Apply flexible amateur formats to professional padel


Despite this, Victoria wants to see grassroots padel’s more flexible amateur formats applied to the professional side of the sport. “You can’t play in mixed teams in the World Padel Tour,” she points out, “and it would be good if the WPT did include that as a new category within its competitions.”

Victoria got into the sport thanks to encouragement from all sides of her family, both male and female. “I started out with tennis as a young child. I quit at 18, but my mother and sister play padel, and, together with my father, they told me I should try it as well.”

She moved very quickly through padel’s lower categories, starting to play seriously at 21, in Seville – the capital of Andalusia – and quickly progressing.

“Tennis and padel are very different sports, but there are certain strokes that are common to both, and that helped me, I think.”

However, as she advanced towards higher levels of professional padel playing, she became increasingly aware that “on and off the circuit, there is a considerable gap between what men and women can earn.” She says male professional padel players tend to earn three times as much as their female counterparts, and she feels redressing that gender imbalance will be an uphill struggle, given how deeply ingrained it remains even in historically established sports like football.

“Football has had decades of significant financial investment, which has helped boost its prestige and provided a secure environment for top players to improve their individual skills. But all through those years, women’s football was an afterthought.”

On-court warrior