Currently 24th in the ranking of World Padel Tour, Alix Collombon, the French number 1, explains to us how the South America tour.
Three weeks at the hotel
I will spend three weeks there. The first in Argentina in La Rioja, then in Chile in Santiago and finally in Paraguay in Asunción. I will be staying at the hotel for the duration. Regarding nutrition, I have a nutritionist who gave me a short program for these three weeks, knowing that I can contact her at any time if I ever have any questions or needs. But that doesn't change for the rest of the season.
One hotel for all players
Generally we are not separated, the girls and boys are in the same hotel. Sometimes, when the hotel isn't big enough or there aren't enough rooms, girls and boys are separated, but that's still rare.
Good relationships between teammates
There are not many French people but you get used to it very quickly. Casually, I'm quite used to this configuration. There, I know that there is Léa (Godallier) so I think that we will spend a lot of time together over these three weeks. Afterwards, we also spend a lot of time with all the other players since Léa and I get along very well with a lot of people.
Taking advantage of moments off is also important
Since these are three consecutive tournaments in South America, we will not be returning between tournaments if only because of the cost of plane tickets. But also because of the fatigue that could be generated by so many trips, so we stay put. We still hope to lose as late as possible to have the least waiting time between two competitions.
Obviously, when we lose, we plan training whether indoors or on the field. We also watch the matches and maybe there, we will make some visits to discover a little of the cities where we will go. You also have to know how to take advantage of the little moments off, I think it's very important.
Juan Alday will not be on the move
Generally, I always go with my coach but the American tour is quite expensive so for these three tournaments, he will not be on the trip. But actually when he is there, the costs are borne by the players and the pairs he will coach. From that moment, we divide the costs on all the costs that there may be concerning it.
A large budget
All travel - in other words plane tickets - is entirely the responsibility of the players. We have the hotel which is taken care of on site and the food. Knowing that as far as the hotel is concerned, over these three weeks, we will have, it seems to me, only four nights which will be at our expense. But otherwise everything else, be it food and all other hotel nights, is taken care of by the World Padel Tour.
A tour like this is expensive in airfare. For three weeks, there are nearly 2500 euros worth of plane tickets, not counting the hotel nights that we will have to pay on the spot. Certainly only three or four as I said, but that's still more nights. We have the outward flight to Argentina, the return flight from Paraguay and then we have the flights from Argentina to Chile, and from Chile to Paraguay so that makes a good ticket for the trip. This is the first time that a tour will be so expensive for the players, and the pairs that will lose in the first or second round will come back as a negative from this tour financially speaking.
More pressure? Not necessarily !
I don't see it as an additional pressure of having to play absolutely well because it's expensive. In the end, I have this pressure all year because I want to do the best possible result all the time. Admittedly, this is a tour where we lose more money than usual, but that's also part of the game. We also need that so that the padel is evolving and we may be in a year of transition where players will have to grit their teeth a little bit. It's like that and you have to go through it. But afterwards, it's true that if we win matches and we come back at least by covering our costs, even positively, we will be very happy.
I would have preferred my coach to be with us
For those who don't know, the circuit or the brands do not cover the costs of the coaches, it is exclusively the responsibility of the players. It's hard to say how much a coach costs per month if you count the training sessions, if he travels to tournaments, you have to count the coaching sessions, in addition to the costs. It depends on how many pairs the coach has and a lot of other factors. It's difficult to come up with a price like that, but on a tour like this for example, it can be a good ticket in addition. That's why we won't have a coach on this tour, although I would obviously have preferred him to be with us...
What a pleasure to be a journalist in the middle of the padel, an attractive growing sport. I hope you enjoy the content offered. See you soon perhaps on the slopes!