Associated this weekend with the P2000 in Caen, Simon Boissé et Maxime Bourgoin agreed to answer a few questions surrounding their point of view on the padel Today. The two players, former members of the French Top 15, have seen their outlook evolve over the years.

What is this pair doing in qualifying for a P2000?

Maxime Bourgoin : My wife has an apartment 30 minutes away (from Caen), so it worked out very well for the weekend! Simon was available, and since we planned to do the Regional Championships together in Pays de la Loire, at Simon's, it was good timing.

Simon Boissé : I spent two years in Paris, but otherwise I am attached to this region of Pays de la Loire. I think I only lost once there, so I've always known the French Championships since 2015. With Max we realize that the phone rings a lot less than before! (laughs) But we have a Whatsapp group with alumni, we haven't yet put up a Facebook post “Searching Player Level 7-8”, because that would be hard for us!

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What don't you like about Simon Boissé, and why not play with him sooner?

MB : He always played with players stronger than me. Now that he is captain in Seniors Plus, he wants to play with people less strong than him (laughs). Afterwards, what has changed for me since Covid are two births. THE padel today it's above all fun, without pressure, like when I first learned about this sport. When we are young, we have no investment, we could go further.

I think we understand each other well on this point, we know that we cannot do all the tournaments together.

SB : Personally, I haven't had many partners with whom I stayed over the long term. And then I often played on the left at that time.

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The evolution of tournaments

MB : What has changed is the number of tournaments. Today there are P1000s every weekend. Before, there were all the French elite in these tournaments, whereas they are on the professional circuit today.

SB : But hey, there is nothing illogical in the elite going international, because it has developed over the past two years. There are still events, like the P2000, with beautiful fields.

MB : We see that in the qualifiers, even the club players are doing well, these are good matches, there are no longer 6/0 – 6/0 like I was able to experience in 2015/2016 where you really had beginner players who wanted to sign up. Now everyone knows how to play.

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Playing at a high level after 40

SB : It all depends on where you are in terms of level of play. At this level, the physical dimension remains an important element, and if you set fewer objectives on that, obviously it makes a difference. With experience, we learned to play better with our strengths, I developed my dexterity a lot through teaching, you know how to manage yourself better etc… I am 75e (French player), if I want to make it to Top 30, I have the technical background, but I need to be more involved.

MB : I find the new ranking system forces you to play a lot of tournaments. I have eight tournaments taken into account, I am stuck at 200e compared to my old ranking, but if I wanted to get back into the Top 100, I would have to do 15-16 tournaments during the year.

Personally, I'm not a fan because I don't play enough to reach twelve, but at the same time I think it's good to push players to do more tournaments, it contributes to the development of the sport. For my part, I'm less and less interested in these ranking stories, if I have to go through the qualifiers (editor’s note: because of its ranking) too bad, if we are caught in the final table so much the better.

SB : We return to the initial interest: the game, our performance, our partner, what we hoped to do tactically in a game. Thinking about the ranking was detrimental to me two years ago when I wanted to enter the Top 15. If I could give one piece of advice, in this race for points and hierarchy, you have to take the time to build yourself up to the level of his game and his individual progress.

For or against “hybrid” pairs mixing a very good player and an average player?

SB : I think this is a topic that shouldn't even be discussed. I believe that everyone gives themselves the means to achieve their goals, whatever the means. In addition, this type of market can finance the season of the pro or semi-pro player. Sportingly, it harms both players, that’s obvious. This is a more or less common practice, but I don't think it harms the atmosphere of a match itself.

For the less good player, he generally only thinks about the ranking and not about progressing with the one he is lucky enough to have next to him. And once he gets close to his goal, he will find less strong partners and he will be called upon in P1000 against homogeneous and balanced teams... He is not doing well.

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Max Bourgoin, not so old!

MB : I was born in 1990, I'm 34 years old, I'm old, but not that old!

SB : It's just that he started at the same time as me, ten years ago! But he is going to be one of those players who will go over 35, and I must admit that it will be complicated to make a selection from this very large list. Or else you have to pay the captain! (laughs)

MB : Or I play with him, I make him win and I show him! Plus I pay him to play, but in beers at the end of the tournament! (laughs)

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Martin Schmuda

A competitive tennis player, Martin discovered the padel in 2015 in Alsace and appeared in a few tournaments in Paris. Today a journalist, he deals with current affairs padel while continuing its rise in the world of the little yellow ball!