Karim Alami, former tennis player ranked 25th in the ATP world, spoke with us during the worlds in Qatar. Today wearing the hat of director of the Doha tournament, he shares with us his vision of padel.

”There are many things to do in the padel"

Padel Magazine : How did you get started on this adventure of padel ?

Karim Alami: "  This adventure started 8 months ago. We spoke with the international federation of course, because it was a very important event for us. What you need to know is that we started tennis tournaments about thirty years ago, we are doing the world squash championship and at the level of padel we feel an important evolution for 2 years here in Qatar. We can see that things are changing all over the world. Hence our idea of ​​potentially organizing a tournament, that's how it happened! ”

Padel Magazine : When you see the atmosphere there is with the players, the teams, etc. Does that not give you ideas for the future? 

Karim Alami: ”Of course this is the start of an adventure, there is a lot to do in the middle of the padel, it attracts a lot of people! We try to learn, because we do not know the padel, but hey I think the players are very happy. ”

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“We have a team with a lot of experience in the realization of this type of event”

Padel Magazine : What was the work surrounding the organization of this competition? 

Karim Alami: "The same team that organizes the WTA and ATP tournaments is responsible for organizing these worlds of padel. The difference is that we have a lot more players to manage than during these tennis tournaments: in tennis tournaments we have 60-70 players with the coaches, and there we are at 320 players with the guides. etc. It's different, but the idea is to have a quality tournament with a good organization. We have played around thirty tournaments over the past 12 years, so we have a team with a lot of experience, which has always relied on feedback from the public, players etc. to learn from our mistakes and do better and better every year. ”

Padel Magazine : A little delicate question, but essential, where is Morocco in these world?

Karim Alami: ”It is true that there are plenty of players from padel in Morocco, but I think the federation is a little late in sending a delegation here. I was sent messages a little late, to find out how we went about registering for the competition. Next year they will surely affiliate with the international federation and they will be able to send a team most likely. ”

An annual Qatar Open and a competitive Qatari team

Padel Magazine : Did you say to yourself, in view of this great experience, why not offer an annual international tournament? 

Karim Alami: “I think that's the goal of our federation. Qatar is a country that invests a lot in health, education and sport. In sport we have Formula 1, tennis, golf, etc. For all Qatari leaders, investing in sport is an opportunity to give locals the opportunity to see high-level sport and to be able to participate, as is the case with the Qatari team of padel. Having an annual Qatar Open is a goal, and why not a national selection of padel who gets good results. “

Padel Magazine : In recent days, the president of the FIP Luigi Carraro, showed enthusiasm for these worlds. How did the organization of this event between you and the Fip go? 

Karim Alami: ” As I said previously, we already have the experience of organizing big events to our credit. We collaborated on this tournament with the FIP, as we are used to with ATP or WTA. The FIP takes care of the calendar and the classification, after on site it is our team that takes over. "

" The padel can benefit from the experience of those who come from tennis ”

Padel Magazine : Last question, we could see that the padel and tennis can coexist or even be complementary. We hear a lot that the padel can develop independently, but tennis can be a development accelerator for the padel. What do you think about it ?

Karim Alami: ”I completely agree, because as we can see with the French Federation, Gilles Moretton, Arnaud di Pasquale, they come from tennis at the base. The leaders come mostly from the tennis world and they will be able to take advantage of their tennis experience to transpose it into the padel. Having professionals from tennis will push the padel to progress and gain notoriety. “


To see the interview in its entirety, it takes place just below:

Nasser Hoverini

Passionate about football, I discovered the padel in 2019. Since then, it's been crazy love with this sport to the point of abandoning my favorite sport.