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January 23, 2024

James Ignatowich-Main.jpg

Jaume Martinez Vich

By Alice Tym

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii

Age: 30

Education: MBA in Marketing from the University of Hawaii

Nationality: Born in Mallorca, Spain, and now holds a U.S. Green Card (permanent resident card)

DUPR: 6.9 singles and 6.58 doubles

Favorite Tournament: Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships

What is your favorite shot?

I like my two-handed backhand crosscourt angle.


What is the secret of practice?

Short and intense. I do backhand rolls for 20 minutes. I work on one specific thing at a time.


You were a tennis player. What do you see as your carryover from tennis?

I wasn’t a big guy in tennis so I had to be smarter and exploitative as a way to win. This has helped me in pickleball. I grew up improvising. I place the ball and know how to follow up.


What do you see as the attraction of pickleball?

It is so reachable. Players have quick improvement. The PPA is doing a good job of marketing. There are so many opportunities for everybody.


Why did you move from Mallorca to Hawaii?

I thought my only shot was college and I chose a place as far away from home as possible. I’m very grateful for my entire career. I fell in love with the team format in college. I enjoy crowds. I enjoyed performing for the crowd in Dallas. The team concept is important in American sports. I like the MLP structure in pickleball.


Where do you play in Hawaii?

I play at the Pacific Club.


What is your preferred scoring system?

I don’t have a preference. Rally scoring in singles has to have a freeze. In doubles, rally scoring is good because it goes faster.


What are your pickleball goals?

2023 was my first year; I had fun and practiced little. In 2024, I want to commit to practice. I really perform way better when I am doing things in a balanced way. I need space and time for myself and friends.


What is your favorite quote?

“Never give up.” I have it tattooed on my leg. When I was 14 I got the tattoo and had it put on my leg so my parents would not see it.


What is your favorite book?

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” because I come from a humble background growing up. I didn’t understand why I didn’t have things. Now I understand that both can be successful. I am happy all the time. When I was young I blamed myself for problems that were not on me. My parents divorced. Now I know that some things are not in my control and I enjoy life. Be happy.


What is your favorite type of music?

I like romantic Spanish music. I like Spanish hot-blood singers like Maluma.


Who influenced you the most?

My dad. He was tough on me. He was so tough I learned to joke around and learned how to be a clown.


What movies do you like?

I like horror movies. They stimulate my brain. I can’t sit still trying to figure it out. “Money Heist” is a good series on Netflix.


What is your favorite food?

I am a foodie. I can’t stop. I change my favorite food every week. I love Asian food. I have always lived near the ocean. I cook paella for my clients.


Are you interested in politics? Should Catalonia be independent?

Not at all interested. I stay away. I follow the rules. I have my own opinions but I am not opinionated. Everybody should go be happy.


Are you an environmentalist?

Yes. I love animals. I have a tattoo sleeve of animals on my left arm. I did my part growing up. I adopted every animal that came near me. I am a water animal. I am depressed without water. I am an island boy all the way.  •

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