Is Pickleball Easier Than Tennis?

Yes, it is.

Pickleball and tennis are two popular racquet sports, but they can be very different. Pickleball combines elements of tennis and table tennis, which makes it easier than tennis and is often the more popular game for recreation.

However, don’t let that fool you into thinking that pickleball is easy. If you have ever played, you know it can be an intense game that will literally keep you on your toes.

How is Pickleball Easier Than Tennis?

How is Pickleball Easier Than Tennis?


A pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court, which means you don’t have to move as much during a game. Additionally, tennis involves significantly more back and forth shots, while pickleball rallies are generally completed within 5-6 shots.

Game Length

Game Length

Tennis is generally a longer game than pickleball. Pickleball is played until one team/player reaches 11 points and beats the other player by two points.

Tennis, on the other hand, is played in games, sets, and matches. A game continues until a player reaches 4 points, a set until a player wins six games, and a match until a player wins 2 (in a best of 3 games) or 3 (in a best of 5 games) sets.


While hitting the ball hard in pickleball does help, the game is ultimately about shot placement. This means that you can become a good pickleball player without needing a lot of strength.

Another consideration is the strength required when playing tennis. Tennis swings are faster and harder and require a lot more core strength. This is especially true when making a serve – serving in tennis requires significantly more power and strength than making a pickleball serve.

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Given the smaller size of a pickleball court and the lower level of power required, pickleball requires a lower level of base physical fitness.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be physically fit when playing pickleball. However, to get good at the sport recreationally, you’ll likely need less fitness conditioning than you would when playing tennis.


Most people have played tennis or watched it before. This means they’re generally familiar with the rules of tennis and how tennis courts work, and find it easier to understand the game, both when watching and when playing it.

Pickleball, on the other hand, is generally new to many players. This is part of the reason why the number of unforced errors is so high during a pickleball game.

However, most pickleball players note that, once they play pickleball a few times, they can pick it up relatively easily. Additionally, if you’re starting off playing both tennis and pickleball for the first time, most people say it is much easier to get the hang of pickleball than it is to get the hang of tennis.



Pickleball is less physically demanding than tennis and requires less movement. Additionally, pickleball paddles are much lighter than a tennis racquet. Tennis racquets can place a lot more strain on a player’s shoulders.

Because of this, it generally results in fewer injuries.

However, it should be noted that this doesn’t mean that you cannot get injured when you play pickleball. The game can be challenging on the lower back since pickleball players need to bend down for many shots. And, as with any physical activity, it can be strenuous on the body, so you should be ready to listen if your body is telling you it is too tired to continue.

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Is It Easy To Play One If You Have Played The Other?

Though they are different sports, pickleball and tennis are relatively similar. This means it is pretty easy to pick up one if you already play the other.

However, players often prefer not to try the other sport. For pickleball players, other sports like tennis are a lot more complicated and challenging. If you’re only a recreational player, pickleball is a lot more fun, with a lot fewer risks involved.

People who play tennis often feel that playing pickleball will harm their tennis game. Instead, a lot of tennis players switch to pickleball when they retire from playing tennis or feel that their bodies can no longer take the strain of playing tennis regularly.

It should be noted that tennis players who have taken up playing pickleball say that the game actually helps their tennis skills. The idea that pickleball harms a person’s tennis game is generally a myth, as long as you don’t neglect tennis altogether.

Advantages of Tennis Over Pickleball

Advantages of Tennis Over Pickleball

While pickleball is easier than tennis, there are some aspects in which tennis has the advantage.

Better Workout

The higher difficulty level means that tennis gives you a better workout. Each tennis match lasts longer, so you’re likely to get in all the physical activity you need. Because pickleball games are shorter, there’s a greater chance that you’ll pack it up and go home at the end of one or two games of pickleball, and still need to spend time on another physical activity.

Easier to Find a Tennis Court

Easier to Find a Tennis Court

While pickleball is growing exponentially, the fact is, tennis is still the more popular option at the moment. Because of this, it is far easier to find tennis courts to play on than pickleball courts.

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This is slowly changing, and some tennis courts are being converted to pickleball courts. However, until there are dedicated pickleball courts as readily available as tennis courts, it will remain easier to be a tennis player than to be a pickleball player.

Final Thoughts

Pickleball is undoubtedly easier than tennis. It not only requires less power, strength, and movement, but it also has a lower risk of injury.

However, it is still less popular around the world than tennis. This means that pickleball courts are harder to find, making it easier to train as a tennis player. Additionally, some people prefer the more strenuous workout that tennis provides, as they can generally get in a whole day’s worth of physical activity in a single match.