In Basel, between 2 padel matches, we met the team of the Monegasque Padel Federation composed of Andrew Knox, Philippe Sassier and Kristina Clément who tells us about its development and its ambitions.
The story begins 16 years ago with a FRANCE VS SPAIN
The French Paddle Federation of the time organized in Monaco itself, a confrontation between France and Spain who launched the padel in the principality.
« It was a great first in the region Adds the co-president of the Monegasque Federation, Philippe Sassier.
For nearly 15 years, the padel will remain a sport like everywhere else relatively unknown outside Spain (In Europe). In Monaco, the padel begins to gain importance from 2011.
In 2011, Padel Monaco, the Monegasque padel association was born. In the process, Prince Albert, a great friend of Andrew Knox and passionate Padel, installs a padel field in his holiday home.
2 years later, in December 2013, " we set up the first padel club in Beausoleil with 2 terrains Says the co-president of the Monegasque padel Federation Andrew Knox.
Philippe Sassier transforms the test by creating the Monegasque Federation of Padel in 2014. The family is growing with Andrew Knox who will become the co-President of the Monegasque Federation and Kristina Clément DTN of the team.
« Our priority is to introduce everyone to this sport and to make the Monegasques play"Explains the Monegasque team who came to participate in the qualifications of the padel world championships in Basel.
The seat is in Monaco but the stronghold of the Federation is at Michel Borfiga at the Eze Tennis Club with 1 padel court. Two other fields are already planned for next year.
The next step ?
« Better organize the Federation and set up licenses for all regular players ". Andrew Knox goes further explaining that the Federation wants " set up a ranking as soon as possible, like our French friends ».
Philippe Sassier adds that " We will also try to develop the padel for the youngest. Until today, the padel is played mainly in a recreational way with more players 30 / 40 years ».
The Padel Federation of Monaco and Monte-Carlo International Sports
« These are two entities are totally different. One is not lucrative since it is a Federation, the other is a business. The 2 entities aim to develop the padel.
MCIS is in charge of sporting events turned mainly towards the padel. It is also the organizer of this famous stage of the World Padel Tour: The Monte-Carlo Padel Master. We are delighted that there is this unique event in Monaco. »
« We think that obviously, there would be everything to gain if these 2 entities were closer to develop this sport. Approaches have been made without success, unfortunately, "said Andrew Knox
« We would also like to propose to our players the possibility of doing padel tournaments in France and maybe to collect points on behalf of the Monegasque Federation. Much remains to be done at this level to validate all these points ».
The Monegasque team at the international level
« On the sporting side, this is a first for us in Basel for these qualifications of the team padel world championships. The Federation is very young. It dates from September 2014. The results are therefore in the image of this young Federation where there is still much to do, even if we put a lot of heart to the work. »
A small regret however for the Monegasque team: The team was not complete with the absence of the Monegasque Davis Cup players (preparation for Egypt), some other players of very good level, and the absence of Yvan Lubjcic. This great tennis player was unfortunately absent, stayed at Wimbledon with his player Roger Federer.
Interviewed 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.