What is Padel Tennis?
Padel tennis, often referred to simply as padel, is a racquet sport that originated in Mexico in the 1960s. It is now popular in many countries, particularly in Spain and Latin America and its popularity is fast growing in the UK with padel courts popping up all over the country. Padel is a combination of tennis and squash, with elements of other racquet sports as well.
Court and Equipment
Padel is played on a court that measures 20 metres in length and 10 metres in width, which is smaller than a traditional tennis court. The court is enclosed by walls made of glass or mesh, and the walls are considered part of the playing area. The surface is usually artificial grass or artificial turf.
Players use solid paddles, similar to platform tennis paddles, and the balls used are pressurised and have a lower bounce than regular tennis balls.
Padel is typically played in doubles, with two players on each team. The scoring system is the same as tennis, with points awarded as follows: 15, 30, 40, and game. However, padel also uses a no-ad scoring system, meaning that when the score is tied at 40-40 (deuce), the next point decides the game.
Predominantly, but not exclusively, played as doubles, the game begins with an underhand serve that must bounce once before being hit by the receiver. After the serve, the ball can be played off the walls, similar to squash. Players must let the ball bounce on their side of the court before hitting it. The game is characterised by quick and dynamic rallies, with players using the walls to angle shots and create strategic plays. Padel is known for its social and inclusive nature, making it a popular sport for players of all ages and skill levels.
Differences from Tennis
Compared to tennis, padel has some distinct differences. The court is smaller, and the use of walls adds a unique element to the gameplay. Tennis is a physically demanding sport that requires endurance and quick bursts of energy. Getting fit enough to play tennis involves a combination of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. Training with weights is a great way to develop strength in the legs, upper body and core whilst running, cycling and using a rowing machine will improve your overall stamina and cardiovascular health. Padel is also less physically demanding than tennis, as it requires less running and lateral movement. This makes it a great option for players of all fitness levels. However, the fitter and stronger you are, the better you game results will be.
In recent years, padel has experienced significant growth worldwide, with more courts being built and an increasing number of people taking up the sport. Its accessibility, fun gameplay, and social aspects have contributed to its popularity in various regions around the world.