Back on the interview of the former 12th ATP player and 50th player of padel FFT Arnaud Clément in the Live Instagram “Face-to-Face”.

  • On its confinement

It's a very special time for everyone, but I'm lucky to be in good conditions, in the South, with a garden so no reason to complain. I maintain myself physically. No padel obviously but some jogging, the home trainer. Not the most enjoyable but it helps to keep in shape.

  • Train during containment

It is very difficult to set up a program when you do not know when the recovery will take place. Gilles Simon, for example, took the opposite view by saying "I am doing absolutely nothing, I assume that between the moment we are unconfigured and the recovery, I will have time to get back into shape". In general there is always a small minimum to do, cardio, prevention especially for players who have small injuries, like Nicolas Mahut with his knee etc.

  • His great debut in the padel

I discovered the padel in Alicante during the Davis Cup semi-final in 2004, there was a walled pitch. I don't even remember if we found it funny or not! Otherwise I really discovered three years ago now, with my friend Arnaud Di Pasquale, and Dimitri Huet who initiated us, with his group of friends, who are now even more than our friends. It was at Casa Padel, the reception played a large part in the fact that we were hooked. It's a real virus, we had with Arnaud Di Pasquale, we debriefed our games, we played 3-4 times a week.

  • On its objectives in the padel

We have the chance to play often with Benjamin Tison, Adrien Maigret, Dimitri Huet, Fred Pommier. I'm having fun, we progressed fairly quickly with our tennis skills, but there is a big gap with the best French, those who play more regularly, and who have more skills for padel. I still have a competitive side, I like to do tournaments, I do little but if I have a little more time I will take the opportunity to do more. It's very friendly, a little beer after the game. It's just fun.

  • About Mickaël Llodra

I plugged in Mickaël Llodra a bit, I think he has great qualities for the padel, he could profit at breakneck speed. But I do not feel ready to accept that at the beginning we are bad, and that there is a learning phase.

  • On his favorite side

I play with one of the greatest left players in the history of France, Arnaud Di Pasquale, I make myself small in my corner. I play much more regularly on the right, I also like to play sometimes on the left, this physical side, taking more balls.

  • On the possibility of the French team of padel

If I were invited to an extended group of the French team of padel, I would say yes. But I don't see why he would. If he calls me I think we have to change the coach! (laughs) Me, I'm assimilated 50th, we cheat a bit. I would come by making myself very small, to do the sparring with the others.

  • On the most complicated aspects of padel as a tennis player

Talking during the exchange is very complicated. In tennis, in doubles, we speak very little during the exchanges, which are much shorter. I have the reflex to simply follow the ball. But the hardest part is the windows, understanding the rebound, depending on the effects, the speed. And then to control myself, I find it hard to feel when I have to slow down, speed up. I'm hitting too much at the moment.

  • On the mental part

There are commonalities between padel and doubles in tennis, sometimes we have to carry the team, sometimes we are carried. Sometimes in tennis you have a good pair of doubles with two good singles players, each playing their own. At padel I believe it is impossible. There are still a lot of similarities between doubles in tennis and padel, and that's what I like.

  • On the coaching aspect

I am completely against tennis coaching. I find that tennis being an individual sport, the intelligence of the player and his ability to adapt are qualities that must be highlighted. Some coaches and players use a few glances, a few little words, signs that we don't always understand. It has nothing to do with a speech posed to the change of sides. We see at the Davis Cup that there is a big difference for some players. The padel has its rules, it's another sport.

  • On what he would like to change in tennis

I am a little conservative, I would go more backwards, I would remove the tie-break at 6/6 in the fifth of the US Open. I think we shouldn't touch the game format.

  • How he defines himself as a player

Au padel, I'm quite aggressive, maybe too much, I try to start my bad defense with the attack. I like to take out the balls, I am rather offensive. Since I'm bad at defending, I take great pleasure in defending when I get there, because it's rarer.

  • If he had discovered the padel earlier

It might have helped me a little on the eye, the reflexes to improve in tennis. For doubles too. I wouldn't have done it to be better at tennis, but when you have a little less desire to play tennis, do a padel, still touching a racket, and making a physical effort, it could have been good yes.

  • Paul-Henri Mathieu said he had abdominal pain after the games

When I stop playing for a while, I sometimes get a little lower back pain. But as soon as I replay two or three times it disappears.


Find the + / the anecdotes / the answers to internet users' questions / the INSIDE in the podcast:

Xan is a fan of padel. But also rugby! And his posts are just as punchy. Physical trainer of several padel, he unearths atypical posts or deals with topical subjects. It also gives you some tips to develop your physique for the padel. Clearly, he imposes his offensive style as on the field of padel !