Thomas Vanbauce confides in the reasons for his separation from Dorian de Meyer, evoking their divergence of objectives and his aspiration to live from padel. He shares his journey, his thoughts on their duo and his future ambitions.

The journey with Dorian de Meyer

“Dorian took me to play my first game of padel. We started competing in tournaments together and fighting for a year before winning our first P100 together. We climbed the ranks and came from very far in terms of level. We reached our best French ranking in September 2022, being 10th, which is magnificent because it's something we would never have hoped to achieve; it was a dream.

In fact, when we start playing padel, we don't say to ourselves that we can't be 10th French and be at the door of the French team, and that's what's beautiful. It's a pretty emotional time, I admit that I still don't realize that it's really over. What is certain is that the course is magnificent and that we would have signed up every day to experience that. We had some incredible moments together and sharing a friendship off and on the pitch made it all more so.”

The factors of separation 

“To be honest, I think the factors for this separation come from me. I needed to break this bad dynamic that we had for several months where we were not obtaining results together, whether internationally or even in France. We struggled to find chemistry on the field and reach a competitive level of team play. Individually, I felt progress on my side during the pre-season. I did a lot of physical preparation and padel from December until February. Dorian did it too, of course, but the results were not consistent with this progression.

I told myself that to relaunch our team, we were going to do a few tournaments separately to be able to start together better, but from the moment I made this decision to want to do a few tournaments without him internationally, we found ourselves in a unique position, because we had always wanted to play together, motivated by our friendship. I think there were things that drove us that were different from the moment we became professional. Once professional, what thrills me is being able to succeed, of course individually, but also collectively with Dorian, because my project was with him. But it is a choice that I made to continue with him because I believe that Dorian de Meyer and Thomas Vanbauce can go to the French team together, can beat the best and have a future on the international circuit.


At the end of this year, with the results we had, the question arose more and more, and I have no problem with the idea that we could succeed separately, because the objective is is that we both succeed. I will always be behind him, behind his project. I'm a firm believer that he's going to succeed, and he, I think, wanted us both to succeed together or nothing. That's what made him tick.

We had goals that were a little different from the moment we became professional. Before the professional phase, the question did not arise because we played together, because we wanted to play together and we liked it. There was no significant horizon. From the moment we became professional, my goal was to succeed and try to make a living with padel. It is essential that I succeed both at international level and at French level to be in the French team, and I will give myself the means to achieve this.”


“It's quite delicate because I think that in fact, what hurts us is realizing that we are not on the same wavelength in terms of objectives vis-à-vis of padel. What came out of it was a kind of disappointment, and I think it broke something in our duo. I think we wouldn't see ourselves playing internationally with anyone else and then coming back to France to play together again. In this case, it was really either we play together or we don't play together. We have always refused to play with each other by default. In any case, I always refused to play with Dorian by default and I really wanted it to be a choice from the moment I wanted to become professional.

And it's true that, recently, because of the results, I needed a little change and to find myself as a player. I don't have enough perspective on the situation, but the first tournament in Dubai worked out pretty well for me, so far.”

Dorian de Meyer and Thomas Vanbauce

The French championships 

“What's a shame is that we have to go through the regional championships because of our ranking. That is to say that I am 37th French while I am currently 251st in the world, without benefiting from assimilation. If I want to be assimilated, I will be 50th French, which I find quite aberrant compared to the difficulty of being ranked between 300th and 250th in the world.

In fact, we do not go directly through the qualification phase. There are 12 teams that are directly qualified, and we are not one of these 12 teams, so we have to go through the regional phase. I find this quite aberrant because we are professionalizing and playing internationally precisely to favor the international level, and we find ourselves penalized in France. We are forced to play the regional championship while other people do not.

Concerning this event, the French championships were initially a very important objective in my season. I know that there are the world championships which come after, and I think that the French championships will be a good way to make selection for the world championships as well. However, I really don't put any pressure on myself in relation to the French championship. I just want to enjoy, share this moment one last time with Dorian, because that's all we deserve. Given the history we have created together and everything we have experienced, this is the minimum. I just want to enjoy being on the track with him one last time at the French championship, hoping to qualify at the regional championships.”

The program and its partner for the future

“I played in London with Nicolas Rouanet with mixed results and for good reason, we played a very strong pair who won the FIP in Lithuania. Next week, I'm going to Monaco to participate in a tournament again with Maxime Joris. The fact that it went well with Maxime in Dubai, that we get along well and that he has an international project, makes me think about the possibility of continuing with him, but it remains an idea for the moment. ”

meyer vanbauce

Objectives and ambitions for 2024

“Yes, I learned yesterday exactly that I have been selected for the pre-selection course for the French team, which will take place at the beginning of May; This is great news. I didn't particularly have the goal of being on the French team in July for the European Championships. My goal was to be in the French team in November. But beyond that, of course, it is to have a selection this year if I can, because a renewal will be made given that Jérémy Scatena and Benjamin Tison have stopped at the high level; there are places to be taken. Clearly, I have my cards to play and I will do everything to be there, to deserve this place.

Last year, my goal was to be in the top 200 in the world, which I didn't achieve. So, this year, I am returning to this goal and playing as many FIP tournaments as possible. In terms of level, the objective would be to beat teams who are, on paper, stronger than me. For now, it's off to a good start because following the last tournament, we still beat the 2nd seed (Inzerillo/Vives). It's something that hasn't happened to me for a long time, to have beaten a member of the French team. It goes back to September 2022, where we won with Dorian in the final of a P1000 against Maxime Moreau and Matthieu Armagnac.

These are mainly objectives in terms of level of play, to go for big matches rather than objectives in terms of ranking, because we see it a little internationally: the ranking does not mean much for the moment. There are still teams that are poorly ranked because of the transition World Padel Tour /FIP/ Premier Padel, and others who are a little outclassed because they played the FIP circuit very quickly; it's still a bit unbalanced. The objective will be to climb the ranks little by little, to win big matches and to be in the French team.”

Dorian Massy

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