Coaches Corner Special Edition: My Journey at the HOP London Padel Open

Welcome to a special edition of Coaches Corner! In this instalment, I'm excited to share my recent experience at the HOP London Padel Open, a FIP (International Padel Federation) Rise level tournament, the first stage of professional padel tournaments. This event took place at the LTA National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, where the level of competition was exceptional featuring players from around the world showcasing their skills on the court. I'll also touch upon the fantastic organization by HOP and the incredible atmosphere at the event, including the live streaming by UK Padel.

A Remarkable Showcase of Padel Excellence

First and foremost, I must commend HOP for their outstanding job in organizing this event. The logistics, coordination, and support provided by HOP were crucial in bringing together players, sponsors, and spectators for a truly memorable tournament. The HOP London Padel Open was a testament to the growth and popularity of padel, and it wouldn't have been possible without the dedication of everyone involved.

My Journey

Stepping onto the court alongside my partner, Craig De Silva, I knew we were in for a challenge. Our first-round opponents, a young Spanish couple, seemed daunting on paper, as it’s always scary coming across Spanish names in a padel tournament. However, through focused and consistent gameplay, we managed to secure a victory in straight sets.

The momentum continued as we progressed into the second round, facing another formidable duo. With determination and focus, we secured another win, clinching a spot in the main draw of the tournament. Craig's remarkable serve and solid net play combined with my aggressive volleys and smashes allowed us to advance to the next round.

Notably, our success also earned us a valuable FIP world ranking point, a significant milestone that has now placed me at the 1156th spot in the world rankings.

In the main draw we came across a young Italian pair. And they were a step too strong for us on the day. We both felt we didn’t play our best, and we let some small chances slip through our fingers. But the atmosphere was amazing with so many people watching and I have to thank my family for coming out and supporting us on the day. 

Learning from the Pros

One of the most valuable aspects of participating in a tournament of this calibre was the opportunity to watch the top players in action. Observing their defensive prowess, mainly their ability to execute effective shots from challenging positions, as well as their remarkable stamina provided insights into the high standards of the game at the professional level.

The men's game showcased the importance of precision, particularly with the lob. With opponents capable of powerful smashes, well-placed lobs became essential to maintain control of the rally. On the women's side, the enduring stamina and mental resilience displayed throughout lengthy rallies was truly impressive.

Adding Tools to the Toolbox

As a coach and player, I recognize the importance of continuous improvement. One valuable takeaway from the tournament is the realization that refining my return game is a priority. The top-tier players rarely miss a return, highlighting the significance of consistency and precision in this aspect of the game.

In Conclusion

The HOP London Padel Open was a remarkable experience that provided a unique window into the world of professional padel, and it was great to be a part of it. With the participation of the world-ranked number 62, who eventually emerged victorious, the competition was nothing short of intense and captivating. Witnessing such high-calibre play added an extra layer of excitement to the event and motivated me to take my game to the next level.

Furthermore, the live streaming of the tournament thanks to us at UK Padel was a game-changer. As of the time of writing, an astounding 27,000 individuals who couldn't attend the event in person have tuned in online. This digital accessibility has expanded the reach of the tournament, giving padel enthusiasts from around the world the opportunity to witness the action, no matter where they are. Look out for some highlights of the event coming soon and other LTA and HOP events in the future.

The tournament was not only a showcase of top-tier competition but also a testament to the sport's growing popularity and global reach. The event was exceptionally well-organized, and the live streaming provided an incredible opportunity for fans and players alike to engage with the game.

As you continue your padel journey, I encourage you to absorb and learn from the best players in the world. By integrating their strategies and techniques into your own game, you'll undoubtedly enhance your skills. Remember, growth and improvement are ongoing processes. Keep practicing, stay committed, and never underestimate the value of adding new tools to your padel toolbox.

Coach Jared

August Special from UK Padel

I'd like to share an exciting offer from UK Padel. This August, when you choose the UK Padel No.3 racquet – teardrop-shaped, with a rough surface, made from carbon fibre, and stylishly designed that is my personal padel weapon of choice - you'll receive one month of free membership and a discount on kit for your next purchase. The No.3 racquet is currently on sale for just £129, providing an opportunity to enhance your game with top-tier equipment. Buy it here:

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