Exclusive interview

Lima to Padel Alto ”I couldn't give Maxi what he needed, and he couldn't give it to me either”

He is one of the biggest legends of padel, the former world number one Pablo Lima. During the Italy Major, Padel Alto had an exclusive chat with Brazilian, who talks about the decision to leave Maxi Sanchez to play with Franco Stupaczuk. 
— I couldn't give Maxi what he needed, and he couldn't give it to me either. 

Agustin Tapia, Javi Ruiz, Maxi Sanchez and now Franco Stupaczuk. The Brazilian has had many different partners over the past year. 

At last, former world number one Pablo Lima seems to have found the right match with the younger Argentinian, "Stupa". 

— Franco gives me freshness to the game because of his speed and his youth. It is becoming more and more common for an older player to team up with a younger one, who can help you in the air or defense, he says to Padel Alto. 

Franco Stupaczuk and Pablo Lima started their partnership in the best possible way, reaching the final of their first tournament. However, during Premier Padel's second tournament, the Italian Major at the historic Foro Italico venue, the pair went out in a tight quarter-final against Fernando Belasteguin and Arturo Coello. 

P.A: Firstly. How do you see the growth of padel with a tournament in such a venue as Foro Italico? 

I'm very excited, and all the players wanted padel to get to where it is now. I am very proud that the sport I have practiced all my life has arrived here. It is impressive that padel is being played in these conditions. Suddenly what we all dreamed of became a reality. It makes me very happy.

”Stupa called me to play”

P.A: When you started playing padel in Brazil, did you imagine coming here?

When I played padel in Brazil, there were no glass courts. They were all made of cement. Imagine now... Foro Italico, Roland Garros, and tournaments in Spain with full stands. I never imagined that the sport would reach this level, let alone that I would be playing at this level.

In early April, Padel Alto revealed that Pablo Lima would play with Franco Stupaczuk, leaving his partner at the time, Maxi Sanchez, after just five tournaments. Finally, the news was confirmed, leaving two new couples in the circuit: Lima/Stupaczuk and Sanchez/Capra.

P.A: Did you call Stupa, or was it the other way around?

Stupa called me to play. I thought it was a change that had to be made because of my age. I couldn't give Maxi what he needed, and I don't think he couldn't give me either, so I thought the change would be suitable for both of us. I had to find a younger partner, and he might find himself a more aggressive player to play with.

P.A: Franco's break with Alex and yours with Maxi brought many changes to partners in the circuit. Do you think this is becoming more and more common?

There are many tournaments, many weeks in a row, and I think that in padel, these changes will happen more and more often. Couples lasting for a long time will be very sporadic, padel has changed, and we have to reinvent ourselves as well.

”Surprised to reach the final”

P.A: You have shown good chemistry on the court since the first tournament.

Yes, and I think we are both happy with the couple's level, and we want the couple to keep working better and better, but the sensations so far are promising. It's good to start playing well and realize the level you can reach because if you don't start well, it can generate doubts, but those doubts don't exist if you start well. You know what you are capable of, and you continue along the same line.

P.A: Were you surprised to reach the final in the first tournament you played together?

We were surprised to reach the final because we beat very good couples. We trained for three weeks together, and the truth is that it went very well, but you can't imagine reaching the final in the first tournament.

And he continues...

In a first tournament, you have low expectations because it is the first one, and you don't know what will happen. We were surprised to have reached the final and beaten such good couples. In the second I think we also played quite well, in the semi-finals they played better than us, and they won.

P.A: Stupa dropped the racket three times during the final in Brussels when he lost the safety strap. Do you think that situation made you lose the game? 

We didn't lose because of that, but the task was already a complicated one, and it became more difficult with that situation. It is something that will remain for history, haha.

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