Meet The Pros – Kaitlin Christian
Kaitlyn Christian is a tennis pro who was the body double for Emma Stone while she played Billie Jean King in the Battle of the Sexes film. Kaitlyn has recently added pickleball to her year-long competitive itinerary and is on Team Selkirk. Look out, pickleball pros, she is in it to win it! Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2018 USAPA Margaritaville Nationals Women’s Open Singles – Bronze
2018 Engage Golden State Championships – Women’s Pro Doubles with Christine McGrath – Bronze
2018 Minto US OPEN Women’s Doubles Age 19+ with Kim Jagd – Silver
Women’s PRO Doubles with Maggie Remynse – Bronze
Women’s PRO Singles – Bronze
2018 The Lakes Spring Fling, Women’s Singles – Gold
What paddle do you play with and why?
I use the Invikta paddle by Selkirk. It provides me with the right amount of pop on my drives. I’m a power player and love the way the paddle feels on power shots.
What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
My dad introduced me to the sport four years ago and ever since then it’s been our favorite hobby to play together. It’s a great competitive outlet since we both love making bets with each other and it is very similar to tennis, so it was easy to pick up.
What is your preference “playing indoors or outdoors?
I have never played indoor pickleball but I love all the elements that playing outside offers and think that playing outside would not be rivaled by playing indoors although I’d love to try it. There’s nothing like having to fight through the adversity of windy conditions or warmer ones where the ball is flying.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
Currently, because I don’t get to play as often as I would like, I enjoy singles better. Singles is very similar to tennis in terms of game and strategy and your drops don’t have to be as perfect as they do in the doubles game. Singles is also much more physical and makes you work a little harder and I enjoy that challenge. However, I think that when the time comes that I get to play as much pickleball as I’d like, doubles might become my favorite. There is definitely an art to playing great doubles that is also similar to tennis and chess. You need to try and develop a plan, to strategize shots in advance and try to open up parts of the courts so that others are exposed, until you can capitalize and get that great smash shot.
What is your favorite place to play? Why?
Playing Nationals at the beautiful venue of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden was my favorite place I’ve ever played. Not only was it very special to me as a tennis player, playing at such a prestigious venue where they hold one of the best tennis events in the world and where I live just a few miles away, but also for what it stands for in the pickleball world and how it is going to promote the growth of the game. There’s nothing like playing in your backyard with such nice weather and such great competitors and friends.
What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
My secret sauce currently is power. Having a tennis background definitely gives me the long strokes I need in pickleball to have successful drives and passing shots in this sport.
What is your day job?
I am currently a professional tennis player. I travel the world for about 10 months a year playing tournaments. I am currently ranked 53 in the world in doubles and hope to improve on that significantly this year.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
Just as in tennis, my biggest “ritual” is getting PLENTY of sleep. My normal bedtime is 9 pm and sometimes before match days I go to bed even earlier around 8 pm. I can’t get enough of it!
Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
My current goal in pickleball is to just enjoy it and to use it as cross training for tennis. Unfortunately, I don’t get to play enough to be able to compete in many events. But in the future I will and I’m really looking forward to that.