T: Padel tennis is a sports discipline for fans of games with a racket
D: Let’s find out what Padel tennis is, how to play it, what its basic rules are, its advantages, and how it came to be.
Padel is a mixture of tennis, ping-pong, and squash. From the first, he took the court with a center-stretched net and the principle of scoring; from the second “bottom” serve and rackets (they certainly differ in size and design, but in the direction of the game, they most resemble ping-pong), and from the third wall.
This sport is loved as much as the games at Bollywood casino. Its popularity can be compared to the slot Crazy Time Live by Evolution Gaming, because only connoisseurs will appreciate it. The club of padel fans includes the English “Liverpool” coach, Jurgen Klopp, and footballers Francesco Totti and Zlatan Ibrahimovich. The latter has become so enthusiastic about the sport that he has built five centers for padel in major cities in his native Sweden.
The result of the symbiosis of squash, big, beach, and table tennis. Now let’s explain how it came about.
The history of padel tennis began in 1969. Then, according to a legend, the Mexican millionaire Enrique Corker bought a mansion in Acapulco. He was going to live there with his wife Vivian, who loved to play tennis, and was very upset to learn that the new place had no court.
- Big tennis. Corker couldn’t have built a benchmark playground if he wanted to – the terrain didn’t allow it. But he needed clarification and ordered to make an analog of a tennis court on the site – only three times smaller. So courts for padel with the size of 20×10 m appeared. Modern courts with artificial grass are often sprinkled with sand. At the same time, it improves traction with shoes and prevents the growth of fungi that appear because of moisture. Sand also reduces the harmful effects on athletes’ knees and ankles. There’s also a ball left over from tennis in the padel.
- Squash. To prevent lush vegetation from interfering with the game, the court was enclosed by four-meter walls of durable glass, as in squash.
- Beach tennis. Corker borrowed one more critical element – rackets – from beach tennis. Back then, they were wooden and resembled paddles. Hence the name. Nowadays, padel racquets are made of foam materials with a perforated coating. It weighs an average of 360-380 grams.
- Table tennis. The manner of serving in padel is lower, like in ping-pong. The first to actively promote padel was Corker’s friend, the Spanish entrepreneur Alfonso de Hohenlohe. In 1974, he visited the millionaire, played padel, and fell in love with the game. Back in Spain, Alfonso built two courts at once on the grounds of the prestigious Marbella Club Hotel. From then on, the accidentally created racquet sport began to gain popularity. Over half a century of existence, padel has been played by millions of people and was recently included in the III European Olympic Games program, to be held in Krakow in 2023.
Padel is a very dynamic game. The ball’s flight is shorter and more unpredictable because four players and walls surround them. So the ball can suddenly change direction, and you must watch the tactics and geometry. Besides, learning how to play is very, very easy. In tennis, you have to get in front of the ball correctly and watch the spin, the strings. In padel, you can pick up a racket and play – at first, on a primitive level, but some things will work out right away.
Padel is a game for active people of almost any age. Children can play from five to six years, using special lightweight racquets. Regular exercise Padel leads to improved health – activates the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, improves metabolism, and trains the vestibular system. Padel is good for your health because a person spends as many calories as an entire gym session in one game.
Padel develops attention, logic, and reaction. During the game, you must move quickly to repel your opponent’s serve and promptly think about where to send the projectile.
Such activity makes padel a great cardio workout – amateurs spend 300-700 kcal in one session, professionals – 2-3 thousand kcal.
Power and strength do not always win in padel, which makes it different from tennis. Tactics, chess thinking, and teamwork are in the first place here. The winner is the one who sees the location of his opponents better and understands where to play .
The basic rules of padel tennis:
- Teams of two are on their side of the court.
- The side or serve players play by drawing lots. The winners can choose a side or serve – the opponent gets what’s left.
- It is possible to play from the sidelines and backstops. If the receiving player or his partner touches the ball with a racket before the ball’s first bounce from the court, the point goes to the serving side.
The principle of scoring in padel is the same as in tennis. The goal is to defeat your opponent in a match that lasts until you win in two sets. Sets consist of games. If one group is won by one pair and the second by their rivals, a third – decisive – set is played.
The first point won in a game is 15, the second is 30, and the third is 40. Winning the fourth point gives you victory in the game. The table shows the serving side’s moments before the colon and the receiving side’s issues after the colon. For example, if the score is 30:15, then the server wins.
At the score, 40:40 points are played, which are called “more – less. The team that wins the next point gets the advantage (“more”) and wins the game. But if the opponent wins, the win is annulled, and the score goes back to 40-40. So it will continue until one of the pairs wins two points in a row.
Also, amateur and professional tournaments sometimes do not use points “more or less.” Then when the score is 40:40 in a game, a decisive moment, or a golden point, is played immediately.
The ball in the panel is the same as a tennis ball but a little softer and smaller. There are rules about how much pressure should be applied, but if you are playing at an amateur level, it is best to play with a regular tennis ball.
A padel tennis racket differs from a tennis racket and visually resembles an enormous table tennis racket. However, it looks thicker, is more resilient, and due to the small holes, it is pretty lightweight. The safety attribute both for the owner of a racket and for an opponent is a unique string on which a racket is kept and which is put on the hand. The thickness of the racket should be 38 mm, and the surface for hitting – should be 26-29 cm.
Glass walls are always part of the game, but there are some rules for using them. When you are going to hit a ball, you can let it bounce off the glass wall after it has bounced off the ground, then the ball is still in play. You can also use your glass wall to bounce the ball back, which can be helpful if you are in a sticky situation. The net can only kick the ball back when you receive the ball. A ball counts in play if it first bounces off the ground and then bounces off the net (this does not apply to serving). If you hit the ball into the net on your side, you lose the ball. The rule itself is that you can only use the glass wall. If the ball hits directly into your opponent’s net/glass, that is, it doesn’t bounce off the ground first; the ball is counted as a touch.