Padel or Padel Tennis as it’s known in some countries is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It has always been very popular sport in Spain where it’s estimated that padel is played by between six to 10 million Spaniards, compared to around 200,000 who actively play tennis
The World Padel Tour (WPT) is the most important professional padel championship in the world, both for the organisational level of the tournaments and for the participation of the best international players. It’s the equivalent of the ATP World Tour or WTA in tennis.
The 2019 World Padel Tour consists of 19 different tournaments, 13 of which are played around Spain, 1 in Sweden, 1 in Mexico, 1 in Portugal, 1 in Argentina and 1 in England. The tour starts with the Marbella Masters in March and ends with the Final Masters in Barcelona in December.
The current top ranked players are:
Carlos Daniel Gutiérrez – Argentina
Maximiliano Sanchez – Argentina
Ma Jose Sanchez Alayeto- Spain
Ma Pilar Sanchez Alayeto – Spain
Padel is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court a third the size of a tennis court. Scoring is the same as normal tennis and the balls used are similar but with a little less pressure. The main differences are that the court has walls and the balls can be played off them in a similar way as in the game of squash and that solid, stringless racquets are used. The height of the ball being served must be at or below the waist level.
Padel Tennis at the Olympics
According to the website of Padel Olympic Sport, in order for a sport to be included in the Olympic Games the International Olympic Committee states that it has to be played on all continents, or failing that, that it is played in a specified number of countries. With the rise of padel tennis across the world, the website suggests that Padel already fully satisfies these requirements so maybe the sport is not too far away from becoming recognised!
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