Eli Manning dinks. US Open champ flirts with PB.
Did you know Stephen Colbert, the late night funnyman, once called himself "the sexiest man in pickleball?"
You know what they say: nothing makes men more aspirational than holding a title in America's Fastest-Growing Sport.
This Thursday, Stephen holds a far less scandalous title: host of a charitable pickleball tournament on CBS. More on that below.
Quick Tip: when it's windy, favor drives over drops. Pro matches in which wind is a factor experience significant decreases in drop %. In a recent and particularly windy championship match, all four pros hit <30% drops, highlighted by #1 Ben Johns who favored drives to the tune of 85%.
Who needs a net?
We've all seen it before: an aggressive dink leads to an around the post winner. Lights out, point over.
Not so fast my friend. There's a new way to defend the ATP.
Don't retreat to the corner. Use the angle to your advantage and counter their ATP with an ATP of your own, like Kyle Yates does here:
As Ferris Bueller said, "things happen pretty fast on the pickleball court." In most rec games, players are surprised when an ATP actually occurs. The on-court instinct displayed by Yates here is unparalleled. Learn from the pickleball OG but be wary of three things:
- It's most effective when the ATP comes from deep in the court
- Be mindful of the plane of the net, it's illegal to cross before connecting with the ball
- Your body is an easy target, so defend yourself as well as your court
Good luck pulling off this one-in-a-million shot. If you do, send in the footage, we want to see it.
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'Pickled' Celebrity Tournament Premiers Tomorrow Night
Ready the pickle-flavored popcorn. Celebrities will duke it out on the pickleball court for your viewing pleasure tomorrow night at 9 ET on CBS.
In “Pickled,” host Stephen Colbert joins sportscasters Bill Raftery and Cari Champion as celebrities like Will Ferrell, Emma Watson, Sugar Ray Leonard, and many others compete for charity.
Colbert, who first picked up a pickleball paddle earlier this year, says the two-hour event features intense rivalries, lots of action, and even a few surprises.
“I think Emma Watson is going to surprise a lot of people,” he told Variety.
“Dierks Bentley is going to have a few tricks up his sleeve…You don’t get to be fully employed in Hollywood unless you are competitive, and these people are out for blood at all times.”
PPA Takeya Showcase Preview
The partner drama from Nationals spilled over into the second annual Takeya Showcase. As mentioned on the It Feels Right podcast, Lea Jansen and Catherine Parenteau split for this event. Jansen dropped out of women's doubles and CP will partner with new PPA signee Brooke Buckner.
Anna Leigh Waters elected to skip the showcase (other pros rejoice for a chance at gold). This means we could witness a clash between CP and Jansen on Championship Sunday.
No ALW also creates a more intriguing mixed bracket. Ben Johns will partner with CP for a second week in a row. The Newman siblings Riley and Lindsey are together again. Team Selkirk will also debut a new partnership of Tyson McGuffin and Parris Todd.
Read more in our preview and watch the full four-day event on PPA TV.
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Manning's Dream Team
Eli Manning recently told People that he’s “a little bit better” at pickleball than his brother Peyton.
Just like their fellow NFL quarterback Tom Brady, the Manning bros take pickleball very seriously…to the extent that Eli joked, “there may be some blood at some point.”
But will their similarity with Brady end at mere interest in the sport, or will one of the Mannings buy a team like Tom did?
Right now, Manning says he just enjoys playing. But if he could draft a dream pickleball team, it would include former teammate Plaxico Burress (for that long wingspan) and Serena Williams.
We would totally follow that team, Eli. Now make it so!
The Tennis Pros are Coming
Much to the chagrin of tennis club owners everywhere, several notable tennis pros have ascended to pickledom. That list of names could soon include 2017 US Open champ Sloane Stephens.
Stephens told NBC a familiar story: while trying to watch the Tennis Channel, she encounters pickleball on the air, wondering what the heck it was and why her regularly-scheduled programming was disrupted.
Better get used to that, tennis fans.
Flash-forward a couple of years, and Stephens is an all-out pickleball fanatic. But will she trade her racquet for a paddle?
“I know a couple of pro tennis players that have gone pro in pickleball and they love it,” Stephens said. “It’s a great sport. So we’ll see. I’m not making any promises.”
Some former tennis pros that are making the switch to pickleball include:
- Ana Ivanović
- Juan Carlos Ferrero
- Carlos Moyá
- Sam Querrey
- Noah Rubin
Sloane, we hope to welcome you into the fold soon.
Don't Let Rain Delays Drown the Fun
Pickleball Smash is the first of its kind pickleball card game! Enjoy the excitement of pickleball when you can’t get to the courts!
This fast-paced, addicting card game brings the excitement of pickleball to the table. Get your pickleball fix when the conditions aren't cooperating, help beginners get comfortable with pickleball terms, or kill time waiting to get on the courts. Pickleball Smash is the perfect gift for any pickleball player.
Headlines & Quick Hits
- How to avoid slips, trips and injuries on the pickleball court - The Washington Post
- Jimmy Buffet files patent for 'Pickleville' what's next for Parrotheads?
- Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, and James Blake debate Pickleball's credibility
- Find courts while traveling
- Pickleball star Tyson McGuffin has big plans for the sport and himself
- Mind the gap!
- The definition of 'friendly fire'
- Team USA Pickleball, everyone
- Lights out play from Newman/Waters