tennis or pickleball

Is Pickleball Easier than Tennis? [Comparison Table, Key Points & Video]

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Pickleball and tennis are two exciting sports where pickleball is often compared to tennis because of their similarities in the style of gameplay and equipment. As the two sports are compared in terms of athletic exertion and ease of playing, we come across the inevitable question: Is Pickleball easier than Tennis?

Well, yes. Since the court size of pickleball is way smaller than that of a tennis court, it is less physically demanding and is easier to play. 

The lighter ball and smaller court size make pickleball an easier game where the ball can be reached with less effort and it is less exerting to keep it in play. Tennis is a more aggressive and intense sport whereas pickleball has a rather friendly nature that does not require as much physical exertion.

Pickleball vs Tennis: The Basic Differences

The size of a pickleball court is smaller than that of a tennis court.A standard tennis court for a professional game is larger than a pickleball court.
Pickleball is played underhand, there is no scope for overhand in pickleball.There is a lot of forehand and backhand in tennis while hitting the ball.
Unlike tennis, there is no strict alternate serving rule. Players can keep serving as long as their servers are up to the mark.In tennis, the serves alternate between the teams.
Pickleball can be played in almost any court such as a volleyball court or a badminton court.A standard tennis court is required to have a professional game of tennis and it cannot be played anywhere.

Tennis is definitely a more widely recognized and traditional game as opposed to the recent popularity of pickleball. The casualness of pickleball and the friendly, vibrant nature of the game has made it a favorite among sports enthusiasts who wish to spend quality time with their friends and competitors.

Pickleball or Tennis: Key Points


In terms of movements and rapidity, pickleball is an easier game. Tennis needs a lot of swiftness in movement as it is played on a bigger court. 

The agility required for pickleball and tennis is of a quite similar level but considering the intensity of movement, pickleball wins this round as the easier game.


In pickleball, the main focus is on well-placed shots instead of power hitting. In tennis, however, there are a lot of rapid back and forth shots to play with powerful shots being a must as opposed to pickleball where power is not a major factor while hitting your shots.

Physical Fitness

Tennis is a more physically demanding game compared to pickleball. So, the fitness level required for playing tennis is also on a higher plane than the other sport. 

However, pickleball also requires a good deal of physical fitness for shot placements and techniques but since the courts are smaller, it requires less energy.

Complexity Level

The complexity levels of both games fall almost on a similar plane, but pickleball is often said to be the more complex game. In tennis, double faults are avoided which makes the games less frustrating. 

However, in pickleball, a player needs to stay at a specific distance from the nets while hitting a volley and contend with the no volley area.

The Intensity of the Game and Injuries

In terms of intensity, tennis is a more intense sport that needs a lot of movement all over the pitch. There are greater chances of incurring injuries while outstretched to hit distant shots in a tennis court. 

Pickleball is physically less demanding and since the game is played at the same place throughout the whole time, there are hardly any chances of incurring injuries.

Which is Easier to Learn: Pickleball or Tennis?

Pickleball can be termed as the easier sport between the two. But when a player is in the initial learning phase of the game, which is the easier sport to learn, Pickleball or Tennis?

Since there is a considerable amount of difference in the rapidity of movement required while playing the two games, pickleball wins this time since it needs less aggressive movements as compared to tennis. 

When a player is in the initial learning stage of the game, they will find trying to learn pickleball easier as opposed to tennis where the court is larger and bolder moves are required while hitting the shots.

In pickleball, the player can judge the opponent’s moves more clearly and with ease. However, since tennis is a more aggressive and physically demanding game, there are a lot of movements to and fro, down and up the pitch which are quite difficult to comprehend while learning the game,

Hence, most beginners will find pickleball easier than tennis while learning to play the two sports.

Pickleball Over Tennis: The Brightside

Although pickleball is not as widely recognized as tennis, in terms of the vibrant playing style and ease of movement, it certainly holds a few bright sides over tennis.

  • Pickleball requires less aggressive movements and hence there are very fewer chances of injuries.
  • Precision of shots is more visible and clearer in pickleball than in tennis. The precision of the shots played in pickleball requires varying hitting techniques that determine the precision of your shots.
  • Helps to build up the ability to choose between drop, finessed or angled shots with ease for players who may never have played tennis before.
  • Every shot has to count in pickleball as accuracy is a factor that cannot be determined due to the lightness of the ball.
  • There are less strains while playing pickleball since not much outstretching is required to hit the ball across the court.

Pickleball Over Tennis: A Step-Down

Pickleball is certainly the easier sport to learn and play over tennis but it is indeed a step-down game for avid tennis players.

  • Due to the slower pace of pickleball compared to tennis, many tennis players may not find the experience rewarding.
  • The pickleball court is substantially smaller than a tennis court, and while playing in doubles the space may feel cramped out for certain players.
  •  Most of the game of pickleball takes place by the nets. There are way less movements since the ball is light and does not have as much range as a tennis ball.
  • There are no volley zones in pickleball as opposed to tennis where no parts of the court are off limits.

Due to the pace and lower range of movements required in pickleball, pickleball wins the tie over tennis as the easier sport. It is not as competitive or aggressive as the style of play for tennis, but still a very upbeat and vibrant sport to enjoy.

Why Tennis Players Play Pickleball (Video)

Final Words on Whether Pickleball or Tennis to Try Out

Most people irrespective of age can play pickleball easily which only increases the overall appeal of the game. Even though tennis is a more traditional and respectable game, pickleball has earned recent popularity among people of all ages, be it as a competitive sport or simply a chance to rewind with friends.

All in all, both tennis and pickleball co-exist as fantastic games to enjoy in their own rights and you can try out both to find which one feels more rewarding to you. More fun is you can play pickleball games on a tennis court by changing the court size and taking some easy steps. So, enjoy both!

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