Padel, the fastest growing racquet sport in the world, made history in Dubai this month, collecting a prize pool of €500,000 for the World Padel Championships.
The biennial International Padel Federation (IPF) tournament took place earlier this month on converted and bespoke tennis courts at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.
With the UAE’s multinational logistics company DP World as the official title sponsor, the IPF gave professional padel players incentives worth half a million euros. The sponsorship should help to strengthen the esteem of padel both in the United Arab Emirates and internationally. It attracted some of the biggest padel teams, including the Big Hitters Spain and Argentina.
Spain and Argentina dominated the sport as the only two championship winners since the first edition in 1992, with the two powerhouses of the game facing off in a vibrant men’s final in a crowded stadium with 5,000 spectators. Argentina beat rivals Spain 2-1 and won the title. With the win, Argentina also secured their 11th overall world championship title and retaliated after losing to Spain in last year’s final in Doha.
Number one of the US Open 2022 will retire. Juan LeBron and Francisco Navarro put Spain in the lead after coming from behind to beat Argentines Federico Chingotto and Agustin Tapia 3:6, 7-5, 6-3 in the first set. Argentines Franco Stupaczuk and Martin Di Nenno beat Spaniards Arturo Coello and Alejandro Galan 6-3, 6-2 to improve the game. Argentineans Fernando Belasteguin and Sanyo Gutierrez won the decision maker by beating Alex Ruiz and Momo Gonzalez from Spain 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
The UAE men’s national team debuted at home with an eight-man squad representing the Arabian Gulf. The championship also had separate women’s categories. 16 national teams from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay and the USA competed.
The prize pool of €500,000 was divided equally between the women’s and men’s teams. The winners received €45,000, the runners-up €30,000, the third-place winners €24,000, the fourth €20,000 and the fifth €18,000.
UAE Padel Association (UAEPA) President Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum said: “With her unparalleled experience supporting some of the biggest local and international sporting events, DP World’s milestone sponsorship for the Padel World Cup will only help strengthen the UAE’s position as the global capital of padel and the commitment to is already one of the fastest growing sports in the world.”
The event, which is now titled “DP World Dubai World Padel Championship 2022,” was held under the auspices of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and hosted by the UAEPA in collaboration with the Dubai Sports Council and the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism (DET).
“In a relatively short period of time, Padel has grown exponentially in popularity, and the UAE has taken incredible steps to become a global hub for the sport,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World, “and our title sponsorship of the Padel World Cup is confirmation of our investment to take the sport to an even higher level.”
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