John McEnroe is no fan of pickleball, famously bashing it when the sport was touted as a replacement for tennis. Yet, he still opted to compete in the first Pickleball Slam in a format that pitted him against former players such as Agassi, Michael Cheng, and Andy Roddick.
That was the first Pickleball Slam last year, and this year, we got a second edition. This time around, there were mixed teams, with McEnroe pairing up with Maria Sharapova while Agassi enlisted the help of his wife, Steffi Graf.
There was quite a bit of interest in the event, but ultimately, the result was predictable. Despite practicing a lot, Sharapova and McEnroe failed to win the match against the dream team of Agassi and Graf.
Three matches were played at the Pickleball Slam 2. First, Agassi and Jack Sock played against McEnroe and James Blake, beating them 11-7, 9-11, 11-8.
Then, Graf and Sock teamed up to win also the second match against Sharapova and Blake 9-11, 11-8, 17-15. In the main match, Agassi and Graf beat McEnroe and Sharapova 11-7, 13-11, cashing in on $1 million in prize money.
"I’m sure we got some good ideas."
The players enjoyed themselves in the competition, especially the winning side. Agassi found the sport rather fun to play and picked it up after last year's event.
Graf followed her husband, though she's only been playing it seriously for about six months. That was enough to overcome the less experienced duo of McEnroe and Sharapova.
"Before we started, I had a lot of nerves and I haven’t felt that way in many years. It’s a great crowd and it’s really special."