It’s Tennis vs. Pickleball vs. Padel. Or Is It?

But the center also has four new lighted pickleball courts and seven new padel courts built on the edge of the property that was not suitable for tennis courts.

That is a best-case scenario at a moment when tensions elsewhere over the use of available space continue to rise between tennis and pickleball players. Similar turf battles have been waged in Spain in urban areas between tennis and padel. Though pickleball and tennis can coexist on the same courts with blended lines, that often leaves both communities dissatisfied. But the alternative, for tennis, often means losing ground, particularly when clubs can fit four pickleball courts on one tennis court and often generate more revenue.

The United States Tennis Association, under its former executive director, Gordon Smith, showed no interest in an entente cordiale.

“Back when Gordon was there, pickleball was Satan,” said Stu Upson, the outgoing chief executive of USA Pickleball, in a 2021 interview.

Smith said he had only one issue with pickleball. “Losing real estate,” he said. “If someone wants to build pickleball courts, great, but if someone has four tennis courts and wants to make them into pickleball courts, that’s different.”

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