Nick Kyrgios and former Aussie doubles champion get in war of words over PICKLEBALL – with Lebron James, Tom Brady and Kevin Durant dragged into the debate
Former Australian doubles champion Rennae Stubbs has launched an extraordinary attack on athletes investing in pickleball – including Nick Kyrgios.
Pickleball is a hybrid sport containing elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong that is rising in popularity, with the Major League Pickleball competition to be launched in 2023.
It has attracted interest and investment from the likes of megastars Tom Brady and Lebron James while Kyrgios has also invested in the sport.
Stubbs of Australia celebrates winning a point during her doubles match with Corina Morariu of the USA against Venus and Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2003
That sparked a wild tirade from Stubbs who won four Grand Slam doubles tournaments during her career.
‘Just to let everyone know, I will NOT be investing in a Pickleball franchise & will never turn a tv on to watch Pickleball,’ she fumed on Twitter.
‘I would rather watch pain dry. Why all these tennis players think Pickleball is worth investing in & not the game that made them all the $$$ is beyond me.’
Kyrgios scoffed at Stubbs post and pointed to the fact that NBA stars Lebron James and Kevin Durant are investing in Pickleball
Kyrgios responded immediately to that rant, posting: ‘lol I think [pickleball investors] LEBRON JAMES & KEVIN DURANT have a bit more of an idea f what to invest in.’
‘Not sure i mentioned Lebron and KD in my tweet NK. Also let me know how that ROI is in a year and prove me wrong mate. Or are they paying YOU!?’ Stubbs replied.
Plenty of tennis fans had their say as well, with many backing Kyrgios for investing his money in whatever he likes while others were less complimentary.
‘Lol he brings up basketball players ? NK is ‘about the bag’ like he likes to say. Probably did get paid to push that cringe sport. Especially when he doesn’t win a tournament ‘still got bag secured’ like bro no one give a sh*%,’ one fan responded.
Stubbs then flipped from criticising Kyrgios to defending him.
‘There’s no need to be like this. Nick is just doing his thing and also, he’s won tournaments and made a Slam final and won a doubles slam this year. So u can have an opinion without being rude to him. ok?’ she posted.
American former professional tennis player Noah Rubin is one of the players that has defected from tennis to pickleball.
‘Well 2014 Junior Wimbledon Champ Noah Rubin was struggling to climb the ranks and make ends meet playing the sport he loves, so careerwise pickleball was a smart move. At first, he too was like WTF about pickleball,’ a fan posted in response to Stubbs.
‘So he wasn’t good enough at pro tennis. Ok,’ Stubbs replied.
People play pickleball at a pubic court in Brooklyn, New York . Pickleball is all the rage in New York and is becoming increasingly professionalised across the USA
Noah Rubin of the United States plays a backhand in his Men’s Singles first round match against Jay Clarke of Great Britain at Wimbledon in 2019
Rubin himself entered the debate, posting: ‘There must be a reason people aren’t investing in tennis’.
‘You honestly think people aren’t investing in tennis??? Because you don’t hear about it every day or week on Social media….come on.’ Stubbs replied.
Rubin responded by saying: ‘There aren’t enough ways for sponsors/investors to be a part of the sport. You know that well. We play the ‘exclusive’ role poorly’.
Dani Nguyen and Janice Kim compete against Elizabeth McCullagh and Emily Stolan during the USA Pickleball Newport Beach West Diamond Regional
Former professional tennis player and New York Times best selling author James Blake also entered the debate.
‘Would be happy to discuss, but don’t understand why it has to be one or the other. They can exist separately and both be successful. Was anyone upset that I invested in basketball too? If you don’t like it, that’s cool, but tons do, including me,’ he posted.
Stubbs replied: ‘Will discuss in person’.