After playing his first two international tournaments padel (FIP Rise Sydney and FIP Promotion Melbourne), the founding ambassador of Padel Australia Patrick Rafter tells his story with padel and takes stock of these two competitions.

More difficult than expected, even for a former ATP number 1…

“I heard about the padel about 15 years ago, but I didn't really pay attention to it. Now I wish I had started playing back then…

About a year ago a good friend of mine was playing it and told me I should really give it a try, so I did! I was pretty bad at first, but quickly learned the basics. I am very lucky to have a neighbor who has a short padel where we live, Matt Barrelle. He helped introduce the padel in Australia and I'm lucky because he gave me access to his court. In Australia, there aren’t many tracks yet, but interest is growing.”

“I really like the complexity of the game. It's a mix between squash and tennis, but I realize that it's more important to have defensive skills than offensive skills, and that's something that I must manage to integrate. Honestly, I thought I could just crush a player padel with powerful volleys and smashes, but no, no, and no!”

A great development in Australia

“I’m really interested to see how the sport evolves. It’s still in its early stages, and I’m looking forward to getting involved in helping the sport grow, and perhaps even investing in the creation of a center or two.”

“Obviously the costs of creating and renting courts here in Australia are issues that need to be resolved, but the community is there. The approach is easier than for tennis, the racket is smaller and the balls bounce less. The moves are shorter and the balls are constantly returning to your feet. Lots to like about the padel, let’s see what happens in the next ten years in Australia, I can’t wait to see that.”

Will we see him again on the slopes?

“I’m keeping all my options open to see where this sport takes me. Maybe I’ll play a few veteran events for Australia, I really don’t know yet.”

“Everyone will have their strengths and weaknesses. padel. Tennis players are the majority of converts to the sport in Australia, and stopping yourself from playing tennis shots is a very difficult thing. The easy ball in tennis is not necessarily easy in padel. Also, defensive skills are hard to learn, it’s something I really need to improve and it will take time between the glass, spin and ball speed…”

Xan is a fan of padel. But also rugby! And his posts are just as punchy. Physical trainer of several padel, he unearths atypical posts or deals with topical subjects. It also gives you some tips to develop your physique for the padel. Clearly, he imposes his offensive style as on the field of padel !