Pickleball hate: Andy Murray, Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev aren’t fans

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup) /

Do you play pickleball? Great. Well, I apologize ahead of time for what you are about to read. I am not a big fan, but neither is Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, or Andrey Rublev. All those guys play high-end tennis for a living, of course, and I don’t. But I still see pickleball players take up space at my local courts.

I guess selfishly speaking I would much rather see tennis players on tennis courts and not pickleball players. In pickleball, the court is smaller, the ball doesn’t go as far or as fast. For weekend players using pickleball as exercise, tennis would be a much better activity. I understand if a person has suffered an injury and cannot play tennis, but most people I see on local courts playing pickleball are able-bodied people.

In April 2023, there was a pickleball slam and some of the participants included John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, and Andre Agassi. The gimmick was an interesting watch. One can assume, though, that when those three guys are normally on a tennis court they are playing tennis for fun, and not pickleball.

Andy Murray, Cameron Norris, and Andrey Rublev agree: Pickleball stinks

It appears some current players also aren’t big fans of the sport. Or as Andy Murray says succinctly in a video posted by Tennis TV during the US Open, “I am not a massive fan of it, to be honest.” Cameron Norrie was harsher in assessing pickleball: “For me, it doesn’t require any special skill.” Ouch.

"Players admit they hate pickleball byu/Tonik3244 intennis"

Andrey Rublev was annoyed that pickleball was already among the top searches on Google when one was looking for tennis. He said that he’s not a great fan of pickleball “because this is just a new sport that is already at the top of the search.” And that’s true. Players who earn their living through tennis have a right to be annoyed by a new “sport” that doesn’t take as much talent or energy as tennis.

Having said that, there will also be a Pickleball Slam 2 on February 4, 2024, and that will feature John McEnroe and Andre Agassi again, but Maria Sharapova and Steffi Graf will also play. While these players might have fun playing pickleball, make no mistake that they also are earning lots of money for participating. Pickleball Slam 1 had a $1 million purse, much greater than any other pickleball tournament for those who aren’t former tennis stars.

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