After a year 2023 rich in lessons, Camille Sireix (225 FIP) speaks about her journey, the positive and negative sides of padel in Spain and his opinion on the N1 French Interclub Championships. Her gaze is turned towards 2024, a year that she approaches with clear objectives: to join the French team and improve her ranking, while continuing to perfect her game.
Its 2023 results and areas for improvement
“For the year 2023, the first thing I could have improved is to take a little more care of myself and especially my body. This way I might have avoided three months off work due to a foot injury. I didn't listen to myself. I was in pain and I continued to play because I wanted to progress. In reality, I saw a little too much in the short term, I continued despite the pain and ended up with a tear in the arch of my foot and having to do platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. I was stopped in the middle of summer, at a time when I could have played a series of matches and tournaments: so that cut me short this season.
Otherwise on the positive side, I didn't know if I was going to enjoy committing like a professional player, training every day, putting in so much, and ultimately I realized that I loved it and that I I really wanted to continue on this path. That's very positive, because I think we really have to look at the medium/long term for projects like that.
Regarding the pure results, I would have liked to do better. Afterwards, I didn't play that many tournaments in the end. I think strategically I may have been wrong too. I wanted to start quickly on the FIPs, to race for points even though I didn't have much match experience. In hindsight, I tell myself that I should have started by doing more training tournaments, like the Catalans, to gain experience on the field and understanding of the game. I think I was a bit wrong on that one , I realized too late that most of the matches I lost were due to a lack of strategic understanding of the sport. I have been dominated many times strategically and quite logically given my past as a tennis player and not as a tennis player. padel.
“At the beginning, in my training structure, I favored individual lessons a lot to develop my strokes. I also did group lessons with boys because of a lack of girls, but being in a match situation with girls who really play “padel", It is not the same. Afterwards, it was also a very positive year in the sense that I was able to find areas of work. I have changed the way I train quite a few times. I asked myself a lot of questions and now I have a structure that is more stable and that suits me more.
I think that the year 2023 allowed me to put some foundations in place to try to find what suits me the most, whether it's on the padel, on how to train, on the physique, on recovery, and on the “sides”. I think I learned from my mistakes, which is necessarily positive for the future.”
A lack of girls everywhere...
“I'm at an academy in Barbera called Air Club and I train with Xavi Figols. I'm very happy to be there. At the beginning, I trained with Élodie Invernon and Wendy Barsotti. Élodie left while I was injured in June 2023. Currently I train partly with Wendy. We tried to play together in a few tournaments at the end of 2023, but ultimately we decided to stop because our games didn't complement each other that well on the pitch, it happens, it's part of the game.
But we continue to train together, it’s going very well. I feel like I'm continuing to progress and moving in a direction that I like. The only negative point in our academy is the lack of girls but unfortunately, that’s the case everywhere.”
Positives and negatives in Spain
“The huge positive point is the coaches and the quality of the training. I think that today it is generally better than in France in the sense that the Spanish coaches have experience on the padel which is much higher. From a technical and strategic point of view, I really feel the difference. I think that right now if you want to progress and really understand what padel, you have to go to Spain. That being said, there are not only advantages, I think that in France we have teachers who are perhaps more structured, a little more professional.
In Spain, it is up to you to carry out your project from A to Z, there is no one who will take you and say: “In three months I see you here, in six months there, in two years here and we’re going to do this and that.” When you arrive in Spain, you have to build your project, ask questions and really get involved. It's up to the player to build everything from A to Z, and that's not easy. Especially when you don't really know the padel and we don't really know how it works. I would say that's a bit of a downside.
Afterwards the positive point too, is that here there is a Catalan circuit where there are really very high level players, whether among the girls or among the boys. To play practice matches and be able to compete against the best, it's incredible. I think I didn't get enough out of it, I think I'm going to try to do a little more. Another positive point is that when you leave for Spain, you are leaving for a truly professional project where you invest yourself fully and as a result, you learn about yourself every day. When you are there, you know why you are there and you inevitably dedicate your energy to finding solutions to the problems you encounter.
Another positive point, you are in a culture padel that there is not yet in France today even if it is developing very quickly and that is great in fact. The best thing is to come and see how many players there are on the Catalan circuit. Obviously when you immerse yourself a little in this culture, you also see lots of super interesting matches, so you learn by watching, by discussing and you meet new people. There are still a lot of people playing padel so if you're passionate, that's really where you need to be I think. I hope that in a few years we will say that you have to be in France to progress in the padel, that would be incredible. But for the moment, it’s clear that the Spaniards have a lead over us.”
His opinion on Nationale 1
“So even though I played for palavas during the Interclubs with an Argentinian and a Spaniard, I admit that I have mixed feelings on the question. My first feeling when you ask me the question, I want to answer you that I am more for a French Championship which remains only French. I think there are other times when we can bring in Spaniards. Perhaps we should create another championship for example.
I'm telling you that and at the same time for me as a player, playing with a Spanish woman of that level was great. I played with Andréa Ustero and it was incredible on the pitch, it's an experience that I would never have had if Palavas hadn't taken these players so that's great. Even for those who were in front, I think it’s super educational!
And obviously for the public, people who are passionate about padel, who see players at this level is incredible, it makes you want so much. However, it is a French Championship and although everyone says: “Yes, but in tennis we take foreigners, why not in padel ??, for me this is an argument that does not hold water.
I'm a little more in favor of staying with the French and trying to fight with the team we have. Because otherwise, personally, I find that if you are a club that has money, you buy foreigners and it is the club that has the most money that will win the Championship. Well, at the same time, you can also buy French ones so my argument doesn't really hold water (laughs). And besides, the Spaniards showed a great state of mind on and off the court, they set the mood well, so we are still far from the “mercenary spirit” which could bother me in tennis.
In fact, in my utopia, I would prefer that clubs train players and then look at the medium-long term and say to themselves: “We train our players and now we have won this title thanks to the value of our training”. For me it has more value in my eyes, but it's personal.
And on the other hand, it's the start of the French Interclub Championships, the padel is in full development in France, it's still very recent, it also makes for great promotion. It brought a lot of people back to Padel Horizon we are not going to lie to each other. The crowds there were, I think it was also due to the fact that we knew that the Spaniards were going to be there, and the level was incredible. Frankly, everyone wanted to stay to watch the matches.”
Its 2024 objectives
“My goals in 2024 are obviously the French team. It's something that I would really like because it's crazy emotions, and representing your country in your sport is something incredible. Also, go play in international tournaments, earn more points and climb the international rankings. This is my objective alongside the French Championships. Afterwards I really have a content objective because I have lots of areas for progress and I think that the results will come later.”
New follower of padel, I am fascinated by this dynamic sport which combines strategy and agility. I find in the padel a new passion to explore and share with you on Padel Magazine.