After winning the Sardegna Open, Fernando Belasteguín (first sportsman to be 16 years number 1 in a sport at the professional level) has attended the journalist Daniel Gamarra Peñalver in this interview.
Bela told us how important it was for him to win this tournament, his opinion about the couple Lebron and Galan and some details of his friendship with businessman and DJ Gianluca Vachhi.
- How do you feel after winning the Sardegna Open?
The truth is that I was very excited about winning the tournament. I wanted to dedicate it to my mother. Her mother (my grandmother Blanca) was of Italian descent and I think she would have liked very much to see me win this title in her homeland.
I remember that when I was a child my grandmother Blanca used to play the Italian hymn for us, she was very moved when she heard it, she never forgot her country of origin.
- The Sardegna Open was the first World Padel Tour tournament to be played in Italy. Was it different to play a professional tournament in Italy?
It is a very nice feeling to play a tournament in a new country. This has been the first World Padel Tour tournament played in Italy and the truth is that the feeling was very good and the treatment we have received from the local organization has been magnificent.
- The Italian tournament was your first title this season. For 16 years fans of this sport have been used to watching you win most of the tournaments on the professional circuit. Now it seems to cost a little more. What has changed?
Since I arrived in Spain about 20 years ago I have been lucky enough to win at least one professional tournament a year.
In this 2020, the Sardegna Open has been the first tournament I have won. What is happening this year is normal in the sport at the professional level. What I did at the time with Juan Martin and Pablo Lima is not usual in high competition.
“I still have the same desire to improve and win as before”Fernando Belasteguín
Nothing has changed inside me. I am older now, but I still have the same desire to improve and to win as before.
- Why have you decided to go back to the backhand side? Do you plan to play on the right again in the future?
Backhand is my natural play side. At the time I decided to play on the right side because on that side the physical wear is less and that was good for my injury.
A few months ago I noticed that the tendon was better, so I decided to encourage myself to play backwards again. I talked it over with Agustin Tapia and he had no problem going to the drive. The truth is that Agus is a phenomenon.
Since then we are very happy because we have made good results. (two finals, a semi-final and a quarter-final)
- What is your goal this season? Have you set yourself the goal of becoming number one in the world again with Agustín Tapia?
This has been a strange season due to the pandemic caused by the Covid 19 and the changes this has caused in the calendar of the professional circuit.
“The idea with Tapia was to aspire this year to be the number one couple in the world”Fernando Belasteguín
The idea with Tapia was to aspire this year to be the number one couple in the world, but I think that with the few tournaments left and how well Galán and Lebrón have done, it is going to be a very difficult goal to achieve.
- What do you think about the season Ale Galán and Juan Lebrón are doing? What do you think about their style of play? Do you think they have invented a different padel from what existed until now?
It is a couple that I like very much. They have won four tournaments out of six. Ale Galán and Juan Lebrón are two players with a spectacular physique and shots.
I really enjoy watching them play because they have a very aggressive padel that makes you evolve as a player. For a couple to force others to evolve is good for the sport in general.
- Have you been seen during the tournament days with the businessman and DJ Gianluca Vacchi? Do you think it is positive for the padel that Gianluca is fond of this sport?
With Gianluca Vacchi I have a very good friendship. Gianluca is a very warm person in the short term. He has a spectacular way of being.
I think he and other personalities like Carles Puyol, Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Francesco Totti help to promote padel worldwide. His love of padel is very good for the diffusion of this sport.
- To whom do you dedicate your victory in the Sardegna Open?
To my mother, since I have no doubt that if my grandmother Blanca were alive she would have been incredibly thrilled to see me win this tournament in her land, in Italy.