Le World Padel Tour recently unveiled its 2021 calendar, and the majority of tournaments will take place in Spain, logical in the midst of a pandemic.
With 22 of the 26 tournaments on offer that are played in Spain, we cannot say that the World Padel Tour has bet fully on the international for 2021. Some fans have complained on social networks, but can we really blame the WPT in the midst of a pandemic ?
A very difficult time to travel
Today, we must be aware that the players who participate in the World Padel Tour mostly live in Spain. First of all of course because the WPT organizes the majority of its tournaments there, but also, in particular for the Europeans, because they find there very high level coaches and a multitude of training centers, things that they cannot currently find in their countries of origin.
In a pandemic period, it is obviously easier for all these players to play tournaments in the country where they reside. They avoid each other the cost of PCR tests to leave the countries where the competitions take place (generally invoiced around a hundred euros) and a certain logistical difficulty. Indeed, many European countries claim to carry out a test 72 hours before departure, which can be very complicated between overcrowded labs and appointments to be made outside match times. Not to mention that a player never knows in advance when he will be eliminated ...
Of course all this could be very simple if the WPT paid laboratories to come and test all the players on site, but all of this comes at a cost, especially since Vincent Laureyssens told us during the first confinement, difficult to find sponsors abroad for competitions in times of crisis, often with tournaments which must be played behind closed doors, or which can even be canceled at the last minute ...
Cooled by the latest experiences?
The CUPRA Fip Finals 2020, which took place in Cagliari, Sardinia, did not really fill up in terms of players, especially female players. The reasons given by the players who, despite the tempting prize-money and the large number of points to be won, did not make the trip, were those mentioned above, but also the fear of having to observe a quarantine on return, or worse, of being in isolation in a foreign country in the event of a positive test when returning ...
recall Benjamin Tison's experience, who found himself locked in a hotel room in Dubai, in conditions that were not really comfortable, especially around Christmas time ...
Things the WPT can't control, and which make that some players categorically refuse to travel until the situation has improved everywhere!
Uncompromising in 2020
At the heart of the storm in 2020, the World Padel Tour has shown its great organizational capacity, ensuring its players 11 tournaments, allowing them to continue doing their jobs, earn money, while keeping fans and sponsors happy.
The WPT has achieved a real tour de force by organizing three tournaments at the Madrid Arena in the midst of a pandemic. Confident in his ability to organize such events in Spain, and in view of the health crisis which does not seem to be getting better in Europe, we imagine that the circuit has chosen to “play it safe” in some ways.
Internationalization when the crisis is over?
Today the World Padel Tour only partially justifies its name: it is certainly the most challenging circuit in the world and we consider that the best players in the WPT are the best players in the world. On the other hand, we cannot say that it is still a world circuit since only visits very few countries… It reminds us a little of the NBA, which awards the title of World Champions every year, while games are 99% played in North America.
Like the NBA, which is based on the most profitable market for it, the WPT focuses on Spain, which today is the country where sport is the most mature et therefore the most interesting economically. Nevertheless, the World padel Tour has already shown its willingness to export internationally. Not later than a year ago, we boast here the international side of the calendar, with 9 out of 23 dates outside Spain !
We can therefore legitimately think that when the health crisis has passed, the World Padel Tour will resume its internationalization and will offer more than the 4 countries (Italy, Sweden, Mexico, Argentina) outside Spain visited in 2021!
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 !