The most outstanding young players at the opening of the season

Four young men have excelled in this early season, shoulder to shoulder with the best and demonstrating that there is a solid future for international padel: Franco Stupaczuk , Juan Lebron, Alejandro Ruiz and Matías Marina. They have caused a sensation in the first tournaments of the World Padel Tour calendar, some of them as a team and others along experienced players.

The most outstanding young players at the opening of the season

These future stars, which are already the present of the international padel scene, are mixed with old glories of the sport that are at the end of their professional career. When the first geniuses of this sport were retiring, much was said about who would take their place.

Players like Gattiker, Lasaigues, Auguste, Pinon, Semprun, Arias and the latest Gaston Malacalza have been left along the way . Without them the sport of padel has continued to grow and evolve. In generational order, the next to leave the courts will be Juan Martin Diaz, Lahoz, Jardim, Reca, great players that still are fighting for the championships and contribute with their experience in favor of the rookies.

Such is the case of Brazilian Marcello Jardim or the Franco-Argentine Gaby Reca. The first has found renewed hopes along Franco Stupazuck, the second experienced something similar next to the player from Cadiz, Juan Lebron.



After the fatal car accident that killed one of the great promises of the padel scene, Elías Estrella, and left Martin Di Nenno with serious injuries, his inseparable partner, Franco Stupaczuk, had to face the difficult decision to choose who to play with.

The first option was Gaby Reca, who was going to play precisely along Elías Estrella this 2016 season. The negotiations were too difficult and finally he chose to partner up with Marcello Jardim.

"It was not a good time and finally the chance to play with Marcello convinced both my family and I. The truth is that I did not think the positive results would come so quickly, but we've had a terrific start," said Franco Stupazuck.

He recognizes that a priori the objective was to be in the quarterfinals, a goal they have achieved in the first three tournaments (Gijon, Valencia and Barcelona), falling only to the two best pairs of the circuit. Now with these good feelings "we have increased the reach of our objectives and we want to be among the top eight teams of the ranking," he said.

About his partner, Stupaczuk said that "what has surprised me most is how smart he is on the court, the strength he has and his level of concentration. He also allows me to play with less pressure, I can play more balls and gain in confidence. Along Martin I could not be so disorganized (laughs). "


Lebron: I must control my anxiety

A similar case is that of the player from Cadiz, Juan Lebron. When he received the call of the legendary Gaby Reca he did not hesitate, he had the opportunity to play along one of the legends of the sport.

In the last tournament held in Las Rozas they had the opportunity to get into the quarterfinals, but the balance is more than positive. "The positive results are accompanying us and we must continue in this line. We left with the bitter taste of losing in the four tournaments against the same team, the number 4 of the ranking, having had our opportunities in most of the matches, perhaps the clearest in Las Rozas," said the young player from Cadiz, 21 years old and ranked 23rd of the World Padel Tour ranking .

To make an assessment of his teammate, Lebron said "we have adapted very fast and it gives me great confidence. His game style suits me very well, the strategy he follows has allowed me to use my best weapons. "

The Andalusian player was very self-critical, noting that "I should improve and control my anxiety. Thanks to my psychologist and the great team of coaches it is something I've been improving, but I know that I must be more patient at certain times of the match. Gaby supports me a lot in this regard."

As for the level exhibited by other players of his generation level, Lebron did not hesitate to point out Alex Ruiz and Mati Marina as the most relevant. "They just won the Challenger of Lisbon and were finalists of the Championship of Spain and also recently beat the 3rd team of the ranking. They complement each other very well and it is difficult to beat them."


Ruiz-Marina Improve

After having lost the final of the Championship of Spain, where they were clear favorites, Alejandro Ruiz and Matías Marina were successful once again last weekend after winning the first challenger of the season in Portuguese lands.

This early season was marked by the ups and downs of this team. At Gijon they fell in the second round against Cepero-Lijó, then in Valencia they could do little against the number 1's Belasteguín-Lima. It was in Barcelona where they achieved their best result, reaching the quarterfinals after eliminating Matias Diaz and Maxi Sanchez, who came from being finalists in the first two tournaments.

After the victory in Lisbon, Marina recognized that "only now I feel good, recovering my level and being more competitive after the injury." Something that his colleague shared stressing that "it is hard to beat what we experienced in 2015 when I had to change partner up to three times".


Precisely on the ups and downs that they have suffered at the start of the season, Marina explained that "we will improve with more matches, more tournaments, regaining confidence with victories like the one at Lisbon."

"Keep in mind that we hadn't played together in eight months and we are just now practicing on the courts. Winning gives you confidence and that will allow us to be more competitive against the top ranking teams," said Ruiz.

The surnames of the future are already shining in the present. Gradually they are turning into the mirror of future generations as Lasaigues-Gattiker, Diaz-Belasteguín, Reca-Nerone, and other legendary partnerships have been in the past.

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