HomePickleball NewsJay Devilliers Brings Pickleball Excitement to French Open

Jay Devilliers Brings Pickleball Excitement to French Open

Jay Devilliers Brings Pickleball Excitement to French Open: In the lively sports world, where tradition often meets innovation, Jay Devilliers is a symbol of change. Known as the “Flying Frenchman” in pickleball, Devilliers aims to spread the sport in Europe, especially in his home country, France. During the 2024 French Open, he showed his dedication by working hard with the French Federation of Tennis to bring pickleball to Roland Garros, one of tennis’s most famous venues.

A Grand Showcase at a Grand Slam

During the French Open, Devilliers leads the construction of three temporary pickleball courts on-site. This daring move was not just about providing a place to play but also about making a statement amid the historic clay courts of Paris.

“It’s something special playing pickleball here, I’m excited to be here and see pickleball reach new horizons in France at one of the Grand Slams.” -Devilliers.

For Devilliers, who grew up playing tennis at Roland Garros, this initiative felt like a full-circle moment. It was a nostalgic yet progressive attempt, blending his past with his future aspirations for the sport.

Bridging Generations and Breaking Barriers

One of the highlights of this pickleball showcase was Devilliers playing alongside tennis legend Martina Navratilova. Known for her critical stance on pickleball, Navratilova’s participation marked a significant cultural crossover.

“It was exceptional to see Martina Navratilova, who’s a fantastic player in tennis. It was a pleasure to be on the court with such a champion, and I felt like she had a good time,” Devilliers recounted. “She said it was fun to play with good players and I’m glad she considered me a good player.”

The event also saw French Open tournament director and Tennis Hall of Famer Amelie Mauresmo picking up a paddle. These interactions with tennis stars not only lent credibility to pickleball but also showcased its universal appeal.

Educating and Expanding

Beyond the courts of the French Open, Devilliers is leveraging technology to spread the word. He has been eagerly filming training videos in French, sharing valuable tips and tricks, particularly those that bridge the gap between tennis and pickleball. This educational effort aims to smooth the transition for tennis players who find themselves intrigued by the faster-paced, accessible nature of pickleball.

“Seeing how quickly pickleball grew in America, I have the same feeling about France. It’s a sport that all ages can play. It’s multigenerational, My kids play pickleball and my grandpa is playing pickleball, too, so everyone can find their moment and have a good time together. With France, I feel like it is just a matter of time.” –Devilliers

The Future of Pickleball in France

Devilliers is optimistic about the future. He believes that exposure, like the French Open appearance, is crucial for pickleball’s growth in France. “Players need to see it more here. It’s not that accessible yet, but seeing it here at the French Open, I think it will be something that will boost the sport and eventually catch on like it has in the United States,” he forsee. “It’s maybe not at the same scale yet, but in the next two or three years we’re going to see massive growth in my opinion.”

Jay Devilliers Brings Pickleball Excitement to French Open

As Devilliers continues his mission, it is clear that his efforts are more than just about promoting a sport; they are about promoting a new cultural phenomenon that bridges generations and creates a shared space for fun, fitness, and community. Through his dedication, pickleball’s rise in France seems not just possible, but inevitable.

News in Brief: Jay Devilliers Brings Pickleball Excitement to French Open

Jay Devilliers, known as the “Flying Frenchman” in pickleball, is dedicated to popularizing the sport in Europe, particularly in his home country, France. During the 2024 French Open, he collaborated with the French Federation of Tennis to set up three temporary pickleball courts at Roland Garros, blending tradition with innovation. Devilliers, who grew up playing tennis at this iconic venue, highlighted the event by playing alongside tennis legend Martina Navratilova and French Open director Amelie Mauresmo, showcasing pickleball’s universal appeal.

He is also producing French-language training videos to ease the transition for tennis players. Devilliers believes pickleball will grow rapidly in France, highlighting its accessibility for all ages. His efforts aim to create a multigenerational sports culture, making pickleball’s rise in France seem not just possible, but inevitable.

Also Read: Roland Garros Reveals Stunning Pickleball Courts During French Open

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