The president of the French Tennis Federation Gilles Moretton spoke this Wednesday on the occasion of the inauguration of Casa Padel DOS in Asnières-sur-Seine. The French tennis leader addressed several subjects in his speech, such as the development of padel in France and the evolution of the FFT.

The progression of padel on the territory

Gilles Moretton was keen to point out that his Federation is home to different racket sports: “The FFT includes several practices: tennis and padel of course, but also beach tennis, para tennis, short tennis and we are in the process of integrating pickleball."

The president took the opportunity to give figures which show the explosion in the practice of padel in France today: “We have nearly 60.000 licenses padel NOW. But many tennis players have multi-racket licenses, so the number of players is estimated at 300.000, which places the padel today like the 6the or 7e sports (practiced on the territory).”

The FFT and private structures

The presence of the president of the FFT at the inauguration of a private structure like Casa Padel DOS symbolizes the desire of the federation to rely on this type of project for the growth of sport: “We support private initiatives when they go in the direction of the development of our sport, which is the case with Casa Padel. [...] We are delighted to be here, to support this initiative. We are all pushing very hard for this sport, this practice, to gain importance, we strongly believe in it."

A relationship that has evolved over the past few years when several players wanted to have a federation of padel independent as in Spain: “At first it was a little hot!“, as Gilles Moretton underlines, before welcoming the evolution of federal policy which has been brought into line with the ambitions of these actors: “We tried to put the padel in terms of tennis and we will get there."

The place of the FFT

The former professional tennis player looked back on his beginnings as president: “When we arrived at the FFT with Arnaud (Di Pasquale), we took out the practice of padel which was not really highlighted. […] We're not inactive at the federation either, it's not just the private sector that's moving, we have plenty of projects too!"

One of these successful projects being the Greenweez Paris Premier Padel Major which has been held at Porte d’Auteuil for two years: “We were the first to want to seize the opportunity to go to Roland-Garros for a Grand Chelem de padel at a time when many people thought it was about standing on a board with an oar!"

Finally, Gilles Moretton highlighted the importance of padel today in his federation: “Maybe we made it a French Federation of padel ! (speaking of the FFT).”, a few minutes after the quip of José Manuel Escoin, founding president of the Casa group Padel, who introduced it as the “president of the French Federation of padel".

Martin Schmuda

A competitive tennis player, Martin discovered the padel in 2015 in Alsace and appeared in a few tournaments in Paris. Today a journalist, he deals with current affairs padel while continuing its rise in the world of the little yellow ball!