Padel Tennis – The Best Racquet Sport in the World

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I have mentioned in the past my singularly most favourite sport is padel tennis — even if I don’t get many chances to play. The New York Times ran an article in late December 2008 on the topic of the alternative tennis games: Tennis spawns variations (thanks to my father for passing along) in which it refers to this wonderful game, padel tennis.

Padel Tennis TournamentThis game is quite different from the platform tennis you see in the US and that is often played in the middle of winter. Padel is generally played in the warmth of the sun with walls rather than fencing around the perimeter. If you have never seen padel tennis, don’t be alarmed. The game is quite geographically limited: principally Spain, Argentina and Mexico, and there are a few courts dotted around elsewhere; for example, in other Latin American countries and, that I know of personally, in the south of France and with one in the outskirts of Paris. From my online scouting, meanwhile, it would appear that the game is sprouting up elsewhere… There was apparently a World Championship tournament held in Calgary this past August 2008 with competitors from 15 countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, USA and Canada. The site still says that the tournament is “coming” in August 2008… so apparently, the winner is as yet unannounced. There was even a blog from the UK about padel tennis (but it hasn’t been updated since 2006).

What makes padel tennis so enchanting?

There are four main reasons why I love this sport:

  1. It is a wonderful combination of squash and tennis — the best of both worlds with walls, a net and a tennis ball. The racquet doesn’t hurt (plus they have very new snazzy racquets these days — see to the right).
    Padel Tennis Racquet (Racket)
  2. You can play at all ages… as long as we are talking doubles. In fact, padel doubles is the best game, especially when you have four equally matched players.
  3. The ball stays in play for what seems like hours because of the low margin of error — all the more so when you are playing with a good set of players.
  4. Certainly a bit of nostalgia here, but the game is generally found and played in warmer climates… and usually in Latin countries, which is all very appealing.

There is even a Federation of Padel Tennis… an important address for anyone who, like me who hopes one day to own a chateau, will want to install a padel court around the back.

A word of warning: don’t take any bets playing an Argentinian in padel… the apparent world’s number one (in the men’s) is an Argentine, albeit the ranking was stopped in 2006 — and on the women’s side, the top 10 is filled with Argentines too. Along with polo, the Argentines have tended to dominate padel (although, as the NY Times article suggests, the game is apparently in decline in Argentina). The Spanish currently dominate the men’s top 10.

For more information, here is wikipedia’s description of padel tennis. As a final aside: it is funny but virtually all the internet sites I found about padel tennis are no longer very active. All the sites seemed to have fizzled out oddly enough in 2006… I guess that means the community of padel tennis players is more interested in being offline (and on the court)!

Added in 2015 – an impressive highlight reel of the 2012 World Championships:


If you are a fan of padel tennis, let me know where you are!

27 Comments, RSS

  1. James

    I once had a lovely time playing padel with a very charming young lady from Bs.As. Can’t remember the score, and I think a few shots just whiffed right by me for some strange reason…Anyway, when I lived there, padel was huge. Sorry to see it is declining

  2. fred

    Thank you for pointing this out. We are enthusiastic Paddle players in Chicago, are happy to know about Padel. Would love to see it someday. All racquet sports need to work hard to attract more and younger players.

  3. Nalle Grinda

    happy to see your interest in Padel!! Great comments! Fpr your info there will be sson a court in Paris as I am working with TC Pyramides to open a club in the spring! Hope you’ll join and bring friends. As for internet links go see videos on Youtube there are thousands!! or visit my web site http://www.nadimapadel.com. For info, the game is not declining, it is exploding exponentially! it only slowed down in Argentina as the Pro tour moved to Spain. Go see http://www.PadelProTour.com. If you ever come to Nice contact me and I’ll organize some nice games.

  4. Minter

    @James – romance and racquets!

    @Nalle, the nadimapadel site is brilliant. Thanks for sharing. And looking forward to joining up as soon as possible!

    @fred – maybe someone should be approaching school systems since it’s more economical at least in terms of surface…

  5. jackie

    Very interesting!! Never knew Padel was so popular. I play regularly in the states – and love it!! Hopefully the sport will continue to grow, and kids will get involved. I sell paddle clothing for ladies at paddlegirl.com

  6. A.Stamile

    Hey guys, I was one of the players in the 2008 World Padel Championships, me and my father held the tournament along with out committee board members!.. I am the only Professional Padel Coach and Trainer here in Calgary. We are trying to expand the sport of Padel as much as we can to keep it alive.. Because i think Padel will take over the Racquet World if it takes off.. If you guys are ever interested, and in Canada, we are in Alberta.. We have courts also situated in Brossard Quebec, Montreal.

    Cheers guys

  7. Minter

    @Stamile: That would be with the greatest pleasure. Hopefully, you can hook up with @Nalle Grinda who is promoting Padel over here…

  8. Excellent post about Padel!
    I am in Melbourne, we opened a Padel court here two months ago, and the response is really good. In Australia no many people knows Padel yet, but it is unbelievable to see the interest of many people for this fantastic sport. We are promoting it to see it grow as much as we can!
    If anyone comes to Melbourne you can play Padel here as well!
    If you are interested our website is “www.padelmelbourne.com.au”

  9. Sebastian Verdugo

    Hello,

    I used to play Padel a lot when I was living Chile, (4 times per week). Now I live in Montreal, Canada since two years ago and I had to forget this amazing sport because there is no courts in Montreal. It’s too sad knowing that there were a couple of courts in 2008, but they were replaced by courts of mini-golf!! I pray to find a padel court some good day in Montreal…!!!

  10. Rita Proença

    Hi there! I am going to Montreal in January and I am a regular padel player in Portugal. Do you know if some new courts have opened up? Really hope so! Thank you!

  11. Hi Minter, some great news here in Canada. I’m the president of Padel Canada and there is padel in British Columbia and Alberta. There is also a club opening in Montreal in January of 2020. Toronto area are also looking at opening a club. Please reach out to me if you need any more information.

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