Quim Granados, Spanish padel coach, tells us in this interview what padel is like in Australia.
- Who is Quim Granados and could you tell us a little bit about your story?
My name is Joaquin Granados, but everybody calls me “Quim”. I’m from Barcelona, Spain. Like most padel players of my age, I had played tennis professionally and when I stopped, padel allowed me to continue competing at a high level and combine it with the university.
When I competed in Spain I did it mainly in the Catalan circuit reaching the top 10 pairs ranking, and by teams with the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899 with which we won the championship of Catalonia in the first category several times and also competed in the first category of the national championship.
I have also played for the University of Barcelona in the Spanish University Championship in which we won the gold medal.
It has been four years since I left Spain, first I lived in Ireland for a year where I could not play any padel, and three years ago I came to Sydney to study and here I have been able to play and compete and play more.
As a player, I have been growing and I play for the New South Wales national team and I am supported by sponsors like Bullpadel, Padelines (with whom I collaborate to make padel grow), LIGR and Bodiez
- How is padel in Australia?
Padel in Australia is still in its infancy in Australia, but it is already starting to grow little by little and recently there has been very good news that I can not tell yet until it is announced, but it is something that will surely make the growth exponential from now on.
The courts that have been built so far have been through people coming from Europe, I for example collaborate with Padelines who is a guy from Menorca (Spain) who has built courts in Las Vegas and Dubai among other places, a new indoor that is about to open is own by a lovely couple from Portugal, the club in Perth is owned by two Spanish women, and the first one in Sydney was created by an English guy who lived in Spain.
But very soon we will start to see people from here building courts and surely there will be a “boom” as there has been in Spain, Italy, Sweden…
- What are the differences with respect to padel in Spain?
The main difference is the size, you can’t compare the extension of padel in Spain with Australia right now. Here it is starting to grow now, more courts are being built, the first tournaments circuit has been created, more brands are arriving from Europe, they begin to support players to compete, for example, Bullpadel supports me by providing material to compete and train during the year.
But other than a difference, what I would emphasize is that like Spain, Australia has a great culture of tennis and a fairly similar climate around most of the country, which in my opinion are key factors for the success of the sport, as it is very social and people like to have a drink or something after the game etc.
- How many padel clubs are there in Australia?
Currently, there are three clubs, one in Sydney with four courts, one in Gold Coast which had two courts and has just built two more and one in Perth with three courts.
But it is already starting to grow and in less than a month the first indoor in Australia in Sydney will open up with six courts, four indoor and two outdoor, in November opens another in Sydney, and potentially will open up one in Melbourne and another in Perth soon, but the latter two I have no confirmation yet.
- How many professional players are there in Australia?
Here the level is still not very high compared to other countries where padel is more widespread. As it has happened in most countries, the best players are former tennis players or players who have come from other countries such as Spain, Argentina, Chile…
- Are there any tournaments or professional circuits?
So far there has been one-off FIP tournaments and small tournaments or leagues organized by the clubs themselves. This year the first national circuit has been created with a tournament in Sydney, one in Perth, one in Gold Coast and one for regional teams called “Padel State of Origin” in which the New South Wales team plays against the Queensland team, as if in Spain, for example, Catalonia played against Madrid.
But since the COVID came almost everything has been postponed or cancelled, so far we have only been able to play the “Padel State of Origin”, and we played 2020 in 2021.
So far this year everything has been postponed, and we are waiting to see if we can play a tournament before the end of the year. For next year I guess that the new clubs will host some tournaments of the circuit and it will be expanded.
- Do you think any Australian player can make it to the World Padel Tour?
Sure. Australia has two of the key factors for padel to be a success, which is the climate and a great tennis culture.
When there are more courts throughout the country, the number of tournaments will increase, that will also increase the competitiveness and there will be more and more players who only train in padel, and eventually, the players will rise having trained from young ages and that will make the level increase a lot.
I have experienced it in Spain and I am sure that the same thing will happen here.