Padel Tennis 101 – History, Players, Rules & Tournaments of Padel

Padel Tennis Rules, History, Players and Tournaments

There are a lot of ball and bat or racket games out there on the market. Tennis is the most popular, closely followed by squash, badminton, beach tennis, table tennis, pickleball, racquetball, pop tennis, platform tennis and there is one more, paddle tennis which just to confuse you, is also known as Padel Tennis.

More about Padel’s comparisons with other sports later, but first, let’s look at bit of the history of Padel.

How did Padel Tennis Evolve?

Padel is closer to platform tennis than to any of the other games. It’s a Mexican variant of the game, one that was adapted by squash player Enrique Corcuera and his friend Alfonso, in 1969.

Enrique had a private squash court in his Acapulco home, which is in fact something we should all aspire too! Anyway, he and Alfonso, both avid sport lovers, were familiar with platform tennis and they chose to refurbish Enrique’s squash court to accommodate what they loved about platform tennis.

They made the necessary modifications and tried out the new game. It was a success!

The First Public Padel Tennis Courts

Enrique and Alfonso came up with a name for the game – Padel Tennis (not to be confused with Paddle Tennis) – and knowing that this was going to become a successful sport and a trend, they went on to build two Padel courts at a tennis club in Marbella.

These first Padel courts were built in 1974, with a couple more additions / changes, and they found the demand for the game was fantastic.

The popularity of Padel Tennis quickly grew, especially at clubs and holiday resorts, and before Eduardo and Alfonso knew it, the court and the game was being played in Argentina. It then spread to Spain where it became huge, thereafter to Portugal and all around Europe, and also, the USA.

Padel is considered to be one of the fastest growing sports around the world, with a very enthusiastic following.

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Let’s take a closer look, first at the Padel Tennis Court.

The Padel Court

  • A paddle court is rectangular in shape
  • It is 20 meters long
  • It is 10 meters wide
  • There is a net directly in the middle of the court
  • The court is completely enclosed at the back
  • The court’s side walls are partially enclosed
  • The court does have tramlines and a single’s court is 20 m x 6 m

The Padel Net

  • The net is directly in the centre of the court
  • It is 10 meters in length, the same as the width of the court
  • The height of the net in the centre is 0.88 meters
  • The height of the net on the ends is 0.92 meters

Padel Rackets

  • Padel Tennis rackets are also known as bats or padels
  • They are stringless and usually made of glass or carbon fibre
  • The surface is perforated to aid the airflow
  • A Padel Tennis racket weighs between 320 and 400 grams
  • A Padel Tennis racket is between 30 and 38 mm thick

Padel bats or racquet are easy for everyone to handle and as soon as you can hold one without dropping it, you can play Padel. This makes it a game that is accessible for all ages.

Padel Balls

These are very similar to tennis balls but are slightly lighter with less pressure to accommodate the specially designed padels.

The Rules of Padel

Padel is almost the same as tennis, except that like Platform tennis the serve is an underhand serve and the sides of the walls are used. Here is a quick synopsis of the rules:

  • Players toss the racket or spin a coin to see who serves and who receives
  • Players stand on opposite sides of the net
  • There are two players for singles, and four players for doubles
  • The game starts with a serve, into the receiver’s diagonal service box
  • The server must stand behind the base line for the serve
  • His or her foot must not land over the base line until contact with the ball has been made
  • The ball must be served underhand, bounced once before being hit
  • The ball must go over the net without a bounce
  • If the ball touches the net before going over, it is a let ball and replayed
  • The server has two attempts on each side
  • The receiver must hit the ball after one bounce
  • Thereafter the ball is in play

Once the ball is in play, forehands, backhands, volleys, smashes and lobs are all acceptable, as long as the ball stays in the court.

Games are scored as love, fifteen, thirty, forty, deuce, and advantage. Much like a normal game of tennis.

A player loses a point if:

  • He or she serves a double fault
  • If the ball is hit into the net
  • If a ball bounces twice before being played
  • If the ball is hit outside of the court or cage
  • If the ball is hit against one of the walls
  • If a player touches the ball with his body

How many games of padel tennis are played?

  • A set is won when a player reaches six games
  • The set must be won by a minimum of two games, i.e., 6/0,6/1,6/2, 6/3, 6/4 or 7/5
  • The winner must be two games ahead
  • A match is usually the best of three sets
  • The third set is a tiebreaker set

Padel Tennis Tournaments

Padel tennis is a fun game. It’s played by people of all ages, nationalities, sizes, genders and colors. It’s often found at holiday resorts and sports clubs, but it is not only about leisure. Padel tennis has a World Padel Series and a World Padel Championship, pretty much the same as the ATP and WTA of tennis.

The first World Padel Championship took place in Spain in 1992 and has since been held every three years.

The Spanish speaking countries feature hugely, especially Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, but so does England, France, Portugal, Canada and the USA. Padel, while very much embraced by those Spanish and South American countries, is growing in America.

There are tournaments and championships across the globe, including in the USA.

Just to give you an idea, some of the 2019 Padel Tennis Tournaments included:

Estrella Damm Master Final 2019
Category: Female and Male

Mexico Open 2019
Category: Male

Sao Paulo Padel Open 2019
Category: Male

Cervezas Victoria Córdoba Open 2019
Category: Female and Male

Santander Wopen 2019
Category: Female

San Javier Challenger 2019
Category: Female and Male

Estrella Damm Menorca Open 2019
Category: Female and Male

Paris Padel Challenger 2019
Category: Female and Male

Cascais Padel Master 2019
Category: Female and Male

Outeiro de Rei Challenger 2019
Category: Male

Estrella Damm Madrid Master 2019
Category: Female and Male

Cervezas Victoria Mijas Open 2019
Category: Female and Male

Estrella Damm Valencia Open 2019
Category: Female and Male

Euro Finans Swedish Padel Open 2019
Category: Female and Male

Valladolid Master 2019
Category: Female and Male

Buenos Aires Padel Master 2019
Category: Male

Alisea Ledus Jaén Open 2019
Category: Female and Male

Vigo Open 2019
Category: Female and Male

Estrella Damm Alicante Open 2019
Category: Female and Male

Logroño Open 2019
Category: Female and Male

Cervezas Victoria Marbella Master 2019
Category: Female and Male

We’ll keep an eye on the 2020 Padel Tournaments and Championships for you and you can check back here at a later state. In the meantime, watch a couple of videos to learn how to play the game, find a Padel Tennis Court near you, buy a padel and a ball and go and have fun!

Who are some of the best Padel players in the world?

Men’s Padel Players

Francisco Navarro Compán, Juan Lebrón Chincoa, Alejandro Galán Romo, Carlos Daniel Gutiérrez, Maximiliano Sánchez, Pablo Lima, Fernando Belasteguín, Agustín Tapia

Out of all the male player it is Francisco Navarro Compán who stands out at number one, with 15 consecutive wins and by winning a total of 48 out of his 60 matches for 2019.

Women’s Padel Players

Alejandra Salazar Bengoechea, Ariana Sánchez Fallada, Ma José Sánchez Alayeto, Ana Catarina Nogueira, Paula Josemaría Martín, Gemma Triay Pons, Lucía Sainz Pelegri, Elisabet Amatriaín Armas

Out of all these female players, it is Alejandra Salazar Bengoechea who stands out at number one, having won 44 of her 52 matches in 2019, with 16 consecutive wins.

Stan Boone

I am the editor of Racket Sports World. I love my tennis, pickleball and most of the other racket sports played around the world and started this blog as my way to help other racquet sports fans even as I learn, explore and improve by connecting with them. Tweet at

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