'Tennis Is Endangered': Djokovic Voices Concerns Amid Challenge From Pickleball And Padel

'Tennis Is Endangered': Djokovic Voices Concerns Amid Challenge From Pickleball And Padel

by Zachary Wimer

Novak Djokovic used his platform to raise concern about tennis on the grassroots level as we see more and more tennis courts being converted to other uses.

Tennis is a hugely popular sport worldwide, but there is a shortage of infrastructure on the grassroots level. Millions of tennis fans around the world don't have access to tennis courts, on which they could play the sport.

That's problematic because it's one of the ways how many people discover the joys of tennis and become fans. It's necessary for the sport to survive, and it's not trending in the right direction.

There are many stories of tennis courts being converted into padel and pickleball courts, most notably in the United States, because these sports are overtaking tennis in popularity when it comes to playing them.

Djokovic isn't happy about it, and he wants to see it changed because if not, even fewer people will be able to access tennis courts around the world, and he spoke about the issue after his latest win at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships.

"On a club level, tennis is endangered. If we don’t do something about it.. paddle, pickleball in States, they’re going to convert all the tennis clubs into paddle and pickle ball."

The Serbian would also like the Tours to get involved because the sport is too popular not to do something about. He even referenced some things that were done by the PTPA, which he heads, to back up his claims.

"I think our tours need to do better. And we are lucky to be very historic and very global sport. But I think one of the studies that was done by PTPA three, four years ago, showed that tennis is the third or fourth most popular sport in the world, most watched sport in the world, along with cricket."

"Number one is obviously football, or soccer as you call it in States. Second one is basketball. Then it’s tennis and cricket. But tennis is number 9 or 10 on the list of all sports in terms of using its popularity, commercializing or capitalizing on that. "

"I think there is a huge space for growth. That we are quite fractioned as a sport. So there’s quite a bit of things I think for us to really collectively look at and try to improve it."


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