Players pose for a picture at the Dubai Padel Cup’s purpose-built court at Jumeirah Emirates Towers.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Dubai can redefine the sport of padel and reach the summit of global padel destinations, according to Juan Lebron, the current world number one and the headline player of this week’s Dubai Padel Cup – a month-long padel fiesta being held as part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Dubai Padel Cup’s purpose-built court at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, which sits in the shadows of the Museum of the Future, predicted three days of action-packed exhibition matches will raise eyebrows across the global padel community.
“It’s amazing what’s been built here. This is probably the best court in the world in terms of location and backdrop. It really is amazing and shows what Dubai can do when it wants to impress the world.
The Dubai Padel Cup organisers told me they want to make the city the undisputed capital of padel in the region. OK, but I think they are already making waves beyond this part of the world; the whole sport is watching Dubai,” said Lebron, who is among nine of the world’s top 25 male players set to feature in the Dubai Padel Cup.
With the 16-man exhibition match field split into eight doubles pairings, each two-man team will play three matches in three days. The four winners of opening matches on November 2 will contest semi-finals on November 3, with the winners progressing to the final on November 4.
The four losers in opening matches will play other losing teams on November 3 and 4 to create a leaderboard of teams ranked 1-8 by the end of the week.
On Tuesday, Game D will see Argentine Luciana Capra (14) and Spain’s Juan Mieres Petruf (53) will face-off against Javier Lopez (185) and Sergio Icardo (119), who are representing Dubai’s NAS Sport Complex; Brazil’s Pablo Lima (10) and Spain’s Javier Garrido Gomez (20) will battle Argentina’s Fernando Poggi (145) and Gonzalo Rubio Perez (37) in Game C; Argentine Fernando Belasteguin (6) and Spain’s Arturo Coello (17) will play Argentina’s Adrian Allemandi (26) and Spain’s Jorge Nieto Ruiz (21) in Game B; and Spain’s Lebrón and Argentina’s Miguel Lamperti (World no. 18) will face Spanish duo Pablo Lijo (24) and Juan Martin Diaz Martinez (26) in Game A.
All four games will be played on the same court with Game D due to start at 4.00pm, Game C starting no earlier than 5.30pm, Game B no earlier than 7.00pm, and Game A no earlier than 8.30pm.
With public registration now open for knockout League (7 to 13 November) and Tournament (21 to 27 November) formats for the country’s male and female amateurs, Ahmed Hamada, Co-Founder of the Dubai Padel Cup, believes the month-long padel showcase is poised to significantly amplify the sport’s burgeoning popularity in the UAE.
“We are showcasing Dubai’s mettle to the world by hosting the first Dubai Padel Cup in a fully safe and secure environment,” said Hamada.
“This is only year one, but we have a world-class field of amazing professionals for the exhibition matches, and ability-based formats for the general public. We are planning to develop the Dubai Padel Cup into an annual event that will help us grow the game and its player base across the country and wider region.”
“We are thrilled to be joining the Dubai Padel Cup for its debut event, both as a host venue for public competitions and as co-creators of this signature, purpose-built court for the exhibition matches. The city and its people have fully embraced padel and we look forward to collectively growing the sport in the future,” said Ali Al Arif, Founder, and Managing Director of World Padel Academy.
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