Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, and an iconic name in tennis had an exhilarating time playing pickleball in the company of Alcaraz as the two stars switched their rackets to paddles to try the booming sport for the first time.
Also in attendance and playing were tennis stars Ons Jabeur, Holger Rune, Tommy Paul, and Andrey Rublev, who were invited to the Lotte New York Palace in Midtown Manhattan. Alcaraz shared a photo dump of being at the event a couple of days ago, playing together with Venus in a match against the duo of Jabeur and Paul.
In front of what appeared to be in-house guests and photographers who created an exuberant atmosphere, Venus Williams was also in a cheerful mood and later posted on her Insta stories a photo of her and the young Spaniard saying, 'Strategizing with my new dubs partner.'
The US Open kicks off officially on Monday, August 28th. Venus is scheduled to appear in the US Open main draw for a 24th time on Tuesday, taking on Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen, while Alcaraz's title defense begins against the challenge of German lefty Dominik Koepfer, also on Tuesday.
Pickleball has grown in prominence over the past year and was recognized as the official state sport of Washington in 2022. While it bears resemblance to tennis at first glance, the two sports are distinct in rules, court dimensions, and even equipment used to play. Given its short learning curve, it is said to have close to five million players.
Recently, a couple of high-profile tennis players will take up pickleball professionally, those being Jack Sock who is set to retire after the US Open, and Sam Querrey who retired from professional tennis last summer.