Pickleball is a sport that borrows its philosophies from other sports, including badminton, squash, racquetball, and particularly tennis. Even though some people consider pickleball a rip-off sport, it is different in its way. But, tennis vs. pickleball: how are they different?
The main difference between tennis and pickleball is that tennis requires an overhand serve, while pickleball requires underhand serves. In addition, pickleball players serve diagonally and in a simple motion similar to bowling a ball.
However, there are other differences between tennis and pickleball. Read on to find out everything you need to know about tennis and pickleball, and how they differ.
Overview of Tennis
Tennis is a racket sport that two or four players can play. It is played on a court that has a rectangular shape with a net stretched across the middle.
The main objective of tennis is to hit the ball over the net and into your opponent’s court so that they are unable to return it.
When playing tennis, participants stand on opposite sides of the net and use a stringed racquet to smash the ball back and forth to each other. International Tennis Federation upholds the rules of tennis.
Overview of Pickleball
Pickleball is a racket sport played by two, three, or four players. It is similar to tennis in that it is played on a court shaped like a rectangle with a net stretched across the middle.
The objective of pickleball is to hit the ball over the net and into your opponent’s court in such a way that they fail at returning it.
The key difference between pickleball and tennis is that pickleball is played with a paddle rather than a racket. USA Pickleball promotes pickleball’s development and growth of the United States.
Pickleball is relatively young (created in 1965) compared to tennis (tennis was codified in England in the 1870s), according to the Olympics.sportsario.com
What Are the Major Differences Between Tennis And Pickleball?
While pickleball requires underhand serve, tennis needs to be overhand. Picklers serve diagonally to the opposite side of the court. The pickleball serve is a simple movement comparable to bowling a ball. In addition, pickleball serve is much easier for beginners than the overhand serve in tennis.
Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between tennis and pickleball.
1- Pickleballs Are Lightweight As Compared To Tennis Balls
Pickleballs are much lighter than tennis balls because they are made of different materials. Pickleballs are made of plastic with a hole in the center, while tennis balls are made of rubber with a core of cork, string, or other materials.
Pickleball has two different types of balls: indoor and outdoor. Indoor pickleball has larger holes to help prevent the wind from affecting them, whereas outdoor balls have smaller holes, so outdoor conditions don’t whiffle the ball away.
Pickleball balls have less lifespan than tennis balls as they are made of plastic. They crack easily over time and generally do not last as long as the tennis balls.
The weight difference makes pickleball easier to hit and control than tennis balls.
|Weight||Between 1.975 and 2.095 ounces||Between 0. 78 to 0. 935 ounces|
|Dimensions||2.5 and 2.8 inches (6.35 to 7.12 cm) in diameter||2.874 to 2.972 inches (7.299 to 7.548 cm) in diameter|
2- Pickleballs Have a Larger Sweet Spot than Tennis Balls
The sweet spot is the area on the racket where you make contact with the ball and get the most power. Pickleballs have a larger sweet spot than tennis balls because of their size and shape. This makes it easier to hit the ball with power and accuracy.
It is also easier to keep the ball playing with a pickleball than tennis.
3- Pickleballs Bounce Lower Than Tennis Balls
Pickleballs bounce lower than tennis balls because of their size and weight. This makes them easier to control and keeps the game moving slower.
Pickleballs are also less likely to go out of bounds than tennis balls.
4- Difference In Serve
In tennis, the serve is usually overhand. The player can bounce the ball as many times as he wants before hitting it over the net. In addition, he can serve from anywhere behind the baseline.
However, in pickleball, the server must hit the ball underhand and just let it bounce once before hitting it over the net. The server must also serve from behind the service line, located 7 feet from the net.
In tennis, serve matters a lot. Players with excellent serving speed and technique score many points. In contrast, the serve isn’t all that powerful and therefore doesn’t have the same importance as in tennis.
5- Equipment Used
Another major and very visible difference between the two sports is the equipment used in both games.
- Pickleball paddle: A pickleball paddle is shorter and lighter than a tennis racket, with a smaller sweet spot. The face of the paddle is also textured to generate more spin.
- Tennis racket: A tennis racket is longer and heavier than a pickleball paddle, with a larger sweet spot. The face of the racket is smooth, which makes it harder to generate spin.
- Ball: Pickleball uses a smaller, lighter ball than tennis. The ball is also perforated with small holes.
6- Pickleball Has a Smaller Court than Tennis
One of the main differences between tennis and pickleball is the size of the court. A tennis court is 78 feet (3.77 meters) long by 27 feet (8 meters) wide, while a pickleball court is only 44 feet long by 20 feet wide.
This smaller court size means players have less ground to cover and can quickly get to the ball. Pickleball also has a lower net, making it easier to reach the ball.
7- Tennis Is More Popular Than Pickleball
Tennis is still more popular than pickleball, with more people playing tennis and tennis courts. It is generally easier to find tennis lessons and tennis clubs than pickleball ones.
The graph below compares tennis and pickleball in terms of search volume. From 2004 to 2022, tennis is more popular than pickleball, according to web search on Google trends.
Worldwide pickleball is more popular in Australia, Europe, South America, and North America.
8- Tennis Is a More Physical Sport than Pickleball
While tennis and pickleball are considered racket sports, they are quite different in terms of the level of physicality required.
Tennis is relatively a much more physical sport than pickleball, with players’ running back and forth across the court and hitting the ball harder.
In contrast, pickleball is a slower-paced game and does not require as much running or as much upper body strength.
9- Pickleballs Bounce Lower Than Tennis Balls
The bounce of a pickleball is lower than the bounce of a tennis ball. This is because the pickleball is softer and larger; therefore, it is not as bouncy as a tennis ball. The lower bounce makes it easier to volleys and dinks.
10- Pickleballs Fly Slower Than Tennis Balls
Pickleballs fly slower than tennis balls because of their lighter weight and larger size. This makes them easier to track and hit. It also makes them less likely to go out of bounds.
11- Same Court Dimensions Are Used For Single and Doubles Game
The main difference between tennis and pickleball is that tennis is played on a larger court with different dimensions for singles and doubles games.
Tennis courts might differ in some cases for singles and doubles games; the pickleball courts are the same size dimensions for both singles and doubles. It is important to know that the size of the court is not the only difference but the net height.
12- Pickleball Is Easier To Learn Than Tennis
While tennis can be quite challenging to learn, pickleball is much easier to pick up. This is due to the smaller court size and lower net in pickleball, and the fact that the ball is not hit as hard. As a result, pickleball is often considered a more beginner-friendly sport.
13- The No Volley Zone in Pickleball
In tennis, players can hit the ball anywhere they want on the court. However, there is a designated no volley zone around the net in pickleball. This means that players cannot hit the ball while in the air over the net.
14- Tennis Players Are More Marketable
In professional sports, tennis players are some of the most popular and marketable athletes. From Roger Federer to Serena Williams, these athletes have become global superstars thanks to their incredible skills on the court.
However, while there are plenty of talented pickleball players, the sport doesn’t have the same global appeal as tennis.
Professional tennis players can command much higher salaries and endorsement deals than their pickleball counterparts.
Is Pickleball Easier Than Tennis?
Pickleball is not as physically demanding as tennis, which means playing pickleball is generally less intense, and there are fewer injuries. In addition, pickleball requires less movement and is often played at the same pace except for the forward motion.
On the surface, it would appear that pickleball is the easier of the two sports. After all, the court is smaller, and the paddles are larger. However, there is more to these sports than meets the eye. However, experts would say that pickleball is relatively easier than tennis.
Does Pickleball Damage Tennis Courts?
Pickleball can damage tennis courts if the wrong kind of net is used or the court surface is too soft. However, the right kind of pickleball net will not damage a tennis court. Pickleball paddles are also much lighter than tennis racquets, so they shouldn’t cause any damage to the court either. But, the pickleball could create divots or ruts if the court surface is too soft.
While tennis and pickleball may appear to be similar sports, they have quite a few differences. From the size of the court to the way the ball is hit, these two sports offer different challenges and require different skills. So which one is right for you? Only you can decide that.