Alex Ruiz: "I wasn't enjoying myself on court anymore"

We talk to Matias Marina and Alejandro Ruiz after the Andalusian decided to split up.

Alex Ruiz:

Matias Marina and Alejandro Ruiz were one of the most promising young pairings on the World Padel TourThey'd played together for two years and were friends on and off the court.

2015 wasn't a bed of roses for them. First, Matias Marina sustained an injury that forced him to stop playing in August, and then Alejandro Ruiz's injury prevented them from finishing the year together.

They started 2016 with a lot of determination. They picked up wins and defeats on the way. They reached the quarter finals of the Barcelona Mastersknocking out Diaz-Sanchez en route in the last 16. They won the title at the Lisbon Challenger and they just lost out in the final in Barcelona. It was precisely after the Catalan challenger when Alejandro Ruiz decided to put an end to their partnership.


WPT: Alejandro, when did you make the decision and what were the reasons behind it?

Alejandro: In all honesty I hadn't thought about changing my partner in any moment. But it's true that I didn't feel comfortable anymore, I wasn't enjoying myself on court, my attitude wasn't good on court and I'm not like that. I'm a happy player con court and I wasn't comfortable.

We've got a long way to go and I felt that I wasn't in a good place with Mati, that if we continued playing together we'd lose our friendship. There's the example of Botello and Concepcion, and I didn't want to finish on a sour note with him because just like them, Marina is a friend of mine.

On another note, Nerone called me, and initially I said no because I didn't think it was right to leave Mati halfway through the season. But then we lost in Mallorca, at the Spanish Championships and the Barcelona Challenger. We didn't play well in those matches, our attitude was poor, I didn't enjoy myself on court and I was very negative. And I decided to make a decision. Seba Nerone gave me the final push, I thought it through and I made a decision.

It was very difficult for me because Mati was a great friend. The meeting we had where I told him I wanted a change was very tough, in fact it was horrible, there were a couple of days where I even had a twitch in my eyes from the nerves. I went through a very rough period because he's like a brother to me and it was a very difficult decision.

But we're both very young and we have to mature a lot and hopefully in the future our paths will cross again. Now we both have to grow our separate ways.


WPT: How does Alejandro tell you his decision, did you expect it?

Matías Marina: when we returned from the Barcelona Challenger Alex told me he'd decided to play with Nerone. He maintained that we needed to mature going our separate ways. It was his decision, which I didn't expect, but this is sport and there's no other option than to keep going forward.

WPT: Matías, who will your next partner be?

Matías: Well, to be honest there have been several changes and the market is quite closed, especially among the top pairings. I've received some calls but right now I don't have a partner.


WPT: Alejandro, are you worried about the fact that Matias doesn't have a partner?

Alejandro: I don't think he'll encounter any problems because he's a tremendous player, the bad thing is that there have been many changes this season and the pairings at the top are closed. But Matias is capable of breaking up a pairing and I'm sure he'll find a new partner that suits him and I'm convinced things will go well for him, or at least that's what I hope. He's one of the best players in the world and I hope everything turns out well for him.

WPT: Alejandro, your new partner is Sebastian Nerone, who you're going to play with in the Canary Islands...

Alejandro: Nerone is a legend of this sport, I think he's going to help me play calmly. He's going to show me how to manage the tempo, to mature as a person and a professional. To learn how to enjoy the competition and the tense moments. We've trained together a few times and we'll see how things go. But it looks promising.


They've separated their paths but their short journey together will surely not be forgotten by fans of this sport. Now we'll see which of the two finds the quickest route towards victory.

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