Au PadelShot Saint-Etienne for the Cupra Padel Point Tour, Melissa Martin gave us some of his time to talk about his French Championships 2023, of his recent association with Louise Bahurel, of his change of side and his new life, between Paris and the south…

“The goal was the semi-finals with Louise”

Seed 6 at the French championships with Louise Bahurel, Mélissa had set herself the objective “to go as far as possible and win against everyone.” She is satisfied with the result: “The draw saved us from facing Léa and Alix in the quarter-finals, the minimum we wanted to reach was the semi-finals, so it’s quite a good performance on paper.”

“New partner, new challenge”

Associated since the end of March/beginning of April with Louise Bahurel, young hopeful player from padel French, Mélissa explains to us this choice she made after stopping with Amélie Détrivière: “At the start of the year, I had a lot of physical problems and I didn't really know if I wanted to continue on the left, because I felt a little limited. I played against Louise at the start of the year and I really liked her state of mind, her potential, her freshness and her maturity for her age. She really impressed me on the pitch and her fighting spirit made me want to, with the added bonus of being able to move to the right.”

Indeed, with this new association, Mélissa now plays on the right, a radical change: “I have always played on the left since my debut, I needed a change. What I liked was the challenge of playing right, learning new things. It's a bit like starting from scratch. Changing sides is hard, it can quickly become frustrating, you sometimes feel like you no longer know how to play. The results are not the same, last season I had very good results with Amélie. With Louise, we will have to build and achieve good results to be among the top 0 seeds.”

After his many physical glitches at the start of the year, Mélissa explains to us that this bad patch is now behind her, she now wants to support her partner: “I want to show Louise that I trust her, I know that she can be aggressive and take up space.”

And the least we can say is that Mélissa appreciates this new role: “Playing on the right means being generous, you work for the other. I want to help her, to push her because she has good potential. This is what happened with “France”, I worked a lot on the right and therefore I felt much better in defense, I was more comfortable and that allowed me to help Louise. It works well between us.”

Melissa Martin and Louise Bahurel

“An alternating life between Paris and the south”

Melissa seems to have found a new balance between the capital and the south of France: “I'm used to moving around a lot, especially with the Cupra Padel Point Tour on weekends. It's a small change anyway, but I spend a lot of time in Paris, I always follow the twins in Ile-de-France, it's important for me. This summer, I trained with Alain Henri in St Cyprien. When I'm in Paris, I train with Fred Pommier. “

For Louise, training is done at Mind Padel Lyon, with François Authier: “François also follows us as a coach in tournaments, he is really starting to know us both well, it allowed us to settle down quickly, even if for my part the real challenge was to progress on the right. ”

“Consistency and experience: the great assets of Léa and Alix”

Like everyone in France, Mélissa is not really surprised by the victory of Léa Godalier and Alix Collombon in the French Championships 2023 : “As in all sports, the important thing is consistency, there are no secrets. These are girls who train every day, who do a lot of tournaments, so they have a rhythm and a consistency of performance that others don't necessarily have in France. Physically, they are stronger, when you train a lot, you have more rhythm and mentally it shows on the pitch. At important moments, you manage much better too, whatever your form. This is why a Djokovic can win world titles. Grand Chelem without necessarily playing the first rounds well. Same for Léa and Alix who sometimes play less well, but who manage to get by, because they have this consistency. Everyone else, we are behind, we want to beat them. Maybe one day there could be an achievement in a match, but you would already have to have the same pace as them to compete.”

collombon godallier france 2023

“We want to beat them despite the respect”

Finally, Mélissa speaks on a question that comes up a lot in tournaments when she plays against the French n°1s : “is it lost in advance?” “No, otherwise we’re not going. In a match, there can be so many twists and turns, hooked plays, we can make them doubt, from time to time it doesn't take much. We don't arrive on the pitch and say girls, we'll leave the match to you. They are monstrous, we admire them a lot, it’s great to have these two girls representing France, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to beat them despite the respect.”

Léa Deutsch

Passionate about Padel since 2018 with numerous experiences in communication and content creation, I want to share my passion with you through my writings.