As the sun casts its golden glow over the athletic courts worldwide, a new racket sport is swiftly ascending the ranks, captivating both amateurs and professionals alike
What is Padel Tennis?
Padel Tennis is a racket sport that blends the elegance of tennis with the strategic elements of squash. Played in a court with enclosed walls, the unique playing environment brings about an exciting and very distinct style of play. Like tennis, the player must hit the ball over a net and into their opponent’s half of the court, but Padel tennis allows players to hit the ball off the walls to create an exciting element of unpredictability.
Padel Tennis Origins
Padel Tennis originated in Acapulco, Mexico, in the 1960s. It was conceptualized by Enrique Corcuera, a Mexican businessman and sports enthusiast, who sought to create a game that combined the best aspects of tennis and squash. Corcuera’s innovation involved enclosing a smaller court with walls, which brought about a distinct style of play.
Padel Tennis Equipment:
Players require specialized lightweight Padel rackets – compare Padel rackets here.
The balls used are similar to tennis balls but slightly softer – compare Padel balls here.
Appropriate footwear that offers stability, grip, and agility is essential – compare Padel shoes here.
Padel Tennis Rules:
You can find a more comprehensive guide to the rules from the International Padel Federation, but to get you started, here is the rundown.
Padel Tennis is played on a smaller court, measuring approximately 20m x 10m, enclosed by glass walls and metal mesh. The glass walls surround the back and back sides of the caught, and the metal mesh sits off to the side of the net and above the walls.
The presence of walls adds an exciting dimension to the game, allowing players to utilize them strategically.
Teams & Players
It is played in teams of two (or doubles)
– The ball must be served underhand and at below waist height
– The server must bounce the ball once before hitting it
– The server must keep at least one foot on the ground during the serve
– The ball must be played diagonally across the court, pass the net and bounce in the opponent’s service box.
– If the ball hits the tip of the net and lands in the opponent’s service box, a let is called, and the serve is replayed.
Scoring and Faults
– The scoring system follows a familiar pattern to tennis of love, 15, 30, 40, and game.
– At 40,40 (also known as deuce), players must win two consecutive points to win the game.
– The winner of the set is the first team to 6 games with two games clear
– Tiebreak occurs at six games to 6 and is typically played to 7 points, with a margin of 2 points required to win.
Points are scored when the opposing team fails to return the ball within one bounce.
A fault is committed when a player fails to hit the ball into the opponent’s court, hits the ball out of bounds, fails to clear the net, or allows the ball to bounce twice.
If a fault occurs during the serve, the server gets another attempt. If the second serve also results in a fault, the opponent is awarded a point.
Use of Walls and fences
Players can hit the ball against the walls on their side of the court to return it.
Players cannot hit the ball against the mesh fences on their side to return; this is a fault.
The ball has to bounce on the opponent’s side before hitting the fence or wall.
On the service only, if the ball hits the wire fence directly after bouncing, it is a fault.
The ball can hit the side or back wall on the serve after the bounce.
Padel Techniques and Strategies
Mastering Padel Tennis involves developing techniques, including well-timed volleys, powerful smashes, and skillful drop shots. The game relies on strategic positioning and effective communication, particularly in doubles. Successful execution of techniques and teamwork can significantly influence the outcome of matches.
The Global Padel Tennis Community
Padel Tennis has a growing global community, ranging from professional players who compete in prestigious tournaments like the World Padel Tour to local clubs and social groups. The sport welcomes participants of all ages and skill levels, promoting inclusivity and a shared passion for the game.
Padel Tennis has gained recognition as a captivating racket sport that combines the best elements of tennis and squash. With its unique court design, exciting gameplay, and numerous health benefits, Padel Tennis provides an enjoyable experience for both seasoned athletes and newcomers alike. Step onto the court, embrace the challenge and immerse yourself in the world of Padel Tennis.