It is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK, but is padel tennis a threat?
That question has been asked time and time again as the sport, so popular in Spain and Argentina, begins to gain a real foothold in Britain.
Padel is a hybrid between tennis and squash, a fast-paced, social racket sport, with the court surrounded by a glass wall, which is a cross between tennis and squash.
Hundreds of paddle courts have been installed over the past two years and more are coming in the second half of 2023.
The question is whether padel, a sport that has many similarities to tennis, is a threat to the popularity of the traditional court game as it grows in popularity at a rapid pace.
Some clubs are taking tennis courts out of the mix and replacing them with paddle courts, but former British No.1 Andrew Castle suggests the two sports complement each other.
Castle told Tennis365 at the Game4Padel event in London that he doesn’t see how padel is a threat to tennis in any way, as they prepare to open new padel courts. Virgin Active Chiswick Riverside Club.
“Both have their own merits and should not be seen as rivals in any way.
“I remember being asked years ago about the comparison between squash and tennis, and those two sports go hand in hand.
If we are looking to drive membership to tennis clubs and if they can do that by offering paddles as part of their package, it would be great for both sports.
We want more people to come through the door and the driver for that padel, I don’t see that as a negative in any way.
“Paddle is good fun and people who like tennis still want to play that sport. They might also want to play paddle.
“If you’re a racquet club and you don’t have paddles to go forward, I think you’re going to fall behind. That’s what clubs have to have.”
Castle went on to point out that padel’s accessibility to all levels of players will help build its growth in the years to come.
“It’s easy to get good at paddle fast,” he added. Socially with your friends, not at the level where top players work.
“You can enjoy a four-position in Paddle and rally immediately. In tennis, it’s a little harder to do that because it’s a very difficult sport to learn.
“Good luck to those who decide on the next issue for padel in the UK, but I look at what Game4Padel are doing when they install more courts and it’s clear that there is real motivation behind it.
“I’m not too worried about the end of Paddle as I see this as a game where you hang out with your friends and have a couple of beers.
“If I play this game, I feel like I’m going through the spine because it’s great exercise and, above all, it’s fun.”
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