Roger “Pequeño” Quintin, a pioneer of padel

After the sad loss of Javier Maquirriain last week, this Monday left us another legendary player, Roger “Pequeño” Quintin died at the age of 62 years. Born in Venezuela, of french father and spanish mother, for many years he lived in Mar del Plata, Argentina, until recently that he moved to France to receive medical treatment due to illness.

Coming from a family of excellent athletes, brothers and father, Roger “Pequeño” Quintin had innate qualities that made him stand out in sports, such as swimming, where he was amazed by his talent and style. He also excelled in tennis with a relevant career as a player in the Club Náutico Mar del Plata, participating in both national and international tournaments, including Roland Garros qualifying rounds.

At the beginning of the 1980´s, a real social phenomenon began in Argentina that gave rise to the current development and implementation of padel. “Pequeño” was one of those first players who attracted attention because of his game on the court. At a time when there were still no teachers or coaches, you could only learn by watching the bests and Roger Quintin was one of the first professional padel players who stood out for his technique, tactics and delivery on the court. Everyone watched and learned from a “Pequeño” that became a reference for subsequent players. He was a pioneer, an idol for everybody.

He started playing with Enrique Espinosa, Fredy Safourett and Rodolfo Usuna. He formed a very successful couple with young Franco De Paoli and already entering the first stage of professionalism shared triumphs with Leonardo Cattáneo, Severino Iezzi and with Alberto Pizzolo formed an emblematic couple that marked a before and after in the history of padel.

“Pequeño” and Pizzolo represented in several tournaments the Play Time complex, thus becoming the first professional players to receive money for wearing the club’s logo on their sports equipment and have a well-known coach, Federico Maidana, available on the physical side. Roger Quintin and Alberto Pizzolo reached in 1989 the maximum splendor when proclaiming themselves champions in the Final of the National Tournament beating Alejandro Lasaigues and Horacio Álvarez Clementi, in what became a classic confrontation of the 80´s. They also had a prominent participation in the first editions of the Hispano Argentino Tournament. Roger “Pequeño” Quintin played too with Ricardo Cano, Gustavo Fernández, Luis Pozzoni, Gustavo Aguirre and Alfredo Bidabehere, his last professional partner until his retirement in 1990.

With his charismatic personality, “Pequeño” quickly realized that the sport of padel was beginning to be a good show, of quality, which attracted a significant number of public and that manufacturers of padel rackets and courts, event organizers and clothing sports companies would begin to benefit sooner or later from the social phenomenon of padel. He became the first driver of professional padel.

From the International Padel Federation, we express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Roger Quintin“Pequeño” until always.