'Completely Different Sport': Bouchard On Early Pickleball Struggles

'Completely Different Sport': Bouchard On Early Pickleball Struggles

by Nurein Ahmed

Eugenie Bouchard recently weighed on the discussion on why tennis and pickleball are not similar sports.

Bouchard is celebrating her 30th birthday and has been one of a number of tennis pros who are trying their hand at pickleball, which is considered the fastest-growing sport in the United States. In fact, pickleball has grown exponentially in recent years, and it has its own tour.

The Canadian tennis star has swapped her tennis racket for a paddle, although she has not formally retired from professional tennis. Her last match on the WTA tour was in September last year at the Guadalajara Open.

Bouchard is a multitasker and has been involved in exhibition tennis matches since the back end of last season, and she is due to play another one next month at the highly-anticipated Netflix Slam. For now, though, her focus is centered on pickleball.

She played in her first professional pickleball tournament last month but had a nightmare debut, losing three matches in a single day. Bouchard, who labeled the experience as nerve-wracking, stated that she is "not good yet" but believes she will get better.

The former Wimbledon finalist explained in a recent interview on TMZ that the switch to pickleball is not an "automatic transition" for tennis players, as some may opine. Instead, she asserted that the two sports are not mutually exclusive as they require different hand skills.

"I'm not good yet, I need to practice more. People think there is an automatic transition from pickleball to tennis, and there is not. It is a completely different sport and requires different skills."

"So, I'm practicing, and I'm gonna get better. But everyone I know plays pickleball. Everyone I know is obsessed. So, I'm just very happy to be a part of something taking over the country."

Bouchard is still active on the WTA tour and currently has a world ranking of No. 299. She has won one WTA tournament during her playing career (Nurnberg in 2014).


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