Babolat prepares his padel season 2017 "With serenity and determination ". After having been a partner of the French paddle team at the team padel world championships in Cascais, the Babolat brand intends to continue its efforts to support the padel to develop in France.
Frédéric Bertucat, Director Babolat Padel and Jessica Ginier, 4e at the French padel championships and player of the France team we learn more about their course and equipment Babolat.
Before talking about the future, can we take stock of the year 2016?
Frédéric Bertucat - A very interesting year in France on the padel part. It is clear that the padel is taking another dimension. The level at the last World Championships in Lisbon was really higher. Every month, new padel clubs develop. This phenomenon is important in France. But I am happy to see that little by little, the phenomenon Padel becomes WORLD !!! Italy, France and Sweden are certainly the countries where padel is growing the most in Europe. As for Babolat, to be a leading international brand on racket sports, we follow it very closely and we organize ourselves to support this development among players, monitors, clubs, federations, etc ...
Jessica Ginier - For me, it's also a year of " padel boom ". Finally, I only play padel for almost a year. And I see that others like me have started in the padel recently. It becomes a real trend, a real fashion. In Lyon alone, padel clubs are growing at great speed. In 2 we have grown from just a small 1 field club to 6 padel clubs. That is to say. And this trend in Lyon seems not to want to slow down.
What happened to get you to this point at the padel?
JG - My association with my partner Alix Collombon was a real chance and a trigger for me. She put my foot in the stirrup. Since then, I have not left her and we are trying to invest more and more in this sport. Being able to reach 4e place at the padel 2016 France Championships last month is like a stepping stone for us. It drives us to have ambition for next year. Especially when we know that we are very young in this environment finally.
FB - Although the market is developing rapidly in all parts of France, it still remains young. France is also one of the countries where the number of racquet sportsmen is one of the largest in the world. The potential is enormous to become the first Padel power in number of practitioners ... Jessica, former French 27 WTA, is a perfect example that Tennis and Padel can live very well together. During these World Championships, our girls and boys have shown that the level of play in France is increasing. But there is still some way to go. Eli Amatriain (World Team Champion 441, World 2016 and 5 years old) told me that our girls reminded her of the level of the Spanish 32-10 years, that is to say, the players or former players of very good level tennis in the Padel. Jessica is a pioneer. See you in 15 years.
Is it possible to do even better next year?
JG: Doing better than this year is possible, but the bar is very high anyway. We realized in one year the championships of France and the paddle world championships by team. It's pretty amazing even. And this while I was just playing padel, there is barely a year. It's beautiful, I think. On the other hand obviously, disappointment during the world since we arrive only 9e on 12 teams ... After, I'm lucky to have a brand that believes in months since the beginning of my adventure. So everything is green to try to do better.
FB - Jessica has achieved a great course in a very short time and we congratulate her. Certainly his level of tennis helped him to get into the padel. To go to the next level and compete with the Mondial gratin, the French must go to Padel experts to visit our Spanish neighbors or go to Spain to do internships.
Moreover, in December I will host at the World World Padel Tour some French at the club where are installed our offices BABOLAT Padel: SANSET PADEL in Madrid (30 fields and training center of many players of the Top 10 world). I invite my compatriots to come for internships ... It is a "service" that we start to set up for our BABOLAT players / clubs.
Against Mexico, during the world, our French have paid the price of Mexican patience. The padel is a little tennis, squash but with a game strategy much closer to that of badminton. The padel is the chess game of the racket.
Now, I have no fear about the future level of play of the French in the years to come.
JG - We will not lie, France is still behind other nations. Its national level is not so high as we hoped. But we will do everything to improve.
In terms of snowshoeing, is it difficult to switch from tennis to paddle and vice versa?
JG - There is a time of adaptation, especially the first times when one starts in the padel. The padel racket is shorter than the tennis racket. So, there may be a number of woods at the start. I think this is common to all tennis players who start playing padel. After, the adaptation time seems relatively short.
Nevertheless, I had the chance to play fast enough with the Babolat Sensation Tour. This is a racket that could please a lot of players from
tennis because the sensations are close. Coming from tennis, I have a rather powerful profile. With the Babolat racquet, I found that she had a good balance between control and power.
FB - On the side of Babolat, we took into account the fact that we also have Tennis players practicing Padel. That's why we develop high-performance products that meet the demands and sensations of a tennis player. The Sensation Tour is a fairly balanced racing racket that is closer to the sensations of a tennis racket such as the Pure Drive. A high performance racquet with an excellent power / precision compromise. Other more attacking players will prefer, like Morgan Mannarino, the VIPER Tour which with its diamond head, its construction at the frame and its extra-soft foam, will bring him a maximum of Power.
What does Babolat plan for next year?
FB - We will continue our momentum, last July we launched the shoe JET PADEL which is today at the feet of many professional players and was recognized by the specialized press in Spain as the surprise of the year and the one the best shoes. We will always collaborate with the World Padel Tour and Top10 players such as Miguel Lamperti.
On the snowshoeing part, the development teams worked mainly on racket performance by improving certain specificities such as power, precision and tolerance. After, we also continue to work on new projects that will see the day 2017. Wait and See;).
Does playing tennis well make it possible to play padel?
JG - Anyway it helps. I was French 60 number last year and old 27e French player. This tennis baggage helped me to be part of the top French 20 padel in less than a year. My partner, Alix Collombon, former top 35 tennis in France, put me on the tracks of the padel. Since then I play more padel than tennis! We were with Alix champions of France second series in doubles. Playing doubles in tennis helps us a lot padel (since 10 years). Doubles in tennis help us padel on the mental part, the little game, reflex flights. Look at the champions of France, they were second series.
Interview by Franck Binisti
Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Pyramid Club in 2009 in the Paris region. Since then padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France by going to cover the big French paddle events.