Viktor Enbacka
International Padel
WPT is the heart of padel — but things can improve

World Padel Tour is still the heart of padel, but improvements are needed in several areas. New tournaments, invitationals, and tours are starting up like never before. Will the world's best tour improvements come with increased competition like that from Fabrice Pastor and the APT Padel Tour? 

When I started following World Padel, not many people outside Spain and South America watched the World Padel Tour broadcasts. The matches were streamed on Youtube, which they have continued to do today, and information about the tournament and players was hard to find. Today it looks different. Sky Italia has bought up the rights in Italy and Viaplay in the Nordic countries. Broadcasts are now commented in Swedish, Italian, English, and Spanish. 

At the same time, new creative tournaments, invitationals, and tours backed up by rich sponsors offer a lot in prize money are being launched in many countries, attracting the world's best players. 

What does it mean that the world's biggest tour and the heart of the sport, the World Padel Tour, is starting to get competition like the one Fabrice Pastor and his new tour APT Padel Tour represent? 

It can bring many positive things to World Padel Tour but in general to the sport, players, and its fans. 

  • Reach more people worldwide. Finding information and content from World Padel Tour in English is still hard to get today. The world´s biggest tour needs to spread the sport's growth on a global level actively. The APT Padel Tour is new and has not attracted some of the best players from the World Padel Tour yet. The tour is centered in Spain. But their approach is more international, where they mix Spanish and English content more and are their tournaments are more spread out. Is the World Padel Tour picking up on that? 

  • Even out the prize money and change the attitude towards women's padel. Both the World Padel Tour and the APT Padel Tour have a lot of work to do here. Who takes the step of equalizing the prize money between the classes and changing the attitude toward the women's padel? As I travel around the World Padel Tour tournaments today, it may be as late as in the semi-finals before I see the women's team play on the main court. Before then, the women´s team played in a small club that isn't worth the world's best players. Two of the women's quarterfinals are played at the Center Court, while all the men's quarterfinals are played there. 

  • Streaming matches earlier. This is a major and central question for a lot of padel fans worldwide. At the moment, you can't watch the world's best tour in padel until the quarter-finals. If matches start to be streamed earlier, not only will the audiences be able to see more great padel matches. Players in the Round of 16, earlier rounds of the Main Round, or even the Previa will be more attractive to sponsors and spend more time and energy training to reach the world elite. If the competition comes from other tours like the APT Padel Tour streamed earlier, could that pressure the World Padel Tour to act?

The heart of the padel is the World Padel Tour. It's where my, the players, and the padel fans' great passion for the sport lies. It's where I began to fall in love with the sport and to geek out about every single player. But, the events can improve. But the events can be improved to broaden the sport. The arrangements may be lacking where the World Padel Tour can make more accessible to media and journalists, today it is impossible to interview players and representatives on-site without your own contacts. So how will the sport grow? 

Just like the sport is the tour young and needs improvements like those points above. Improvements that will grow the sport in the long run.

The World Padel Tour has been alone on the throne with no competition whatsoever for a long time. The APT Padel Tour is going big and tripling its prize money in the Open category for next season. 

Is the World Padel Tour acting when Fabrice Pastor and the APT Padel Tour are challenging to be the new heart of the sport? 

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