Exclusive with the 16-year-old super talent: ”I started to train two years ago”
Claudia Jensen on • How she started playing padel • Her desire to change the national team. • To combine studies with playing on the professional tour.
Argentinian Claudia Jensen is undoubtedly among the greatest talents the sport has ever seen. At 16, she made it to the quarter-finals at the last World Padel Tour competition, Alicante Open. In an exclusive interview with Padel Alto, Jensen talks about how she started playing padel, her desire to change national teams and combining studying with playing on the professional tour.
— I started to train and compete two years ago, at fourteen. Then I won the World Junior Championship in Castellón, she says to Padel Alto.
Claudia Jensen started playing tennis at the age of four. According to her, it was a sport where she felt too lonely. The sport of padel has that to thank. At the age of twelve, she stopped.
That's when her padel career took off, with the support of her father, who was as best ranked number four in Argentina.
— I started playing tennis when I was four years old, but it is a very individual sport, and at the age of twelve, I stopped playing it. I started padel in Argentina from then on because my father was a player and coach, she says.
”Wish to represent Spain.”
She was born in Madrid, but her nationality is Argentina, the country she represented in the last World Championship in Doha, where they went runner-up losing the final against Spain.
In that World Championship, Claudia Jensen also had the chance to play for Italy, as her father has dual Argentine/Italian nationality. Although Jensen decided to represent the Argentinian national team, her ultimate goal is another one.
— Later on, if I manage to get the nationality, my wish is to be able to play for the Spanish national team, she tells Padel Alto.
At the beginning of this year, left-handed Claudia Jensen started playing with the experienced Spanish player Carla Mesa (31).
— I get along very well with Carla on and off the court. She is an experienced player who brings me a lot, and I learn a lot from her.
”That day was really special.”
She is the first player in history to reach the quarter-finals stage in an Open or Master tournament of the World Padel Tour at the age of 16. A certain Marta Ortega played in the semi-finals at the age of 17 and even reached the Master Finals.
— I was very happy, although every victory is very important, that day was really special. All the emotions came at the same time for me. It was really nice.
— On the one hand, I like playing against them, but on the other hand, when I have them in front of me on the court, I realize that they are Ale Salazar and Gemma Triay, and my legs shake a little bit, haha.
”Sanyo is my idol.”
P.A: Who are your references in the circuit?
— In the men's circuit Sanyo Gutierrez is my idol and absolute reference without a doubt. I don't have such a strong preference for the women's circuit, but I really like Gemma Triay.
It is not easy for such a young player to combine studies with a sports career, and Claudia Jensen knows this very well.
— When I'm not competing, I study in the afternoon and train in the morning. Last year it was challenging to coordinate studies and competitions. Luckily, I am certified as a high-performance athlete this year, which allows me more flexibility when traveling to matches and being away. Because in tournaments, the concentration is 100% on the competition, there is no time to study.
The next Challenger competition is just around the corner. The Albacete Challenger awaits Claudia Jensen and Carla Mesa. Currently, the super talent is ranked 24th in the World Padel Tours Race of 2022 and 30th in the world rankings.
— I don't have a short-term goal, but I would like to be in the top 10, says Claudia Jensen.