Tennis Star Jack Sock turns to Pickleball
Sock is shown hitting a forehand in his first professional event, in Charlotte, in May 2023. COURTESY OF PROFESSIONAL PICKLEBALL ASSOCIATION
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Jack Sock, a professional tennis player and a resident of Charlotte, has taken up professional pickleball and believes it could be his future. Sock, who has reached as high as No. 8 in the world in tennis and won Olympic gold and bronze medals in 2016, is also now exploring the world of pickleball.
Sock's foray into Pickleball
Sock has grown to love the new racket sport that has been sweeping the country. He loves the handsy shots and the cat-and-mouse style of play that requires lightning-fast reflexes at the net. Sock feels that the feel shots in pickleball are pretty similar to tennis, especially in doubles. He would love to play both tennis and pickleball professionally at the same time, making him a dual-sport guy.
Sock's Pickleball journey
Sock is testing this concept by playing three events in his first Professional Pickleball Association event in Charlotte, followed by a return to the tennis grind. He will play the French Open doubles tournament in Paris with his close pal John Isner and the French Open qualifying tournament in singles. Sock is still concentrating on tennis and dabbling in pickleball, but he has mentioned that he is open to the possibility of transitioning to pickleball full-time in the future. For now, he's looking to play tennis and pickleball at the same time.
Sock's Potential in Pickleball
While Sock is not yet at the elite level in pickleball, there is a lot of potential. If he devotes himself to the sport, he could be a top-5 player within 12 months, says the CEO of the Professional Pickleball Association, Connor Pardoe. Sock's public embrace of pro pickleball was a significant moment for the sport, and it can only help its growth, says Pardoe.
Sock's Pickleball and Tennis Conflict
Sock understands the conflict between tennis and pickleball and is looking to be a bridge between the two sports. As pickleball continues to gain popularity, it's easy for tennis players to feel their court space being taken over by the sport's growing community. However, Sock believes that there's a middle ground, and there's no need for either sport to rip on the other.
As Sock explores the world of pickleball, Energy Pickleball is a great place for beginners and professionals alike. Their website offers a wide range of paddles, accessories, and apparel to help you make the most out of your pickleball journey. If you're looking to improve your game, be sure to check out Energy Pickleball.
Clearly, Jack Sock's foray into pickleball could be a significant moment for the sport. With his talent, athleticism, and popularity, he could help promote the sport and bring it to the forefront of the athletic world. Sock is a testament that it's possible to love both tennis and pickleball and excel in both sports at the same time.