Is padel a threat to tennis? The former British No. 1 gives us his verdict

It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the UK, but is padel a threat to tennis?

This question has been asked time and time again as a sport that is enjoying huge popularity in Spain and Argentina begins to really take hold in Britain.

Padel is a mix between tennis and squash, a fast and social racket sport, with the court surrounded by a glass wall which has inspired suggestions that it is a cross between tennis and squash.

Hundreds of padel courts have been installed over the past two years and more will be added in the second half of 2023.

With padel clearly growing in popularity at a rapid pace, the question is whether the sport that has so many similarities to tennis poses a threat to the popularity of the traditional court game?

Some clubs are removing tennis courts from their collection and putting padel courts in their place, but former Britain No 1 Andrew Castle suggests the two sports complement each other.

“I don’t see how padel can be seen as a threat to tennis,” Castle told Tennis365 at a Game4Padel event in London, as they prepare to open new padel courts at Virgin Active Chiswick club. River side.

“They both have their own merits and should not be seen as rivals in any way.

“I remember being asked about the comparisons between squash and tennis years ago and again, these two sports work together in a complementary way.

“If we’re looking to attract membership to tennis clubs and they can do that by offering padel as part of their package, that can be good for both sports.

“We want more people to come through the door and part of the driver for that is padel, I don’t see that as a downside in any way.

“Padel is just a lot of fun and people who love tennis will always want to play this sport. They may also want to play padel.

“If you are a racket club and you do not offer padel in the future, I think you will be left behind. It is an offer that clubs must have.

Castle went on to suggest that making padel accessible to all levels of players will help bolster its growth in the years to come.

“It’s easier to get reasonably good at padel fairly quickly,” he added. “Not at the level that the best players operate, but at the social level with your friends.

“You can enjoy a padel foursome and rally almost straight away. In tennis, it’s a bit more difficult to do because it’s a harder sport to master.

“Good luck to those making the decisions on what comes next for padel in the UK, but I’ve been watching what Game4Padel is doing by installing so many courts and it’s clear there’s real momentum behind it.

“I’m not too worried about the padel elite as I see it as a game you can enjoy with your friends and drink a few beers afterwards.

“If I play this game I feel like I’ve gone through the spinner because it’s fantastic exercise and more importantly a lot of fun.”

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