Members of the Argentine team celebrate after receiving the trophy from Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Padel sport is dominated by Spaniards and Argentines at the top of the professional ranks. The two powerhouses of the game squared off in a pulsating men's final of the DP World Padel Championships at the jam-packed Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on Saturday night.
Argentina prevailed over rival Spain 2-1 to lift the title, and the epic final that started at 5pm on Saturday and ended at 1am in the early hours of Sunday kept the capacity crowd of 5,000 on the edge of their seats throughout the thriller.
Held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, the 16th edition of the International Padel Federation’s flagship team event was hosted by the UAE Padel Association (UAEPA) in association with the Dubai Sports Council and the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism (DET).
Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Padel Association and Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee, and Luigi Carraro, President of the International Padel Federation, crowned the winners and gave away the other prizes.
The final was also attended by Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the UAE Football Association (UAEFA), Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO and Managing Director, DP World UAE, Jafza, and members of the organizing committee.
With the victory, Argentina also secured their 11th overall World Championship crown and gained a sweet revenge over Spain, whom they lost to in last year’s final in Doha.
The pair have dominated the sport and are the only two winners of the event since the inaugural edition in 1992.
Juan Lebron, the reigning world No. 1, and Francisco Navarro put Spain ahead after coming from behind to beat Federico Chingotto and Agustin Tapia 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the first set.
Franco Stupaczuk and Martin Di Nenno defeated Arturo Coello and Alejandro Galan 6-3, 6-2 to level the match.
Making the best use of their vast experience, Fernando Belasteguin and Sanyo Gutierrez won the decider by outlasting Alex Ruiz and Momo Gonzalez 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
For the first time in the championship’s history, a prize pool of €500,000 was on offer and distributed equally between men, women's teams and to the teams that reached the finals according to the first to sixteenth places, where the winner of the title received €45,000, the runners-up got €30,000, the teams finishing third received €24,000, the teams finishing fourth got €20,000, and the fifth placed teams received €18,000.
On Saturday, Spain won the fifth consecutive women’s title after beating Argentina in the final.
With this win, the Spain women’s team secured their eighth overall World Championship gold following an impressive 2-0 victory over their rivals.
Sheikh Saeed thanked and expressed gratitude to Sheikh Hamdan for his patronage and unwavering support.
The Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee also thanked the Dubai Sports Council, the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism (DET), Dubai Duty Free, DP World, and the sponsors of the championships for their contributions to the success of the event, which reflected Dubai's positive image, and showcased its ability to host global sporting competitions.
Sheikh Saeed stressed that the significant fan attendance at the various matches, particularly the final, reflects the growing popularity of padel in the Emirate as a result of the support the game receives from the wise leadership.
"The huge success of the championships would not have been possible without the great efforts made by members of the organizing committee over the course of the tournament. Thank you to everyone and to the fans who attended in large numbers, which reflects the passion for the game," added Sheikh Saeed.
Sheikha Madiya crossed the finish in one hour, 58 minutes and 36.89 seconds to edge past Farah Al Marri, who was close second, 0.6 seconds behind in 1:58:37.83, while Aisha Foolad came third in 1:58:38.42.
The Ajman Padel Tennis tournament concluded on Sunday after being held for a week. The tournament took place in special courts in Ajman that included the Padel Square, the Padel Long, and the Go Padel.
The padel community is getting big in the UAE. We may have just heard about this now but the sport started long time ago. It is currently most popular in Hispanic American
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