How Was Padel Born?
The story of padel starts in Acapulco, Mexico, in the late 1960s at the hands of Enrique Corcuera. He started it by making a court in his home using brick walls. The court idea was taken from squash and added to tennis. Enrique decided to give a name to his court, which is known as Paddle Corcuera.
Viviana Corcuera: “My husband is the inventor of padel.”
Enrique got the idea of creating high walls for the padel court to keep the ball inside his property. Because whenever the ball goes into the neighbor’s property, it slows the game and causes disturbance. But later on, Enrique started using the walls as a part of the game. The lot that Enrique used to make the court was 20×10 meters. The court was designed for four players to play inside the court at the same time, just like double tennis.
How Padel Reached to Spain?
Enrique used to invite his wealthy friends to come and play at the Paddle Corcuera. One of his friends, Alfonso De Hohenlohe from Spain, got attached to this sport very deeply on his visit to Enrique’s house in the 1970s. He started to make additions to the gameplay to give it a more competitive look. As soon as he came back to Spain, he started playing the same game with his friends. He started doing this by making two padel courts on his property.
Later, famous personalities like Juan Carlos (Spanish royal), Wimbledon champion Manolo Santana, and Jose Maria Aznar (former prime minister) started supporting this game. Today, this sport has already reduced the importance of tennis in the country. Its importance is going almost side by side with soccer. Professional padel players of this country are dominating the world championships right now.
The Arrival of Padel Tennis in Argentina
In 1969, Argentina got the introduction to padel tennis by a friend of Alfonso, Julio Menditengui. He became addicted to this game when Alfonso invited him to his courts to play it. After that, Julio went back to the country with the thought of popularizing the sport in Argentina. In the same year, Julio invented the first camps for padel at Ocean Club Mar de le Plata and Club Tortugas. Later, the sport reached Marbella Hotel Club, which remained a sport for rich people for 10 years.
In 1982, the growth of padel in Argentina officially began as a social phenomenon. The first official padel court was invented in Buenos Aires and named San Juan Tennis Club. That club has 8 padel courts in the beginning. But after the suggestions from Aubone Brothers, only two paddle courts were added to the club. Later on, The San Juan Tennis Club became the reason for the popularity of padel in Argentina.
Padel Park Dubai
Padel came to Dubai in 2013 when Sheikh Hamdan (The Crown Prince of Dubai) ordered two padel courts for his NAS Sports Complex. On those courts, the sport got its fame among members of the country’s tennis federation. Sheikh Hamdan played an essential role in the fame of the padel by uploading videos and photos of him playing the game.
Padel got approval in June 2019 when the UAE Sports Ministry gave it a recognition degree. Later that year, UAE Padel Association came into existence, and Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum was its president.
One of the other things you need to know about padel is that now padel courts can be found all over Dubai. They are primarily in places like JLT, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Al Quoz, Kite Beach, and Ripe Market. There are over 400 padel courts and almost 6,000 players present in Dubai.
Importance of Padel in the Current Era
In the last 25 years, padel tennis has come a long way. Its popularity is increasing day by day, and today more than 18 million players are playing this game all across the world. Not just this, there are over 4000 padel clubs in the world, and the numbers keep growing.
Padel has spread across European countries like Sweden, Germany, and Finland. The only thing that is lacking right now is the proper media coverage from big sports media outlets, which will indeed be covered in the coming years.