FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — When it originated, tennis was given the moniker “The Sport of Kings,” but it may have to make some room on the throne.

Pickleball was born in 1965 and it took some time to catch on.

But like a Roger Federer serve, it’s now undeniably powerful.

According to the Association of Pickleball Professionals, there were 36.5 million players in 2022, and the number in the Summit City is growing as well.

“Several years ago, we built four courts at Lion’s Park, and they were heavily used,” said Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel. “We saw pickleball grow.”

With the growth, four courts were no longer a sustainable option.

“Our community asked for more courts, and we chose to put them across the city,” McDaniel said.

36 total courts to be exact, including indoor options at McMillan Park Community Center.

But in the process, the city took away court space from pickleball’s older brother.

“In various parks, we have additional courts, we have displaced a little bit of the tennis [courts],” McDaniel said. “We did studies to see who was using our tennis courts, we put cameras up, and at no point did we have more than one tennis court being used.”

But does this mean tennis is dying in Fort Wayne?

According to former City Tennis Champion, Current Concordia Lutheran High School tennis coach, and the Executive Director of Discipleship Inc, Steve Beier, it’s not on the way out.

“You can coexist as a tennis player and a pickleball [player] and get the best of both worlds,” Beier said.

He sees the rise in popularity of pickleball in Fort Wayne as more of an age divide, not a popularity contest.

“A lot of high school kids play tennis still, [but] I don’t see that for pickleball, so it seems to me to be more of an age-relevant sport,” Beier said.

While court space may be ceded to the uprising pickleball, tennis appears to be in good, youthful hands.