Wondering what Serena Williams has been doing while she waits for her second child to be born? 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, including David Beckham, Dwyane Wade, Lionel Messi, and Jimmy Butler, as well as some wealthy types like Ivanka Trump and Kim Kardashian.
A global phenomenon with more than 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 instead of the originally planned tennis court.
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.
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 Jimmy Butler is an avowed POP tennis devotee, who learned the game from his good friend and soccer legend Neymar. When he’s not hitting with Neymar, Butler can be found playing POP 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 still in its 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.