups.

Also, just like tennis, there’re many active tournament events that are held throughout the year. In the United States alone, you can participate in 6 exciting pickleball competitions, for example, World Pickleball Open, California Indoor Championships, etc. So, you get a chance to reinvent yourself in the sports arena.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does playing pickleball affect your tennis game?

In some senses, pickleball affects your tennis gameplay. For example, the size of the tennis court requires more strength to make strokes. On the contrary, an easy stroke is good enough in pickleball due to its smaller court size.
Playing pickleball for months prevents your muscle memories from responding in the way they do while playing tennis. Therefore, you may lose strength, balance, and accuracy of shots. However, you can get back the skills by practicing tennis alongside pickleball every 15-30 days.

Is pickleball easy for tennis players?

If considering efforts and placement, pickleball is actually an easier game for tennis players. It’s because tennis players are habituated to playing on larger courts. They can move fast in smaller pickleball courts. Besides, placing a smaller range of shots becomes more like a piece of cake for pro tennis players.

What do pro tennis players think of pickleball?

There’re actually mixed thoughts about pickleball among tennis players. Many intermediate tennis folks think pickleball will ruin their gameplay. But some tactical tennis players suggest that playing pickleball side-by-side can enhance your skills, which is discussed above.

Do any pro tennis players play pickleball?

Many idol tennis players joined pickleball sports in the last few years. For instance, legendary tennis players Andy Roddick (once ranked as the #1 tennis player worldwide) and Andre Agassi restarted their sports careers with pickleball consecutively in 2016 and 2018.
Even Roddick is so in love with this game that he became a fundraiser for a pickleball event in the same year he started the journey.

Editor’s Verdict

Will pickleball hurt my tennis game – most tennis players have this concern when they see their mates or friends playing this exhilarating game. It means they want to participate but are just a little anxious about ruining their tennis gameplay.

Hopefully, this detailed guide has helped you find the answer. My suggestion would be to try this fun sport at least once in your life. It can help remarkably to achieve some advanced tennis strokes and reflexing techniques.

Would you like to get another guide on the best pickleball paddle or ball? Let me know in the comment.


I'm Dave Ogden, a professional pickleball player from Ogden, Utah. When I'm not dominating the court, I pour my passion into writing a blog, sharing pickleball trips and tricks. Join me as I take you on an exciting journey through the world of pickleball. Let's improve our game together!

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