An underdog strategy to beat better players

Is a challenge court the answer? Pickleball's new parent company.

Skip the jelly beans. Pass on the peeps. It’s Easter this weekend, but nobody wants a basket.

This year it’s all about the box. Tell the bunny to keep the eggs and leave Pickleball’s #1 Subscription Box at your door. It has all the pickleball goodies without all of the fake grass.

How about a quick tip from Ben before we get into it?

If you aren’t using the continental grip, give it a whirl…all the cool kids are doing it.

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In This Issue:

💥 How to play against the #1 seed
📰 The new name in pro pickleball
🤺 Are challenge courts a must-have?

Let the egg hunt begin.

Bring on the Chaos

How would you perform if you were facing the world’s best doubles team? Zane Navratil and Christian Alshon were faced with that question at the Austin Open earlier this month.

In the quarterfinals of the event, they met the Johns Bros, the nearly unbeatable team whose fundamentals are stronger than any other team on tour.

Navratil and Alshon knew they couldn’t out-dink them, so they decided to bring the chaos. As Zane explained on the PicklePod, sometimes you have to rely on the reptile brain. That means playing fast and taking some higher-risk shots.

As far as strategy, Navratil and Alshon tried to use the width of the court to spread out the Johns Bros. For them, that meant the left-side player would try to push Ben out wide with aggressively angled dinks.

It created very advantageous angles to work with. They used those angles to keep Ben at bay or attack Collin.

Zane also admitted the upset relied a lot on luck, “It’s not like we cracked the code.” But the strategy does provide a unique alternative to freezing a strong left-side player out of a match.

He elaborates, “That’s kind of the beautiful part of pickleball, if you hit a quality enough shot, no matter who is across the net, they can’t really hurt you.”

Step on the Court with Confidence

Step into the Selkirk Pro Line Collection, where top performance and unique style collide.

Designed for those who know their way around a pickleball court, this collection brings you gear that's as bold and dynamic as your game. With cutting-edge designs that refuse to blend into the background, you're not just playing to win; you're playing to stand out.

Gear up with the Selkirk Pro Line and make every match memorable.

A name for pro pickleball’s new parent company

The PPA and MLP announced Wednesday the name of their new joint entity, the United Pickleball Association. The UPA encompasses both the PPA and MLP as well as the newly formed United Pickleball State Championships Series.

The UPA State Championships will hold an amateur-based competition at various skill levels and age divisions. The first stop in the series will coincide with the PPA Tour next week, the North Carolina Cup. The series boasts state tournaments and regional events leading into the United Pickleball Championships held in Dallas, TX.

MLP shows off on a professional tennis stage

Pickleball is invading the ATP/WTA Miami Open this week at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. On Wednesday, a celebrity Pro-Am brought in Miami Dolphins players, reality TV stars, and internet celebrities.

Yesterday, the pros showed their skills as Anna Bright, Andrei Daescu, Travis Rettenmaier and more all took to the court. Rachel Rohrabacher showed why she is high on most teams’ draft boards with some unbelievable defense against Rettenmaier.

The action continues today with more MLP All-Star matches in Miami.

Last minute dropouts

The whirlwind of the MLP schedule release and upcoming draft has left some players pulling their names from the MLP pool.

Jill Braverman, Susannah Barr, Megan Fudge, and Ryler DeHeart have all decided to withdraw from the upcoming MLP Draft.

In a social media post, Fudge cited the unknowns of the MLP schedule as a reason for her and husband Ryler’s decision.

Also still in question are the “Johnson Five,” JW Johnson, Jorja Johnson, Dylan Frazier, Gabe Tardio and Milan Rane. They still have not reached a new deal with the United Pickleball Association and are currently ineligible for the draft.

The absence of these big names will undoubtedly change the makeup of the draft. Get more info on how things might play out here.

Ready to Make Plays

Warstic is shaking up the pickleball court, and it's not just with their eye-catching designs.

Enter the WSPB3E and WSPB4E: these paddles don’t just play the game, they change it. Perfect for those who play hard and aren't afraid to show it, Warstic combines unmatched performance with designs that make a statement louder than your victory shout.

Ready to wield something as bold as your backhand? Swing by Warstic’s collection and let your paddle do the talking.

Settle the score on a challenge court

Do the courts you play at have a designated challenge court? Is there a court where the winning team stays on and two challengers come on to test their luck?

It’s not the most common practice at public courts but can create a fun, engaging environment. It gives the players who are looking to improve their game a chance to test their skills. It separates those looking for recreational fun from those looking to dominate the courts.

Usually, there is a limit where the winning team can only play three consecutive matches. Win or lose they have to get back in line after the third game.

One player took to the Pickleball Forum to find out how to add a challenge court in their area.

Since pickleball is still a fairly new sport, there is not much precedent for city governments and parks and rec departments to make these decisions. The limited number of places with organized court distinctions usually rely on a robust pickleball club to keep things in check.

If your courts are lacking that leadership, consider stepping up and starting a club. The game is always more fun when courts rotate smoothly and competitors are at a similar skill level.

Headlines & Quick Hits


Homecourt Havens

The only thing that could make this Eugene compound better is a backup court or two. Oregon is home to some of the best courts in the game.

A review from the Dink Fam...

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