Alejandra Alonso : ‘It’s very emotional and inspirational for me to get back with Babolat’

3 min. reading
Published on 04/06/2024

The professional padel career of 17-year-old Alejandra Alonso has been a runaway success story. In 2023 alone, Alonso’s shock defeats of well-established champions like the Sánchez Alayeto twins on the World Padel Tour and her victories in both the Spanish National and World Junior Championships mean that, despite her lack of experience, her progress to date has been simply staggering. However, her new sponsorship deal with Babolat, which began in early 2024, is not just a great chance for Alejandra to raise her game even further – it’s also taking her back to her sporting roots. She was introduced to the game when she was 12 by her mother, who teaches padel. “The club where I first played collaborated with Babolat, and as a result I got some sponsorship from the company,” she explains. “So it is very emotional and inspirational for me to get back with Babolat. It means a lot to me.”

Growing up near Valladolid in northern Spain, she says, “I played a lot of sports, but if two stand out, they’d be football and padel. Football – I love it, I used to play in a team here in my village, Simancas. But then when I had to decide between football and padel, I ended up going for padel because I like it a lot, too.” Having opted for padel full-time in 2023, Alejandra teamed up with Andrea Ustero, who has become her regular competition partner. “We were a bit like a revolution in the sport because we’re very young,” she says. “We’re very ambitious, and we’ve got lots of character. We realised last year that we can do a lot and now we want to do a lot more.” Hooking up again with Babolat, she believes, can only help accelerate that process, most notably thanks to the Dyna racquet. But her treasured emotional connection with how she started out in padel is in no way forgotten, either. “I’m absolutely delighted with the racquets, the clothes and the sports shoes at Padel,” she points out. “For one thing, the Dyna is very light, it provides a lot of power, so that works brilliantly with my playing style. And I know that Babolat is like a big family for me, and I’m proud to be part of it again.”

Still a card-carrying club member of the Valladolid soccer team and a regular spectator at their games, she says her past training as a goalkeeper offers some valuable technical lessons in padel as well. “If there’s a ball that I don’t think I’m going to reach, I lunge for it exactly like I would have done in football to stop it from hitting the ground.” Such resourcefulness and natural skills have certainly stood her in great stead in padel so far, with the undoubted highlight of her spectacular 2023 season coming when she played the quarter-finals of a World Padel Tour event in Valladolid’s historic main square.

“We started playing in the qualification round and ended up beating the Sánchez Alayeto twins in a really tough match to get into the quarter-finals,” she recalls. “When I realised we would be playing that round in the Plaza Mayor square here in Valladolid, in front of all my friends and my parents, it was a dream come true, something very beautiful. So if I could only keep two sporting memories from 2023, it’d be that one and winning the Junior World Championships for Spain.” Alejandra Alonso believes that, even though she has now reached great heights in padel, keeping close to her roots – sporting and sponsorship – allows her not to get overwhelmed by so much early success. “I never imagined I’d get so far in padel,” she says, “and end up doing things like representing my country. That’s the most beautiful thing possible. But I’m lucky that my family are great at helping me keep my feet on the ground, and that way I don’t get a sense of vertigo." “I just know I’m young and I’ve got a lot to improve, so I have to make the most of my opportunities. I’m not scared of doing that at all.”

Team babolat pro players may play with a customized or different model than the equipment depicted.

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