Paddle tennis is the second most popular sport in Spain. You will therefore find the small tennis courts in a type of glass cage everywhere. But do you know what it is exactly?
What is it?
Paddle tennis is a combination of tennis and squash that is played by 2 players (singles) or by 4 players (doubles). You play using a small thick racket (a paddle) and a type of tennis ball.
The court is much smaller than a tennis court. There is no overhand serve either and point counting is easier. The court is fully enclosed with a glass rear and side wall.
Paddle tennis originated in Acapulco, a Mexican beach resort, at the end of the1960s. The man who came up with the ball sport was Enrique Corcuera. This richbusinessman did not have sufficient room at home to build a tennis court. He therefore come up with a similar sport and decided to build a court measuring 10 by 20 metres with 3 to 4 metre high walls. A net split both sides. He made smaller wooden rackets because of the limited size. It was the Mexican elite who, in particular, played this new ball sport. Until a friend of Enrique, Alfonso De Hohenlohe, came to visit him. De Hohenlohe introduced the sport to Marbella and the game became extremely popular in Spain with the assistance of King Juan Carlos and Monolo Santana (ex-Wimbledon winner).
Rules of the game
As previously mentioned, the serve is underhand after the ball has bounced once behind the service line. The ball must be hit lower than at hip height and diagonally into the right or left service court of the opponent. The ball must touch the floor in the service court without touching the metallic mesh, but the glass walls may be hit. You get 2 tries as you do in tennis. The ball may only bounce once on the ground and may be played before or after bouncing possibly after coming in contact with the wall. The ball may not hit the wall and metallic mesh directly. You can play the ball against your own glass wall as a player to get it to the other side of the net.
What you need
Paddle tennis is played with a paddle racket that can be attached to your wrist. Usually, the racket is made of graphite, carbon or fibreglass. The rackets can vary in shape, weight and base material. Paddle tennis is played using a ball similar to a tennis ball. It is slightly smaller and it must be able to bounce properly.
We do recommend trying Paddle tennis, you never know, you might be a natural… 😉