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Jack Sock takes home gold with Graf, Agassi at Pickleball Slam 2


By Brynn Grissom

on Feb 05, 2024

Jack Sock showed off his pickleball skills during the Pickleball Slam 2.

When Selkirk Sport’s Jack Sock made the switch from professional tennis to professional pickleball, he said he hoped to help bridge the gap between tennis and pickleball players. 

He took a step in that direction Sunday night as he participated in the Pickleball Slam 2, an event that pitted together tennis greats in a pickleball showdown. The whole event was broadcast in primetime on ESPN from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. 

Sock joined “Team Agassi,” which comprised himself Andre Agassi, and Steffi Graf. The three faced off against “Team McEnroe,” which boasted John McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, and James Blake, a former tennis player and current team owner of the MLP Milwaukee Mashers. 

After several exciting matchups, Team Agassi took home the $1 million prize purse. This marks the second win for Agassi, who took home gold in the inaugural Pickleball Slam with partner Andy Roddick. 

A recap of the Pickleball Slam 2 matches

The event featured three separate matchups. Each matchup consisted of best-of-three matches with rally scoring to 11. 

The first matchup saw Agassi and Sock face off against McEnroe and Blake, who was using the Selkirk Labs Project 002 paddle for the event. Amid McEnroe's signature fiery outbursts and Sock's thunderous forehands, Team Agassi clinched the first match in a gripping 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 showdown.

It was then time for a mixed-doubles matchup as Sock was joined by Graf and Blake was joined by Sharapova, who began her pickleball journey just six weeks prior. Despite her short introduction to the game, Sharapova put up a good fight, bringing her strong groundstrokes into pickleball. She and Blake took game one 11-9 before losing the next two 9-11, 15-17. 

Heading into the final match, Team Agassi had a commanding lead. However, the first two matches were worth one point each, while the “legends” match was worth two points, so teammates McEnroe and Sharapova had a chance to tie it up if they beat spouses Graf and Agassi. 

Because McEnroe is a lefty, the women played facing each other rather than crosscourt, which created several unique opportunities. Graf and Agassi came out swinging, initiating numerous firefights, though McEnroe and Sharapova won several points hitting the ball down “divorce alley.” 

After two fun-filled, albeit competitive, matches, Team Agassi pulled out the win 11-7, 13-11. 

Bridging the gap between tennis and pickleball

After sweeping the competition, Team Agassi was awarded the $1 million prize purse and hand-crafted electric guitars featuring a pickleball motif.

Although all the players had different reasons for participating in the event, they all shared a desire to continue playing pickleball. 

For Sock, this event was more than just a win — it was a testament to his journey from tennis to pickleball and his vision to bridge the divide between the two sports. 

"I had a lot of fun, and I’m so blessed and thankful to have played tennis for so many years,” Sock said after the match. “Pickleball is a whole new joy, and I hope to be a bridge to help heal the negativity between tennis and pickleball because I think there's room for both."

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