Overview: The best international players of the 2022 season

Overview: The best international players of the 2022 season

Historically, professional padel has mostly been dominated by Spanish and Argentinian players.

As the sport, with a lot of help from World Padel Tour, has exponentially grown worldwide, international players have started to climb their way to the top of the rankings.

Below, we have compiled some of the stand-out international players of the 2022 season!

Also read: Lebrón fifth player ever to reach 25 World Padel Tour titles

Sofia Araújo (POR)

Ranking: From 26 to 19 in 2022

Lisbon-born Sofia Araújo is a known quantity in World Padel Tour, but is enjoying another excellent season.

Araújo reached the Danish Padel Open final with Mapi Sánchez Alayeto, the only event they played together as Mapi's twin sister Majo was recovering from injury.

She became the second Portuguese player ever to reach a final after Ana Catarina Nogueira reached three in 2019.

In 19th place now, the 27-year-old is knocking on the door of making the Master Final, like she did in 2020.

Alix Collombon (FRA)

Ranking: From 21 to 24 in 2022

While it has not been her best year, French ace Alix Collombon still is one of the world's very best.

A two-time Challenger winner last season, the Lyon-born reached four quarter-finals in 2022 as well as the Mallorca Challenger final.

The next objective for Collombon, the only title-winning French player ever, will be to qualify for the Master Final.

Giulia Sussarello (ITA)

Ranking: From 63 to 40 in 2022

The most experienced Italian in WPT, Giula Sussarello has had herself a great season to break into the top 50.

Consolidating herself as a main draw player in the second half of the season, the woman from Como has made the round of 16 several times, as well as the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Challenger.

This was Sussarello's first-ever time in a quarter-final, and she could see another one soon if she keeps up current form.

Carolina Orsi (ITA)

Ranking: From 55 to 47 in 2022

Another Italian, Carolina Orsi too has broken into the top 50 in the 2022 season, although she is no longer the highest-ranked player from her country.

With five R16 appearances, 31-year-old Orsi has had a solid campaign, split with Xenia Clasca and Sandra Bellver as partners.

Léa Godallier (FRA)

Ranking: From 41 to 50 in 2022

A top player from French soil, Léa Godallier is having another solid World Padel Tour season.

On six occasions, Godallier with Teresa Navarro managed to reach the round of 16. However, unlike last season, the 27-year-old has not been able to get among the final eight in the quarter-finals.

Emily Stellato (FRA)

Ranking: From 95 to 58 in 2022

In her first full World Padel Tour season, Emily Stellato is showing very promising signs.

Starting the year in the lower tier of pre-qualifying, the veteran has slowly but surely climbed up the rankings.

Two of Stellato's five main draws were in Master events, giving her big points to gain positions

 

Roberta Vinci (ITA)

Ranking: From - to 59 in 2022

In her first professional season as a padel player, Roberta Vinci has turned a lot of heads already.

The former top ten tennis players and US Open finalist had to start from the bottom but has gained enough places so she no longer has to dispute pre-qualifying.

Should she continue in this fashion, we will see Vinci as a fixture in the main draw, having played two rounds of 16 already coming from pre-qualifying.

 

Daniel Windahl (SWE)

Ranking: From 105 to 64 in 2022

2022 has no doubt been a break-out season for Swedish number one Daniel Windahl.

Until 2022, no Swedish player had ever made it to the final round of qualifying, let alone to the main draw (not counting wild cards).

He and Cristian Gutiérrez then reached the round of 16 in Denmark with a wild card and then qualified for the Valladolid Master, where they took a set off Arturo Coello and Fernando Belasteguín in the first round.

Windahl has qualified for three events and made two rounds of 16 in what has been by far the best season of his professional career. A player to watch in the coming years!

 

Javier Valdés (CHI)

Ranking: From 51 to 67 in 2022

While it is not his best, Chile's Javier Valdés can still look back on another successful campaign in 2022.

The 26-year-old reached 7 main draws, most recently at the Madrid Master, and continues to improve on his game.

The man from Santiago de Chile will have a home tournament for the first time ever in 2023 as World Padel Tour travels to Chile, and will look to impress there more than at any other tournament.

 

Ksenia Sharifova (RUS)

Ranking: From 125 to 73 in 2022

Russia's Ksenia Sharifova made history twice earlier in the 2022 season at the same tournament.

Sharifova became the first Russian to ever qualify for an event at the Marbella Master, and it did not stop there. The 26-year-old made the round of 16 as well, making more history.

Together with Estela Francés, Sharifova made the main draw too in Menorca. A bright future lies ahead.

 

Amanda Girdo (SWE)

Ranking: From 113 to 77 in 2022

Sweden's diamond in the rough in women's padel is undoubtedly Amanda Girdo.

The 20-year-old became the first Swede ever to survive qualifying at the Brussels Padel Open, where she would go as far as the round of 16 - also a first for her country.

Often knocking on the door of the main draw already, reaching the qualifying final in five of the last seven, the future looks awfully bright for Girdo and Swedish padel.

 

Wild card debutants

The 2022 World Padel Tour season has been the most international season ever. 12 different countries have been visited throughout the campaign, with each one giving local talents an opportunity to shine via the wild card.

Some players, like Belgium's Helena Wyckaert or Austria's David Alten and Christoph Krenn, already had plenty of WPT experience in the qualifying rounds before being given the wild card for the main draw.

No wild cards managed to cause an upset and go through in 2022, but the Netherlands' top seed Bram Meijer and Uriël Maarsen took Alex Ruiz and Momo González to the tie-break.

Simon Vasquez and Daniel Windahl, both seasoned WPT players, took a set off Salva Oria and Jorge Ruiz but could not go all the way.

The wild cards have also allowed young local talents like Sweden's Ida Jarlskog or Belgium's Clément Geens their WPT debuts.

While it is just a single match, it could go a long way to inspire local players and talents to increase their efforts to reach World Padel Tour.

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