Tennis VS Pickleball

Tennis VS Pickleball: What’s the Key Differences?

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Are you wondering about the differences between tennis and pickleball?

Tennis is a highly competitive sport that usually involves two people hitting a ball back and forth to return it to their opponent’s court or hit it over the net. On the other hand, pickleball is a relatively new sport that combines elements of tennis and racquetball. The object of pickleball is to hit a small ball over a net into your opponent’s court.

Let’s focus on the significant differences between tennis VS pickleball in the below section!

Differences Between Tennis VS Pickleball

Are you also confused about tennis vs pickleball? Which one is best for you? Let’s decode!
Tennis is a centuries-old sport that has seen many incarnations. Pickleball is a relatively new game that has grown in popularity in recent years. 

So which is better? There are a few things to consider when comparing these two sports. Tennis has been around for centuries and is widely considered the “traditional” sport. It has more of a physical feel and is played on an outdoor court with high walls.

Double FaultNoYes
ServesEach player or side gets to serve at least once in a game.Each player or side can serve in a particular game. 
Court DimensionsDifferent for single and double games.Same for both single and double games.
ServingOverhand serve is not allowed.Only overhand serve is allowed.
The score boardContains three numbers; Team’s Score, the Opponent’s Score, and the Serve/Return Status.Has three numbers; Sets, Games, and Points.
IntensityNormal game with less intensity.Intense competition with a great amount of conditioning.
Shots PlaystyleBody shots are intended.Shots are hit or aimed away from the player.


Tennis is a globally popular sport that has been played for centuries. A racquet sport uses a ball and a racket to hit a small, round object against another player or artificial support. 


Pickleball is a new sport that is growing in popularity. It is similar to tennis, but the game’s object is to hit a small, round object against another player or artificial support with a paddle.

Comparison Differences Between Tennis and Pickleball

There are many similarities between tennis and pickleball, the two most popular sports in the world. Both sports are played with a racquet and a ball, require good hand-eye coordination, and can be quite competitive. 

However, some key differences set pickleball apart from tennis. For one, pickleball is played on a smaller court than tennis, making it more challenging for beginners.

Comparison Differences between Tennis and Pickleball

Key Differences Between Pickleball VS Tennis

While both tennis and pickleball are popular in the United States, they share some similarities but also have some key differences. One of the most noticeable distinctions is the type of ball used.

Tennis balls are typically larger, rounder, and heavier than pickleball. They are also made with a harder surface, which makes them bounce higher and travel further. This makes tennis a faster-paced game that requires more skill and agility.

Pickleballs, on the other hand, are smaller and more oval-shaped. They have a softer surface that makes them slower-moving and easier to control. Pickleball is a slower-paced game better suited for those who want to take things at a more leisurely pace.

Pickleball and Tennis Court Size

A tennis court is approximately 78 feet long by 27 feet wide, while a pickleball court is just 34 feet long and 28 feet wide. The net height is also different, with a tennis net being 3.5 feet high and a pickleball net just 2 feet high.

Pickleball Court size

These dimensions result in a very different game when played on each surface. Tennis is fast-paced and relies heavily on groundstrokes and volleys to put the ball in play. On the other hand, pickleball is a slower game that often involves more use of drop shots and dinks to place the ball in play. 

Paddles vs. Racquets

When trying to decide which sport to play, tennis or pickleball, the first thing you need to consider is the equipment. Tennis uses racquets, while pickleball uses paddles. The second thing you need to consider is the size of the playing area. Tennis is played on a 78 feet long and 27 feet wide court. 

Pickleball is played on a 44 feet long and 22 feet-wide court. Also, you need to consider the number of players. Tennis can be played with 2 or 4 people, while pickleball can play with 2-4 people. 

The fourth thing you need to consider is the rules. Tennis has more complex rules than pickleball, so if you are new to either sport, it might be best to start with pickleball. The fifth thing you need to consider is the ball.

Non-Volley Zone

You can play pickleball as singles or doubles, and it is typically played on a badminton-sized court with a lower net. The ball is hit with paddles, and the game is won when one team either has more points than the other after 20 points or has not had the chance to return the ball more than once.

One of the main differences between pickleball and tennis is that there is a non-volley zone (NVZ) in front of the net. This none volley zone was created to make the game fun and prevent players from spiking the ball at their opponents. There is no such zone in tennis so that players can spike the ball at their opponents.

Speed Of the Game

There are often comparisons between pickleball and tennis. Both sports are played outdoors, and both require a ball and racket. However, there are some major differences between the two sports. One of the most noticeable differences is the speed of the game.

Tennis is a fast-paced sport that requires quick reactions and good hand-eye coordination. The ball moves quickly across the court, and players must be able to hit it hard to keep it in play. Pickleball, on the other hand, is a slower-paced sport. The ball moves more slowly than in tennis, allowing players more time to react and hit the ball. 

This makes pickleball a more beginner-friendly sport, as beginners do not need to have as much hand-eye coordination as they do in tennis.

Playing Positions

One such difference is the playing positions. Typically, tennis players stand near the back of the court in singles or along the side in doubles, whereas pickleball players stand in front of the net. This closer positioning can lead to more volleys and a faster-paced game.

Another difference is that pickleball allows players to hit the ball off their opponent’s court and their own. This can add an extra layer of strategy to the game, as players must account for balls bouncing off both courts. Tennis does not have this rule, so any ball hit out of bounds results in a point for the opposing team.

Role Of Serve And Shot Execution

In tennis, the serve and return are the most important aspects of the game. A well-executed serve can set up an advantageous position for the player, while a poor serve can easily lead to a point for the opponent. 

The serve is also crucial in pickleball, but shot execution is even more critical. This is because pickleball is faster and more unpredictable than tennis, making it harder to get into position to hit a good shot. As a result, players who can hit good shots in response to their opponent’s serves often have a decisive advantage in pickleball matches.


Will playing pickleball hurt my tennis game?

Some people worry that playing pickleball will hurt their tennis game. But there is no reason to worry. Playing pickleball will help your tennis game. The smaller ball and slower speed make it easier to hit the ball, which will improve your hand-eye coordination. Playing pickleball will also help you develop better stamina and footwork.

Is pickleball easier than tennis?

Pickleball is a game that is often compared to tennis. Both games are played on a court with a net in the middle, and both involve hitting a ball back and forth across the net. However, there are some key differences between pickleball and tennis.

For one, pickleball is typically considered to be a much easier game than tennis. The ball is smaller and slower in pickleball than in tennis, making it easier to hit. Additionally, the court size for pickleball is smaller than the court size for tennis, so players have less distance to cover when hitting the ball.

Another difference between pickleball and tennis is that in pickleball, there are two players on each side of the net instead of one player per side.

What is more Popular, Pickleball or Tennis?

Pickleball is becoming more popular than tennis. According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, in 1998, there were 2.5 million tennis players in the United States. In 2012, that number was down to 1.8 million. 

However, the number of pickleball players has exploded in recent years. In 2014, there were only 100,000 pickleball players in the US. In 2017, that number ballooned to 4 million. What’s behind this surge in popularity? 

Some people attribute it to the fact that pickleball is a slower game than tennis and is easier for beginners to learn. Others say that it’s simply because pickleball is more fun than tennis.

Is Pickleball Scoring like Tennis?

The scoring in pickleball is similar to tennis, but there are some differences. For example, in pickleball, a player must win four points by two clear points to win a game. There are also differences in how service is delivered, and returns are made.

Conclusion – Tennis VS Pickleball

In conclusion, tennis and pickleball are great sports that offer many benefits. However, they are also quite different. Tennis is a more challenging sport that can be played at a competitive level, while pickleball is a more casual game that is perfect for beginners. 

I hope you have cleared everything up about tennis VS pickleball, but tennis is the right choice if you are looking for a challenging and competitive sport!

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