Pickleball: Tennis greats to compete for $1 million prize



Tennis legends Andre Agassi, John McEnroeAndy Roddick and Michael Chang will go head to head in the $1 million prize hunt later this year – play sour ball.

The decorated tennis greats will compete in the Inaugural Pickleball Slam, which will take place April 2 at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, according to event organizers Horizon Sports & Experiences (HS&E).

Agassi, McEnroe, Roddick and Chang each have storied careers.

Eight-time Grand Slam winner Agassi retired from tennis in 2006, while McEnroe, who is a seven-time Grand Slam winner, has become a well-known commentator and pundit.

Former world No. 1 Roddick is the last American man to win a grand slam – achieving the feat in 2003 – while Chang is the youngest man to win a tennis major, having won the French in 1989 at age 17. won the open title.

HS&E co-CEO David Levy 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 groundbreaking competition that marks another milestone for the fastest growing sport in America,” he added.

Like other racquet sports, pickleball involves getting 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-by-44-foot court—about the size of a badminton court—and lasts until one side reaches 11 points, with a two-point cushion.

Pickleball’s popularity has skyrocketed in North America, in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as it provides a safe, socially distanced form of exercise.

It had originally found a solid footing among senior citizen communities where it was loved for its social aspect, moderate exercise, and just plain fun.

However, between 2018 and 2021, U.S. Pickleball membership nearly doubled, and the organization estimates that 4.8 million Americans now play the sport.

Correction: An earlier version of this article listed the incorrect year of Michael Chang’s French Open victory. This has now been corrected.

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