Former tennis stars John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Michael Chang are heading back to the courts this April to battle it out for a $1 million prize — but this time, they’ll be playing a different sport.
The tennis legends will be swapping their rackets for paddles at the Inaugural Pickleball Slam on April 2 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, the event’s organizers, Horizon Sports and Experiences, announced.
“We look forward to bringing together four of America’s most iconic tennis legends for this groundbreaking competition, which heralds a new milestone for the fastest growing sport in America,” said David Levy, co-CEO of Horizon Sports and Experiences.
The Slam organizers have joined in a multi-year, five-event partnership with Hard Rock, as pickleball continues to gain popularity with more than 4.8 million active players across the U.S.
“Pickleball is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon — experiencing a meteoric rise across genders, age groups, geographies, and income levels,” Levy said.
The tournament will feature two legends’ single matches — Roddick versus Chang and McEnroe versus Agassi. Then, the legends will play once again in a final doubles match — McEnroe and Chang versus Roddick and Agassi — to determine the split of the $1 million prize.
The competition is likely to be fierce as each former tennis player has a pretty impressive track record. McEnroe is a seven-time Grand Slam champion and Agassi is an eight-time Grand Slam champion. Roddick was ranked number one in the world and is a one time Grand Slam champion, and Chang became the youngest man in history to win a tennis major when he won the 1989 French Open at just 17.
The Slam will also give amateur pickleball players an opportunity to compete in a challenge on March 31 and April 1. Up to 96 doubles teams will compete on a first-come-first-serve basis for a $10,000 prize, in addition to the chance to play two of the tennis legends before their televised matches on April 2.
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