Comparing Pickleball And Tennis: What is Difference?

Two popular racquet sports that offer entertaining gameplay and several health benefits are tennis and pickleball. Although the two sports are similar, they also have distinctive characteristics that set them different.

 In this article, we will explore the key differences and similarities between pickleball vs tennis, helping you understand which sport may be the right fit for you.

History of Pickleball and Tennis

pickleball and tennis

Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum devised pickleball in 1965 with the goal of developing a game that the entire family would enjoy. It includes aspects of ping pong, badminton, and tennis. 

On the other hand, tennis has a much longer history, with its origins dating back to the 19th century in England. Since then, it has grown to be a highly known and cherished international sport.

Court and Equipment

Pickleball is frequently played on a smaller court than tennis. A pickleball court is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, while a tennis court is 78 feet long and 27 feet wide for singles matches. 

The equipment used in pickleball includes a solid paddle and a plastic ball with small holes, whereas tennis utilizes a strung racquet and a felt-covered rubber ball.

Gameplay and Scoring

Pickleball is known for its fast-paced, close-to-the-net gameplay. It is often played in doubles, although singles matches are also common.The ball is served underhand, and volleys are only permitted once it has bounced once on each side

 In tennis, the gameplay is more varied, with shots played from all parts of the court. Overhand serves are the norm, and volleys can be executed from any position.

Both sports have their unique scoring systems, with tennis using a traditional game, set, and match structure, while pickleball employs a simpler pickleball scoring system.

Physical Demands and Fitness Benefits

Both pickleball and tennis offer excellent physical workouts, but they differ in terms of intensity and demands. Pickleball is considered a low-impact sport, making it more accessible to individuals with joint issues or those looking for a less strenuous activity. 

Tennis, on the other hand, involves more running and lateral movements, providing a higher cardiovascular workout. Both sports enhance hand-eye coordination, balance, and agility.

Skill Requirements

Pickleball is frequently lauded for having a short learning curve and being a great sport for beginners. Due to the smaller court and slower ball speed, players can swiftly advance their skills.

Tennis, however, requires more technical proficiency due to the larger court and faster-paced gameplay. Mastering the various strokes and techniques in tennis can take more time and practice.

Strategy and Tactics

While pickleball and tennis share some strategic elements, they have different approaches to gameplay. In pickleball, players focus on positioning, dinking, and quick reactions at the net. 

The game revolves around strategy, finesse, and shot placement. Tennis, on the other hand, involves a wider variety of shots, including powerful serves, groundstrokes, and volleys. 

Players must adapt their tactics based on their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses.

Community and Social Aspects

Both pickleball and tennis offer opportunities for social interaction and community engagement. Pickleball is known for its inclusive and friendly atmosphere, often attracting players of all ages and skill levels. 

Tennis, with its long-standing history and established leagues, provides a vibrant community where players can participate in tournaments and join clubs. 

Both sports foster a sense of camaraderie and offer avenues to meet new people.

Pickleball vs Tennis: Which Sport Should You Choose?

The choice between pickleball and tennis ultimately depends on your preferences, fitness level, and desired level of competitiveness. 

If you seek a sport with a quicker learning curve, lower impact, and a strong community spirit, pickleball might be an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you enjoy a more dynamic and physically demanding sport with a long-standing tradition, tennis may be the right fit for you. 

To choose which sport appeals to you the most, think about attempting both.


In conclusion, both pickleball and tennis have their unique qualities, making them appealing to sports enthusiasts worldwide. Whether you prefer the fast-paced, close-quarters action of pickleball or the dynamic and strategic gameplay of tennis, engaging in either sport will provide you with an enjoyable and fulfilling sporting experience. 

So, go out, grab your racquet or paddle, and start enjoying the thrill of these fantastic racquet sports


Is pickleball suitable for older adults?

Yes, pickleball is a popular choice among older adults due to its lower impact and accessibility.

Which sport burns more calories, pickleball, or tennis?

Tennis generally burns more calories due to its higher intensity and larger court size.

Can I play both pickleball and tennis?

Absolutely! Both sports are popular because they present unique challenges and experiences.

Are there professional leagues for pickleball and tennis?

While tennis has well-established professional leagues, pickleball is still growing in terms of professional competitive opportunities.

Do I need specialized equipment to play pickleball and tennis?

Yes, both sports require specific equipment, such as racquets/paddles and balls, which can be easily obtained from sporting goods stores or online retailers.