The sixth tournament of the season, the Estrella Damm Valencia Master, will have the added spice of the battle for the number one spot in the rankings. In a start to the season full of surprises, Sanyo Gutiérrez and Maxi Sánchez have been the most consistent pairing and have claimed 3 titles and reached another final. This strong start has catapulted Sanyo to a total of 1125 points, which leaves him just 435 behing the world number ones, Fernando Belasteguín and Pablo Lima (1560), who have won one title and missed Zaragoza because of Belasteguin's injury. There advantage at the top has slowly but surely been cut down and, for the first time this year, Bela and Lima will play to defend their ranking in Valencia. A fascinating battle which has the following possible outcomes:
(Note: At the Estrella Damm Valencia Master, the players defend the points they achieved a year ago, meaning that they defend their results from the Cerveza Victoria Costa del Sol Mijas Open 2017. In this case, Sanyo Gutierrez defends 90 points because he lost in the last sixteen. Meanwhile, Bela and Lima don't defend any points because they missed the tournament through injury. At a Master event, the winner takes 1700 points, the finalist 1020, the semifinalists 610, the quarterfinalists 310 and there's 70 points for falling in the opening round).
- If Bela and Lima don't get past the quarter finals, Sanyo Gutierrez would only need to reach the final.
- If Bela and Lima reach the semi finals or the final, the player from San Luis would need to win the Estrella Damm Valencia Master 2018.
- If Sanyo Gutiérrez doesn't reach the final, Bela and Lima hold top spot, unless if they fall in the round of 32.
- If Sanyo and Maxi lose before the semi finals, the world number ones will hold on to their ranking regardless of their result.
- In a hypothetical final between the two pairings, the winner will take the number one ranking.
There couldn't be any more excitement heading into the second Master of the season on the World Padel Tour. La Fonteta will stage the first battle of the year for the number one ranking. View the full rankings here.