Pickleball vs Tennis

Girl plays tennis
October 29, 2022
Read Time:7 Minute, 6 Second

Tennis vs. Pickleball! With its growing popularity, you must have heard about it. Even though they look very similar, in reality, they are very different when you play. A hybrid of table tennis and tennis, this low-intensity sport is not only easy and fun but can also get competitive.

According to Forbes:

“Pickleball now has 4.8 million participants nationwide and a 39.3% growth rate over the last two years, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) 2022 Sports, Fitness and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report.”

The following are some of the important questions addressed in this post:

  • What is the difference between pickleball and tennis?
  • Is pickleball easier than tennis?
  • Is pickleball a good progression for tennis? 

What is the difference between pickleball and tennis?

Pickleball vs Tennis - What is the difference between pickleball and tennis 1024x768

One of the most asked questions is, “How is pickleball different from tennis?” 

Well, aside from how similar they look, there is a huge difference, such as different balls, courts, paddles, and rackets among others. Let’s dive right in!

Type of Ball

One of the differences between tennis and pickleball is the type and size of the ball. 

A pickleball with a diameter between  2.784 and 2.972 inches weighs about 22 – 26.5 grams. While the tennis ball has a diameter of 2.57–2.70 inches weighing 56.0–59.4 g. 

Pickleball, often known as “Wiffle ball,” is a perforated plastic ball. These are lighter, and with perforated holes, they experience less drag. Since you can play pickleball both indoors and outdoors, there are two different types of balls available. The JUGS ball is for indoor use, and the Dura 40 is for outdoor use.

The tennis ball has rigidity, better bounce, and spinning properties resulting from the gas-filled hollow rubber shells. The nylon covering the rubber shells reduces drag and gives them flight properties.

Pickleball Uses Paddles & Tennis Uses Racquets

Pickleball paddles are half the size of racquets used in tennis. The different types of equipment used to make both of the games unique in their way. 

Paddles, when striking the pickleball, only deflects the ball. Paddles consist of three components; the core, face, and edge. The honey-comb-shaped core aids in the light-weightiness of the paddles. 

A tennis racquet, with even spaced-out carbon-fiber strings, compresses with a ball when it hits a tennis ball. 

The Pickleball “Kitchen”

While there are no restrictions on the position of the player on their side of the court in tennis, pickleball has a “kitchen” on both sides. It is also known as the “non-volley zone”. It is the 7-feet deep area behind the net. The pickleball kitchen rule is to not hit a volley while in the non-volley zone. This rule makes the game very competitive as players win the game with volley shots. 

Pickleball vs Tennis - What is pickleball court

Tennis vs. pickleball court size 

There is a significant difference in the court sizes of pickleball and tennis. When you look at the pickleball court, you will see the resemblance it has with badminton. The court has a dimension of 20 feet x 44 feet with a diagonal size of 48 feet. The tennis court is twice the size of the pickleball court. For doubles play, the court has a size of 36 feet x 78 feet. But for singles, the dimensions are 27 feet x 78 feet. 

The Double Bounce Rule

There is no such rule as the “Double Bounce Rule” in tennis. In pickleball, this rule makes the competition even and tough.

The rule states that after the service, the ball must bounce once on each side of the net. If the ball bounced on your side then you lose a point. 

Pickleball Tip:  “Watch the ball”
When you’re not looking, you miss a lot of shots. It is essential to keep your attention on the ball. It will improve your game if you pay attention to the ball and where you are hitting it.

Is Pickleball easier than tennis?

The ease of pickleball over tennis has been explained in different aspects. 

The key aspects include

  • Movement
  • Power
  • Intensity & Injuries
  • Difficulty 


Pickleball is a sport that isn’t as physically demanding and takes less effort. You will not use your muscles as much as you would if you were playing tennis.


If you think pickleball requires more strength than tennis, you’re wrong. What matters is how well you place your shot rather than how powerful it is. 

Intensity & Injury 

Without any doubt, tennis is more intense than pickleball. Due to its intensity, players face more injuries while playing tennis. There is more area so there is more movement while attempting to hit the ball. 


You must not underestimate the difficulty of any sport! Even if pickleball can come off as very easy, you are most likely to lose if you overlook your skills. 

Important: Avoid the non-volley zone! 

Pickleball – A Good Progression for Tennis! 

Pickleball has proven to be a good progression for tennis. Many experienced tennis players have shifted to pickleball to enhance their skills in tennis. There are some differences between tennis and pickleball but both of these have a lot in common. 

Some of the shots in pickleball are a little trickier than in tennis. Performing those shots before playing tennis gives you a greater grasp of them.

Some of the shots include

  • Angled Shots 
  • Drop shots 
  • Volleys 
  • Lob Shots


Tennis vs. Pickleball: Which one is better? 

When it comes to sports, there are some pros and cons for any sport. Just like that, You must have difficulty choosing which one is better. Tennis or pickleball?

Pickleball is a good warm-up before you start playing tennis for hours. Even though pickleball is considered to be easier on the body than tennis, it still hurts the body. 

There will be times when you are required to hit the ball while lowering your back. This will put a strain on your lower back.

Tennis is challenging and competitive. Tennis is played throughout the year, thus, players must stay fit because it needs both physical and mental strength. Playing tennis gives you a good cardio workout which is very fun. Tennis courts are larger and involve a lot of running. You cannot get that in a pickleball court because of its small size. The game itself requires only quick movements. Tennis requires more core strength and with the strain on your body, tennis ball players face many shoulder injuries.

Why are tennis players switching to pickleball?

Many famous tennis players like Sam Querrey have switched to pickleball. It is not surprising that with the growing popularity of pickleball, players are leaving tennis. Even the tennis courts are rebuilt into pickleball courts. 

Here are some of the reasons why tennis players prefer pickleball over tennis:
• To improve their tennis game 
• It is competitive, engaging with less strain on the body.
• Any ground is ideal for pickleball.
• It is less time-consuming.  
• Easy to master the rules.
• You can play solo.
• Appropriate for all ages.

Will pickleball take over tennis?

There has been a 35% increase in the number of players since 2020, so anyone can say pickleball is taking over tennis. Tennis has been with us since 1873 and seeing pickleball taking over, it is only fair that people are upset over it. 

It is a great alternative to tennis when our bodies need a light activity and is also suitable for all ages. Older people playing pickleball is one of the important reasons for its popularity.  

To put it another way, the surge in popularity of pickleball has complemented rather than competed with tennis. Pickleball, a hybrid of tennis and table tennis, has also given tennis the fan base and audience it has today. For example, many people play pickleball to be better at tennis. 


It should not matter which sport is better or easier than the other. If you have a passion for a specific sport, the differences should not stop you from playing your desired sport. 



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Hey, fellow pickleball player!

My name is Ethan Josephson. I am a pickleball enthusiast who has been playing this fantastic game for more than 5 years. Before that I had almost 20-years-experience with tennis and table tennis, but pickleball fascinated me completely.