Jamie Murray insists padel should not be viewed as a threat to tennis
Jamie Murray has insisted padel is not a threat to tennis, as he backed the sport to rise in prominence in the coming years.
Padel has been hailed as the fastest-growing sport in the UK, after a year that has seen more and more courts installed and participation numbers growing.
Yet tennis still looks at padel as something of a threat to its domination of the racket sport market, with the political maneuvers of recent weeks highlighting the jostling for position.
The International Tennis Federation made an attempt earlier this month to assert control over the sport of padel and effectively become its new governing body.
Padel already has a governing body and with the Dubai-backed International Padel Federation also pressing its claims to be a leader in organising the future of the sport.
A cross between tennis and squash, played on a court surrounded by a heavy-duty glass surround that allows players to hit the ball after it bounces back off the wall, the game originally started in Mexico and quickly swept through South America and then into Europe.
Seven-time Grand Slam tennis champion Jamie Murray is a big supporter of padel and has invested in Game4Padel, who are leading the installation race of courts in the UK.
Speaking exclusively to Tennis365, Murray insisted the sport will grow alongside tennis and may even be played by more people in the UK than the long-established racket sport.
“I don’t think padel is a threat to tennis in any way,” said Murray, with his brother and two-time Wimbledon champion Andy also an investor in Game4Padel.
“I don’t see any negative to having a couple of padel courts in your tennis club as it adds to the offering for members and could bring new people to both sports.
“The sport is going to grow and grow and we need to increase the number of courts that people can play on. When we get people out there, you can see the enjoyment and as a social sport, it is great fun.
“If I go and play tennis with friends, it’s not a lot of fun because the game is hard to learn and there are a lot of aspects to it.
“With padel, we can get out there and have some good rallies quite quickly. That’s the beauty of the sport.
“You are playing in a smaller space, you don’t have to run down a couple of courts to collect the balls and the sociable aspect of this sport is better than tennis.”
Andy Murray’s former coach Jamie Delgado also spoke to Tennis365 about the future of padel, in his role as a Game4Padel ambassador.
“Tennis is quite a hard game to play,” Dalgado told us.
“Whether it is the bigger court or the equipment that is harder to use, to play it at a decent level, you have to have played from a young age and put a lot of hours into it.
“With padel, even if you have never played before, you can pick it up quite quickly and have a good game. So it is much more attractive for some people to play padel than tennis.
“You can have a bit of banter with your friends playing padel, try to work out how to play it and it is also a good workout doing it.
“Tennis can be a bit tough to get rallies going when you start and you spend a lot of time picking balls up, but that doesn’t happen with padel.
“We now have lots of courts and there are plans for more courts to go down so it is defiantly getting bigger each year now.”
Novak Djokovic ‘set to be handed key Ryder Cup role’ as he flies into Rome
Novak Djokovic could have a a big role to play with Team Europe at the Ryder Cup in Rome.
Carlos Alcaraz set to face rival in exhibition event; Caroline Wozniacki to play Maria Sakkari
Carlos Alcaraz is set to face a rival in an exhibition match in Mexico, while Caroline Wozniacki will take on Maria Sakkari.
Piers Morgan rips into Emma Raducanu for taking part in ‘woke and absurd’ advert
Piers Morgan has turned his verbal fire on Raducanu after she took part in a HSBC advert.
Tennis legend backs Novak Djokovic to play ‘as long as the young guys don’t want to beat him’
A tennis great “does not blame” Novak Djokovic for wanting to continue playing for “as long as these young guys don’t want” to beat him.
‘I’d love to see Rafael Nadal play one more time – he’s a student of the game’, says tennis great
A tennis legend would love to see fellow great Rafael Nadal play “one more time” before the Spaniard retires.
Roger Federer ready to ‘return to the court’ as he hints at big plan
Roger Federer has hinted at a return to the court as he looks to get back into top shape.
Iga Swiatek reveals biggest hurdle to her completing a career Grand Slam
Iga Swiatek discussed when she hopes to complete a career Grand Slam and suggested what her biggest hurdle may be.
‘Carlos Alcaraz was No 1 most of this year but all the players still think Novak Djokovic is No 1’
A top analyst has claimed “all the players” still think Novak Djokovic is the best player in the world.
Nightmare draw for Andy Murray as Carlos Alcaraz learns his fate in China Open
Carlos Alcaraz set to return to action for the first time since the US Open.
Huge money on offer in China with record prize pot up for grabs for top women
The top women players will be chasing a huge cash prize at the China Open.