The PPA Tour isn't done signing players in a bid to recruit top talent: its newest signee is Genie Bouchard.
One look at her track record, and you can imagine Genie didn't come cheap:
- Wimbledon final 2014
- Australian Open semis 2014
- French Open semis 2014
- Highest tennis rank #5
- 2.4m followers on IG
We'll look forward to seeing her performance on the pickleball court. But all this has us wondering: is this PPA's new strategy? And will the skills transfer at a professional level?
Consider that pickleball has featured in school PE programs for over a decade.
Sooner or later, there will be a wave of young players who are true native pickleballers...kids who can dink with their eyes closed; who can practically feel where the ball is going to bounce next.
What’s going to happen when he faces off against someone who’s been playing pickleball for longer than his tennis & PB careers combined?
Food for thought…
A pattern emerges
In the ongoing Tour Wars between PPA Tour and Major League Pickleball, PPA has announced a slate of new signees who are also former tennis stars.
That list includes:
- Jack Sock
Jack first stepped foot on a PPA Tour event court earlier this year, showing the most pickleball prowess of any of the recent converts. He entered the PPA North Carolina Open and won gold in mixed doubles alongside Anna Leigh Waters.
He announced his retirement from tennis the same day he was signed to PPA.
In tennis, he was known for his strong doubles play, including winning multiple Grand Slam titles in men's doubles and mixed doubles, and achieving a career-high singles ranking of World No. 8.
- Genie Bouchard
This Canadian tennis player is known for reaching the Wimbledon final in 2014, where she was the runner-up.
- Sam Querrey
Sam had consistently ranked among the top tennis players in the world, reaching a career-high singles ranking of World No. 11. In pickleball, he's
- Donald Young
Donald achieved a career-high ranking of World No. 38 in 2012 and has competed in numerous Grand Slam tournaments.
- Kaitlyn Christian
Kaitlyn is an American doubles specialist who has had success on the WTA Tour, including reaching the semifinals of the 2019 Australian Open in women's doubles.
- Tina Pisnik
Tina is a retired Slovenian tennis player who reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 29 in 2001 and won multiple WTA titles during her career.
- Chao Yi Wang
Chao played in the 2023 US Open, but we weren't able to find out much about her aside from that.
Then, there's the former college tennis players:
- Lingwei Kong
- Kate Fahey
- Jackie Urbinati
- Pierina Imparato