Ariana Sánchez Fallada, better known as Ari Sánchez, is one of the youngest and most successful players in the world of padel. Born in Reus on 9 July 1997, the player is currently ranked number 3 on the World Padel Tour.
The Catalan started playing padel when she was nine years old thanks to her father, with whom she occasionally played a match on the courts of the urbanisation where she lived.
“When my father finished playing his matches, my older brother and I would go onto the court to play with him. We always got angry because my father always beat us, but I liked it a lot and in the end, my parents signed me up for lessons,” Ari said in one of his videos.
Ariana was always an active child. From an early age, she was part of the school football and basketball teams. At the age of nine, her parents realised that their daughter had the potential to play padel very well.
It was then that her parents enrolled her in a padel club in Reus. After a while, the little player began to compete at the regional level.
End of the junior era: tandem Ari and Marta
In 2016 Ariana would already combine competition and studies as Ari, in addition to padel, studies Sports Science at the University Camilo José Cela and Physiotherapy at the University of Barcelona: “I have chosen these studies so that my professional career will continue to be linked to sport in the future”.
His beginnings in the WPT came from the hand of Tamara Icardo in 2016, a partner with whom she played until mid-season. That same year she also played with Paula Eyheraguibel in the Catalan Federation tournaments.
But before entering the world ranking, Ariana had played with her inseparable friend and partner, Marta Ortega. In 2017 they would pair up again to fight for the leadership of the WPT.
New duo: Ari Sanchez and Alejandra Salazar
The young Catalan started the 2019 season with a new partner, Alejandra Salazar. This sporting duo, called “AS”, generated a lot of excitement among fans. After two seasons as partners, Ari and Ale won eight titles along with the 2019 masters title.
At the end of December 2020, the farewell between the two was announced and a few days later it was already known that for 2021 Ari’s new sporting partner would be Paula Josemaría.