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Although padel is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, many people still call it “paddle tennis”. Let’s take a look at how padel became one of the most popular sports in the world!
Padel, platform tennis and paddle tennis
It seems that it all started at the end of the 19th century when the transatlantic companies decided to build small tennis courts in the holds to occupy the passengers during long voyages. Three hundred years later, this led to the creation of two sports that partly share their rules and equipment with tennis: platform tennis and paddle tennis. Let’s talk about the latter.
In the United States, in the early 20th century, Franck Beal reduced the size of the tennis court by half and brought in a smaller ball and a wooden racket. The sport became very popular in the United States, and a federation called USPTAC was created.
More than forty years later, in 1969, Mexican Enrique Corcuera invented a new sport called paddle tennis by building the first court in his house. Because he didn’t have room for a full tennis court, he decided to make it smaller. As he was tired of plants invading his court and also tired of losing balls, he built concrete walls around his small tennis court. That is how it started for a sport that is now played by millions of people all over the world! So we can say that the game was originally called Padel Corcuera or Paddle Tennis, as we know it today and call it Padel.
Padel or paddle; Its creation, growth and consecration
The second country to practice padel was Spain, where it arrived thanks to Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe. He built two courts in 1968 in the Marbella Club Hotel, shortly after having shared several summers in the Port of Acapulco with Corcuera, where he had the opportunity to play. With the main characteristics, he built a similar court, with some modifications and partially integrated wire instead of the concrete side walls. The Club Puerta de Hierro in Madrid opened its first courts a few years later in the famous residential area La Moraleja.
From then on, passing from one country to another through friends, business people and the jet set in general, Padel arrived in Argentina in 1969. In those years, Marbella was receiving sophisticated tourism from all over the world, and some Argentinians were regular visitors, where they got to know and play Padel. It did not take them long to build the first padel courts in Argentina.
Padel is now the second most popular sport in Spain. The World Padel Tour 2022 was played in Marbella.