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Discovering Padel: Unveiling the Sport's History and Basics

April 25, 2024 3 min read
Discovering Padel: Unveiling the Sport's History and Basics Discovering Padel: Unveiling the Sport's History and Basics

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    Welcome to the thrilling world of padel tennis! In this series of articles, we'll explore everything you need to know about this dynamic sport, from its fascinating origins and fundamental rules to its rapidly expanding popularity on a global scale.

    Padel tennis, often referred to simply as padel or paddle, is a racquet sport that combines elements of tennis and squash. It is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court about a third the size of a traditional tennis court, complete with a net dividing the sides and glass walls around it. You can use the walls to play the ball strategically and score points. Padel offers a unique and engaging experience for players of all ages and skill levels, making it accessible and enjoyable for everyone. You just need a teammate, essential gear, a court, and you're ready to start!

    The Origin of Padel

    Padel traces its roots back to a lesser-known variation of enclosed tennis called 'platform tennis'. In the 19th century, travelers aboard British cruise ships played a similar game with tennis rackets. By the 1910s, 'platform tennis' gained traction in Washington and New York, featuring paddles instead of traditional tennis rackets.

    Subsequently, adjustments were made to the courts in the following decade. This involved installing wooden floors and tall surrounding fences to prevent the ball from getting lost in the winter snow.

    In 1969, Enrique Corcuera embarked on transforming his squash court at his residence in Acapulco, Mexico, incorporating elements of Platform Tennis to create what he termed "Paddle Corcuera". Enrique Corcuera is considered the inventor of Padel.

    Captivated by the new idea, Enrique's friend from Spain, Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, tried it out at Enrique's place and quickly became a fan. In 1974, he set up the first two Padel courts at a tennis club in Marbella, Spain, making some tweaks to make the game more competitive. This marked the beginning of many changes that Padel would undergo in Spain over the next twenty years.

    In 1975, Julio Menditeguy, an Argentine member of Alfonso's Marbella tennis club, shared the same enthusiasm and endeavored to introduce the sport to Argentina.

    Modern History of Padel

    Moving into modern times, Padel gradually spread across Spain over about 25 years. The International Paddle Federation was established in 1991, and the inaugural world championships took place in 1992 across Madrid and Seville.

    Recognition of padel as a sport by the Sports Council of Spain occurred in 1993, prompting a change in its spelling to "padel" for phonetic clarity in Spanish.

    By 2005, Padel had become deeply ingrained in Spanish sports culture, with more than 1,000 clubs across the country. This led major Padel associations to join forces and create an international championship known as the Padel Pro Tour, which was held exclusively in Spain until 2012, evolving into the ongoing World Padel Tour in 2013, featuring events held globally.

    When Was Padel first Introduced in Britain?

    In 1992, the British Paddle Association emerged, comprising enthusiastic British expatriates eager to compete in the 1992 World Paddle Championships.

    Since its inception, the sport has steadily gained traction throughout Britain. In 2019, the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) announced the integration of British Padel into its daily operations.

    Recent Developments in the Sport

    In recent years, Padel has skyrocketed in popularity, becoming one of the fastest-growing sports globally. This surge was highlighted in a feature by The Telegraph. Over the last decade, the sport has seen an incredible rise, with a whopping 10,000 new Padel courts and 3,000 new clubs popping up, averaging almost 29 new clubs every week.

    Padel has become a major player in countries like Spain, Italy, Sweden, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Portugal, and its popularity is spreading to places like the Middle East. Combining accessibility, social interaction, and physical fitness, Padel has captured the hearts of many, firmly establishing itself as a significant force in the world of sports.

     

    In conclusion, padel tennis is a dynamic and thrilling sport that continues to gain popularity around the world. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a beginner looking for a new hobby, Padel offers something for everyone. Stay tuned for the next article in our Padel series!

     

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    Source:
    - LTA Tennis for Britain (2022): What is the history of padel?, Link: https://www.lta.org.uk/news/what-is-the-history-of-padel/
    - Padel AC: History of Padel, Link: https://www.padel.ac/history-of-padel

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