Jack Sock talks tennis highlights, the transition to pickleball, and paddle of choice
After retiring from a successful tennis career following the 2023 U.S. Open, Jack Sock announced he would transition into a professional pickleball career as a member of Team Selkirk.
Throughout his tennis career, Jack earned four ATP singles titles and 17 tour-level doubles trophies, including men’s doubles titles at the 2018 US Open and Wimbledon in 2014 and 2018. Jack also earned a gold medal in mixed doubles and a bronze medal in men’s doubles as part of the 2016 Rio Olympics team.
After his signing, Jack sat down with Selkirk to discuss his career highlights, his love for pickleball, and why he chose Team Selkirk.
Your tennis career obviously had a lot of highlights, do any stick out to you as the best moments of your career?
It’s tough to pick a certain highlight or even the top couple, but I have to put the Olympics up there. I love being American. I loved representing the red, white, and blue whenever I could while playing tennis. So to get a gold medal and a bronze in Rio was beyond special.
Any of the double Slams are tough to beat. The first Wimbledon win with Vasek Pospisil was so unexpected, and then being able to partner with one of the legends Mike Bryan for a couple of Slams in 2018 was insane. My biggest singles win in Paris has also got to be up there for sure.
A lot of tennis players have made the jump to pickleball. Why did you want to make that jump?
There are a lot of factors in my making the jump from tennis to pickleball, but basically what pickleball is is all of the things I enjoyed from tennis. It has hands battles, precise shots, the cat and mouse games. I’ve always enjoyed those, even as a kid playing mini tennis and ping-pong.
Pickleball for me, was such a joy when I first started playing. Schedule-wise, it’s a lot nicer to not be traveling the entire world year-round. I’m a new father and I want to be as present as possible, but I also love competing. So for me, it was the perfect transition to be able to compete. I have a lot of passion for pickleball and I want to try to be the best in the world.
Making the transition into pickleball from tennis, why did you choose Selkirk as your paddle sponsor?
For this transition to pickleball for me, I honestly didn't get too deep into paddles. That’s because as soon as I got to Selkirk, it was kind of game over. I tried a couple of different Selkirk paddles and then got introduced to the Luxx Control Air, and that was all she wrote for me.
So your Selkirk paddle of choice is the Luxx Control Air. What about that paddle appealed to you?
The Luxx Control Air, for me, is honestly the best paddle I played with. I think it has an incredible combination of a little bit of grit but also power at the same time. I felt like I was trying to find a paddle that had a little more grit for certain shots but also had some power for hands battles and points at the kitchen line. So, for me the Luxx Control Air, the technology Selkirk is used in it to get the happy medium of grit, spin, and power, it is by far my my favorite paddle.
Whether it’s in tennis or pickleball, what do you want your legacy to be?
Since a young age, legacy for me has always been about locker room respect. I always want to be friendly with everyone, yet competitive at the same time. Whether it’s leaving tennis, or however long I spend in pickleball, I want to have the respect from my fellow competitors. When you walk away, if they can only say nice things, that’s my goal.
At the same time, I want to win. I’m a very competitive person. I want to try do some really cool things in pickleball and have accolades in both tennis and pickleball.
I would also like to be that bridge between tennis and pickleball. I feel like there’s some negativity from some fans, so I want to try to unite both. There’s space for both because they’re both incredible sports.