What's up ladies and gentlemen on the screen with me today is former number eight in the world in singles in tennis number two in the world in doubles and arguably the best tennis doubles player in the world multiple Grand Slam Champion gold medalist and here to not talk about tennis but talk about pickleball ladies and.

Gentlemen say hi to Jack sock Jack how are you buddy hey Dave uh I'm good I'm good thank you for uh thank you for having me I appreciate the intro and uh excited to talk to pickle for sure yeah so let's let's get right to the the big news uh that was uh announced over the weekend you are gonna make your debut in May at.

The North Carolina open May 4th through the 7th why this tournament why now I know it's in your backyard but tell tell us all more yeah it's um obviously location wise uh very convenient uh my wife and I reside uh here in Charlotte so um and actually the lifetime that the event will be played at is I've played a.

Bunch of tennis there especially on some uh not very good weather days the the facility is unbelievable there uh I think it's the biggest lifetime in the country uh or one of so um yeah it's it's very familiar um as uh people may know uh I've obviously gotten involved and pickleball.

And and uh been playing more and more and uh kind of really uh really really got interested after the event in Vegas in December um I had enjoyed playing before but very recreationally um and kind of here and there and after the Vegas event.

Um it it got me fully hooked and and uh have spent some more time playing with um you know people around here um kind of whoever can find a play and um even at some tournaments some tennis tournaments as you uh were a part of in Dallas uh in February kind of playing playing when I can and and uh just trying to get better and and uh I enjoy.

Every minute of being on the on the pickleball court um outside of tennis obviously which is still full time I know there was uh so a lot I had a lot of messages a lot of conversations to be had to clarify that uh of course I'm still still playing tennis uh full time and still have a lot of goals in tennis but um I do do enjoy.

Playing pickleball and um at some point in the future we'll uh probably partake in a more full-time pickleball so yeah enter it's in your backyard as you mentioned it basically a home you know most people that enter their first pro tournament have a hard time getting partner so why don't you share with.

Everybody if they haven't heard who you're playing with and how did that come to pass oh man I got lucky I got uh got the number one player in the world uh number one female player in the world for for mixed doubles uh in Anna Lee Waters uh free pickleball fans I'm uh sure you've heard of her uh Miss Mrs.

Miss Triple Crown uh dominating uh the sport so um yeah I I lucked out there that was that actually both both Partners I'd say both Partners kind of started at the Vegas event in December where um I was fortunate enough to play play pretty decent and kind of uh hopefully show some skill and.

Um some some um some knowledge of the game and and uh was was able to have some conversations with you know with different Pros uh while while being there for the weekend and um yeah it was uh it was it was mentioned there you know conversations questions asked and um didn't necessarily know it'd be you.

Know the Charlotte event but um so happened my tennis schedule worked out I'll be home for for that week and weekend and um yeah they were you know they were both interested in playing and and uh so mixed doubles with Anna Lee Annalee Waters and men's doubles will be with uh Mr energy himself uh Tyson McGuffin uh who have gotten to know.

Pretty well now um he was on my team in Vegas and spent some time around uh he and his the amazing wife and and uh they have some they have some great kids and awesome family in general and his personality plus mine I think there'll be some fireworks uh in a good way on that side of the Court uh there in Charlotte I'm.

Not afraid to uh to show some some personality and um and some energy as well so I think there will be some some come on some chest bumps uh some maybe even some uh some talking to the other side who knows uh we'll see what happens nothing wrong with a little chirping.

Jack I don't know now I gotta do it you gotta do it yeah so the the bubbly event that you mentioned in Vegas was uh not that you need a coming out party but as far as people seeing you and some of your tennis uh Compadres play what about that that just sort of you.

Mentioned it but what was it the play was it the caliber of opponent because you and I talked after that and and you really had a spark in your eye after that when you got to see the uh what your tennis two pickleball background looked like against the best players in the world yeah I think honestly I went into that.

Weekend um obviously excited to play uh the event in general whether it went well weather went bad I think it was just going to be super fun the um the tennis guys involved that you know are all good friends uh obviously spent a lot of time around around John and Sam over the years and uh John's.

Even like a big brother to a degree to me um so literally I was just joking yeah literally was just stoked to be a part of it um and as a uh as a fan of pickleball um I can I can say I'm a bit of a nerd when it kind of I've watched a lot of the a lot of streams and uh a lot of video and stuff um just as as.

Appreciating you know the best players playing um kind of seeing how they do it um what makes them so good so for that event it was exciting for me as well to uh knowing that knowing that I felt like I was decent uh at pickleball I was I was excited to see kind of how I would stack.

Up against um the best players and um I felt I felt comfortable I mean I felt comfortable playing um obviously some some nuances and different things uh at the sport and a little bit of strategy and point construction that um you know need to.

Work you know needed to work on that I took away from it but in general I was uh honestly I expected to go in and maybe feel a little uncomfortable potentially with the amount of experience and um and time that everyone you know everyone there that has put into the sport uh which is a lot more than me and.

Uh but felt felt pretty comfortable and and felt with uh just a little bit of time uh don't see why I you know can't uh you know compete and or and or win against uh a lot of them so um that that kind of brought some spark as well uh knowing that I wasn't didn't feel too far off um.

You know from playing with them regularly and um kind of what I put it what kind of why I put some time into into some different uh and some more time into practice you know playing practice games and uh doing a few things so uh yeah I'm pretty pretty excited thought it played well.

There but um I think I could say I'm I'm uh even better now yeah so for all of you that have seen the highlights look out I can assure you he is better now I've seen it firsthand so look out everybody uh Sam query again you mentioned Sam a good friend of yours um sort of was the first to make the big declaration now there's a one major.

Difference here Sam retired from tennis and jumped into pickleball you as you stated before are still going and and playing well have you talked to Sam what have you learned from his journey obviously you're way better at getting the best player in the world to stand next to you so that's that's impressive but have you.

Talked to him about you know whatever is it like to play pro or what uh what have you learned from what what Sam's Journey's been here so far yeah for sure I mean he's he's also a a close friend uh and even gotten close over the last few years I feel like and um I feel like we were all a couple of the Americans you know guys that are.

Close to them I feel like we were all along for his journey of transitioning in even while he was you know playing his last few months last season of tennis uh he was updating us all the time on on uh what was going on with pickleball and um the rest of us have you know we'd play.

You know maybe at home with some friends every once in a while I didn't really understand everything that goes into professional pickleball uh scheduling all that didn't really no tournaments or anything um so he in fact he always kept us up to date which was fun and it was it was fun to be along for his journey and uh it.

Was exciting as well I mean he's he's a tennis I mean he's a legend you know you know for us and uh he's a he was a big name in tennis and uh had an incredible an incredible career a lot of amazing accolades so um you know I think in his experience there obviously the racket you know support hand-eye coordination.

Um you know can translate over well and um I think it was I think it was interesting I think with that comes the expectation of you're going to be so good at pickleball because you've played tennis and I've tried to explain to some people now that I've played or played in you know the event with with the pros and stuff the.

Tennis players that think that they're gonna jump over and just kill it or dominate uh the the top pickle players are really good and uh it's not going to be as easy as something um I think with with a little more time Sam is obviously getting better and better it's just like tennis when we all started and none of us jumped in we were.

All good Juniors whatever you're not just going to jump in and and do really well but um watching Sam and even you know these MLP events he's played recently I think he's playing great playing uh the last couple weeks in Palm Springs you're out there for any walls we got some pickle in on the side and uh I feel like I feel.

Like he's playing great and um I just I hope I hope he continues to to keep loving it and keep you know you know improving and and uh and get some great results uh Sam's one of the greatest guys uh that you'll meet and it's been fun it's been fun to watch it yeah his journey into pickle and uh um I hope he can uh yeah dude do some.

Great things and silence some of these haters that uh seem to come out on the the internet troll yeah couldn't agree more with how great a guy Sam is so you mentioned Jack a little bit and I think people are very interested especially coming from you who played tennis at such a high level what are the things for you that have.

Translated really well from tennis to pickle and what don't and what have you had to sort of adjust yeah I think um yeah I feel like I've I've talked about it before and it's uh it's in the in the most modest way uh most humble way uh the things that I'm good at in tennis kind of the handsy.

Um chess match uh and obviously that shows a little more in doubles singles is tougher to kind of uh display um yeah the more handsy kind of finesse feel stuff but um I feel like I've shown that on the doubles Court over the years um a good amount and uh I've said to a lot of people that asked you know why I'm so interested in pickleball is I've.

Kind of always summed it up as the things that I think I'm really good at in tennis was kind of made into a sport which is pickleball which is the chess matches the cat and mouse the the kind of feel plus you know power at times all that type of stuff um so yeah I mean.

Yeah I feel comfortable with the types of shots you need to hit the strategy uh you know doubles having chemistry with somebody um all those types of things so um yeah on the positives that's why I feel very comfortable um it's different I also feel in the.

Sense of especially in you know doubles in tennis you know if you get you know you get a chance it can be pretty aggressive at times obviously things are happening fast I'll happening fast pickleball uh you have to slow down pretty a pretty good amount you kind of pick and choose your times to be.

Aggressive uh you got to be more patient for sure over the course of uh you know a game uh matches whatever it is so tennis is kind of more full steam ahead a lot of the time and um and and obviously the obvious uh smaller chord all that type of stuff so less hard to cover and and all that but um yeah I think the the cat and mouse.

The the handsy stuff um I love I love doing so um yeah it's very much enjoyable yeah no I mean obviously being the the doubles just Beast that you are in tennis really set you up for somebody that's more of a baseline tennis player what would you tell them as they're saying hey maybe I should try.

Pickle what what's gonna work for them that doesn't have the the Jack sock hands mechanisms that can cause all that trouble um I would honestly just say get out on a pickle cord and spend as many hours you can at the kitchen line and work on uh every direction of of dinking um.

Different types of you know situational stuff or just drills just being comfortable up there um slowing down in the mine just also accepting the fact that you might have to hit 10 8 10 15 in a row until you get the ball you want.

Um which is a thing with you know sometimes you play the rat games and stuff you can um get away with some things that uh I you know experienced in Vegas that you're not going to get away with they're they're not gonna make too many mistakes as top Pros so uh just get comfortable with with being patient.

Until you get the right ball um so yeah definitely patience and and get comfortable thinking and dropping all day the the idea of the drop of you know I'm certainly not a tennis player at your level not even close but that that's just a shot that just you don't hit in tennis and you know you close and and smoke a ball into into the third row.

Off the bounce though yes uh fun to have that Nuance I think a lot of the pickleball fans always love everyone loves whether you're uh top tennis player or a three five wreck pickleball player everyone wants to know how did you get started in this sport so what's your what's your pickle origin story there Jack.

Um honestly when I was living in Kansas City so uh probably four four probably four years ago I would say probably the year before I came out here to North Carolina started this bug there um probably the year before I came out here uh was living in a in a country club that had tennis courts um and.

I would practice up there some tennis and then uh I would play golf and you know kind of had a group of guys that played golf with um and one of the guys would kept talking about pickleball and I didn't know what it was at the time at all and he was like you should come up and play some time you know obviously tennis.

Background you should should be okay at it and uh didn't really take them up on it for a little bit uh but I knew they had a group that grew up there and play on Sundays and um yeah I was home one you know one weekend I was like come up and see how it is and even then had a blast was really really not that good.

Um just had no idea what was going on felt like in this in uh the guy played golf had wristbands on it was super ready had his you know paddle all uh doctored up and I was like I have no idea what's happening um and also kind of uh pissed me off to a degree if I could say that because it was uh.

Less athletic uh people I was playing with that were kind of dominating me and I was like what's happening and just um from there it kind of like it also sparked the interest of wanting to get a little bit better um got the competitive juices flowing and um so I dabbled in it from time to time.

Still didn't play uh that much at all and since I feel like I've been out here in Charlotte um they have a great uh a great facility here with with tennis and uh and pickle access and I've kind of gotten a good good group of people to to play with you know at least once a week uh hopefully twice and uh maybe more you know from.

Home for for a little bit so um yeah it's uh it was it was yeah I went from very sporadic to um yeah probably at least once a week when I'm home yeah I serve in Valley the first time I've played I had no idea what the kitchen thing was you gotta close yeah come on man I I think I lobbed every.

Second ball when I played I'd panic and just threw the ball up and realized I didn't work uh at all so um yeah definitely definitely got a little better so you mentioned uh you're playing with some good players uh there in town I think it's interesting for me from somebody I know you want to do very well in tennis.

How do you get ready for this pickleball thing keep your tennis at a high level time for both does one hurt the other walk us through that yeah no I mean I I think uh also I feel like even if I'm around tennis people or see some pickle people since I people have now you know realized I'm I like to play the it's almost the first question.

It doesn't doesn't uh interfere with the other and I'm like no I mean obviously tennis is is still the goals I have you know aspirations that I want to accomplish and um that takes up most of my day uh which is kind of why the you know if it works usually you know one day a week can can plan to play at night with some people.

Some pickleball at night with some people and um if I can get more in based on the you know training schedule for tennis and everything then uh then great but um yeah no I I don't see any interference with it at all honestly when I play pickle um you know especially with the you know the pretty.

Good group of players it's all it happens quick and it happens from a lot closer there at the kitchen when the speed UPS everything happened and then you get out to a tennis court although the ball is physically moving faster it honestly feels a little bit slower which is kind of nice and um kind of feel like you have more time.

To to react and do things so I actually enjoy enjoy kind of going uh back and forth when I can um and kind of just try to fit pickle in you know when possible uh but yeah to the tennis training schedule definitely uh Trump's uh the pickleball for sure so what's the uh give us a sense uh for you know the.

Tennis community's got to spend a lot of time with you the pickleball Community just a little bit some fun facts about Jack sock that uh you can share in in any in any way oh man some fun facts about me uh jeez I don't even uh I don't even know um I mean I would say I would have said.

Before that uh I guess when I was playing you know been playing tennis full time for a very a long time now that golf was kind of my outlet which is still is I love to golf but pickleball is slightly uh it's slightly taken over that role so uh I very much enjoy both in my downtime but um yeah they're getting pretty equal.

Which is I never thought I'd say um uh some fun facts I uh yeah Midwest guy originally from Lincoln Nebraska grew up in Kansas City my whole life out here in Charlotte um very much a uh home body love my wife and I have too many golden doodles and uh anytime I'm not uh busy doing.

Something I love just being being here at home and spending time with the little fur babies and uh and hanging out and and kind of relaxing obviously the schedule of tennis is very hectic uh and long long seasons and and long travel so um I don't know big trash TV lover loves some reality TV uh my wife and I like to.

Binge some some some crazy shows but uh yeah I don't even have them I don't know it seems hopefully that's fun enough yeah that's great and a proud member of even though I'm a Steeler fan I'll give it to you of chiefs Chief's Kingdom Die Hard Die Hard uh Nebraska Husker fan Kansas City Chiefs fan and uh Kansas City Royals those are.

My squads there you go so if you if you see Jack and you're wearing any of those colors he'll uh he'll uh love you maybe he won't Peg you with one of those vicious uh volley said he's got uh you mentioned your you still have some tennis uh goals and aspirations what are those yeah I mean I think.

Um I think since the I mean it was I had an unfortunate couple years with uh some some rough injuries put me out for extended periods of time and um for people that that don't know uh in the tennis world it's it's pretty uh it's pretty tough if you get injured for for a long period of time uh we're we're.

An annual ranking based uh tour and you know if you don't play for a bit and can't defend your points from from the previous year uh you're kind of kind of at a loss and so for me it was literally going from um from Top 10 in the world at the end of 17 to having a decent year in 18 still.

Top to go still maybe top top 50 um and then first tournament of the year um in in 19 uh tour ligaments in my thumb on my right hand so uh pretty much put me out almost the rest of that year and so I went from the top you know 10 and then 50 to literally unranked so um it was a bit of a yeah I was a bit of a mental uh.

Challenge and conversation with with uh family and friends and everything and team to get the motivation to want to start over um which I did when I was 18 years old it was basically doing that all over again so uh and I've I'm so glad I did it um you know been you know had some tough.

Times I mean you know grinding you know through training and everything to get the body you know ready and back to to playing shape and um closed in on you know top hundred again um real close last year and and uh and still kind of that's kind of that's kind of the first stepping stone uh for.

Me was to kind of get back in the top 100 play all the slams um in singles consistently and then kind of work my way up from there um um yeah I mean I honestly that was that's the first big goal and and what I can do from there I still think I can I can get inside get inside there you know.

Um you know pretty far can be a top 50 player you know and and try to you know compete to to make some you know good runs at tournaments um and just kind of make the most of it if you know different different part of my life and career you know having um a family of my own with the with the.

Fur babies and hopefully uh some the human ones at some point and um it feels uh it feels nice now to kind of play for for more than myself as well and kind of do it for the people around um as well so yeah kind of just make the most of of the time I've left is kind of the goal love it when we wish you well with that.

Last two for you the the challenge to get partners in pickleball is a big thing both the pros and just your your friends playing in a in a Rec tournament at a 4-0 level what's the getting partners for tennis thing like is there anything to be learned is there anything to learn from that or do you play with your buddies or how does that work I'm.

I'm just intrigued personally by that yeah it's it's different kind of on the the position the situation you're in I guess or what's or what situation you want to be and obviously um there are doubles only players in tennis that don't you know partake in singles at all um double specialist I guess as you.

Could you call them and uh they're more in the uh they're more in the potential High School drama-ish type feel of like you know we have a set partnership for the year if it's not going well I may dump you go to someone else try it out uh and it seems a little more stressful.

Of like planning out having certain rankings to get in terms like um but uh also you know if the partnership works there do very well um you know at tournaments financially you know it can be can be great if you're if you're doing doing super well but um I would say more for guys that are.

Kind of hybrid they'll play singles and doubles and and want to play both that's usually uh you just get on your phone and shoot a text to A buddy of yours and uh and hope you know if they want to play great if not maybe look at the list of the tournament and see who you know you know pretty well and can have fun with.

And um if you do great great if you don't uh it's it's you know it's all right as well so for me it's usually usually start with uh big man John Isner and see if he wants to play which um is is uh few and far between at this point for him um and then usually from there just kind.

Of look at who I kind of vibe with well and could have could have a good time on the court with so we've got you in North Carolina we understand that tennis is your thing will we see you again in a pro pickleball tournament later this year um there's I mean there's uh there's been.

Conversations there's been um schedules looked at uh tough tough to say I think you could uh I think you could count on seeing me uh back in Vegas um for the for the bubbly event um the bubbly event and uh I know the the draft for the MLP for the following year.

Is also that same that same weekend so um I guess we shall see um if I potentially walk the uh the carpet there um and kind of see where we're at but uh definitely if you know they have the tennis guys again and all that uh but I'd love to be a part of that that bubbly event and that was an absolute.

Blast okay so lots of little Intrigue there from Mr stock I love it we shall see last question for you is uh what are your expectations in in North Carolina um my humble expectations or my honest expectations um oh I want your real ones baby yeah I.

Know I think um uh I mean that yeah I think um you know mixed you know playing with the best girl in the world and uh I know a lot of people will say if we do well that's obviously Annalee can win with anybody.

Um if we don't do well it'd definitely be my fault um I I will say I I fully uh back myself I have a lot of confidence in myself on the pickle Court I think I've shown a small glimpse of it to to some people since I haven't played uh much of anything but uh I think come first week.

Into May um I think uh I think I might surprise some people with with my level uh and and maybe surprising people if we're um if we're playing on Sunday so um that's honestly the goal uh I think it's it's definitely doable uh in both mixed and men's um but uh and who knows maybe I'll be.

Playing on Thursday and singles as well we'll see okay there you go well I look forward to calling the action there and seeing uh seeing Jack sock and action and Jack thanks so much for taking the time I know there's so much excitement around this you've been such a great advocate for for pickleball and uh I know the North Carolina fans it's.

Smart to start with a home game you're gonna have a good crowd behind you there and uh yeah really appreciate you becoming part of what we're growing here with the PPA tour and uh I wish you best in your practice we wish you the best in your tennis and again thanks so much for the time today we'll get some uh we'll get some wreck.

Games in let me know there we go all right jack socks ladies and gentlemen first weekend in May in the North Carolina open can't wait to see him thanks Jack take care buddy appreciate you yeah thank you very much
Watch the full interview with Jack Sock and Dave Fleming talking more about what it is like to play pickleball as a trained tennis professional.

Sock has played in 1 PPA Tour professional event, our 2022 bubly Team Championships presented by MGM Rewards in Las Vegas, and is soon going to be playing as a new professional pickleball player in our North Carolina Open from May 4-7, 2023.

Do not miss out on watching this amazing debut of Jack Sock into the pickleball world streaming LIVE here on the PPA Tour’s Youtube beginning May 4th.

#PPATour #Pickleball #ProfessionalPickleballAssociation #JackSock

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