”I didn't even think I could make a living from padel”
Legend Miguel Lamperti, 44, is one of padel's greatest. In an interview with Spain's Marca, he talks about how he didn't think he could live on padel, the youngsters he faced in the semi-finals of the La Rioja Open, and whether there is an end date to his career.
There are certain constants in men's padel. Fernando Belasteguin is one, Juan Martin Diaz another. And then there is Miguel Lamperti. Seeing how the sport has evolved, and younger and better players are coming up, Lamperti has survived at the highest level.
Last weekend, the 44-year-old teamed up with Juan Belluati for a sensational semi-final at Argentina's La Rioja Open.
In an interview with Marca, Lamperti talks about his career.
— I don't even know how many years I've been doing this. I started playing professionally in 1995, so look, 28 years... but come on, I prefer not to think about it! I enjoy it, this is not a burden, so I'm pleased, he says to the Spanish site.
— I didn't start training properly until I arrived in Spain at 28, he says.
Miguel Lamperti is known for his spectacular style and is often appreciated by the spectators. However, he did not think about making a living from the sport when he was young.
”Sharing bread rolls to eat”
— I didn't even think I could make a living from padel! I often tell 20-year-olds now 'if you only knew what we used to do to play, all crammed into a bus, sharing bread rolls for lunch, sleeping five in one room'.
Last week the legend faced the future in the semi-finals of the La Rioja Open when Lamperti and Belluati lost to 17-year-old Tino Libaak and 18-year-old Leo Augsburger, also from Argentina.
— I know them very well from the Nox brand, and it means that padel is in excellent health and that Argentine padel is producing spectacular players. I was really upset because I lost, but it fills me with pride to see that the guys are playing at a better and better level.
Earlier this year, Pablo Lima announced his retirement at the end of the season. How long fans will enjoy Miguel Lamperti on the court remains to be seen.
— I am a very competitive person and when I don't feel that way, I will step aside. My plan is to retire at the end of 2023 or in 2024. I would like to retire properly, not at a low level.