Back on the extraordinary adventure of the French padel at the club "La Playa" located in The Hague in the Netherlands which hosted the European Championships national team Padel 2 6 December.
The FIP convenes late
Although convened late by the International Padel Federation (FIP), 9 nations were engaged, 16 teams (6 regular players and 1 replacing) formed the tournament board. Noteworthy absence of Spanish selections, against a backdrop of internal conflict between national and international federation. The best Portuguese male players could not be aligned for similar reasons.
In this championship of nations, each encounter is played at the best of 3 doubles games in two winning sets.
The absentees always being wrong, the team of France approached the competition in position of favorite for the final victory at the men and for the second place, behind untouchable Portuguese women.
Relatively quiet preliminary phases
In the men's draw, it was necessary to go through a positioning match against Italy to avoid a delicate quarter-final. Faced with strong and experienced opponents, the French victory was decided at the end of the third decisive match.
After big wins against Belgium and Italy by Sandrine Testud (formerly 10 WTA, injured in her first match) and despite a short defeat against Sweden, the women's team ranks at the top of her group thus avoiding the Portuguese ogre in the semifinals.
Double confrontation against the host country: Netherlands Vs France
For their first playoff match, the men's and women's teams were opposed to the Netherlands, host country, logically supported by its audience: the batavians led the hard way to our champions! The boys got the victory in the quarter-finals thanks to a point obtained at the end of the third match, once again!
In the women's draw, there is a semi-final to play and therefore a chance to secure a medal right now! The turn of the game is from the first match that is won after a fight in 3 sets by combative Emmelien LAMBREGTS and Line MEITES. The French champion Laura CLERGUE / Audrey CASANOVA then assures the qualification in two dry sets. Sandy GODARD and Géraldine SOREL will complete the tri-color domination in the same way. The final will therefore oppose the inevitable Portuguese who yield only few games en route against the Italian.
Final before the time: France Vs Belgium
On paper the team of Belgium is a scarecrow: 3 former professional tennis players are aligned: the brothers Olivier and Christophe ROCHUS but also Laurent MONTOISY.
For the majority of observers, this men's semifinal opposes the two best selections of the competition, the show was also at the rendezvous.
The first point is conquered authoritatively (6 / 3-7 / 6) by Belgians Jeremy GALA / Olivier ROCHUS against Simon DESLIENS / Jérôme FERRANDEZ.
It is up to the French champion pair Jeremy SCATENA / Robin HAZIZA to equalize and maintain the qualifying hopes intact in the best match of these championships. It is the Belgians, who slightly oustsider, try a game that almost succeeded: Break their pair 1 Belgium and play in 2 match a new Belgian pair: Laurent MONTOISY / Laurent JEUNIAUX.
The game begins with difficulty for the French by the loss of the first set 7 / 6. At that moment, France is one set of the exit. The uncertainty continues but the French equal to a set everywhere. The third set is played in a tense atmosphere with the encouragement of both sides creating an atmosphere worthy of the Davis Cup! The two pairs are shot for shots and it is necessary to wait for the tiebreak at the 3e set to decide between the two teams. The Belgians move to 3 points in the final, Jeremy and Robin finally win 7 points at 5. (4 / 6-6 / 1-7 / 6)
For the third consecutive time, the game was going to be decided in the third decisive game, and the experienced Alexis SALLES and Cédric CARITE claim their superiority and win in two sets (6 / 2-6 / 4) on Alec WITMEUR / Christophe ROCHUS .
Note that in the other part of the table, Sweden creates the surprise by beating the German selection.
By placing his two selections in the final, France won the 1 nation number 2015 championships, without question, this is a great first for the French paddle. In big competitors, our finalists teams have two European titles within reach of racket!
In the women's final, the French selection, exclusively composed of amateur players, faces Portugal, which has several players ranked on the WPT (World Padel Tour) and in particular the 15ème player world.
Despite their unwavering will and combativeness, and parties where the Portuguese will have to use all their talent, the gap is too big. Without having to blush, the French bow 3 points to 0. They will nevertheless be able to proudly review their journey leading them to the Silver medal!
Side men, we are favorite, but France decides to ensure his back by placing his pair No. 3 1 match. Conclusion: The men's final also begins with a defeat. No doubt caught up in the pressure and the stake of the event, Jerome FERRANDEZ and Simon DESLIENS, despite a great fighting spirit, fall on a Swedish pair 1 very complicated to play. Our French pair therefore bows 6 / 0 - 6 / 4. Note that this experimental pair composed of the two youngest players on the team is aligned because of the package of Laurent BOULADE. There is no doubt that this defeat due to lack of automation, will serve everyone in future campaigns to consolidate his experience.
The incipient fire, the service firefighters, Jeremy SCATENA and Robin HAZIZA once again equalize with authority and talent, in two dry sets (6 / 4-6 / 2). While Rob, aka "the expert's paw" distilled his murderous bullets across the width of the field, the smash merchant had arrived the morning of the final for Scat. He did not hesitate to send missiles in smash in all positions. Sweden surrendered the weapons in 2 sets and allow France to return to 1 match everywhere.
For the third game, decisive for the title, Cédric CARITE and the captain / player of the selection Alexis SALLES return to track more motivated than ever and play to perfection.
The pair walks on the water, missing almost nothing. The strategy of the French is simple: No fault! And that's a homemade specialty of our French. The long exchanges early start explode the Swedish opponents and bow 6 / 2 6 / 2, the case is completed in less than an hour.
France is Team Paddle European Champion for the first time in its history!
Only small shadow on the board, "it is the lack of logistical and financial support of the FFT for the French teams"We explain the French players unanimously, who had to"look for a sponsor (HEAD) to take some of the costs and equip them"
The European Champions:
Alexis SALLES (captain)
The Vice-Champions of Europe:
Monika BLANKSON HEMANS
(Captain: Robin HAZIZA)
Final Male Classification:
1 / France
2 / Sweden
3 / Belgium
4 / Portugal
5 / Italy
6 / Netherlands
7 / Germany
8 / Austria
9 / Switzerland
Final Female Ranking:
1 / Portugal
2 / France
3 / Italy
4 / Netherlands
5 / Belgium
6 / Sweden
7 / Germany
Jean Marc Heriard and Jérôme Becasset - PADEL MAGAZINE
Jérôme Béasset is the Paquito Navarro of the team Padel Magazine. Offensive on all topics of the padel world, he comes back on many topics with an ever-attentive eye.