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How is Pickleball Different From Tennis? Pickleball Vs Tennis

How is Pickleball Different From Tennis? Pickleball Vs Tennis

As the world is progressing by leaps and bounds, people’s priorities have also changed according to which choice of people regarding sports and games have also changed. Nowadays, one of the most prevailing and engaging games played with immense pleasure is pickleball!

Pickleball is different from tennis in terms of Court dimension, net size, ball type, paddles used and many more. There is no double fault or overhand serving in pickleball compared to tennis. The ball has a lesser bounce in pickleball. Also, there is a volley zone in pickleball, unlike tennis.

Major Differences Between Pickleball and Tennis:




Court Dimensions

  • Court dimension is similar in both the singles and doubles competition.

  • The dimension of the pickleball court is 20 feet-by-44 feet with a diagonal measurement of 48 feet-by-4 inches.

  • The kitchen in pickleball is 7 feet deep on both sides.

  • Court dimension is different for both the singles and doubles competition.

  • For doubles play, the tennis court dimension is 36 feet-by-78 feet.

  • For singles play, the tennis court dimension is 27 feet-by-78 feet.

Double Fault

There is no double fault.

There is a double fault.


  • Each player is given a chance to get a service at least once.

  • Overhand serves are not allowed.

  • Each player particularly serves in the game.

  • Overhand serve is allowed.

Playing Area

This sport can be played indoors as well as on outdoor courts too.

Tennis is generally played on outdoor courts.

Net Size

  • The Pickleball net is 2 inches shorter in the middle when compared to the tennis net.

  • The height of the pickleball net is 36 inches at both posts and 34 inches in the centre.

  • The tennis net is 2 inches long from the middle as compared to the pickleball net.

  • The tennis net is 36 inches in height all way across the court.


Pickleball has three numbers for the scoreboard:

  • Team’s score

  • Opposing team

  • Serving or Returning

Tennis has three numbers for the scoreboard:

  • Sets

  • Games

  • Points


Pickleball is not an intense game like tennis.

Tennis is an intense game and requires a great amount of conditioning.

Difference in Rules Between Pickleball And Tennis:

There are many rules for both games. Some of them are similar to each other; some differ from each other. Significantly, they are described below.

1. Serve:

The main difference between pickleball and tennis serves. The rule of pickleball is that service is made underhand, while in tennis, service is always made forehand. This is considered the main difference between both games.

2. Bounce of the Ball:

According to the rule set by the American Association of Pickleball, the ball should bounce at a low height. For tennis, the International Tennis Federation created the rules, and it says that the height of the tennis ball is supposed to bounce somewhere between 53% and 57% of the drop height when bouncing.

How is Pickleball Different From Tennis

3. No Double’s Alley:

There is no separate area in the court in the case of pickleball, especially when playing in doubles. The area in the court determines the player’s area. In tennis, there needs to be proper court segregation when opponents play in doubles.

4. Baseline Service:

When a player does a service in pickleball, it should be made by standing at the baseline only. If any player made the services at any other point in the court, it would be considered a foul, and eventually, the score is given in favor of the opponent.

In tennis, as per the rule devised by the International Tennis Federation, the service made by one player should go around the net and should cover an equal distance. The services will be considered a foul serve if the player fails.





  • It must be in an underhand motion.

  • There is only one serve per point and the receiver must play the first shot off-the-bounce.

  • It can be in an overhand action.

  • The server has another server if the first serve goes out and the receiver can return the service without a bounce.

Contact with the Ball

Contact with the ball must be made below the waist.

In the case of tennis, contact with the ball can be made from anywhere.

Foot Faults

No foot faults are acceptable and the server must stand behind the baseline.

No foot faults are acceptable in the case of tennis too and the server must stand behind the baseline.


Point is to be replayed and is considered a let when the ball touches the net and goes in.

The same goes for tennis too that if the ball touches the net and goes in, then it is considered a let and the point will be replayed.

Volley Zone

There is a no-volley zone in the case of pickleball which is called a kitchen.

There is no specific volley zone and players can volley from anywhere on their side of the court.


Points in the case of pickleball are scored only on serve.

Points in the case of tennis are scored on serve and return.

Which Sport is Healthier- Pickleball OR Tennis?

If we talk about the health benefits of both sports, we need to know that even though both sports seem similar to play apparently, in reality, they give a different workout to the bodies in various manners. People of different ages play both sports, and almost in all regions, both the marks are equally accepted by the general public.  

1. Cardio:

If we talk about which sports have more cardio, Tennis would be our answer. Tennis is quite an intense and aggressive sport as compared to the latter.

The reason is that tennis courts are more significant in terms of area, and it causes the player to run swiftly after the ball to score better. The more the player runs, the more cardio they do, and the more workout this sport generates. 

2. Surface:

The surface creates a main difference in the overall play. It has been seen that the clay and grass surfaces are more forgiving than the hard courts. With that being said, on the other hand, pickleball is virtually always played on hard courts. 

3. Injuries:

Whenever we talk about sports, it is evident that injuries are a part of sports. So when we talk about injuries resulting from both these sports, it is observed that tennis players are involved in many intense injuries compared to people who prefer to play pickleball.

The most common injury observed in tennis players is Rotator cuff injury, a muscle in the shoulder region of the body, which gets torn or ruptured due to excessive force applied by the player. While on the other hand, pickleball is a friendly sport, which does not include injuries of such types.

Difference Between the Shots Between Pickleball and Tennis:

Pickleball is an easy game to pick up and gives a perfect introduction to Tennis. The crossover from Tennis to pickleball is much simpler as the same basic principle of movement is applied in pickleball from Tennis. But still, there are some differences in the shots, which we will discuss below:

1. Angled Shots:

The shots in pickleball need to be more precise and well-timed as the playing surface is much shorter. Pickleball court allows hitting the angled shots in a precise way. On the other hand, the angle shots in Tennis are easier than in pickleball.

2. Lob Shots:

Lob shots are favorite shots for pickleball players. But the player needs to be precise and cheeky while playing this shot on a pickleball court. There are greater chances of losing points in pickleball games due to mistimed lobs than in Tennis.

3. Low Shots:

Tennis balls, compared to pickleball, give higher bounce, and executing low shots in this game is less tricky than the pickleball game. It is a challenging task to hit low shots in the case of a pickleball game.

4. Strokes:

Making strokes in pickleball is similar to Tennis, but instead of power, it requires placement. In Tennis, a right strike made at the right chord is required between power and placement. If you are a pro pickleball player and planning to play Tennis in the future, this shot will help you attain control over shot placement.

5. Volleys:

Volley is one of the favorite shots for both the players of Tennis and pickleball. The rules for hitting the volley are similar in both games. A player intends to serve and rush towards the net to hit a volley.

6. Dropshots:

Dropshot is the favorite shot in a pickleball game. It helps earn some extra points in the game and is an aesthetically pleasing game. By practicing this shot in pickleball, the drop shots improve in the tennis game. 

Which Sport Is Easier To Play?

If we talk about terms of ease, it is said that pickleball is a sport that is easier on the body than Tennis. Pickleball has a friendly nature of play, while Tennis is a very aggressive and intense sport.

However, Tennis is still more widely accepted by people who love sports; the reason is that Tennis is an older game that involves proper physical exertion, unlike pickleball.

Criteria of Easiness Between Pickleball and Tennis:





  • When we talk about movement, then pickleball is an easier game.

  • Pickleball is a prompt game and falls on the same ground of agility as tennis.

  • Tennis is not an easy game as it requires a lot of movement and swiftness.

  • Tennis is played on bigger courts as compared to pickleball so more movement is demanded along with back and forth shots.


  • Shot placement matters in pickleball as compared to tennis and power-hitting is just a misconception.

  • Well-placed shots in pickleball can win to points.

Back and forth shots are more in tennis as compared to pickleball.

Physical Fitness

  • Pickleball requires less physical fitness as the courts are smaller than tennis courts. It saves a lot of energy.

  • The shot placement and overall technique are not simple in pickleball and during a singles game, a lot of fitness is required for covering the distance.

Tennis is a game that requires more physical fitness as compared to pickleball.

Complexity Level

  • It is said that pickleball and tennis are almost equal in complexity with pickleball but have a slight edge. A Pickleball game is often lost due to unforced errors and is a frustrating game as compared to tennis.

  • In pickleball, a player must contend with no volley zone and requires to stay at a certain distance from the net while hitting the volley.

Tennis is less frustrating and double faults are avoided.

Intensity and Injuries

  • Pickleball is not as physically as demanding play and is less intense.

  • There are definitely fewer injuries as pickleball requires less movement and is played at the same pace resulting in fewer injuries than tennis.

Tennis requires more movement and the player has to run in all possible directions. There are more risks of outstretching whenever a player tries to hit a shot that is at distance.

Also Read:

What Kind of Ball is Used in Pickleball?
What is A Volley in Pickleball? All You Need to Know

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is pickleball an easy game to play as compared to tennis?

Pickleball is generally an easier game on the body as compared to tennis. Tennis requires the players to bend down for many shots, which might be arduous for the lower back. Pickleball has helped in quickness, reaction time, and volley game.

Are the size of pickleballs and tennis balls the same?

Tennis is regulated by the International Tennis Federation, while pickleball comes under the regulating body of USAPA. These both regulating bodies are responsible for regulating the balls. The tennis ball is heavier than pickleball but smaller in size and is around 2.57-2.70 inches in diameter and 1.98-2 ounces in weight.

Do pickleball and tennis have the same racket?

Pickleball and tennis are played with racquets and are quite similar. But the racquet of pickleball is called paddle and is flat in shape compared to the racquet of tennis.

Can a player play pickleball on a tennis court?

The Tennis court can be fit into four standard pickleball courts as long as the corners are square and their regulation size is adjusted. It is recommended that each pickleball court should consist of a playing area of 20’-by-44’.

Why is pickleball a popular game?

In a nutshell, we can say that pickleball is an easy game and is easy to learn paddle sport. It is appropriate for players of all ages and skill levels. It is a great sport for beginners, while for experienced players, it is a challenging and competitive game.

Can pickleball sport replace tennis?

Although pickleball is a popular game that needs a change of pace. Many former tennis players are great pickleball players. Tennis and pickleball can coexist easily at the same club despite their differences.

What do pickleball and tennis have in common?

Pickleball and tennis have many rules and regulations common to each other. Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It can be played indoors and outdoors and requires a paddle and plastic ball for playing.

Why is it becoming common to switch from tennis to pickleball?

People who are not pro at playing tennis switch to pickleball as it is quite similar to tennis. Pickleball is a more engaging game physically and strategically and is a good sport if any player desires to improve their tennis skills.

Is the pickleball net has the same dimensions as the tennis net?

A pickleball net is 36 inches in height and is 34 inches high from the middle. On the other hand, the tennis net is 42 inches high, including side posts, and 36 inches high from the middle. Both kinds of nets have similar compositions and setups.

Is pickleball a bad tennis game?

Pickleball helps a lot in a tennis game to some extent and provides potential benefits too. It provides hand-eye coordination, net game, and grip on the volley, which eventually helps play tennis.

Does pickleball hurt the tennis game?

Pickleball improves the tennis net game and holds a fundamental sports strategy. It involves completing the points at a seven-foot no volley zone, also called the kitchen.

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Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

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