American Tennis Legend John McEnroe Makes “$1million”Pickleball U-Turn As He Teams Up With Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi To Promote the Sport

Published 01/19/2023, 5:00 AM EST
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 22: Team World captain John McEnroe at Lo Presti Park following the official team portrait on September 22, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laver Cup)

John McEnroe is not proving to be a man of his word. The American tennis legend has given in to the hype around the new-rising sport pickleball. And it is not just him, American tennis legends, Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, and Michael Chang are also beside him. Does that mean the tennis realm is ready to embrace a new sport that somewhat resembles it? Martina Navratilova herself condemned the speedy rise of pickleball. It is coming out as a shocker because McEnroe had used some harsh words to describe his feeling toward the sport. But a pickleball event and his presence in it is indicating something else.

John McEnroe contradicts himself

Who does not want to see these tennis legends hit the court once again? But would you be okay, if it’s not tennis, but pickleball? Despite not being a supporter of pickleball, McEnroe is featuring in a major pickleball event. The event is going to be the inaugural edition of the inaugural Pickleball Slam.

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And that is a shocker because John McEnroe has openly expressed his dislike for the new uprising sport. In a virtual interview with Jason Nathanson, he stated, “I think it s*cks.”

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 26: Team World Captain John McEnroe looks on during an exhibition match during Day 3 of the 2021 Laver Cup at TD Garden on September 26, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for Laver Cup)

Moreover, he also gave a piece of advice to the host, where he stated, “Be careful because you’re way more susceptible to injury in that cr*ppy pickleball game than you are in tennis. So stick to tennis.”

But here we are. McEnroe is taking part in an inaugural pickleball went. And that too, alongside other renowned tennis personalities. The prize money is a whopping $1 million. Is McEnroe doing it for the money or has he developed a liking for the sport?

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Martina Navratilova sticks to not being a fan of pickleball

The Czech-American tennis legend has time and again expressed her dislike for the new sport. Where McEnroe feels that it can give more injuries, Navratilova feels it is a sport that requires the bare minimum effort as compared to tennis.

Navratilova proved her aversion to pickleball by trolling the name of the sport once. Moreover, she also stated that the only time she would play pickleball would be if she can’t run anymore.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Chris Evert Looks Back at Her Astounding Rivalry With Martina Navratilova and the Negative Impact of Her 13-Match Losing Streak

Seems like Navratilova is still loyal to tennis, while former ATP tennis legends might have given in to the new craze about pickleball. Do you think pickleball can replace tennis? Hit the comment section below and let us know about your views.

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Shivali Sharma

857 articles

Shivali Sharma is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. She has pursued her Master's in history from Himachal University, but her love for the game has driven her to write about tennis. Shivali is a huge fan of Naomi Osaka and admires Osaka not only for her on-court performances, but also for her off-court actions.

Edited By: Rohini Kottu

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