Padel is a racket sport played by four players on a 10 by 20 metre court with a three metre high grid on the sides and four metre high walls at the back of the court.
The material is simple: a perforated graphite or carbon racket most often, and balls similar to tennis balls, they are a little less inflated. The score is like tennis 15, 30, 40 and is played in two winning sets of six games.
HISTORY OF PADEL
The padel began its conquest by Spain. Padel’s first club was founded in Marbella in Andalusia, in the south of the country. However, padel was born in the 1970s in Acapulco, Mexico, when Alfonso de Hohenlohe, a Spanish prince visited his friend Enrique Corcuera, a Mexican industrialist, who had built a mini-tennis court in his house. Seduced Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe by this new sport, he built a padel tennis court at his home in Marbella, Spain. Manuel Santana, a former Wimbledon and Roland Garros winner, is attracted to the Padel and participates in a tournament in Andalusia. This favoured the expansion of padel as a new racket sport in Spain and Latin America in the 1980s, so much so that it became one of the most popular sports in Spain (between three and four million players) Jose Maria Aznar, the former prime minister, played it.
PADEL IN THE WORLD
In 2014, Spain had 2.3 million frequent practitioners of which 52% practise all week. With the occasional players we have 3 million players (62% are men and 38% are women), that is 5% of the Spanish population. Almost all Spanish cities now have a padel court. It is clear that its popularity will increase rapidly throughout Europe. Some tennis clubs in the south of France have already integrated padel as in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy or Portugal. England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland have also taken the step. Like tennis, padel tennis can be played in all climates, indoors or outdoors. A large number of tourists to Spain (65 million a year) have discovered this marvellous sport, a sport with a future, and they want to play it again in their home country.