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A few weeks after the famous tennis tournament, Roland Garros has changed its scene … and its rackets, with the feud continuing into Sunday in the first major tennis event, a system in full swing in France and in many other countries.

Source: Agence France-Presse

In the middle of Philippe Chatrier Stadium, clay gives way to an electric blue industrial deck and a glass cage.

Roland Garros, the temple of tennis, wants to become a mandatory stage in the world padel circuit, collecting the best 56 pairs of the sport.

The tournament, organized jointly by the French Tennis Federation with QSI, the Qatari fund that owns Paris Saint-Germain, has already taken the Grand Slam class in its first edition, along with tests in Doha, Rome and Mexico.

Created at the end of the 1960s in Mexico, racquet tennis is a sport played in pairs on a court smaller than a tennis court and surrounded by four crystals on which a ball can bounce. Points are calculated in the same way as tennis (15-30-40 games) and you need to win six matches to win a set and two sets to win the match.

Despite the fact that France does not yet have the number of practitioners for Spain (300,000 compared to about 4 million), Parisian championship director Arnaud de Pasqual asserts that this discipline is experiencing a “boom”, “because it hardly had practitioners in the country until two or three years ago.” ”, as he had to see that some well-known faces promoted this sport, such as Zinedine Zidane, who opened a six-track complex a few days ago.

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“One day, tennis will become the second racket sport in France, why you can’t outpace tennis,” says French major Benjamin Tesson, 33, who is ranked 69th in the world. classification.

– ‘Easy sport’ –

What initially started as a trend among tennis players, says de Pasquale, “right now, 60% of the practitioners don’t come from tennis.”

“It’s an easy sport, without rejection: everyone can hit, serve and rally quickly. It makes anyone think they can play right away, which is a rarity in sports. It’s also very hilarious and funny. And at the highest level, it can become amazing,” he adds. Tournament manager.

The French officials still have to do to make this practice one of the main and most popular sports in the country, especially expanding the tournament to include the women’s category, which was absent in the first edition since the World Padel Tournament held until 2023- the 2024 season with the World Padel Tour, which is A direct competitor in the Premier Padel circuit.

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