Tennis vs. pickleball in Vegas. Isner's perfect placement.
Listen, we're not saying we love drama. We'd like to think we left that tendency behind in high school.
But we WILL totally salt some popcorn and scroll through the responses to the latest pickle-hating tweet from a tennis commentator grasping at relevance...and savor the salty reply from one of our game's top players.
See you in four years, footie fans. It's time for pickle.
Not Quite a Drive and Not Quite a Drop
John Isner holds the record for the fastest serve on the tennis pro tour at 152.7 mph. When yielded by his 6'10 frame, the racquet (or paddle) is considered a deadly weapon.
You might think all of that power would transfer into his pickleball game, but not so much. At the PPA Team Championships in Las Vegas, Isner was not trying to blast anyone off the line or burn a hole through anyone's paddle.
He had his own drive-drop combo that was giving players fits. Isner pushed the ball on a line drive over the net and let it rapidly descend to the ground right at the feet of the other team.
We've all heard the third shot drop advice, "It's like underhand tossing a ball into the kitchen" yatta yatta. His stroke resembled more of a shovel motion, giving the ball perfect trajectory.
Check it out here and try it out for yourself:
Focus on that swing path. Isner adds enough slice to make it challenging to return. He then finishes with his paddle out in front instead of over his shoulder.
Remember: with thirds, consistency is key. Top pros land thirds in >90% of the time; amateurs, not so much.
Stop driving ambitiously into the net. Play a well-placed, consistent ball like Isner does here.
Pickleball Wear that Lasts
Think of the last time you found an article of clothing that felt tailor-made for you. Was it made in the USA? Did it last very long?
American Giant wants to help pickleball enthusiasts connect on the court in style by creating a durable and polished collection that’s as inclusive as the sport it’s named for.
Each durable cotton piece is designed to breathe, stretch, and hold up to your hardest-hitting moments on the court. These hoodies, jackets, sweatshirts, sweatpants, shorts & tees make excellent gifts, too!
No Pickle-Trashing in This House!
Tennis and pickleball should #coexist. The star-crossed lovers ought to live in harmony, both helping to fuel the growth and appreciation for the other.
We love tennis, and most tennis players appreciate pickleball (we think). But sometimes, we can't deny a hint of tension.
- John McEnroe says pickleball sucks.
- Pickleball courts vandalized by tennis locals
The most recent example: Australian tennis coach, television commentator, and former professional player Rennae Stubbs fired some shots at pickleball via Twitter.
Luckily, pickleball's watchful guardian, Jay Devilliers, came to its defense.
It's not often that we witness Jay Devilliers, the PPA Tour's gentle giant, take off the gloves.
But Devilliers wasn't alone. Actual (roasted, Rennae) tennis star Nick Kyrgios, one of the recent MLP investors that Stubbs seemed to be criticizing, volleyed back at her with elegant simplicity:
Maybe the true tension merely exists between pickleball and tennis' old guard. Because as we saw this weekend, today's tennis stars (see below) seem to love the yellow wiffle ball.
Well said, Wild Thing.
Team Querrey Wins Big in Las Vegas
The PPA bubly Team Championships shut down Sin City last weekend. Live on ABC, Team Sam Querrey won the one-of-a-kind event that featured US tennis icons mixing it up with pickleball's best.
Between Allyce Jones scraping knees and elbows on the asphalt and Riley Newman's rabid court coverage, it was clear no team wanted it more than the black team.
The 7-player roster also featured Megan Dizon, Collin Johns, Lucy Kovalova, Pat Smith, and of course, Querrey.
The event used rally scoring format, where a point is awarded at the end of each rally. It is a bit easier for beginners to grasp and makes the length of game more predictable from a broadcast perspective.
Arguably the most exciting bout of the weekend was a crossover battle of sexes and battle of the sports. Tennis legends Jack Sock and John Isner took on picklers Anna Leigh Waters and Jessie Irvine in a Saturday night exhibition.
Waters and Irvine laid the smackdown in game one, winning 11-0. Isner and Sock found their stride in game two and squeaked out an 11-9 win. Game three came down to the wire and a late run from Sock and Isner propelled them to a match win: 0-11, 11-9, 13-11.
The Right Grip Makes the Difference
ProXR's legendary handle design is now available in the new Raw Carbon 14 and 16 paddle with XR Handle technology.
ProXR's handle design was initially created for baseball bats, giving hitters more leverage on their swings, leading to increased exit velocity.
Headlines & Quick Hits
- Churches use pickleball’s popularity for relationship building, outreach
- Mayo Clinic Minute: How to prevent injuries when playing pickleball
- Margaritaville becomes Major League Pickleball's first-ever title sponsor
- More courts in more locations, find them in the app
- After all that work...
- Never turn down a tweener
- Backhands don't get more accurate than this
- Fake right, go left
A review from the Dink Fam: