WATCH: Clijsters announced her final retirement from tennis earlier this spring.


Kim Clijsters is trading in her racquet for a paddle as she signs on as co-owner for Major League Pickleball alongside NFL star Tom Brady.

A rival league to the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA), Major League Pickleball launched in 2021 with 12 teams, and will expand to 16 as it plans to double its schedule in 2023.

Tennis’ pickleball invasion continues in all areas of the sport as former pros Sam Querrey and Noah Rubin have both set their sights on mounting pickleball careers next season.

Rubin, who previously announced an indefinite break from tennis, is particularly excited to transition to pickleball, feeling the court’s smaller dimensions will neutralize the drawbacks of his 5’9” frame.

"When you see something like pickleball coming in and so quickly taking over, the knee-jerk reaction is like, 'Get the f--- out of here,'" Rubin said in an exclusive interview with ESPN. "No chance is this [sport] going to be anything, no chance is this worth a look. But then I put my ego aside, and I was like, 'Wow, I get it now. This all makes sense.'"


“What excites me the most about becoming an MLP owner is that I get to help shape the future of pickleball, a sport I have come to love, with great people—who also happen to be some of my best friends,” said Clijsters. “I'm thrilled to help showcase professional pickleball and make an impact on the sport through my experience gained in the top levels of professional tennis.”

Clijsters, representing Knighthead Capital Management, joins fellow former tennis star James Blake among MLP’s high-profile investors, a roster that also includes LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Kevin Love.