Alix Collombon is starting a new adventure in 2023. And for sure, his ambition remains the same: to be one of the 8 best pairs in the world in 2023. But it will be with Carla Mesa and not with Jessica Castello.

Carla Mesa is the 22nd player in the ranking of the World Padel Tour, two ranks better than Alix Collombon (24th). In the end, if this separation with Jessica Castello was not necessarily planned in the program, the Frenchwoman managed to join forces with a world-class partner who gives hope for the best for the Franco-Spanish pair in 2023.

Alix tells us about this episode. (the filmed interview)

“Separations are part of the life of players”

We knew it could happen at the end of the year with Jessica. Above all, we had a good second half of the season.

But sometimes it doesn't necessarily depend on us but on the players above in the standings. And that's just what happened with Jess.

We always said that if there was an opportunity for one or the other, the separation was possible. And that's what happened, as Jess had an opportunity to play with a higher ranked player.

At the time it's always strange, but it's professional life that wants it.

I understand that it sounds strange, but the separations are part of the life of the players.

But in reality, I think it's a blessing in disguise. I think that this separation can allow us to cross a level and to reach the Master Final, her like me, but separately.

Jessica Castello and Alix Collombon in Toulouse last June

"It's our goal to attract players above us"

It's true that we are having a very interesting second half of the season where we are beating top 10 players.

And at the same time, it's kind of our goal to attract players who are a little better, a little better ranked.

At the end of the season, the assessment we make with Jess is that we are having a good season, but we can do much better because our margin for improvement is significant, because the objective would have been with Jess the Final Master next season.

It is true that all this, we said to ourselves. Things are going very fast padel. But it doesn't always depend on us, it depends on the opportunities.

In this season, there have also been less good too. Since we are at the end of the season and we are finishing well, we will only remember the end, but there were doubts on my side as on Jess's side.

“We had passed a milestone against the best”

I think that in 2022, when we go through moments of doubt, it's normal to think of a separation to allow us to revive ourselves. Have we reached our maximum together? Have we been at the end of our abilities? These are questions that arise. And at the beginning of the year, of course, we ask ourselves the question.

But I remember that we gritted our teeth and that we finished very well. When you beat top 3 or 4, it gives confidence. The match we won against Pati Llaguno and Virginia Riera is one of the very motivating matches, especially against players whose game bothers us a lot. I am also thinking of this match against Marta Ortega and Beatriz González in very complicated weather conditions at the Mallorca Challenger.

I think we had finally passed this milestone against players of this caliber. And that's what I want to remember.

The project was important to us

I don't know if I regret our separation. But yes, we liked our project. He was close to our hearts.

It was hard for both of us I think. But we said to ourselves that we were going to try to improve each of us on our side.

It would have been nice to reach the top 8 together. But it's part of padel. It's a game of musical chairs.

It turns out that Marta Marrero is stopping her career. She's a left-wing player. And of course I knew that something could happen, because Jess is precisely a player on the left.

If tomorrow, it's Lucia Sainz who puts an end to her career, well it's surely me who could have opportunities.

I would have liked to play with Marta Marrero

It would be a lie to say that I had never imagined one day playing with such a player.

I know her very well. I have this chance to be in his group since the beginning. We can say that he is a godmother of the padel for me. I am very good friends with her. I also sent her a message when she formalized her retirement on the slopes. And she gave me a great answer.

She has always been very kind to me.

Carla Messa makes her partners play well

I never played with Carla. But against her, yes. But not that much. I think I needed that in the end, a change to take a step forward.

We had beaten the Jensen / Mesa pair at the start of the year. At the start of 2022, it was a formidable pair. We did not really understand why this pair separated.

But I don't know Carla that well. She is not the most expansive of the circuit. What interests me is how she plays. And she plays very well. She has incredible talent.

What will be new for me is to play with a player who is not in my city since she is in Madrid and I in Barcelona.

She has a strong character. I think she has a game that fits many players. Her partners always play very well with them.

And she said yes right away when I called her.

We will have ambition for 2023.

Franck Binisti

Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Club des Pyramides in 2009 in the Paris region. Since padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France going to cover the major events of padel French.