Federico Staksrud and Pablo Tellez walking away from each other
Federico Staksrud and Pablo Tellez at the Veolia Houston Open PPA Tour

The “doubles divorce” in pickleball

DALLAS, TX – Cue the hit song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift because there are some truly tragic doubles breakups happening in professional pickleball these days.

Most notably, Pablo Tellez and Federico Staksrud went their separate ways, which had me wondering if pickleball love was actually real.

Calling it quits with a long-term doubles partner is always tough. A doubles divorce can be heartbreaking, right? You made some incredible memories on the court together. Remember that time you both called into work sick to spontaneously enter the CIBC Texas Open? Or when you first decided to pursue your pickleball dreams together full-time?

Playing pickleball can be one of life’s greatest joys, which is what makes a doubles divorce seriously heartbreaking.

With that in mind, here are some helpful tips for the partner contemplating a split.

Federico Staksrud and Pablo Tellez playing pickleball together
Federico Staksrud and Pablo Tellez at the Veolia Austin Open PPA Tour

Tips for the person seeking to separate

Break it to your partner in a safe, public place. After all, if their aggression on the court is what really carried your partnership to gold in the 4.0 bracket at the Carvana Mesa Arizona Cup, things can get ugly when that kind of emotion is directed on you. 

Be gentle and use kind words. 

  • - “I think we should start playing with other people.” 
  • - “I don’t think I’m ready for a full-time partnership right now.” 
  • - “It’s not your DUPR, it’s mine.” 

And, you might have to move courts. I know, I know, you love your court because of the people, the shade, and the proximity to work. But, these are some of the sacrifices you accept when you end a partnership. 

Federico Staksrud pointing and Pablo Tellez looking at him
Federico Staksrud and Pablo Tellez at the Veolia Houston Open PPA Tour

Tips for recovering from a doubles split

Now it’s time to show that ex-doubles partner of yours what they’re missing. 

Practice, practice, practice. Start dominating with beautiful drives and third shot drops that your former teammate used to get so irritated at you for missing. 

Maybe start playing with that one guy with the exquisite serve that always intimidated your ex. 

If your former partner is bold enough to continue showing up to your courts, might as well show them the incredible player they’re missing out on. 

This won't be without its awkward moments, of course. The picklesphere is small. You'll likely run into them at a court somewhere, or go head-to-head in a tournament. Keep your head held high!

But, don’t worry. Everything happens for a reason. And your doubles partner for life is out there... somewhere.

Bottom line, a doubles divorce at any level of pickleball is tough. Fortunately, Pickleball.com is here for you. You’ll move on. We promise there are brighter days ahead.