US National Team Picks Elite Padel Players at Dallas
Padel is one of the fastest-growing sports worldwide, and the U.S. team is not one to shy away from this rising sport. The best players in the world show off their skills in Dallas as the United States Padel Association (USPA) held an event at T Bar M racquet club. Top players tried out for two wild-card spots on the national team.
Seasoned male and female athletes from around North Texas played matches in front of the U.S. national team coach, who will select the top eight padel players from the bunch.
The sport of padel, a combination of tennis and racquetball, has taken a foothold in Europe and South America.
American players like Nico Agritelley say it’s fun to watch and a great workout.
“I call tennis checkers, and padel is almost like chess. Learning how to play off the walls, longer points, less downtime coming from tennis. Playing tennis for 24 years, counting it’s something new and fun as well,” Agritelley said.
“Padel is easy to play. You are close to each other, the racquet is smaller than a tennis racquet, and if you play tennis, it’s much easier,” said Claudio Risco, the U.S. National padel team coach.
The wild-card players chosen today will travel to the Middle East in November and compete with the U.S. national team in the world championships.
According to the USPA national ranking as of July 30, 2021, the best six players will be selected to join the Men’s and Women’s world championship teams.
USPA national rankings are calculated on a 52-week rolling basis. They will include all USPA sanctioned tournament results between August 1, 2020, and July 30, 2021.
The selection criteria will include player ability, results from USPA sanctioned tournaments, national and international ranking, and participation in USPA sanctioned events.
Aside from match performance, each player’s on-court and off-court attitudes are as crucial to Team USA as the padel ability that comes with it.
To represent the country, players should be prepared to play hard, support their teammates, and respect opponents in victory or defeat.