After several years' hiatus, the World Padel Tour began last Saturday, 16 March in Marbella. To celebrate 70 years of the sport, ex-tennis player and Wimbledon champion, Manolo Santana, served as the patron of the event. Players this year included the most distinguished padel player, Carolina Navarro, and number 4 in the world, Francisco 'Paquito' Navarro.
Marbella is the starting point for this circuit that will tour nine countries, with 56 female and 100 male pairs, of 17 nationalities taking part.
Local players from Malaga are well represented in the tournament. Junior world champion José Solano and his partner Alejandro Arroyo lost to Javier González Barahona and Antonio Luque, so despite the strong pairing, they did not make it to the final rounds.
The Malaga women were out in force for their first matches on 20 March. Carolina Navarro, Bea González and Mari Carmen Villalba all won their first matches, showing their hard work in preseason training was paying off.
Carolina Navarro, the most decorated padel player in history, with her partner, defeated rivals Isabel Domínguez and Vanessa Alonso in two sets. The young Malaga players, Carmen Castillón and Marta Caparrós, left a positive feeling for the future of padel. As two very talented young players, they are the ones to watch.
Álex Ruiz, was the only male Malaga player left in the tournament on Thursday, after Jerónimo González and Matías Marina failed to qualify for the next round.
The finals of this event, for both men and women, will be held at the Palacio de los Deportes Elena Benítez in San Pedro Alcántara on Sunday.