From tennis to padel - pros that made the switch
Tennis has been called a gateway to padel by pro and amateurs alike. While the walled-in game shares roots with the world’s oldest racket sport, the differences among the two have led pros of the larger court towards making the indefinite switch
You’d be hard-pressed to keep track of the amount of male and female players that found their passion for padel post or even during a successful tennis career. Most padel pros today started their journey on the ATP or WTA and claim they’ve converted to avoid injury and bring back the fun. Padel players have a smaller area to cover on their court, meaning less physical demand than tennis. Since padel is commonly played in doubles, athletes can enjoy the sport with more people than in tennis- which is popularly known for its high-intensity singles matches.
Top professionals currently playing both fields are Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokvic, Gaël Monfils. As an investment in the growth of the sport, Nadal opened a padel academy in his hometown of Manacor in Mallorca, Spain. On the female circuit, former tennis stars Marta Marrero, Pilar and Maria Jose Sanchez Alayeto have also hung up their gridded rackets for padel. With more ex-WTA players in padel than men, most of today’s top-ranked female players have entered the glassed-in court after a successful tennis career.
Retired players are also known to find their second wind in padel. In 2018, Argentinian ATP pro, Daniel Nalbandian made his debut on the professional circuit at the Open 300 with a smashing victory against Mauro Plenasio and Ezequiel Ojeda. Guiellermo Canas and Juan Carlos Ferrero have also converted and have been known to play on World Padel Tour tournaments over the past few years.
It’s no secret that tennis can open the gates to padel, however its distinctive rules don’t make for a seamless crossover. Padel requires a strategic approach and discipline in order not to resort back to ingrained tennis moves in the 20x10. With key adjustments like the use of the walls and excellent partner coordination, you’re bound to have more fun and you may even find that you’re better at padel. Make the move from tennis by stepping on Stockholm city’s first and only rooftop padel courts at NK Social & Padel by Ascaro.