A fresh face from Florida, James Ignatowich has quickly leveraged his tennis prowess to vault up the PPA rankings. In 2021, after playing tennis at Vanderbilt, James switched to pickleball and quickly found himself gracing podiums around the country.
We dropped James a line to chat pickleball, Selkirk Paddles, and what we can expect from him in the coming years.
What is your story? How did you get into Pickleball?
I got into pickleball because I was done with tennis and had no other sports to play. I lived in Delray Beach, Florida which is a pickleball hot spot. It was easy to get started because there were so many people playing pickleball and I thought it would be an easy transition between tennis to pickleball. I was right.
What paddle do you play with and why?
I play with the Selkirk 002 because it has the most power out of any paddle I have ever used. It is very gritty, has a lot of topspin and I am able to play my aggressive game style with the 002 better than any paddle I have ever tried. For me being an aggressive player, liking to create and make things happen, I think the 002 is the best paddle I could possibly have.
What are some of your short term and long term goals in this sport?
Short term: Beat Ben and AL in mixed doubles. We have had some pretty competitive matches with them but haven’t exactly pushed them to the brink yet. But that would be my main short term goal, to get a gold in mixed doubles with Ben and AL actually in the field.
Long term goal: Be the #1 doubles and mixed doubles player.
What are your favorite drills to train?
My favorite drills are dinking, and hitting drops. I love to work on the soft stuff. Sometimes I’ll hit 1,000 dinks in a day
What do you think is your secret sauce out there on the court?