In the corridors of the Master Final in Barcelona, Padel Mag was able to meet the rising pair of the female WPT, the Franco-Spanish pair Nicole Traviesa and Alix Collombon.
Padel Magazine : Nicole Traviesa, is the objective for 2020 to step onto the central track of the Master Final?
Nicole Traviesa: Absolutely. Our goal for Alix and me is to get on the tracks of the Final Master. We had a great year 2019, and we want to achieve an even better year 2020 to be able to access this Master.
PM: Alix, we are talking about the best season of your career, but in the end, you lose a place in the WPT ranking…
Alix Collombon: Strange, no, because I knew that this year was going to be more complicated than the previous year. In 2018 I had to earn points. In 2019 I had to defend them. I think the goal has been reached. During this season I think I have increased my personal level of play and my level of team play thanks to Nicole.
Last year I played with Sara Pujals who finishes 2019 in 48th place, it is proof that it is not easy to maintain. I am satisfied with this season even if, with Nicole, we are looking for better results. 2020 objective: Make more quarter-finals to move up the rankings.
PM: Nicole, what is your pair missing to get past the top ranking players?
NT: I think we need to hold the ball a little more. Top players are able to hold the ball very long and at a high rate. This is what we are lacking and we will work on this phase for next year.
PM: Alix, we can feel a difference in attitude at home between 2018 and today with regard to top players.
AC: This year we learned a lot on the pitch, including that we were able to catch the best players in the world. Now we need, I think, to work a little more on the mental aspect to believe in the feat against the best pairs. A need for experience.
PM: What is the difference between playing lower ranked pairs and higher ranked pairs?
NT: It has nothing to do. The attitude is not the same when you play as a seed or against the seed. Each match you play against very high level players brings you into the field with a little restraint. Difficult to relax completely.
AC: I just want to add that as the season progressed we learned to play these girls from the top of the ranking, and we can now say that we approach them with less “respect” (in the good sense of the word) before.
PM: Do you have a special preparation for next year?
NT: Yes of course. The end of the year is mainly used to rest, try to disconnect completely for about 2 weeks, then it is the return to training with a big physical part of pre-season. The goal is to reach the first tournaments at 100%.
PM: Do you train together?
NT: I think it is important to train with your partner so that there is the best possible agreement on the track. With Alix we train together. So we know where the partner is going to play, how she hits the balls, and depending on the situation, in which direction she plays ... In the end it helps us a lot for tournaments.
AC: This agreement, I think it is essential. Today we see male and female pairs training separately, perhaps because the pairs change more and more frequently during the season. For us, it is important to get along well, on and off the field, for total cohesion.
PM: Merci les files
Julien Bondia is a padel teacher in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very appreciated by clubs and padel players. Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his many padel tutorials.