According to the International Padel Association, Padel is played in 90 countries with 43 national federations and 18 million players worldwide. However, Sweden out-shines all countries, becoming the fastest growing sport among fellow EU nations.
With over 10 years as an established sport, the official Swedish association started in 2010. Home to 500,000 players today, padel has been completely adopted and played almost religiously by the Swedes. From corporate companies renting out courts to an intense afterwork match with friends, padel has truly taken over the population.
Conditions in EU's third largest country, make for great practice and incredibly dedicated athletes. Along with the Swedish pro players climbing up WPT ranks, there have been sweeping endorsements by celebrity a-listers like football star, Zaltan Ibrahimović, which contributed to padel’s widespread fascination.
Many Swedish professionals, like the talented Baharak Soleymani, have crossed over from racket sports like tennis or squash and bear an initial challenge when stepping onto the 20x10. By making a few key adjustments to their approach and learning how to use the walls to their advantage, they’re quickly able to transform into powerful padel players.
While it may be a while before we see the Swedes ranking on the top ten World Padel Tour, that doesn’t mean they’re far behind. Spanish pros are stepping on Swedish courts and noticing an incredible potential among players. European and South American teams also have their eye on the north thanks to the many nordic players that have established themselves in the south.
With as many padel courts as there are tennis courts, amateur players are growing in heaps. Fully booked clubs and latest sleek padel fashion are today’s norm on the streets of Sweden’s largest cities. Stockholm is now home to the most exclusive padel court in the country. Located on the rooftop of luxury fashion department store NK, boasting stunning 360 views and a full service bar and restaurant, NK Social & Padel by Ascaro is catering to some of the country’s most elite padel players.
This continued trajectory and nation-wide interest, holds a promising future for padel becoming the preferred sport in Sweden. Additionally, in the pro league, there is no doubt that professional players are starting to take the lead in the official World Padel Tour race.