Björne´s Column
The new global era of padel begins — how long can the WPT hold on?

Today the new Premier Padel World Tour starts in Doha, Qatar. At the same time, a new global era for padel starts. The tour will be the best, most glamorous, and most prestigious. The question now is: How long can the World Padel Tour hold on?

Will we see the World Padel Tour all year? Will it be canceled after the Alicante Open? What about the fines against the players? 

There are many questions to ask the World Padel Tour management right now. Unfortunately, the answers are few. As a journalist gaining access to the World Padel Tour staff is difficult and it has been since I started covering the sport.

”The women — WPT:s last lifeline.”

Therefore you have to go to the players and people around padel to figure it out. The players are not afraid of having to pay the fine imposed by the World Padel Tour on the contracted players for a total of €25 million. And, there are now many speculations and rumors that the Alicante Open could be the last tournament we see on the World Padel Tour. 

Do I believe this?

No, it's not that simple. Shutting down a world tour that has been the leading one since taking over from the Padel Pro Tour in 2012 costs too much to its partners and written agreements. They will have to pay hefty damages if this is the case. 

Moreover, they have one lifeline left: the female players who, via the IPPA (women's players' association), have not yet agreed with the management of Premier Padel to play on the new world tour. Will the news be announced that the women will also be playing on the Premier Padel Tour during this week in Doha? 

Not impossible at all if you ask me.

”Tournaments in Cordoba, Reus, and Vigo will be replaced by New York, Doha, and Paris.” 

If so, the last lifeline is over for the World Padel Tour, and the conflict is won by the new tour where the players want to play in the future. The World Padel Tour has done a lot of good for the sport since 2012, but now ten years later is being defeated by bigger actors who want to take the sport global in a different way. 

Believe me. I'm the first to love tournaments in genuine smaller towns in the country I love the most, but now Cordoba, Reus, and Vigo will be replaced by New York, Doha, and Paris.

This is what the new global era of padel will look like with Premier Padel. We see a sport with more money, more professionalism, and greater internationalization starting today. 

”Our job is to cover the sport internationally”.

Padel Alto is on-site in Doha, to cover the first-ever competition in this new era. In a country that restricts human rights and exploits migrant workers. Across the city, new skyscrapers and show-off buildings are being built as part of the country's sports washing offensive for the upcoming football World Cup this winter. 

So why is Padel Alto on-site? It´s a complex question but in the end, it is our job to cover padel internationally and our duty to report on the ground as padel takes the first step towards becoming a global world sport with the goal of making it into the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. Always with a critical attitude and with well-balanced reports on what kind of country we are in. 

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