CHAMPION. MARTIN DI NENNO
One of only three 2-time Major Champions, last year Di Nenno teamed with Paquito Navarro to capture the Ooredoo Qatar Major, Premier Padel’s global debut. Juan Lebron and Ale Galan won the next two Majors in Italy and Paris, while Arturo Coello and Fernando Belasteguin captured the final Major in Mexico. Di Nenno and Navarro had a great season together – reaching the Final in Italy, the Semifinals in Paris, the Final in Madrid (P1), and the Semifinals in Mendoza (P1) before parting ways. Once again, this time alongside countryman Franco Stupaczuk, he launches the new Premier Padel Tour season with a Major title.
CHAMPION. FRANCO STUPACZUK
Last year, after a Semifinal run here in Doha alongside Alex Ruiz, Stupaczuk split with his Spanish partner to join forces with Brazilian titan Pablo Lima. The two reached the Semifinals in Paris (Major) and Madrid (P1), before capturing back-to-back titles in Mendoza (P1) and New Giza (P1). This week’s victory marks Franco’s first Major title.
FINALIST. FERNANDO BELASTEGUIN
No surprise, The Boss continues to excel at all levels of the game, regardless of Tour, regradless of partner. Last season, alongside Spain’s Arturo Coello, Argentina’s greatest talent reached the Quarterfinals or better of all eight Premier Padel events. In December, the two captured the season’s final Major in Mexico, defeating Agustin Tapia and Sanyo Gutierrez in the championship match. This week, he and Sanyo joined forces, kick-starting the new season with a Finals appearance in Premier Padel’s 2023 debut.
FINALIST. SANYO GUTIERREZ:
Last year, Sanyo temporarily teamed with his nephew Agustin Gutierrez for Premier Padel’s debut here in Doha. The two fell in the 2nd-Round to lucky losers Nacho Vilarino and Jose Luis Gonzalez. Sanyo then reunited with Agustin Tapia for a Semifinal run in Marid (P1), a Quarterfinal finish in Mendoza (P1), and a run to the Mexico (Major) Final. This year, he launched the season as a 4-seed, battling alongside one of the greatest to play the sport – and is now a back-to-back Major Finalist.
WHAT IS PREMIER PADEL?
For decades, the International Padel Federation (FIP) has been the governing body of the sport. However, privately-owned tours – mainly in Europe and South America – staged the majority of income-generating tournaments for professional talents. While grateful for the opportunity to earn a living, the players had little influence over the tours, their payouts, and often found their individual seasons dictated by sponsors.
Then – for the first time – in 2021 the FIP staged the World Padel Championship outside of Europe or the Americas. Padel’s popularity had recently exploded in the Middle East – and the Qatar Tennis Federation, under the direction of Paris St. Germain owner Nasser Bin Ghanim Al Khelaifi, won the bid. Following the event’s highly successful Asian debut, Khelaifi financed the launch of FIP’s newest endeavor: The Premier Padel Tour.
Working alongside the player’s association, FIP established an eight tournament tour built for growth – and by all appearances, the Premier Padel Tour is the future of the sport. Like tennis, there are four “Majors,” offering players the richest prize pool and points. Additionally, there are four P1 (Premier One) events, extending Padel’s global reach to seven countries on five continents.
Major Tournaments include Qatar (Doha), Italy (Rome), Paris (Roland Garros), and Mexico (Monterrey). P1 Tournaments include Madrid (Spain), Mendoza (Argentina), New Giza (Egypt), and Milan (Italy). As the sport continues to blossom, the Premier Padel Tour will add additional events and tiers to the calendar. Not to mention, the female athletes of the International Padel Players Association will join the Tour later this year.
ANNOUNCER RETURNS TO THE QATAR TENNIS FEDERATION TEAM
Since the 2011 Doha Arab Games, announcer Andy Taylor has been a fixture with the QTF. From the Qatar TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil Open – to the Qatar Classic Squash Championship, the PSA Men’s World Championship, and World Padel Championship. Over 10-years, he regularly returned to this gleaming city on the Arabian Gulf – but last year stepped-back from hosting international events to slow down and focus on other aspects of his voice acting career.
HE MADE IT EIGHT MONTHS.
After 240 days in the recording booth, behind a microphone, only communicating with clients and partners through email, messaging, and video apps – he realized how much he truly values live, in-person performance and the genuine sense of “community” when working alongside other professionals committed to excellence.
In August, Andy Taylor returned to New York for his 21st consecutive year as the Voice of the US Open.
And in February, returned to work alongside his revered colleagues at the Qatar Tennis Federation as the announcer and host for the 2023 Qatar TotalEnergies Open, Qatar ExxonMobil Open and Ooredoo Qatar Major.
Very excited to get the chance to play a role in the sport's latest endeavor, the Premier Padel Tour. The International Padel Federation (FIP), the athletes of the Player Padel Association (PPA), and Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) continue to construct a solid, equitable foundation for the future of the game - while simulaneously growing the fan-base, staging events on five continents.
No longer Spain and Argentina's best-kept secret, Padel is set-up for significant growth. I'm mostly excited for the athletes, especially after getting to know several of these grounded, competitive, down-to-earth talents who've chosen to pursue a career of partnerships inside the glass. Here's to the future of the game.