Compared to the rise of padel in Europe, the hype around pickleball in the United States. About 30 million Americans are said to play this seemingly easy sport — which is played with a plastic ball on a small court. Meanwhile, a professional league (Major League Pickleball) has also been started featuring the Las Vegas Night Owls, a team in which Kim Clijsters has invested and which can also count on the support of popular NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
“I was a tennis player,” Clijsters told www.tennis.com. “I had an academy, I was a tournament director and I served on the WTA Women’s Player Council. I use this experience while also learning from some of the entrepreneurs who run MLPs. it is fun.”
Currently, pickleball remains mainly seen across the ocean, although there are a number of clubs and initiatives in Belgium. “It’s very exciting and interesting,” Clijsters says. “The foundation here in America is very good. I think it will continue to grow and conquer other countries. People are talking to the Olympic Committee about making pickleball an Olympic sport. It’s not the easiest sport to watch on TV. So I’m curious to see how the professional element will develop. Sometimes I go to tournaments here, and if you compare that to the WTA tour I grew up on, you can see a 50-year difference in experience. There’s still a long way to go, but these are undoubtedly exciting times for pickleball.