History of padel
Padel as a sport originated in 1969 in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco. The founder of padel. Enrique Corcuera, was a rich business man. At home, he didn't have enough space to put in a tennis courts, so he came up with a similar sport. He created a court that was 10 by 20 metres in size and surrounded by 3-4 metre high walls. A net divided the court into two equal sides. Because of the smaller playing field, he decided to play with wooden rackets that were smaller than traditional tennis rackets.
In the beginning, padel was only played by the Mexican elite, but through Alfonso De Hohenlohe, a Spanish friend of Corcuera, it ended up in Spain. De Hohenlohe introduced the sport in Marbella, where the first European padelclub was founded in 1974. The first players were all rich friends of De Hohenlohe. When Spanish king Juan Carlos and ex-Wimbledon champion Manolo Santana started promoting the sport, its popularity rose quickly. The development of the sport took another great leap as a friend of De Hohenlohe, Julio Menditengui, brought the sport to Argentina.
In Argentina, padel grew to become a national sport with more than 10,000 courts and 2 million players. In Spain the amount of players already reached 1 million in the 90s making it one of the fastest growing sports in the world. In 2014 it was estimated that all over the world more than 10 million people were playing the sport. Spain and Argentina remain. to this day, the top countries in official tournaments and international competition.
The first World Championships were organised in 1992 in Seville, Spain with delegations from 11 different countries from Europe and America participating. Since that time the World Championships are organised every 2 years. Other big tournaments that also attract tens of thousands of spectators are the Europacup, the Padel Pro Tour (Spain and Argentina) and the Tri-Nations Cup in Latin America.