HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – South Florida offered all the pickleball one could handle this past weekend with Pickleball Slam 2.
Andre Agassi, his wife Steffi Graf, John McEnroe and Maria Sharapova put on a show Sunday evening in front of a packed house at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The event was broadcast live Sunday evening in front of an energetic crowd on ESPN and saw Team Agassi and Graf emerge victorious, taking home the biggest single event prize in pickleball history of $1 million. Agassi/Graf defeated McEnroe/Sharapova (11-7, 13-11).
Also participating in Slam 2 as players/coaches were tennis professionals who have made the transition to pickleball: Jack Sock (a professional pickleball player) and James Blake (co-owner, Major League Pickleball’s Milwaukee Mashers). Sock was part of Team Agassi/Graf while Blake joined Team McEnroe/Sharapova.
McEnroe was in top form, bringing his priceless antics and shotmaking to the event. A handful of foot faults early in the competition brought out the best from the tennis legend, who playfully sparred with the referee throughout the night about her "rulings."
The enthusiastic crowd thoroughly enjoyed watching tennis legends struggle at times with America's fastest-growing sport. There were plenty of memorable rallies, shotmaking, gaffes and banter between the competitors and the event proved to be a smashing success.
With these names competing at the highest level of the sport and for ESPN to provide a Sunday night LIVE primetime window for the competition, the future looks very bright for the growth and popularity of pickleball.