The degree of kinship that has been established between the game of padel and lawn tennis is inescapable. It’s true that they are two sports that have a lot in common, but there are also many other differences. That’s why being a good tennis player doesn’t guarantee that you’re a good padel player, and vice versa.
There are more and more exceptions every time, though, and there are many former tennis players who are trying out new experiences playing padel. Examples of such cases are Juan Carlos Ferrero or Anabel Medina. However, the most representative case of going from tennis to playing padel at the first level, and with great success, is the player Marta Marrero. The player from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ranked 47th in the WTA professional circuit after winning two doubles titles (Sopot and Istanbul). Now Marta Marrero is ranked third in the women’s world padel-tour rankings (5,900 points). Now that is an example of success.
In some cases, Marta Marrero herself acknowledged that, thanks to tennis, there is already some experience of technique and strokes, such as the brush stroke, but also stressed that the style between playing padel and tennis is very different. Tennis may provide a better technical base, but the tennis player who steps up and takes to the court playing padel has to change the chip.
Thus, the points you need to adapt to are as follows:
Reduce power and strength in favour of technique and tactics:
On the tennis court, winning strokes are very much related to its power and strength. However, when playing padel a powerful stroke does not guarantee that points will score in your favour. You must learn to read the game well, so that you know the exact moment when you need to take a power shot, a more controlled shot, or even a softer shot.
Use bounces from walls and court grids:
Bounces are one tricky section to switch tennis players for playing padel. Accustomed to not missing the ball, they tend to hit it before it hits the wall. This is the scene most seen in tennis players who switch to padel play.
Playing doubles and matching each other:
Yes, there are doubles competitions in tennis, there are even pairs who only play doubles, and they match up beautifully. However, the highest percentage of tennis players play individually. So, when playing padel they are forced to choose partner and try to complement every action of the match. And the task ahead is daunting, and it seems necessary to know how to manage it in order to get the best results in competition.
Movements and movements on the court:
As a general rule, a tennis player usually moves around the court with lateral movements, most of the time. This varies considerably when playing the padel, as the dominant movements are forward and backward. In addition, jumping takes on great importance when playing padel in order to execute a smash final shot and win the ball. Tennis also has smash – an overhead smash – and they are final in many cases, but the jumps do not have as much impact on the development of the game as in game of padel.
Specific ball strikes:
The so-called cobra or tray strokes, among others, are characteristic touches of the game of padel that the player must know in order to try to take the initiative of the game at certain moments. It is also important to master a stroke called the ball, which the tennis player knows perfectly well, but which when playing padel is one of the resources that can unbalance the game for or against. And, of course, pitching, which in both cases has very different methods, although they have a common denominator: coordination.
Obviously, there are still many differences between one sport and the other, but if a tennis player can handle these aspects of the game, he will have many opportunities to become a good padel player.