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Padel tennis in Hong Kong: A beginner’s guide

We hit the court to give this exhilarating sport a try.

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta

Padel tennis is an exciting racquet sport that has rapidly gained popularity worldwide. The sport has grassroots and professional levels in Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. Initially introduced in Asia through Japan in 2013, it quickly spread to countries like Singapore, China, Thailand, India, and the Philippines. Now, this thrilling sport has made its way to Hong Kong, and you can enjoy playing it at the newly opened Padel+ in Sai Kung – Hong Kong's first padel club. However, before you step onto the court to showcase your smashing skills, it's essential to familiarise yourself with the basics. 

We had a chat with Weston and Curtis Yu, the father-son duo and founders of Padel+ in Hong Kong, to learn the basics of padel tennis. With the guidance of Padel+'s sports director, Sebastien Garcia Ortega, and head coach Sergio Moreno Bosch, we hit the court to give this exhilarating sport a try. 

Click the video link below for a sneak peek and keep reading to discover more about this racquet sport that is sure to gain popularity among Hongkongers.

RECOMMENDED: Up for some adrenaline-pumping activities? Check out our list of the best outdoor sports in Hong Kong for thrill seekers.  

A beginner’s guide to padel tennis

What is padel tennis? 

Padel tennis is a racquet sport that can be described as a cross between tennis and squash. The courts are like smaller tennis courts, measuring about 20 metres long and 10 metres wide (just one third of the size of a regular tennis court). These courts are enclosed by glass walls and metal fences that are integral to the gameplay.

Padel tennis is always a doubles game, so you can team up with your pals and take on the challenge together. Unlike tennis, it's not all about brute strength, technique, and serving. It is the ultimate combo of action, fun, and socialising. Regardless of age or skill level, anyone can dive into it with ease. 

History of padel

Padel tennis came to life in 1969, thanks to Enrique Corcuera, who invented it in Acapulco, Mexico. His friend, Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, was instantly smitten with the new game and eventually brought it to Spain in 1974, where he created the first two padel courts in a tennis club and made a few tweaks to the rules to up the competitive factor. The love for padel spread like wildfire, and within a year, Julio Menditeguy from Argentina introduced the sport to South America.  

In Spain, padel is not just popular - it's the second most beloved sport, right after football. As of 2022, there are a staggering five million padel players and over 20,000 courts in the country. Padelfever has even struck famous athletes like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have been spotted playing the sport alongside French President Emmanuel Macron. Tennis legend Serena Williams couldn't resist the lure of this exciting sport and gave it a go at the Spanish Open. And even star footballer Lionel Messi is an avid padel player, with his very own padel court right in his garden. 


How do you play padel?

First, let's talk about the ball and the racquet. The balls used for padel are similar to tennis balls but are slightly smaller and lighter. Padel racquets, on the other hand, are typically made of carbon fibre or fibreglass. They are solid, perforated, and smaller than tennis racquets. The grip on the racquet is shorter, making it easier to control and manoeuvre.

Padel's scoring system is similar to tennis, with points starting at 15, then 30, 40, and finally advantage and deuce. To win a set in padel, you need to win six games, and in the event of a tie at 6-6, players can play a seventh-point tie-breaker.

Now, let's talk about how to score points:

There are many ways to score points, but let's explore a few to get you started.

  • Make that ball bounce twice on the opponent's side 
  • When your opponent hits the ball into the net
  • When the ball decides to explore the great beyond, landing outside the play area
  • When your opponent accidentally hits the ball into their own side, oops!
  • If the player who's receiving the serve or their partner accidentally touches the ball with their racquet before it bounces, the server automatically wins the point

How to serve

In padel, serves are done underhand, and it starts from the right service court. Just like in tennis, you've got to serve the ball diagonally. The ball must hit the opposite service box before the returner can hit it. Keep in mind you've got two tries to get that perfect serve before the other team scores a point. 

If the ball hits the box or the glass after the first bounce, the serve can be replayed. However, if it touches the fence, it will be considered a fault. A fault is basically a fancy way of saying "uh-oh, something went wrong during the serve."  There are like 10 different ways to mess up and commit a fault. But the most common is when the ball decides to do its own thing and refuses to land in the receiving box. 

  • Sport and fitness
  • Sai Kung

Padel+ in Sai Kung boasts four high-quality padel courts manufactured by Wilson edition Padel Galis, the official court manufacturer for the World Padel Tour. These courts can host international tournaments accredited by the International Padel Federation (FIP). Along with the impressive courts, Padel+ offers a Pro Shop for gear purchases, a cafe serving a variety of drinks and snacks, air-conditioned changing rooms, and the option to rent racquets and balls. The facility is a comprehensive and modern destination for padel enthusiasts. 

Click the link below to learn more. 

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