One day left to decide pickleball's future

The 'best' advice you didn't ask for. New and improved NC Open.

It’s a big day in the pickleball world. Serena Williams has agreed to enter the MLP Draft.

The world’s greatest women’s tennis player will embark on her pickleball journey. Will pickleball ever be the same?

Okay, that’s not true (be careful what you believe today) but she did share an interest in pickleball according to the Waters on the PicklePod.

On another note, we did hear some very interesting news this morning regarding Major League Pickleball…and this news is actually true. We will be publishing the full story on later today, so make sure to check back this afternoon.

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In This Issue:

🗓️ One day left before the MLP Draft
📰 Pickleball in the Olympics?
👀 A new look at the North Carolina Open

Careful out there today.

The Best Advice You Never Got

You’ve no doubt seen internet coaches flood social media and YouTube with their own forms of advice. But sometimes you’ve just got to listen to your gut.

  • If you want to stay at the baseline, go ahead. You’ve won plenty of tennis points from back there. Trust your groundstrokes and ability to hit perfect shots.

  • Squeeze hard on your paddle grip. Let it know who’s boss. If you’re not choking your paddle, how can you where the ball is going to travel?

  • Skip the drop and drive, the third shot lob is where it’s at. Who cares if it’s a low-percentage shot, there’s no better feeling when it lands in.

  • Play every ball. Don’t let a ball fly past you. You can’t risk letting one go and having it land in.

Alright, if you couldn’t tell by now, we’re having a little fun. Happy April Fools Day. You can stick to the opposite of these tips if you want to start playing better immediately.

Stay Cool, Play Hard

Ever wonder why your game dips as the day heats up? It’s not just your backhand — it’s your hydration.

Takeya bottles are your court-side ally, designed for easy ice loading and spill-free sipping, ensuring you stay hydrated through every game.

Don't just take our word for it — check out Takeya water bottles now and hydrate your way!

Pickleball has made it to the Olympics

Pickleball’s meteoric rise has catapulted the game into the Olympics. In a late addition to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic program, pickleball has been added as a demonstration sport.

A 56 to 20 vote from IOC delegates put pickleball over the edge. The game has quickly been recognized at the international level, and there’s little doubt that by 2028 there will be enough countries ready to compete.

Now we need to decide, who will represent Team USA in the games. Will Ben Johns still be on top of pickleball in four years time?

Sorry, last April Fool’s joke. Pickleball has not made it to the Olympics but we hope to make that type of announcement in the years to come.

Draft questions still linger

The MLP Draft is tomorrow, as in mañana, like demain, that’s right tomorrow. And there are still plenty of questions for owners, players and the league to sort through.

More players have elected to skip MLP altogether including Julian Arnold, Lauren Stratman, Yana Newell, Mary and Maggie Brascia.

Note: we did just hear that some of the biggest names expected to sit out have committed to Major League Pickeball and the PPA as of this morning. And, there is some interesting franchise news incoming.

We can’t report on this yet, but we will publish the story on this afternoon. Stay tuned.

The next issue on the agenda is the availability of players who are eligible to be drafted. Some might not be able/required to compete in all of the events this year.

This could leave a team shorthanded in a key moment. It could move that obvious high-value pick down on the list.

This doesn't even cover the new dynamic bidding process. The process will require owners to manage their budget while competing against the 11 other owners to secure their preferred roster.

All we know is we can’t wait. Literally, check out players divided by tiers here and lessons learned from conducting multiple mock drafts here.

A True World Series

The game we all love is taking a monumental leap onto the global stage with the launch of the Pickleball World Series.

Spearheaded by the collaborative genius of Times Group and Pickleball Asia, this groundbreaking series promises to captivate with six major events spanning continents, beginning right in the United States.

The Pickleball World Series will feature an elite lineup of 64 individual players and six teams, showcasing exceptional talent from the U.S. and across the globe. Not only will $500,000 to $1,000,000 be up for grabs at each event, but participating players will also receive an appearance fee and enjoy complimentary travel and accommodations.

Dive into the details and see how you can take your game to the international stage at

A new and improved North Carolina Open

The North Carolina Open will have a brand new look in 2024. For the past two years, the event was held indoors at Life Time in Charlotte.

A new home
This year, the event has moved 170 miles east to the center of the state. It will be played outdoors near Raleigh at the Cary Tennis Park.

Saturday Exhibition
Raleigh is also home to Tom Dundon’s Carolina Hurricanes. A pro-am on Saturday will feature Hurricanes personnel - including head coach Rod Brind’Amour - and former UNC hoops star Tyler Hansbrough.

Sock’s Homecoming
Last year’s NC Open is where Jack Sock made his debut and won his first PPA gold alongside Anna Leigh Waters. He will play in all three events partnering with Catherine Parenteau and Collin Shick.

Return to Excellence?
Unexpected upsets were seen at the Austin Open. Can the top seeds in doubles get back on top of the pack?

Back from injury
Tyson McGuffin and James Ignatowich both return from injury this week. They will both play in all three events and look to make their mark on the event.

The event is classified as a ‘Cup’ and will follow the progressive draw. Coverage begins at 11am ET on Wednesday and can be found on Amazon Prime and Pickleballtv.

Pickles by the barrel

We have seen a lot of cool backdrops for pickleball courts. We’ve seen mountains, beaches, and skylines, but how about this new workplace makeshift court?

The Virginia Distillery Company cleared out enough space in their barrel room to put down some lines and hoist a net. Instead of net posts, the company used what they had on hand. You guessed it, barrels.

This photo looks like the Donkey Kong home court in Nintendo’s version of Mario Pickleball.

ATP’s might be out of the question, but who needs them anyway? Dink as wide as you like and everyone can enjoy a drink after the game.

Headlines & Quick Hits


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