This was the final test, and the Teens made it too.
Leo Augsburger and Tino Libaak have shown the padel world what we can expect in the coming years, writes Padel Alto´s Filip Björne after the sensation in La Rioja Open.
It was youthful enthusiasm against routine. It was teenagers against a legend. It was the future of padel against history.
But above all, it was the final test for Leo Augsburger and Tino Libaak. And how they passed it. When everything mattered most in the semi-final of the La Rioja Open, Leo Augsburger looked up, said a few well-chosen words, served, and smashed home the semi-final against Miguel Lamperti and Juan Belluati.
Such a lack of nerves and mental strength at the age of 17 and 18 is rare, and we will probably see it for another 27 years.
Twenty-seven years is the difference between the youngest-ever finalist in the history of the World Padel Tour, Tino Libaak, and the legend Miguel Lamperti.
The match was 7-6, 6-3. And not once did the pair show nervousness, despite being outnumbered during the match.
Showed quality in the WPT last season
Already last year, then 16 and 17 years old, we saw the quality of the Argentine pair. After receiving a wild card, the team knocked out Pablo Lijo and Javi Ruiz in the Buenos Aires Master tournament.
But it is this season that their WPT journey began.
So don't be fooled by the fact that Leo Augsburger and Tino Libaak are in 114th and 115th place in the WPT rankings. They are much better than that!
For this season, they have moved to Barcelona and the newly established Nox Academy. There, they train together with Agustin Tapia and his team, led by Pablo Crosetti.
Anyone who has seen Tapia and Augsburger can quickly draw parallels and see the similarities between the players. The breakthroughs are similar in their playing style, and Tapia is that reference to the Argentinian and world padel that Augsburger will be.
Both are also best at home in Argentina and the extremely fast conditions with the heat and high altitude of La Rioja.
Now I can't stop thinking about one thing. Tomorrow's final. In it, I hope young Augsburger and Libaak just go out and enjoy. Because, you have already shown the padel world what we can expect in the coming years.