Since its invention, paddle tennis is a sport that has not stopped reaping success and gaining followers. Whether at the professional or amateur level, the truth is that it is a sport that, far from being a passing fad, has become a mass sport that year after year continues to demonstrate that it is a living sport.
But… where did this sport originate?
It is complicated to give an answer to this question. There are several versions of the history of the origin of paddle tennis.
Origins of paddle tennis
According to the most widely recognized version, which is the official one of the
Spanish Padel Federation
and the same as the one offered by the
Padel was born in 1969 in Acapulco, Argentina. At that time, Enrique Corcuera, who is considered the inventor of paddle tennis, was in love with the fronton, which he practiced on a fronton court he had at home. It occurred to him to incorporate to his track a wall of about three meters high in the opposite wall that he already had, and to place a net in the middle, and closing the sides with 4 walls that had an average height. In total, the enclosure had dimensions of 20×10 meters. The rules applied were the same as those of tennis, but with the difference that it was allowed to use the walls for rebounds. It was played with wooden paddles and was called Paddle-Tennis.
Subsequently, in 1974, the figure of Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe came into play.
Alfonso of Hohenlohe
He is considered to be one of the main precursors who allowed the widespread diffusion of paddle tennis all over the world. In that year, Enrique Corcuera invited his friend Alfonso de Hohenlohe to his estate to spend a few days. And there he showed him the new sport he had devised. Alfonso saw opportunities in him and decided to take him to the Costa del Sol in Spain that same year of 1974 to promote him in his real estate business. He built two courts in his Marbella Club, with some modifications, integrating the fence in place of the walls.
One year after the arrival of paddle tennis in Spain,
a friend of Hohenlohe, arrived in Argentina, a country that ended up being a power in this sport.
As early as 1991, the leaders of the
Argentine Padel Association
agreed on the foundation in Madrid of the
International Padel Federation
and the Spanish Association agreed to establish the International Padel Federation in Madrid, establishing international rules of the game.
In the 90’s, paddle tennis gained great popularity in Spain, thanks to the impulse given by figures such as the great legend of tennis
. It even caused some tennis players to change discipline.
Since then, paddle tennis has not stopped growing. In fact, during the pandemic, paddle tennis became the most popular sport, according to various surveys.
The reasons for its success are diverse. It is a sport suitable and very accessible to any age, being less physically demanding than tennis. It’s easy to start playing even if you’ve never played sports before, because you get better quickly and that ends up getting players hooked. In addition, we must not forget its social aspect, since it is a fun game where you are close to other players, facilitating interaction.