The Harbour Membership Chelsea welcomed the highest padel tennis gamers within the nation to compete within the inaugural Dwelling of Padel Professional event on the Could Day Financial institution Vacation.
The knockout competitors, organised by GB captain John Leach, concerned eight doubles pairs combating to be topped champions and to take residence a trophy and money prize.
HOP Professional Padel Competitors involves South West LondonSouth West London’s very personal Chris Salisbury proved victorious alongside associate Rafa Vega, overcoming GB’s Number one Jorge Martinez and Alfonso Patacho within the closing.
Salisbury is brother of tennis doubles star Joe Salisbury who’s present US Doubles Champion alongside Rajeev Ram.
HOP Professional Champions Salisbury and Vega Picture Credit score: John LeachWhat is padel?
Padel is a quick paced and enjoyable model of tennis. It’s performed primarily in doubles in an enclosed court docket round a 3rd of the dimensions of a traditional tennis court docket.
The sport is among the quickest rising sports activities in Europe, with Spain essentially the most dominant power.
4 of the highest ten male gamers are Spanish.
What are the principles?
The principles are broadly just like tennis, nevertheless gamers serve underarm and the partitions are a part of the sport.
It’s performed with a padel which has no strings as an alternative of a racquet.
These changes from tennis make it an all motion sport with loads of smashes, volleys and lengthy rallies.
The place does it originate from?
The game originated in Mexico in 1969 after which unfold throughout Latin America and Iberia.
Padel has steadily grown since 1992 when a bunch of British expats arrange the British Padel Affiliation so they might compete within the 1992 World Padel Championships.
How in style is it?
Curiosity over time for tennis, padel, squash and badminton in the UK Knowledge Credit score: Google TrendsPadel is a rising sport in the UK but it surely nonetheless lags in recognition behind different racquet sports activities.
The information reveals curiosity over time for tennis, padel, badminton and squash and it’s clear that the previous is by far the preferred of those sports activities.
Padel is the least in style while squash is marginally extra in style than badminton, though the hole between the 2 is closing.
For comparability, the information under reveals curiosity over time for padel and tennis in Spain, the place each are in style.
Curiosity over time for tennis and padel in Spain Knowledge Credit score: Google TrendsFrom 2004 to the current, the 2 sports activities have continued to modify as the preferred.
There are an estimated six million energetic padel gamers in Spain in comparison with 89,000 within the UK.
Who dominates the game?
On the elite stage, Spain is essentially the most dominant power.
The nation has essentially the most quantity of gamers within the high 100 rankings of the World Padel Tour for each women and men with 73 and 72 respectively.
Argentina has the second most gamers within the high 100 for the boys’s sport and Italy has the second most for the ladies’s sport.
World Padel Tour: Variety of High 100 Padel gamers (male) by nation Knowledge as of 10/05/2022Only eight nations are represented within the rankings for male padel and 9 are represented for feminine padel.
The UK doesn’t have a male or feminine participant within the high 100.
World Padel Tour: Variety of High 100 Padel gamers (feminine) by nation Knowledge as of 10/05/2022What do the consultants say?
John Leach has skilled the expansion of padel within the UK first hand, first as GB captain and now as GB coach.
He can solely see the game rising additional as individuals grow to be extra conscious of it and play for themselves.
He mentioned: “I’ve been concerned in padel since 2009, I began taking part in then and there weren’t that many individuals taking part in.
“What I’ve actually seen within the final couple of years is that padel is booming within the UK. It’s of giant curiosity now.
“Participation figures are flying, everyone is changing into conscious and desirous to get on court docket.
“It’s actually why the Dwelling of Padel was arrange, we need to present one other platform for gamers to compete.
“Now we have a professional tour which is for the most effective stage within the UK and we even have an beginner tour which goals to get extra individuals taking part in padel.”
The gamers have been fast to reward the HOP Professional Competitors for offering the kind of video games they should enhance.
Salisbury mentioned: “Competitions are actually necessary, if you wish to play at a great stage then it’s important to play in opposition to the opposite greatest gamers.”
Whereas, Martinez added: “The HOP Professional Competitors was superb. We had drinks, towels and every little thing we wanted.”
Function Picture Credit score: John Leach