Pickleball: Tennis greats to compete for $1 million prize
Tennis legend Andre Agassi, John McEnroeAndy Roddick and Michael Chang will go head-to-head later this year in pursuit of the $1 million prize – playing pickleball.
The decorated tennis greats are set to compete in the inaugural Pickleball Slam, which will take place April 2 at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, according to event organizers Horizon Sports & Experience (HS&E).
Agassi, McEnroe, Roddick and Chang each have career boasts.
Agassi, an eight-time Grand Slam winner, retired from tennis in 2006, while McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam singles winner, has become a well-known commentator and pundit.
Former world No. 1 Roddick is the last American to win a Grand Slam – he achieved the feat in 2003 – while Chang is the youngest person to win a tennis major since winning the 1989 French Open title at the age of 17. is
David Levy, co-CEO of HS&E. called the Pickleball Slam a “convergence of culture and sport”.
“We look forward to bringing together four of America’s most iconic tennis legends for this incredible competition, which marks a new milestone for the fastest growing sport in America,” he added.
Like other racquet sports, pickleball involves hitting the ball over the net and preventing your opponent from hitting it back.
It can be played in singles or doubles, indoors or outdoors on a 20-foot by 44-foot court – roughly the size of a badminton court – and with a two-point cushion, running up to 11 points a side.
Pickleball’s popularity has skyrocketed in North America, driven in part by the Covid-19 pandemic because it offers a safe, socially distanced form of exercise.
It actually found a solid foothold in retirement communities where it was loved for its sociable aspect, moderate exercise, and just being fun.
Between 2018 and 2021, however, USA Pickleball membership has nearly doubled and the organization estimates that 4.8 million Americans now play the sport.
Correction: A previous version of this article mentioned the incorrect year of Michael Chang’s French Open victory. Now it has been amended.