2021, a historic year for international World Padel Tour players

As we continue our look back on the 2021 World Padel Tour season, the focus now shifts to 'international' players - non-Spaniards in both circuits, and Argentinians in the male circuit.

2021, a historic year for international World Padel Tour players

As we continue our look back on the 2021 World Padel Tour season, the focus now shifts to 'international' players - non-Spaniards in both circuits, and Argentinians in the male circuit.

We subtract these two countries as padel is the most established there as one of the biggest sports. This means the vast majority of current top players are from either nation.

READ: World Padel Tour's English record-breaking year in numbers

Having said that, as padel continues its rapid growth worldwide, 2021 was a year full of historic feats for many countries in World Padel Tour. Here are some of the best statistics!

France becomes latest winning country

No doubt the biggest achievement in 'international' padel was Alix Collombon's first title. The French ace won the Tau Cerámica Alfafar Challenger 2021 alongside Jessica Castelló, becoming the first player of her country to win any silverware in World Padel Tour history. After Spain, Argentina, Brazil and Portugal, France is now the fifth country to have won an official event!

Collombon also equalled her and France's career-best finish at an Open, stranding in the Estrella Damm Cordoba Open 2021 quarter-finals.

To round out what was the 28-year-old's best-ever season, she finished 20th in the rankings, the highest-placed any French player has ever been. Can she qualify for the Master Final in 2022?

Another French feat comes from Ben Tison, who became the first male French player to make the final draw of an Open, doing so at the Cupra Vigo Open 2021.

Female Argentinian drought over

Despite Argentina having historically dominated the men's Circuit in World Padel Tour, it had been seven years of no female Open or Master winners from Argentina.

In 2021, the drought was finally over when Virginia Riera alongside Patricia Llaguno claimed the Vigo Open in May.

Like London buses, young Argentinian star Delfi Brea would go on to win her first tournament just two weeks later in Santander. After seven years without a win, two straight tournaments were won by Argentinians.

One of the break-out stars of 2021 with her partner Tamara Icardo, Brea would claim her second title of the year in Valencia. The future of women's Argentinian padel seems in safe hands.

Double Portuguese trouble

As well as France becoming the fifth country to have a tournament-winning player, Portugal went a step further.

With Ana Catarina Nogueira and Sofia Araujo winning the Albacete Challenger, both women Portuguese, the Mediterranean nation is the third country with both players in a pair from their country to win an event together.

The other two are Spain and Argentina as no fully Brazilian pair has ever won a World Padel Tour event.

Italy on the rise

Another country to have achieved a historical feat is Italy. In the women's #Top100 in the rankings, eight players are Italian, more than ever before.

The top-ranked player from the bunch is 57th-ranked Carolina Orsi. The 30-year-old from Rome reached the final draw of an Open or Master on seven occasions, making the round of 16 once at the Lugo Open.

On the men's side, three Italians have cracked the #Top100 in 2021. Denis Perino leads the way in 62nd, whose season-high was making the Calanda Challenger final.

New international World Padel Tour players

2021 was also a year that saw many new countries make their World Padel Tour bow. First, there was the Finn Max Sjövall, who became the first-ever player to represent the Scandinavian country in WPT during Cervezas Victoria Marbella Master 2021 pre-qualifying. Sjövall would go on to make three pre-qualy appearances but never advance past the first round.

In July, Belarus had their first representation ever in World Padel Tour. Ihar Lakhvich and Mikalai Khaliutsin disputed pre-qualifying for the Estrella Damm Valencia Open 2021.

A few weeks later, qualifying for the Málaga Open, Abdulla Al-Hijji and Khalid Saadon became the first Qatari pair to compete at a WPT event.

The last big debutant of 2021 was teenager Tia Norton. At just 17 years of age, she made her debut in the Málaga Open qualifying stages. This made her the first British player in the female Circuit to participate at an official event, making another appearance at the Barcelona Master pre-qualifying stages later on in the year.

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