Wondering what Serena Williams has been doing after having her second child? We do, she’s playing pop tennis along with all your favorite sports figures and movie stars.
Pop tennis is now being played by some of the most high-profile athletes that include David Beckam, Dwyane Wade, Lionel Messi, Jimmy Butler as well as some wealthy types like Ivanka Trump and Kim Kardashian.
A global phenomenon, with more than over 25 million people who play around the world, pop tennis is the fastest growing sport in Europe and South America. World Cup champion Lionel Messi is so obsessed with the game that he had a court built at his home in Barcelona.
But it’s tennis players who really seem to be rallying around the sport. Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic have all tried their hand at pop tennis. Two-time Wimbledon winner Andy Murray and his brother, Jamie, have invested in Game4Padel, a company that builds pop tennis courts in England.
Another former tennis player, billionaire businessman Wayne Boich, has become obsessed with the sport. When the entrepreneur was building his Miami Beach waterfront mansion in 2014, he erected a pop tennis court in lieu of the originally planned tennis court.
Miami is often the scene of glitzy star-studded parties—Boich recently hosted Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ivanka Trump and Kylie Jenner to his 15,000-square-foot home to play pop tennis on his court.
“It’s been really rewarding to introduce so many people to Pop,” Boich told the New York Post. “These events at my home have brought out such a wide range of people in age and socioeconomic backgrounds, and, yes, even professional athletes, actors and actresses. The high-profile names that come here feel comfortable hanging out, being part of the group and having fun with people they may or may not meet otherwise. It’s great to see so many of them have really taken to the sport, particularly recently.”
The CEO of Boich Investment Group first encountered Pop Tennis 10-years ago during a trip to Europe and like so many former tennis players, fell in love with the game. In 2022, he created the Blockchain.com World Padel Tour Miami Open. The six-day tournament featured pop tennis matches and among the famous fans in attendance were Jimmy Buffett, Alonzo Mourning and rapper Rick Ross.
Not surprisingly, Miami has become the hub for all things pop. The Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne boasts three pop tennis courts and the Wynwood Padel Club now has two courts. And the new Pro Padel League recently announced its Miami franchise team, which financier Ronnie Strasser purchased.
“There’s a social element and special feel to pop that I never experienced while playing tennis,” Boich said of the sport’s sudden rise. “ Pop feels more intimate than tennis for both the players and the spectators.”
Athletes use pop tennis as a conditioning tool because it keeps them on their toes and allows them to stay in shape during the off-season or after they’ve retired.
Miami Heat star Butler is an avowed Pop Tennis devotee, who learned the game from his good friend and soccer legend Neymar. The two met during the 2016 Olympics in Rio and remained close. When he’s not hitting with Neymar, Butler can be found playing pop tennis at Boich’s house.
“Pop complements my basketball skills mentally,” Butler explained. “The sport teaches me to always compete, which translates to basketball the most. Physically, it’s about endurance, ankle stability and change of pace and direction.”
While it’s still early days, pop tennis enthusiasts like Boich are convinced that the sport will take off in America very soon. “We believe that the sky’s the limit for Pop Tennis,” he said. “The plan now is to drive growth around the country by opening clubs and hosting tournaments to introduce the sport to as many people as possible.”
Drop by the Saddlebrooke Tennis Club and we’ll introduce you to this fast-growing sport. Come see what all the excitement is about.