Thomas Leygue looks back on his defeat in the first round P2 of Bordeaux against Sanyo and Maxi. He also talks about his complicated start to the season, but also the improvement in the general level of play.

Glad to be there

I admit that I was very happy to be there, I was really looking forward to playing this tournament, it was close to my heart. There are few stages in France during the year, and especially big tournaments like that. It's certain that I'm a little disappointed with my performance yesterday, I wasn't at the level I would have liked to be. But hey, that’s how it is, that’s sport. We must now think about the future.

I think I entered the field a little nervous. I was playing on the central in front of my audience so of course I wanted to do well. Over the 2 – 3 days of training that we had with Aris, we played really well so it’s true that maybe I set the bar a little too high. I wasn't at the level at all, I didn't have the sensations I would have liked to have.

Thomas Leygue Bordeaux P2

Looking for a new partner

Aris is a friend, we train together, and I asked him to take the wildcard with me because I wanted to have a good partner for this tournament and he accepted this challenge. Now he will continue with his teammate who is Facundo Dominguez, and I am currently without a partner. I will play in Rome with an Argentinian who is playing very well at the moment, called Ramiro Valenzuela and we will see later. But for now, it's a bit complicated. 

Today, I think I'm not yet ready to play with a Frenchman and they all have their pair trained. These are people who have already been playing together for quite a while. I don't want to play, or play again, with a French person at the moment so I will continue my search for partners.

A complicated start to the season

It's certain that I didn't have a great start to the season, but it wasn't catastrophic like other years either. I've had ups and downs, I've had good and bad tournaments. I had just had a good South American tour. Despite the defeat in Paraguay, we made up for it in Argentina and Chile. We are close each time to getting into the picture. As I told you, I came from a good week of training with good feelings.

In this tournament, we must not forget that Sanyo and Maxi are playing at a high level and it is very hard to bother them, but it is true that they did not have their greatest match either and that I , I was not up to par, especially in the first set. The nerves took over, but I don't know what makes the level of play change or not, if it's the partners, the esteem a little too high or too low.

Thomas Leygue

An evolving general level

The level of play has definitely increased. There is something that must be taken into account, which is that since the WPT stopped, we are all grouped together on one circuit. Of course, there are A1 players, but it is still mainly the Argentinians who play it, even if there are a few Spaniards who are on the circuit. And the fact of bringing together all the FIP players and Premier Padel also makes much more complicated tournaments. And unlike last year, all players play the tables of Premier Padel and there are also fewer FIPs than before so now we only see good players, even on Rise FIPs. 

Before, what happened was that we could have in the same weekend, a FIP tournament, a WPT tournament, and an A1 tournament and people would choose a bit. Maybe there was a FIP tournament that was on the other side of the world. What is happening is that today the FIPs are in Italy, France, Spain or otherwise we have to go to Chile. And it’s true that people travel less on FIP Rise because it’s less worth it. So what happens is that we find ourselves with players who are 40, 50 world players on FIPs like we were able to do in France last year or this year.

Thomas Leygue

Any FIP in Spain or Italy, we will end up with very good players and what's more the level of play has increased enormously. I don't know if the French are overestimated, underestimated, I don't know, but after us, we are lucky to have these two wildcards in Bordeaux and Paris who help us to get points. Today I played a draw that was really complicated against Sanyo and Maxi. We have seen that Dylan and Bastien, that Carla and Jessica have hooked very good pairs with players ranked 40-50 in the world, so yes, we are perhaps not yet at the level of 40 or 50 in the world, but in all case, we have our place. 

We must also take into account that for the World Championships, we finished with a bronze medal. We have to look at the results with a little more perspective because it's true that we lost, but it's not against just any team. Today, going directly into the final draw is much more complicated, we cannot think directly about quarter-finals or semi-finals knowing that we are playing against players who are 20, 30 years old. experience and that we are a little new to this sport.

Go for a silver medal in Cagliari

I think we all have pretty much the same goal every year, normally, it's to get a silver medal. It depends a lot on the draw, we know what happened in Marbella with the little shenanigans, we'll see, but, already, we know that we lost Jérémy and Benjamin in the French team so we will have necessarily one or two new players. 

I think that today without Benjamin and Jérémy, we are less strong, but we are going to form a new team, and that is above all the objective, it is to form a “Next Gen” French team. say.

Thomas Leygue

WPT vs Premier Padel

I don't know if the WPT was better, but in any case, we were promised things that were much bigger and more incredible than what is currently happening. And today, I'm not going to say that the WPT was better, because that's not true. The WPT was good last year when they felt we were going to leave. The WPT has always had a problem too, the same problems that we are having with Premier Padel. What's happening is I'm moaning about the fact that we're not moving forward, not that we're going backwards. And we fear that afterwards we will go back. 

His opinion on the association without the Top 30

I don't know if I agree or not, but I think the Top 30 players need us and the players after the Top 30 need the players above. So I don't think it's best to separate. I think the most important thing is that all the players are united.  

Afterwards, it is certain that we have a problem padel, is that the players ask for a lot of help. Me sometimes the first: it's true that we need a little more facilities knowing that the prize money is not incredible. Afterwards, there is an interesting sentence from Maxi Sanchez, it is: “No one is going to pay you for your career”. It's true that we can't give us everything, I agree with that, there are players who are not necessarily invested and who ask for a lot of things.

In tennis, we know that it's really difficult to pay for your career when you're outside the Top 100. padel, it must be roughly the same except that what happens is that it is from the top 40, 50 that it already becomes much more difficult to pay. But hey, that's normal, it's not accessible to everyone. You have to know how to find your sponsors and that's part of the beauty of sport too.
Dorian Massy

New follower of padel, I am fascinated by this dynamic sport which combines strategy and agility. I find in the padel a new passion to explore and share with you on Padel Magazine.