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How is Pickleball Different Than Tennis? A Comprehensive Comparison

If you’re a fan of racquet sports, you’ve likely heard of Pickleball and Tennis. Both of these sports are popular around the world and offer players an enjoyable and challenging way to stay active. However, while they share some similarities, Pickleball and Tennis have distinct differences that set them apart from one another.

In this article, we’ll dive into the key differences between Pickleball and Tennis. We’ll examine the size of the courts, the equipment used, the rules of each game, and the gameplay itself. By the end of this guide by wepickler, you’ll have a solid understanding of what makes Pickleball and Tennis unique.

Rules of Pickleball vs Tennis

One of the biggest differences between pickleball and tennis is their rules. While both sports are played with a racket and a ball, the way they are played is quite different.

In pickleball, the game is played on a smaller court and with a lower net. Players must serve underhand and keep at least one foot behind the back line of the court. The ball is served diagonally across the court, and players must let the ball bounce once before returning it.

In tennis, the court is larger and the net is higher. Players serve overhand and can stand anywhere behind the baseline. The ball can be served anywhere on the court, and players can choose to let the ball bounce or hit it in the air.

Equipment: Rackets and Balls

Pickleball and tennis also differ in terms of the equipment used. While both sports involve a racket and a ball, the specific types of rackets described at thetennispredict and balls are different.

In pickleball, the rackets are smaller and lighter than tennis rackets, and are made of materials like wood, graphite, or composite materials. The balls used in pickleball are also smaller and have less pressure, making them easier to hit.

In tennis, best tennis racket for intermediate players are typically larger and heavier than pickleball rackets and are made of materials like graphite or carbon fiber. Tennis balls are also larger and have more pressure, making them more difficult to hit.

Playing Surface: Court Size and Material

Another difference between pickleball and tennis is the playing surface. Both sports are played on a court, but the size and material of the court vary.

Pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts, with dimensions of 20 feet by 44 feet. They can be made of a variety of materials, including asphalt, concrete, or indoor gym flooring.

Tennis courts, on the other hand, are larger, with dimensions of 27 feet by 78 feet. They are typically made of materials like asphalt, clay, or grass, and can be either indoor or outdoor.

Gameplay: Serving, Scoring, and Strategy

Pickleball and tennis also differ in terms of their gameplay. While both sports involve serving, scoring, and strategy, the specific rules and tactics are different.

In pickleball, players serve underhand and must let the ball bounce once before returning it. The server’s partner must also stand in a specific area on the court. Scoring in pickleball is one of the best games similar to tennis, with points earned when a player wins a rally.

In tennis, players serve overhand and can choose to let the ball bounce or hit it in the air. Scoring in tennis is more complex, with points earned based on the number of rallies won in a game. Tennis also involves a variety of different shot types and strategies, including the use of topspin, slice, and volleys.

Physical Demands: Fitness and Injury Risk

While both pickleball and tennis can be fun and challenging sports to play, they also have different physical demands and risks of injury.

Pickleball is generally considered to be less physically demanding than tennis, as the court is smaller and players don’t have to cover as much ground. However, pickleball still requires a certain level of fitness and agility, as well as good hand-eye coordination.

Tennis, on the other hand, is more physically demanding, with players having to cover a larger area of the court and perform a wider range of movements. Tennis can also put more stress on the body, particularly the shoulders and knees, increasing the risk of injury.


Q: Can you play pickleball on a tennis court?

A: Yes, you can play pickleball on a tennis court, although the court will need to be marked for pickleball.

Q: Is pickleball easier than tennis?

A: While both sports have their own unique challenges, many people find pickleball to be easier to learn and play than tennis.

Q: Which sport is more popular: pickleball or tennis?

A: Tennis is currently more popular than pickleball, but pickleball is growing in popularity and has a strong following among players of all ages.


In conclusion, pickleball and tennis are two popular sports that have both similarities and differences. While both sports involve a racket and a ball, they differ in terms of their rules, equipment, playing surface, gameplay, and physical demands.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner looking for a new challenge, both pickleball and tennis offer fun and exciting opportunities to get active and improve your skills. By understanding the differences between these two sports, you can choose the one that’s right for you and enjoy all the benefits that come with playing a sport.