Ale Galan and Juan Lebron are having a somewhat difficult mid-season on the World Padel Tour, with unusual results for a pair of such a level.
No one will say the opposite, when they play at their best, Ale Galan and Juan Lebron are the best pair in the world. padel global. The other players of the World Padel Tour are well aware of this, as evidenced for example by the recent publication by Javi Ruiz.
Two very physical, powerful players, Lebron and Galan can play at a very high pace and literally suffocate their opponents. Able to finish points in two strokes of the rackets with smashes or volleys, they are also great defenders. Very fast despite their rather large size for players of padel, they have an extension and a set of legs which allow them to be multiplied on the track. A real headache for their opponents.
However, after a successful start to the season with 3 wins in the first 5 tournaments (and 3 wins in straight sets in the final), Ale and Juan are stalling this summer. Defeated in each of the last 4 tournaments, they have their worst streak since playing together. Worse yet, they got brought out for their entry into the running in Malaga by Javi Ruiz and Arturo Coello, something that just had never happened to them!
So how does this pair capable of outrageously dominating their opponents on good days already end up with 6 defeats out of 9 tournaments this year ? Straddling 2020 and 2021, these are simply 8 defeats out of 11 tournaments, a record that contrasts drastically with the beginning of 2020, which saw them win 4 of the first 5 tournaments!
First let's talk about their opponents. The level and competition have never looked so high on the WPT with no less than 11 different pairs that reached the last square this year (Lebron / Galan, Sanyo / Bela, Di Nenno / Navarro, Lima / Tapia, Stupaczuk / Ruiz, Capra / Sanchez, Chingotto / Tello, Gonzalez / Rico, Lamperti / Coello, Coello / Ruiz, Botello / Ruiz).
Pairs train hard, do whatever they can to adapt to Lebron and Galan's game, and are usually super-motivated when it comes to facing them, galvanized by the possibility of affording the number 1's scalp. .
However, of all their losses conceded in 2021, only two came in straight sets (against Chingotto / Tello in Valladolid, and against Lima / Tapia in Marbella). This means that even when they lose, there is always a moment when Lebron and Galan manage to gain the upper hand over their opponents, as was the case in the second set in Malaga against Coello / Ruiz.
Unplayable when the score is in their favor, they seem much less serene when the going gets tough. A competitor at heart, Juan Lebron seems quickly to get annoyed and let himself be won over by negative emotions. Sometimes a little inside, Ale Galan is often very busy on important points, the pairs wanting at all costs to avoid the smash of his partner.
This sometimes gives us the image of a pair that gives in quite quickly to frustration. What to do to find the path to victory and get out of this bad patch? Same story on the side of the two players: work, work and work.
Let's agree, with 3 tournaments won since the start of the year, Lebron and Galan are experiencing results that would delight almost all the pairs on the circuit. The problem is, Number 1s are not just any pair, they know they have the potential to completely dominate the WPT and they can't be satisfied with that situation.
Some observers point to a lack of complicity between the two players. Would they do it better separately? Not easy. Together, they know that they can crush the competition, they did it in 2020. Separately they will necessarily have to face each other, which complicates the possibility for both of them to be so successful.
In case of separation we could have imagined that they would cross with Lima and Tapia who did not seem very fulfilled on the track together, but they have just won the Las Rozas Open, and will play tomorrow in the final in Malaga… Chingotto and Tello, who are also having a somewhat disappointing year, could represent a solution but clearly unless they can no longer bear each other, Lebron and Galan never seem as strong as together!