Pro pádel on the Costa del Sol
Besides a huge amateur following, there has always been a strong presence of professional-level pádel on the Costa del Sol, drawing vast crowds to watch the high-tempo doubles game.
In 2019, this is truer than ever, with not one but two World Padel Tour tournaments being held in Málaga province.
The first of these is the season-opening Cervezas Victoria Marbella Master, which starts this Saturday 16th March and runs until Sunday 24th March at the Elena Benítez Sports Pavilion in San Pedro, just west of Marbella.
The second such championship is the Mijas Open 2019 from 5th to 11th August, whose show court at last year’s event was on the fairground in La Cala de Mijas and was very well attended indeed (the total number of spectators was around 20,000 for the five-day tournament!).
Cervezas Victoria Marbella Master
The Cervezas Victoria Marbella Master 2019 features both a men’s and a women’s tournament, with as many as 100 men’s and 56 women’s pairings signed up to battle it out on one of the two purpose-built 10mx20m pádel tennis cages in San Pedro’s municipal sports centre.
The first three days of the event are reserved for qualifying, with the main draw matches starting next Tuesday 19th March and culminating in both finals the following Sunday from around lunchtime.
The prize they’ll be competing for is the San Pedro Alcántara Trophy, as well as a payday that gets better every year as the profile of the sport improves and bigger sponsors are attracted.
That said, you can see all the action live for as little as €6 during the week and €12 for the crunch games at the weekend by booking your tickets online1 in advance.
Unfamiliar with pádel?
Extremely simplistically, pádel – or paddle tennis, in its anglicised form – is the answer to the question, “What do you get if you put a short tennis and a squash court together and mix the rules up a little bit?”.
It's a really sociable game that's relatively easy to pick up, especially if you have a background in racquet sports and have decent coordination, and pádel fever has spread to all corners of the world over the last few years.
I wrote a blog article last summer about the Mijas Open 2018, which explains how to play, the game’s origins and popularity, plus a link to an instructional video for those keen to try out the sport. Check it out here.
Have you played (or watched) pádel before? If you want more information about the sport or want to share a meet-up – or if you can recommend the best places to play pádel on the Costa del Sol – please leave me a comment below!