Racket sports are definitely popular in France, as evidenced by the 1 licensees recently reached by the FFT. While the padel begins to shake up tennis, a new activity is emerging: pickleball. Are the three disciplines capable of coexisting? Analysis.

Tennis faced with a difficult choice

It's been several years now that padel has successfully established itself in France. Its aura is still far from equaling that of tennis (2nd most practiced sport in the country), and yet its evolution is followed very closely. Two visions oppose each other: the one which sees the padel as a long-term threat, and one who, on the contrary, perceives it as an opportunity to be seized.

Many tennis players are tempted by the pala because of its physical flexibility, its attractiveness and its ease of access. Tennis clubs are adapting (diversification of offerings, construction of new courts) and even going so far as to replace tennis courts with tennis courts. padel. A situation impossible to imagine a decade earlier.

The incredible progression of padel

Since the end of confinement, the “racket sport of the third millennium” has enjoyed incredible success. Everything is exploding at breakneck speed: the number of clubs, the organization of tournaments, the quality of the equipment, the public's interest, etc. This growing media coverage is also justified by the presence of several celebrities. We think, for example, of footballers (Hatem Ben Arfa, Didier Deschamps), to F1 drivers (Lando Norris, Max Verstappen) and to the facilitators (Cyril Hanouna, Cartman).

CYRIL HANOUNA INTERCLUBS CHAMPIONS trophy of France CASA PADEL

Due to its proximity to Spain, the padel is particularly popular in the south of the country. The four regions closest to the Iberian Peninsula (Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) alone provide 58,7% of French competitors! Data which proves that there is still progress to be made…

Pickleball, the surprise guest

Straight from the United States, this very trendy discipline is also starting to make its way into tennis clubs. It was even officially recognized by the FFT in January 2024. Enough to shade the padel ? Not yet, even if the two cousins ​​share similarities.

Pickleball-vs-Padel

There are currently around fifty pickleball courts throughout France, mainly concentrated in the Paris suburbs and towards the Swiss border. The north and central regions are lagging behind, and as for the padel, the activity appeals to novices. “We don’t need to have technical background”, we are told on The Parisian. So what's the next step? Mix the three sports, as proposed by some clubs ? What is certain is that this expansion is only in its infancy…

It was through his father that Auxence discovered the padel, one evening in June 2018. Today, he passionately follows the international circuit and teases the pala in his training club, Toulouse Padel Club. You can also find it on La Feuille de Match and LesViolets.com, two specialist media on Toulouse Football Club.

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