The eyes of the tennis world are currently turned towards Paris, where the finals of the French Open are scheduled over the weekend, ending the second grand slam of the year.
Enthusiasts and record breaker fans are eagerly awaiting the men’s final scheduled for June 11 as Novak Djokovic, the 22-time Grand Slam champion will be one of the players on the court.
Djokovic, 36, has the opportunity to break or match several records as he continues to write tennis history. If he were to prevail against young Norwegian Casper Ruud, Djokovic would win a 23rd Grand Slam title, one more than his rival Rafael Nadal.
He will then be at the top in the all-time list for men and will equal Serena Williams for women. But he will still be one trophy behind Margaret Court who holds the overall record with 24 Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic, one of the players who have dominated the sport in recent decades, would also become the oldest player to win Roland Garros in the open era.
While this race currently fascinates the world of tennis, Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur who has made it his mission to shine the spotlight and comment on important issues, just warned the tennis world against a threat that should be taken very seriously. According to Musk, it is pickleball, a new sport that has gained a lot of popularity since the pandemic.
He made the remark as part of a thread on Twitter. Twitter user Farzad Mesbahi, a fan of Tesla (TSLA) – Get Free Report, the electric vehicle maker of which Musk is the CEO, complained that pickleball fans were now taking over the tennis courts, frustrating the players of the sport with the small yellow ball.
“Pickleball is the biggest blight in the history of sports,” Farzad Mesbahi said in a humorous tone on Jun. 8. “Stop hijacking tennis courts you bastards.”
Musk first burst out laughing. Then, regaining his seriousness, he sounded the alarm for tennis fans.
“🤣 It’s probably going to crush tennis. Way more convenient,” the billionaire warned.
Pickleball was born in 1965 in the United States, in the state of Washington. It was developed by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, Jordan Steranka and Barney McCallum. Their intention in creating Pickleball was to design a new sport that was fun, challenging and that anyone could play. The name comes from Pritchard’s dog who was named Pickle.
Pickleball is a racket sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. One of the advantages of pickleball is that it is a sport suitable for everyone, regardless of age or physical condition. It is therefore considered one of the most inclusive sports. It is played with a special perforated ball, with a net similar to that of tennis and on a court with dimensions equivalent to those of a badminton court. The rackets are larger than those used for table tennis and smaller than those used for padel.
Pickleball is almost always played in doubles, although it can also be played individually. The rules are simple and the dynamics of playing are less physically demanding than other sports like tennis.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, pickleball has grown rapidly, to the point where there is friction in many cities with players of other sports. They accuse pickleball fans of cannibalizing the sports facilities provided to the public.
Little by little, the world of pickleball is getting organized. Federations are born, and the appearance of official tournaments and events multiply to extend the practice of this sport outside the American borders.