Jack Sock has been one of the most successful Americans in men's Tennis in the 21st Century. His biggest victories have come in doubles and mixed doubles. But he has also been ranked in the Top 10 in the world in singles.

In recent years, a game similar to tennis has exploded in popularity. Originally meant as a backyard game for children, it has become a sport taken seriously by many. And it has taken on a significant name.

Sock joining the Professional Pickleball Association on a full-time basis

Jack Sock is retiring from tennis. But he is not retiring altogether as a competitor.

Instead, he's apparently switching his focus to pickleball. He becomes the most high-profile player to make the move.

Sock made his first official foray into pickleball earlier this year. He entered a tournament in North Carolina where he played in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. He paired with number one ranked player Anna Leigh Waters in the mixed doubles format. Together, Sock and Waters won the tournament championship.

Around the same time, Sock had indicated a change may have been on his mind. He explained that his body's wear and tear and age were key reasons. Sock also said he hoped "to be kind of a bridge between the two sports." Some members of the tennis community have made their displeasure known about the rise of pickleball.

But Sock doesn't think it should be that way. "There's no reason for either sport to rip on each other," he stated.

Jack Sock came onto the senior tennis scene during the early 2010s. His brother, Eric, would also become a high-level player. In 2011, Jack won the mixed doubles title at the U.S. Open, partnered with fellow American Melanie Oudin.

Sock would win three more Grand Slam titles in doubles. Two at Wimbledon and one at the U.S. Open. He also had a tremendous showing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. With Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Sock won the gold medal in mixed doubles. And with Steve Johnson, he scored a bronze medal in doubles. Sock also won the 2018 ATP Finals Championship in doubles with Mike Bryan, another American.

He never quite had the same level of success in singles. His best year in the format was likely 2017. That year, Sock reached as high as eighth in the world rankings. He won a Masters 1000 title in Paris and made the final four in the ATP Finals.

Sock has also participated in World TeamTennis on multiple occasions. In 2020, he helped the New York Empire win the season title. He was named the Male MVP for the WTT Finals that year.

Pickleball originated during the 1960s

A comparison between tennis and pickleball could be likened to comparing baseball and softball. Pickleball is generally thought to be less demanding on the body. Differences include the size of the playing surface. As well as in the equipment and the material it's made of.

Sources differ in the name's origin, but the game was created in the mid-1960s.

It was formulated by Joel Pritchard and two of his friends at his house in Bainbridge Island, Washington. A veteran of World War II, Pritchard was a member of the State House of Representatives at the time. He was elected to the State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Eventually, he served as Washington's lieutenant governor.

In 2022, pickleball was named the official sport of the State of Washington.